Tuesday, February 5, 2013

3 Ways to Create a Blog Post Using Material Other People Create

If you write a blog, do you ever have trouble thinking of blog topics?

Maybe you don't, but I sure go through some of those phases.  There are some times where ideas come to me so quickly that I can't possibly write quickly enough to capture all of those ideas.

However, there are plenty of other times that it seems like walking to the moon is easier than thinking of a blog topic that might hold some value for readers.

When I get in THESE modes, I try to take a step backward and remind myself that we don't have to create everything from scratch.  Many people have created great starting points for us.

We just have to put our own spin onto these things.  Now, I am not encouraging that people plagiarize other people's material.  Give them credit, but form your own thoughts or create your own effort, using that other person's work at a starting point for you.

There are probably plenty of other ways, but here are three (3) ways to create your own blog post material that other people created as a starting point:
  1. Reaction to a Blog Post or Article
  2. Write out Details from "How To" Video
  3. Review Product, Service, Website, Etc.
These can really help you get started, and you can add value for your readers, if you do any of these and offer something that the first person did not.  Let's take a look at these.

1. Reaction to a Blog Post or Article

I've done this a few times, but I should do it more often.  It seems like you can one of two approaches.

Approach #1: Summarize Lengthy Post

Example: 8 Tips to Become an Authority by Eric Enge

Eric Enge is a brilliant writer and marketer.  He was one of my first influences when I first got onto Twitter.

Here he makes a lot of good points.  On my blog post, I simply did my best to summarize what Eric wrote.  His post is brilliant, but I got my own interpretation, and I shortened it for me.  So I shared my "take" with my readers.

You can do the same thing.

Approach #2: Expand on Idea(s) within Post

I've taken this approach a couple of times, and it's a great way to make you take a thought to the next level.  You begin to really understand the lesson you just learned when you find a way to apply it to help other people, and expanding on ideas that someone else presented can provide additional value for your reader.

In this example, I review a talk that Jeremy Miller gave.  He did a really good job and shared a lot of great tips.  However, only the video was available, and not everyone wants to take the 15 minutes to watch the video (although it IS very good).

I provided value that was not there within his video, but I used his ideas and relayed them to my users.

2. Write out Details from "How To" Video

This might be the one the takes the LEAST amount of thinking.  Just simply watch a video that demonstrated how to do something, and recreate those directions on your website.

Example: Internet Marketing Tip: How to Create a LinkedIn Company Page

Give the video creator credit, and embed that video into your blog post.  However, beneath it, write out the instructions.  Some people need to see directions as well as a visual demo.

HINT: Plus, it's great for search engine optimization (SEO), because you will have keywords in your post, making it easier for Google and other search engines to find you.

3. Review Product, Service, Website, Etc.

So many people overlook this possibility.

If you're reading blogs, anyway, why not take some notes and make a review?

If you're buying products or services, why not leave a review?  You can offer a genuine perspective from being someone who paid the money and experienced things from a customer's point of view.

This example is a review of a TALK I attended by Craig Daitch.  It gave me a chance to review my notes from the event, and it also gave me a chance to connect (from a distance) with the speaker.

More pertinent to this, the speaker mentions all sorts of ideas that my readers should find valuable.  The talk was great, and I was there; my readers were not.

Since they are MY notes, I am not plagiarizing anything, especially since I gave the speaker credit.  I am simply helping my readers learn something, and I am providing more material for my blog.

So if you are having trouble finding topics to write on your blog, using material from other people might be a perfect starting point for you.  Plus, you will probably start to get other ideas, because ideas from other people get you thinking, especially if they're really good (or bad) ideas.

Have I overlooked any other really great way to overcome writers "topic block" that takes advantage of material other people created?

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Hey there! Thank you for taking time to read my post and share your thoughts with me and my other readers. I'm always tickled when I get a non-SPAM comment. Honestly, sometimes I'm even okay with some borderline SPAM.

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