Feeling sluggish about blogging in the new year? Being innovative on your blog can be a great way to re-energise yourself. The process of being creative and trying something different can definitely up your blogging fun quota when you are feeling stale and uninspired. Trying something new also has the advantage of showing readers a new side to your blogging persona and this could have the added benefit of engaging a whole new set of followers. And you never know, you might just start a new blogging craze. Let me give you an example.
In November 2009, I published my first “From My Notebook” post. I basically replicated what I had written that day in my own personal journal, presenting it on a graphic notepaper page, and the response from my readers to the format was extremely positive. I had lots of Twitter questions about how I had created it and positive comments left in response to the post. And I enjoyed the process of doing something different. It was fun, challenged my creative processes a little and was a much quicker post to put together than many of my others – no photos to edit, no laboring over what I was writing, no research to include. It was simple, yet effective.
Every now and then throwing in a new style of post keeps every one on their toes. So, here are 20 words to get you thinking about fun ways to step away from your usual style and give readers something fresh.
Put pencil to paper or pen to tablet and say something with illustrations, instead of words.
Check out Miao & Wafupafu for inspiration.
Set yourself the challenge of telling a story without words, just photographs.
Telling Your Story with Words and Images offers great tips for choosing the right photographs.
If your blog is usually full of product reviews or technical information, turn things upside down by sharing a personal story instead. Or tell readers something about you that they never would have guessed.
In Why Stories are an Effective Communication Tool for Your Blog, Darren shares his reasons for why stories engage readers on an emotional level.
Insert a graph, pie chart, table or diagram to make your point.
Invite another blogger, preferably one who usually takes an alternative stance to you, to enter into a debate with you via online chat or Skype and then publish it on your blog.
Make your readers chuckle – self deprecation, jokes, comic strips – whatever works with your target audience.
Give vlogging a twirl or insert a relevant video from YouTube to get readers talking.
Give something back to readers by hosting a giveaway. Or donate $$ to your favourite charity for every comment left on a post.
Make something from scratch, and then create a tutorial to teach others how to do it too.
Invite a guest blogger to be featured on your blog and introduce readers to someone new.
Try You’ll Never Know Unless You Ask for more information about inviting others to guest post on your blog.
When was the last time you write a list post? If it has been a while, compile a list which will be useful to readers today.
Check out Ali Hale’s guest post at Problogger, 10 Steps to the Perfect List Post.
Develop a free downloadable resource for your readers.
In colour psychology, blue equates to serenity and calmness whilst red is strong and gutsy, dramatic even. Think about creatively using colour to add intensity to your post or to set the mood for readers.
Do readers email you with questions, problems or dilemmas? Take the opportunity to channel ‘Dear Abbey’ and help them out with some useful advice. I did this recently with, “The Case For Not Packing Away.”
Source relevant inspirational quotes to share with readers. Or include statistics or new research findings.
Find out more about your readership by asking them to participate in a survey or poll.
Read more about surveys – Survey Your Readers and Discover Who They Are and How You Can Be More Useful to Them.
Use the powers of the internet to source news stories relevant to your niche and readership. Include your personal reaction and thoughts.
Re-package your post differently – standard content wrapped up in a new look. Present it as a postcard, a journal page, a post-it note, a shopping list, a recipe, or a collage.
Try Super Stickies for a bit of fun.
Create a list of great posts, linking to other blogs in your niche. Keep them relevant and your links will be popular with readers. You might even find that you get linked back to in return.
Develop a challenge for your readers and offer to publish the best submissions you receive. It could be a group writing challenge, an online photography exhibition or any challenge that best suits your niche and target audience.
Keep this list handy and come back to it for inspiration whenever you are feeling stale or depressed about blogging. You are limited only by your imagination and willingness to try something new.
Christie Burnett is a trained early childhood teacher, presenter, writer and, most importantly, Mum. She blogs at Childhood 101 about all the things that contribute to growing a memorable, healthy childhood, with lots of ideas, tips and information for families.