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?
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 helps brands and professionals grow their influence and value online; so they can “out content”™ their competition. Cole is a content strategist, content writer, conversion copywriter and online marketing coach.