Blogging: What Inspires You?

By June 14, 2011Social Media

Gini DietrichMy friend Gini Dietrich is such a jerk. She’s the only blogger I’ve ever known who can write a blog post about absolutely nothing and get more than 350 comments. So while I’m seething with professional jealousy, I’m also thinking about inspiration, and the process I go through when I’m stuck and can’t think of anything to write.

For the most part, I rely on my feed reader. I read other posts and ideas bubble up; before I’ve finished my reading I have several ideas for future posts.

I go offline a lot, too, reading magazines and books, making notes or even, sometimes immediately creating a first draft of a blog post.

Lately I’ve been trying a few other avenues to boost creativity. I’m curious, though . . .

What do you do to find inspiration?

P.S. Gini, you know I love you!



  • Ken Mueller says:

    Yeah, Gini sucks. But we love her.

    For me, inspiration comes from all over the place. Most of my posts just pop into my head, usually at inopportune times when I can’t write them down! Like when I’m driving or walking the dog, or in the shower, or even laying in bed at night.

    Also, conversations I have with people often inspire me. It’s not uncommon for me to stare at someone as they are speaking to me and say “You just gave me a blog post idea!”

    As for Gini and her comments on her site, she has done a great job of building a community that feels welcome there and loves to chat. That’s something we need to tap into!

  • For me, inspiration can — and does — come from anywhere. A newspaper article. A blog post. An email from a friend. Something will flip a switch in my brain and the gears start turning. I usually process these ideas while I walk and run, so by the time I come home, I have the outlines of a post in my head.

  • Marijean says:

    Jen, I find myself writing in my head as I walk, workout or even sleep. I think if we’re open to inspiration in anything, we find it.

  • Lisa Gerber says:

    That is the funniest lede ever. (Do we even use that word anymore? Oh well, call me old fashioned) OMG. When I first got on Facebook, I felt like my entire life revolved around coming up with interesting FB updates. Now it’s switched to blog post ideas. We’ve become geeks. every one of you that has commented on this blog included. 🙂 and I mean that with the most affection. All I do is write blog posts in my head and think about how I can frame such and such incident into a marketing oro business lesson. LOL!

    and I agree about the 350 comments on the post about nothing. as the chief content officer, I shake my head in wonder.

  • Marijean says:

    @Lisa Gerber I am totally comfortable with my geekiness. I strive for additional geekdom, in fact. I think the pressure of having to outpublish all competition sometimes paralyzes me in search of ideas for fresh content, but I’ll look at anything to get a little inspiration. OK, not EVERYTHING, particularly not images from congressmen.

  • ginidietrich says:

    LOL! I’m pretty sure “friend” and “jerk” don’t belong in the same sentence. And I know you love me as much as I love you! Quite honestly, I had NO idea that blog post would get the kind of engagement it did. I figured I’d be apologizing to my team for striking out that week. The problem? Now clients are saying, “Help us do that!” Uh….?

  • ginidietrich says:

    @Lisa Gerber It’s OK. You can admit I’m a jerk.

  • ginidietrich says:

    @Ken Mueller No, no Ken. I’m a jerk. But I don’t suck. Spin Sucks!

  • Lisa Gerber says:

    @ginidietrich You are so not a jerk. I just feel like being nice. I know. maybe it’s because i have my wine next to me. But the line still made me laugh.

  • ginidietrich says:

    @Lisa Gerber It made me snort! I think friend and jerk in the same sentence are hilarious!

  • Marijean says:

    @ginidietrich that’s hilarious. That’s like asking you to make something “go viral.” Ugh.

  • ginidietrich says:

    @Marijean Exactly! They don’t want to spend as many years as we have building a community. They want it all, right now. Hell, don’t we all?

  • PointA_PointB says:

    I tend to look at what is trending in people’s posts or Twitter feeds or Facebook feeds. I start seeing patterns and that gives me ideas. Or I think about the conversations I have had with clients and colleagues and find patterns and trends. When I see or hear the same thing 3 o 4 times, I know it is an issue on people’s minds and I address it.

  • seanEclark says:

    @Marijean Reading blogs, feeds, books and magazines are great, have you tried reading the comments. These are usually stuffed full of ideas.

    Nip over to @ginidietrich ‘s site for a shed load of comments and inspiration;)

  • ginidietrich says:

    @seanEclark @Marijean Ha!

  • wabbitoid says:

    There has been many a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday that I’ve woken up with no idea what I’m about to write on for the day. But I make my morning tea and think about whatever has been on my mind lately. Things I’ve talked about with my kids, my girlfriend, or maybe just at the bar with a stranger often make the list. Any good conversation has a chance to be a blog post in my mind.

    It’s a little tougher getting a writing assignment on a topic I don’t care about for a client. These pay so terribly that it makes little economic sense to do much research, so I have to push them together quickly. It can be a good exercise – writing about nearly anything on demand – but the rush-rush of the process clearly deteriorates my skills after a while.

    But for my blog it’s just me. My personality, whatever is on my mind. I’d like to be able to make money off of it, but for now it’s just one rather elaborate hobby!