We’ve all been there before: that time in the life of your blog where you just can’t think of something to write about. The famous blogger’s block. I’ve been a writer and blogger for a number of years. I get it. Sometimes, it’s a serious struggle to find content for your blog.
When you have blogger’s block (a very acute form of writer’s block), you’ll do just about anything to grab some ideas for content. And it’s tempting to give in and take and/or borrow other people’s content. But let me tell you this: re-Blogging is not the answer.
What do I mean by “re-blogging?” Here’s an example:
Recently, a friend of mine wrote a blog post. Another blog decided to lift the entire post and place it as content on their site. They posted my friend’s content verbatim. Did they ask permission? No. Did they attribute the post to my friend? Yes.
But, in this case, attribution is not enough. I call it “re-blogging” because in this situation, it’s essentially the blog equivalent of a retweet.
A re-blog is not like a retweet. Blogs are not designed like Twitter. There are no character limits to be wary of; no true immediacy factor involved (to the extent of the likes of Twitter anyway).
You see, a blog is not a news wire service. It’s not a place to simply post others’ press releases.
Your blog is about you, your opinions. I read your blog for your take on your topics of interests and your ideas, not a reprint of someone else’s ideas. Makes sense, right? It’s your little space on the Web, after all.
Here are two ways you can use others’ content in better, more useful ways:
1. Offer your own opinion on the topic(s) at hand.
You’ve just read a blog post that you really think your readers will enjoy. Rather than just plunking it down on your blog and posting it, what are your thoughts on the matter? Maybe you agree, or disagree.
Adding your own opinion while referencing the post that gave you the inspiration is a great way to relay said valuable content. At the same time, you remember that your readers come to read you, not others.
My recommendation here: Link over to the original blog post with appropriate attribution, and highlight a particularly provocative paragraph or two (at most) of the post that you’d like to comment on. Then make your commentary. At the end, provide another link and further attribution.
2. Post several links in one post as a “Best Reads of the Week”
I’ve done this from time to time. I want to post something, but I don’t have a full idea in me. So, I take down a list of great blog reads from the week, put them in a list (people LOVE lists), and offer a snippet comment on each of them.
It’s simple, offers value, and provides several links to other blogs who may decide to link back in return.
Blogger’s block sucks. Trust me, I know. But don’t stoop to the level of re-blogging. It may seem like a good value, but it’s not.
Your blog is yours. Make sure to keep it that way at all times.