Nineteenth Century designer William Morris was inspired by the world around him – the great outdoors, the green British countryside, and the wildlife. American artist Andy Warhol was inspired by celebrities, sex, fashion and rock & roll. I’m inspired by my funny and charming little boy, my family, friends and creative business people like you.
But how do you come up with ideas for your blog or Facebook page? How do you decide what to tweet to your followers? What inspires your creativity?
Being endlessly witty and knowledgeable isn’t easy (trust me, I’ve tried), so here are some ideas you can use on those dark mornings; you know, those days when you can’t decide what to wear, let alone what to tweet.
1. Go behind-the-scenes
The other day I had the opportunity for a tour of a large book manufacturer, here in Cornwall, England. It was amazing to see it in action. There were stacks of unread books at different stages of production, and newly printed hardbacks coming off the press, complete with their colourful shiny sleeves.
This behind-the-scenes insight was thrilling – the staff on the production line seemed a little perplexed by my enthusiasm, but I love books, and for me it was brilliant to see how they’re made (don’t judge me – I don’t get out much).
What are you working on at the moment? Where do you create your designs? Take a picture or a short video and share with your audience online – you’ll be surprised how interested they are in your boring old work space.
2. Write a review
The web thrives on opinions – what we think of the latest film releases, the newest anti-ageing product, the level of customer service received from an international retailer.
And if you’re anything like most of us, you listen to your friends’ recommendations.
Have you ever written your own review? If you come across an amazing product that you think your readers would benefit from, tell them about it. And if you’ve spent money or time on something that you’re less than impressed with, share that too.
3. What a pretty picture
Some of the most read and linked-to articles on the web are visual – landscape photos, collections of quirky kitchenware, clever PR photos, contemporary interior designs, new products within a marketplace.
These are almost as enjoyable to write as they are to read – know your audience, and give them some eye-candy to break up their day.
4. Our research shows…
What did you say last time someone tried to stop you in the street with a clipboard to ask you some questions about your energy bills? You probably said “Go away”.
But polls are surprisingly popular on Facebook – vote on what colour to paint our shop, vote on whether you’d like 10% off or a free gift, vote on your favourite holiday.
“We’re working on a tasty new menu and need your input – which would you prefer to see on offer in our restaurants this Autumn? Fruit pie and custard or berry compote with cream? Vote for your favourite now.”
Facebook is great for asking your audience what they think, as it’s very easy to set-up. But you can also do it on your blog, inviting readers to leave their votes in the comments.
5. Be inspired by other people
This doesn’t mean checking out other people’s blog posts and copying them – it means regularly reading outside your own industry. This will help you understand what makes a good article – what keeps you interested? What do you like reading about?
Follow some popular tweeters (Paul Warner from When I was a Kid, social media marketer Chris Brogan). Join the conversation on some of the best Facebook pages (Starbucks, Burt’s Bees, Yo Sushi). And you’ll soon get to understand what works well on social networks.
What about you?
I’m just off to make the most of the unexpectedly warm English weather, to see if I can get inspired to begin the next chapter of my latest business ebook… if that doesn’t work, I’ll try a cup of coffee. That normally does the trick.
So now I’m putting the spotlight on you, the fantastic OMHG readers. What inspires your creativity? How do you come up with an endless list of content to share on your social media pages? Share in the comments below.
Fantastic, great advice. Thanks!
A refreshing post!
I wouldn’t say never ending – lol.
I share all sorts of stuff. I’ve done artisan features and have shared info technical information like paper specs and color info. And it’s nice when you are part of a group because you can share their information ie. I’m part of Operation Write Home and participated in my first hop with them. It was so much fun and I even got feedback from my non-OWH folks. Right now, I’m also hosting a breast cancer support auction featuring handmade artisans. That alone has given me at least two posts.
GREAT list for all types of bloggers. Bookmarking this one so I can share it with others. Thanks!
I’m just starting my business (like literally this week!) and learning to blog & use facebook to interact with my audience. Today I was thinking to myself, how can I be interesting and engaging, and I happened to come across your post. Thank you for the advice, now time to implement!
A great post – interesting
I love your image posts – very simple but a nice break for your audience and for you!
Glad you liked the article.
Just checked out your blog and I like how you encourage comments from people – particularly at the end of your post on chai (i.e. “Who do you like having chai with and why?”).
I think we could all think of someone! Thanks for commenting, Lucy
Wow Ms Veronica you have no shortage of things to blog about! I love your site – it’s so diverse with loads going on.
Blog contests, what you’re working on, auctions, recommendations – and you’re getting a great response from readers who are commenting and joining in. Nice one! Lucy :o)
Thanks Rosa – your ‘Wordless Wednesday’ posts are good.
A creative break for you and the readers and some good eye candy, which is always a treat, L
Timing is everything :o)
You may find this post on Facebook for business useful:
Good luck with the business and keep reading OMHG – there’s always loads of great stuff here, Lucy
PS And sorry I called Rose ‘Rosa’ – duh!
Thanks, Blackhuff – some great personal experiences shared in your blog.
Your own life is another good source of content if that’s the niche of your blog, and something that caters to the reader who likes to peak into other people’s lives :o)
Thanks for stopping by, Lucy
Just catching this great post.Lucy these are honestly helpful ideas, delightful writing style for when I’m turning in circles. I’m with you on the cup of coffee launchpad too!
Bless you, Joanne – what a lovely comment – thank you.
PS All that turning in circles can bring some of our most creative moments – just know when to stop! And put the kettle on ;o)
I really loved this post, made me think about my blog and how to improve- something I am always trying to do, now if only I could find some more time to put your tips into practice!
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