Is Your Blog Writing Suffering from "Old Married Couple" Syndrome?

Cole Wiebe
January 13, 2014
Read time: 2 minutes

Have you ever noticed how couples that have been together for a long time tend to finish each others sentences? They know what the other is thinking without a word being spoken. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but the mystery's gone and there are very few surprises. Even when one feels inspired and excitedly relates a new idea, the other lovingly informs them that they had the same flash of genius only the other day. Damn!

The same thing began happening to me over the past few weeks. I'd come up with a brilliant new idea for a blog post and the words just flowed.... I was inspired. This was original stuff. After I finished dotting the i's and crossing the t's I clicked 'Publish'. I would then do some blog commenting and social media posting, to let people know about my new content. To my horror, 4 or 5 other writers I follow had been 'inspired' to write almost the very same thing within the past few days. Oh no!

How could this be? I mentioned the strange phenomenon to several other bloggers and received replies like "we're all connected spiritually, and it's common for many people to receive the same insights." But I wasn't buying it. And then it hit me, I've been obsessively following and reading everything people in my niche have written for so long, I've contracted Old Married Couple Syndrome. My subconscious had already picked up on what the next post was to be.

OMG, what's a man to do? Do I have a torrid affair outside my niche, to spice things up a bit? I'd pledged my undying love to the holy trinity of SEO, Content Marketing and Social Media, but now I found myself wondering if a little content adultery really would be an unpardonable sin. Would I return from my dalliance with renewed vigor, wild eyes of passion and fresh stories to tell? Upon reflection, other topics had caught my eye on occasion, but dare I...

Has the first passion for your blog's topic waned over the past year? Have you run out of anything truly new to talk about? Are the posts of others in your niche disappointingly similar to yours?

Would it really be so bad if you strayed outside your topic a time or two, just to spice things up? Do you feel others would overlook the transgression, or perhaps even applaud it?

Final thoughts

We often forget that our readership is made up of three dimensional human beings that have more going on in their lives than being our customers. When we take the time to study our audience personas, we'll discover they have common interests that extend beyond the business solutions we provide. It's important to provide helpful information, but taking the time to relate to them in other areas of their lives opens up a whole new world of content possibilities.

I welcome your comments.

Cole Wiebe, content marketing expert, Vancouver, BCCole Wiebe helps brands and professionals grow their influence and value online; so they can β€œout content”ℒ their competition. Cole is a content strategist, content writer, conversion copywriter and online marketing coach.

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20 comments on “Is Your Blog Writing Suffering from "Old Married Couple" Syndrome?”

  1. I quite remember I once hit the publish button and within some few minutes, I received from a fellow blogger who was amazed because he had also written a similar post and yet to publish it.

    I think we are connected spiritually. Do have a nice day, Cole!

    1. Hi Emmanuel,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Perhaps it is a spiritual connection after all that occurs between couples that have been together for a long time and bloggers that read each others posts regularly as well.

      - Cole

  2. Hi Cole,

    Lol...this is such a lovely post, more so because you connected it so well with old couple, who honestly speaking, do read each others minds, just like a few bloggers do πŸ™‚

    Not only that, after a while they even start looking similar - thankfully that doesn't happen with bloggers, except for the similarity in their habits perhaps. But I can well understand what you are talking about and I think some people have gone through this phase too. However, as they say that there are so many ways of saying a thing, so even a post with a similar title or topic, would be written differently by different bloggers, though the message conveyed at the end might be similar.

    I think having an affair would be an good option in such a case πŸ˜‰ But jokes apart, nothing of the kind has ever happened with me perhaps because my niches are a little different and vast as compared to bloggers who blog about blogging or marketing etc., and when I write about blogging, I just write on what I strongly feel about or some issues and questions raised by bloggers who'd visited the blog earlier, so it's never happened with me so far.

    Thanks for sharing, and I love the image of the old couple too - apt with this post. Wishing you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Harleena,

      I'm glad you enjoyed the post. In trying to be very "professional" in my writing, I'm afraid I've addressed most of my topics very much like everybody else out there. Over the past weeks I came to that sobering realization.

      Chris Brogan speaks of increasing 'contrast' and I discovered there is considerable value in being different. The blogs I love most are very unique, controversial and edgy. This year I shall endeavor to write more of what I feel about the topic, rather than presenting just the facts... take more chances.

      - Cole

  3. Cole thanks for the share. Your call to memory the need to read articles from other niches.

    Then we are able get a different inspiration.

    The most important thing is for us individual to provide relevant info to our audience while letting our voice shine through.

    When we do this, we are then able to develop a better connection to our audience.

  4. Hi Cole
    What a classic!
    I almost fell off my chair.
    I also find the same thing happens, and perhaps it is because we read the same posts and the ideas are obviously there but not super obvious?
    Who knows!
    But branching out and reading some new blogs to get some fresh ideas is a way to go for sure.
    great post my man

    1. Hi Ashley,

      I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I've been guilty of being too "professional" (boring) in my writing in 2013. When a silly idea like the theme of that post popped in my head, I've always smiled and dismissed it. It's a new year, so I figured what the hell... publish it.

      - Cole

  5. That's too funny Cole because it happened to me just today as a matter of fact. Of course my topic today is about my hosting nightmare and my very first commenter wrote about the exact same thing. Similar circumstances of course but not exactly the same. It's really funny because we've now done this twice.

    I use to worry about this and thought to myself my gosh, everyone is writing about the same darn thing. The issue is there aren't a lot of "new" things happening because most of it's the same but just different tools, services, programs or even coaches to share their own ideas with how things can be done.

