Thinking Out of the Blog Box


Soon after you started blogging you probably realized that, despite all the clamoring for creativity, novelty, and heart, there actuality isn’t much room for any of those things in a standard blog.

Once you carved out your niche and start posting articles, you probably began to fall into a pattern of post format, varying the formula slightly from post to post, but for the most part drawing from a pretty limited toolbox to write your posts.

These cookie-cutter post types should be familiar to you: the narrative post, in which a valuable lesson is conveyed in metaphor or simile throughout the post; the magazine post, in which you imitate the style of popular magazine articles, making full use of edgy language and voice; the DIY post, in which you teach your readers how to do something.  Even the blogs that tell you to be more creative are usually written in one of these typical structures.

What gives?
How are we supposed to keep our readers engaged and entertained as we edify them, if we can hardly keep our own eyes open while we are writing?  Robert Frost once said, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.  No surprise in the writer, no surprise for the reader.”

The trick is to start thinking creatively about the entire blogging process, and not just trying to come up with new content.

Sure, you can get by the way you have so far, posting new articles the way they have always been done.  Or, you can liven up your blog and rekindle your passion for blogging by experimenting with different forms of posting, trying things that are new and fresh and exciting to you.

Consider using new mediums to communicate your message.  If you’ve always liked video, why not make your next how-to post a video post, or even better, a comic strip that is both entertaining and informative.  Write your next narrative post from a fictional first-person point of view, or as a poetic ballad, where a character performs the tasks you were going to just tell your audience to do.

On the one hand, people like what they’ve always known; on the other, giving people something they never knew they always wanted leads to longer lasting success.  Establish yourself as a reliable, trustworthy voice first, but always be looking for new ways to present your material.  Your audience will appreciate the novelty, and you will find that blogging is exciting for you again, too.

Excitement runs downhill.  If you recharge yourself by discovering new ways to talk to your readers, they will respond by talking about you to their friends, and word will spread quickly about your out-of-the-box approach.  But don’t take my word for it — go and discover for yourself.


Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031

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