You check you inbox for the sixty-seventh time today, you thankfully decline the guy who wants to write an article on peanut butter for your blog about the art you make, and you open up a new Google doc.
Time to write your weekly blog post.
You put on a little Ed Sheeran, crack your knuckles, and take a sip of your sparkling water with a slice of lime and lemon to make it extra special.
Then, you will yourself to come up with a blog post topic idea that excites you and your readers. (Because you haven’t joined Sunday Society and done the monthly task of brainstorming your blog topics for an entire year.)
You think about how you’ve already written about the obvious stuff: why you do what you do, what inspires your products/services, your journey to becoming a self-taught artist, and a time lapse video of you creating one of your products.
Maybe a little scroll through Pinterest will give you an idea.
Twenty-seven minutes later you’re feeling even more defeated because you feel like every topic has already been covered by 297 different bloggers.
That leaves you with what…
Some lame blog post about how to copyright your art (even though that’ll just attract other artists who aren’t your ideal customer) or a summary of your latest trip to the beach when your youngest got a cold and left snot behind on every single piece of furniture in the rental house or what you’re currently reading which is 10 pages of this and 8 pages of that because you never have time to read anymore because it takes you hours just to come up with blog topics.
Is this about the time you give up?
You tell yourself that you’ll blog next week. Surely, you’ll have a good idea between now and then.
Get ready, because this is where I call you out.
YOU’RE A TOTAL LIAR.
Next week won’t be any easier, mainly because it’s a horrible feeling to stare at a blank screen for over an hour so you’ll wait until the last possible moment next week to get started.
In these types of situations, time crunches don’t help.
They hinder your creativity because that little devil of an inner critic is shouting, “Hahahahaha…you have no original thoughts. You suck. Give up and eat a bag of mini snickers so you feel even worse about yourself when you try on bathing suits for the upcoming summer.”
If you’ve never written a blog post at least a few days ahead of schedule, try it.
Just this once to see how it feels.
For me, it’s a completely different feeling. I know that the rough draft can be my worst writing so I just get my thoughts down on paper. I’ve got this freedom, because I have time to do at least a few rounds of edits over a couple of days.
The writing process feels waaaaaaay more enjoyable and I have a much easier time throwing a right hook at my inner critic when he starts in on how much I suck.
That’s my first not-so-secret secret to coming up with unique blog post ideas and you have to do THAT first in order for the next step to work.
The next step is a two parter:
Part 1: Say to yourself, “Everything under the sun has already been done.”
Part 2: But remind yourself that the thing that makes it different is YOU.
Let’s dig deeper.
If you search for “how to come up with unique blog post ideas” you’d get multiple results. It’s already been covered. You could say the same thing for last week’s blog post on the pros and cons of running a monthly subscription type of business and for my CreativeLive courses. Seriously…my first CL course was about blogging. Try and tell me that hasn’t been done hundreds of times by just as many people.
But, guess what?
My CreativeLive course on blogging was the fourth best-selling course that year and CreativeLive puts out a lot of courses, so that’s pretty darn impressive.
I covered topics in that course that lots of other people had already taught or blogged about, but what made my course different was ME.
My seven years of blogging, all the stories of the creative entrepreneurs I’d worked with beforehand, everything I had learned about blogging, the workbook I created and the way I taught certain topics.
No other person could have taught that course just like me.
And, I had so many people write me emails or post on social media that they’d taken other blogging courses but that the way I taught the material actually made sense to them.
Have you ever read a blog post on a topic that you already knew a lot about but still got something out of it? Maybe something finally clicked, helping you learn something in a new way?
That’s why you shouldn’t give up when you realize that the things you want to talk about or the products you want to create have “already been done before.”
You will make them different.
Your stories will make your blog posts entertaining to read. The color combinations you use when creating jewelry will make it stand out. The reason you decide to create a cookbook even though you’re not a cook will give your book more power and excitement.
Not only that, but when you stop trying to keep pieces of yourself out of your business or blog and realize that they make it more interesting, you become uncopyable.
You homeschool four kids while running a life coaching business. That makes you different, more interesting and more relatable to someone who also has a pack of kids.
You’re an artist that loves planning. That’ll definitely make your planner a beautiful thing to share on social media and even give you a push to create stickers and dashboards and other planner-related products. Your art plus planning creates something unique–something only you can do.
I’m a business consultant that loves bullet journaling, watercolor painting, photography, my dogs, reading everything from young adult fantasy to adult thrillers and more.
When I pull in my other interests, I become more relatable, more fun to learn from and better at my job of working with creative entrepreneurs to help them build the careers and lives of their dreams.
The more you live–taking that trip to Barcelona, signing up for dance classes with your spouse, knitting a Hogwarts-inspired sweater–the more you have to bring to the table. The more unique your blog posts, products and services will be.
Whenever you find yourself bored with your blog posts or products, do something new.
Last week I was watching The Vampire Diaries while getting ready. Caroline went to a dance with her hair curled and then braided. I loved her hair and decided to try it out for a Facebook Live video. I felt prettier and it translated to having more energy during the video.
A few weeks ago, I read a handful of blog posts from a blog that isn’t really my thing. But, it gave me fresh ideas for blog posts of my own.
Watch a documentary you wouldn’t otherwise watch. Read a book out of your comfort zone. Go to lunch with someone who does something completely different than you and ask lots of questions about her work. Go on a hike instead of running on the treadmill. Take a class on ceramics even though you’re a life coach–not an artist.
See how this inspires you to bring together new ideas and think of things in fresh ways.