    The way I look at this is everyone is different. Let's say I want to learn about how to install something on my blog. I might read how to do that on 10 different posts but the 11th one I read actually explained it in a way I understood.

    We're all different and unique and we're not all going to connect with the same people. We all don't learn the same way so when one person explains something and I get it then I'm going to want to keep going back to that person because I can expect that again and again.

    I oftentimes do get tired of reading about the same old thing but obviously it's what's important or crucial at this particular moment so I just go with it.

    I doubt you're like an old married couple though Cole, you have great ideas for your posts or so I think so.

    Keep it up and enjoy your weekend too okay.


    1. Hi Adrienne,

      I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

      I can certainly relate to horror stories in hosting. OMG! One client site had massive issues at SiteGround. They kept extorting more money every few weeks, pushing us into higher priced packages in order to avoid service suspensions. We reached that place where the site was down more than it was up, the costs had rocketed out of control, and any host would just have to be better. Meanwhile, the suspension horror show was happening with HostGator as well, and I believe we've moved nine accounts in the past month, from the angry Gator to friendly hosting that actually works. These companies would rather argue with their customers for hours on end, defending their ridiculous resource restrictions, rather than provide the hosting service they have been paid to deliver. Many hosting companies are trying to maximize shareholder profits by cramming as many customers onto one server as possible. Customer experience goes straight to hell every time.

      (All readers: If you know of any dreadful hosts, please spread the word to all bloggers. It's time bloggers join forces against horrible hosting... perhaps someone needs to organize BAHH, or Bloggers Against Horrible Hosting πŸ™‚ )

      Over the past year we've moved dozens of shared hosting clients to, without any regrets so far... touch wood.

      - Cole

  6. Sometimes I do write something thing it's super original only to find someone else has a very similar topic but it doesn't really bother me. It makes me go back and improve my work in order to compete with the competition.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Glad you stopped by. Thanks for commenting. I was reading one of Chris Brogan's books the other day and he stressed the importance of contrast, or standing out. I would agree with you that we improve as we discover more ways to achieve some measure of contrast from what the masses are churning out.

      - Cole

  7. Hey Cole,

    I have always wondered how people get lot of ideas per day (or at least they claim to...nowadays I don't pay attention to those claims..since in the past, I have claimed that I had lot of ideas, especially when I didn't have that many).

    As for your question, I think it's okay to go outside of our niche (If you ask me, we should do it).

    A lot of the ideas I got (for my blog posts) are from my school - my economics class, my psychology class and so forth. When you are in school, you don't have to go anywhere else to explore other niches πŸ˜€

    A lot of the topics in our niche has already been covered, thoroughly by a million blogs (perhaps more...I think content/online marketing is one of the largest online niches, after technology).

    So, it's really hard to come up with something entirely unique. What we could do is add our own twists - our stories and our experiences make the posts different (and perhaps more effective to people who read it).

    Anyways, interesting topic you have got here, Cole πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing it!

    Btw, nice meeting ya! Thanks to Tim (from Tim bonner) for pointing me in this direction πŸ˜€

    1. Hi Jeevan,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Of late, I've found my Moleskine notebook and a pen to be my best blogging tools. I have eschewed the popular feeds within my niche, with the hopes of writing something new this year. I made the commenting rounds today and discovered to my great delight that none of the bloggers had written anything remotely similar to my post. I've achieved some measure of contrast, a separation from what the masses are churning out. That pleases me.

      I hope to chat with you again soon,

      - Cole

  8. Hi Cole,
    I don't think it really matters that others are writing on the same topics that you are... after all we all have different readerships as well as our on take on the topic. I am sure that we could both decide to write on the same topic but our finished posts would be completely different and, in all likelihood, compliment one another. It think it is safe to remain true to your first love!

    1. Hi Donald,

      Quite right, perhaps I need to write something unique and different for my own reasons. I agree, we all have somewhat different readerships, and tell the story differently. I believe writers need to regain some of that sense of wonder and enchantment they lost since their youth... well at least I do.

      My daughter recently asked me what I loved or admired most about her. I responded, it's that she's "a unique". She never tries to be anyone else, and I hope that never changes.

      When I read something very similar to my latest post on someone else's blog I realize that my voice is not unique at all. There's no contrast. I've become just one more outlet for a message found on dozens, perhaps hundreds of other sites. That makes me more or less redundant.

      - Cole

  9. Hi Cole,

    I do think there is an issue on the web today and that is that you can find hundreds of bloggers writing the same thing. It is no the end of the world though, rather a challenge to create better content (who's the king of the realm). So in a way, all niches are suffering from some kind of "old married couple syndrome".

    1. Hi Amiti,

      You're right. It's very difficult to write anything particularly new or unique when we're exposed to so much that's almost the same. I have been experimenting with taking a break from the normal niche feeds I read. I've continued to jot down blog ideas in a Moleskine notebook as they come to me, as I usually do; then I expand upon the ideas as I post. So far, as I comment, I haven't come across anything remotely similar to what I've written this year. That's refreshing.

      - Cole

  10. Hello

    I really enjoyed your post. The way old people read each other's mind. In my part we also believe that over the years they start resembling.

    As you mentioned that you are completely interacting with certain group of people and read their blogs then engage in discussion with other bloggers , you are continuously influenced by the thoughts and ultimately share same interests... this is true that many people come up with the same Idea , but surely , the expression of thought is always different by different people .

    I really enjoyed reading this post.
    thank you for a nice share

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