The other morning I was out working on the back deck when my Android slipped out of my hand. It didn’t just slip and fall onto the deck. It had the audacity to fall sideways, and perfectly fit through the crack between two planks of wood on my deck; a feat I couldn’t do again if I tried!
Now, under my deck it’s a bit of wasteland. Mostly dirt and weeds, and I’m fortunate that I’ve never had to go there. Usually I send one of the kids under there to retrieve errant baseballs that may or may not have been thrown by me.
Well, my kids weren’t around, so I had to get dirty myself and crawl on my belly, army style, under the deck to retrieve my precious Android. But while I was under the deck, I decided to investigate and ended up retrieving all sorts of things that had literally fallen through the cracks before we were even the occupants of this home.
I posted this picture of my found treasure on Facebook
The image got all sorts of comments, including one from my friend Andrew Steeley, who in his infinite wisdom, stated:
It’s a metaphor for finding blog post ideas.
Ah, he knows me well. And he’s right!
As I work with small businesses and nonprofit organizations, I often try to get them to buy into blogging as an important part of their online presence and marketing mix. And when they agree to get on board, that’s just the first step. Deciding to blog is one thing, but actually starting the process can be daunting. Many often become paralyzed when it comes to generating blog ideas and content. You can’t write posts if you don’t have ideas or content.
So do what I did, and go somewhere you’ve never been. Don’t just think about your business the way you always do. Look at it from the viewpoint of your customers. Look at it from the outside in. Don’t just think about the public facing aspects of your business or organization. Use your blog to take your readers into other areas; take them behind closed doors, into the basement, under the porch. Explore things that even you have never explored before. Learn something new about your own business and share it with your readers. The stuff that I hauled out from under the porch told a bit of a story and gave me some hints about the previous occupants of my house. Perhaps what you find will help you tell some different stories.
And maybe you just need to leave the confines of your business altogether and take a walk around. Look for ideas anywhere: at home, on vacation, or while out to eat. They are there waiting for you to find them.
Where do you go when you need to generate new blogging ideas? Have you ever gone somewhere completely new for inspiration?