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How to Think Outside of the Box and Develop Attention Grabbing Content

Posted By Darren Rowse 25th of January 2007 Writing Content 31

I’d like to welcome Glen Stansberry from LifeDev (feed) to Problogger. Glen has offered to write a series of posts looking at how to use creativity, productivity and organization to improve your blogging skills.

With the blogosphere ballooning to gigantic proportions, more and more blogs are springing up in every single niche. While it’s great for the reader to see a wide spectrum of opinions, it makes the blogger’s job of standing out that much harder. Any blogger can read a bit of news in their topic, and regurgitate it on their own blog with little thought. But that doesn’t do anything to help our readers, other than give them one more reason to unsubscribe from Mr. RSS.

It’s quite easy to get lost in the sea of voices. However, there’s one often-overlooked way to instantly grab attention: thinking outside of the box.

Case Study: 37Signals

37SignalslogoloLets take a look at a quick example of what we’re talking about here. 37Signals runs a great blog Signal Vs. Noise.

In this blog the software company’s founders spend most of their time writing about the 37Signals mantra: great web software is simple, fast and elegant.

But what makes their writing so compelling is that they hardly ever write about software.

Huh?

That’s right – What makes their writing great is that they are able to take pieces of seemingly unrelated topics and link them to their mantra, like how comics relate to web design. Or film concepts and branding. They know how to breathe life into a concept, to let the viewer see an idea in a different light.

Apply, Rinse, Repeat

This technique not only adds a new dimension to your writing, but it also shows how knowledgeable you are on your topic, Obi-Wan. The deep understanding you have of the concept means that you can show correlations previously unheard of. Can you smell the linkbait? :)

And the best part about this strategy: you can start using it immediately. And it’s really not that hard.

It all starts by changing the way you think about information.

Try reading news about topics that interest you but are completely unrelated to your niche. Or read less news, and allow your brain more time to think.

In short: start becoming more aware of how everything relates to your blog’s topic, in some way or another.

You may not get ideas from your feed reader either. That’s OK. Odds are it will be better if you don’t anyway. You’ll want to use as little “influence” from other sources as possible to help ensure originality and to get the creative juices flowing.

[One word of caution: Don’t get too abstract on your readers. Clarity is key in making this work. You never want to have your readers scratching their heads at your writing.]

There’s something that puts a well-crafted post ahead of the rest. By wrapping your posts in fresh perspectives, you’ll instantly improve your blogging, and your readers will thank you for it.

This is the first part in the series Cutting Above the Rest, a series focusing on how to use creativity, productivity and organization to improve your blogging skills. Check out Glen Stansberry’s blog LifeDev (feed) for more tips to improve your creativity.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.