Daily Archives: January 17, 2009

Help! I’m Out of Content! What Do I Do Now? (Part I)

This was the post I was going to run last Saturday until Somebody decided to go ballistic, forcing me to instead give you Tips on Bashing Your Favorite Blogger (which you are free to use if you don’t get the joke).

Apparently writer’s block, or content block, is an epidemic among bloggers, especially at this time of year. I had always thought, based upon personal experience, that we bloggers had the problem of having too much to write about and that the hardest choice was picking the topic of the next post. Apparently I was wrong. Thus, I thought it would be a good idea to write a post elucidating what to do if you are a blogger who is out of content.

But I had a problem, because I couldn’t imagine not having at least a dozen different ideas. Then I realized that the answer was right in front of me! All I had to do is pay close attention to what my fellow bloggers did … and … voila … the ideas were there for the taking. So I give you, culled from the best and brightest, the top fifteen things to do when you’re a blogger who is (temporarily) out of content.

  • 15. A Whole Week of Best-Of
    Have a deep post archive? Do a whole week of “Best of” category lists. It’s quick, easy, and looks like you worked really hard sweating over which posts truly were your best.
  • 14. Global Warming Tirade
    Point out how serious we need to be about global warming, about how we need to think harder about being green, and how we have to take action right away … but don’t offer any useful or substantive suggestions.
  • 13. Another “It Will Work This Time” Post
    Pick a company that is selling the exact same solution as three of its competitors, using the same go-to-market strategy as a competitor that recently went out of business, and gush effusively about how you’re sure they will succeed.
  • 12. List After List After List
    Top 10 sourcing blogs? Check. Top 10 job sites? Check. Top 10 social networks? Check. Top 10 fantasy football sites? Wait, ignore that last one.
  • 11. Comment on the Content Distribution of a Competitor’s Blog
    You could comment on a post, or comment on a comment on a post, but why add to the conversation when you can analyze the distribution of someone else’s posts on risk management vs. best practices vs. auction posts? After all, random statistics are always interesting.
  • 10. Talk about how the latest regional conflict has the potential to threaten supply chains globally
    The India-Pakistan conflict is old news, look for something more obscure like a telephoned threat from the Kahane Chai, a tourist kidnapping in the Sudan, or a bombing by the GSPC. The smaller, the better!
  • 09. Post a Press Release
    It’s free content! After all, the company that issued the release wants as wide a distribution as possible, and they’ll thank you for it. Maybe they’ll even become a sponsor!
  • 08. Post a Resume
    Press releases are a good start, but why stop there when you can continue on your “free content” path and post resumes of your job-seeking friends and colleagues?
  • 07. Invent a New Claim About Best-in-Class Companies
    If others can build analysis companies on this one idea, you should be able to generate months and months of blog content with the same notion. Best-in-Class companies don’t waste money on snake oil — they use whale oil. Best-in-Class companies don’t buy cheap espresso makers — they buy the $5,464.31 Inox. You get the drift.
  • 06. Freak Up the FUD Factor
    Point out how risky life is in general, and how we should be very worried about risk. Find one-in-a-billion examples of freak accidental deaths that can result from everyday activities and then point out why we should not drive over bridges, take elevators, or go golfing on cloudy days. Better yet, raid the Darwin Awards archives and start a campaign against chemistry, clotheslines, and chimneys.
  • 05. Weigh in on an Irrelevant Controversy
    Like why Windows Vista stinks even more than Windows ME.
  • 04. Find Parallels Between Your Personal Life and Your Blog
    Pay too much for that new corkscrew? That’s bad personal spend management. Run out of coffee? That’s bad supply management. Your shoes need to be re-soled? Time for a quality tirade!
  • 03. Poll the Readership On A Random Topic
    Bonus points if it’s a knee-jerk issue guaranteed to elicit a barrage of random musings from the semi-illiterate members of your readership who enjoy “writting on mater’s that don’t effect myeself”.
  • 02. Raid the Trash Bin
    Those half-finished posts that you never finished last month because they didn’t live up to your past editorial standards don’t look so bad any more! Cut and paste paragraphs until you have three quarters of a post, write some random filler on why reverse auctions are the best way to source beer, and … presto … you have a post on good brewery spend management!
  • 01. Recycle Old Posts
    That post you wrote two years ago that everyone forgot about can be tomorrow’s post if you just change the date, and maybe add a new sentence at the beginning or end. Give yourself bonus points if it’s actually someone else’s guest post … what’s the chance they’re still reading your blog anyway if you ran out of meaningful things to say three months ago?

And that, in a nutshell, is my top 15 list of things to do when you’re out of content, courtesy of the blogging elite. In Part II I’ll outline my top 10 list of things I think you should post about if you’re truly out of relevant content and want to at least be creative when you post.

But in the meantime, I’ll use my own Suggestion #3 and troll for comments! Let’s see who can be the first to identify one post in each category from supply and spend management blogs (while limiting himself or herself to a maximum of three posts from any one blog)!