Have you reached the blogger stagnation station? Do you think that finding alien creatures from outer space is easier than finding quality blog topics? Join the club!
I had been there and things are not getting any easier with the fierce blogging competition that is getting more ferocious every day. How can you stand out from the crowd and consistently deliver readership-stimulating content?
Well, I decided to "legitimately steal" some of the crowd's great content in and the best part is that, in most cases, they thank me for it!
My technique is so darn simple: all you need is to flavor the stolen content with your own touch and build on it by asking questions, begging to differ politely, partially agreeing, using celebrities' quotes and catchy phrases, and, last but not least, leveraging Q&A sites for a healthy dose of content inspiration.
I hate talking theory: These techniques work! Here are some real examples to back me up.
Legitimate Content Stealing Tip 1: Ask Questions
When I read the first chapter of Launch, a fantastic book written by SocialMediaExaminer founder Mike Stelzner, a logical question came to mind. So, I wrote a blog post in which I basically summarized his first chapter and ended with my question:
Everyone would be honored to write for SME today. Thats out of the question! However, I wonder how did you manage (when SME was in zero standing) to convince four industry experts to appear in a live broadcast video on SMEs opening the day?
But I didnt stop there: Instead of writing a lame book review title, I went for a more compelling one: The Burning Question I Wish To Ask Michael A. Stelzner On The Launch of SME.
Soon enough, Mike took notice of the article and was kind enough to give positive comments on it. Sweet!
Legitimate Content Stealing Tip 2: Beg To Differ Politely
This time I spotted an article about social media ROI. Although the author has put so much time and effort into his article and I could tell that he sincerely aimed at offering real value to his readers, what he proposed did not resonate with me.
So, I wrote an entire blog post in which I politely disagreed with him and presented my own evidence to support my argument.
At the end of the day, I awe this author a big "Thank you" for inspiring me to write one of my favorite articles of all times: Whats The ROI Of Your Mother? How About Setting S.M.A.R.T. Social Media Goals Instead!
Legitimate Content Stealing Tip 3: Partially Agreeing
In this example, I came across a very interesting article detailing social media marketing automation best practices. To a large extent, I agreed with the author's insights. Still, I had to tweak the article in order to accurately present my own opinion.
In doing so, I acknowledged the author for his great effort and included a link to his article in order to give the readers a chance to compare the two viewpoints.
Quite frankly, it was his article that sparked my interest in tackling this topic. And after I gave him enough credit, I don't think he would hold any grudges against me for "stealing" his content and making it my own. Check out the article and see for yourself: When Is Social Media Marketing Automation Cool, Cute or CRAP? Go Figure!
Legitimate Content Stealing Tip 4: Using Celebrities' Quotes and Catchy phrases
I learned this great tip from a fantastic copyblogger post: The Eminem Guide to Becoming a Writing and Marketing Machine.
In this post, the author beautifully linked between Eminem's experience and his own writing tips which made his article more eye-catching, compelling and unique.
I took this technique to heart and wrote several articles inspired by some of my favorite celebrities. Here are few examples:
- Introducing The Jerry Seinfeld Branding Manifesto: Are You Still The Master of Your Domain Brand?"
- 5 Timeless Business-Success Quotes By Steven Covey, Seth Godin & Celebrities Flavored With A Garious Touch
- The Anthony Robbins Recipe For Video Marketing Success
Legitimate Content Stealing Tip 5: Leverage Q&A Sites
I believe that Q&A sites are the most untapped blog topics gold mines. You can use them in 3 different ways:
- Ask people a question and build on their answers to create your own blog post: Why Bother Measuring Your Social Media Campaign? Keep it Chaotic Sweetie!
- Create a blog post listing your answers to misc. Q&A questions. (This was the easiest copy-and-paste article in my entire blogging history. Still, it generated great buzz. That's what I call working smart not hard!) David Lettermans Top 10 SMM Questions List With A Garious Twist!
- Raise a question and feature peoples answers with their names and links to their sites (You will need to ask their permission before including their answers in your blog though the sure answer is: "Yes!". Who would say no to free and effortless visibility?). Here is an example: Yo Yo YoGimme The Dough! (2) " The Implications of Twitters Latest Bombshell on Twitter Users
This's just the tip of the iceberg! For more information on how to leverage Q&A sites for blog topics inspiration, I invite to read this article: From Duh! to Aha! " How To Turn Q&A Sites Into Traffic Magnets?.
Where Do We Go From Here
As far as I see it, information overload is a blessing in disguise. Think of it as a massive opportunity to ignite your creativity. There's no need to reinvent the wheel or create your own topics from scratch!
Start where others ended, legitimately steal their content and finally add your own spin to the mix. And with all the credit and visibility your virtual victims will enjoy, they can't help but thank you for it! Don't you love that thought?
Heba Hosny is an award-winning marketing consultant, a SEO copywriter and a social media strategist. She's a Canadian/Egyptian artist who strives to portray the best of both worlds (The East and the West) through her though-provokingly funny artwork.
Her artistic passions include script writing, humorous poetry, song writing, singing, drawing and acting. To add more creative juice to her online freelancing career, Heba teaches improvisational drama in a children's art center in Cairo. (Her "I am proud to" list includes winning a humorous speech contest and performing standup comedy in the yuk yuks club in Toronto. Believe it or not, people laughed! )
Heba believes that only a creative writer can find awesome jobs by bragging her "Stinky Sink" in personal branding video! Enjoy :-)