The purpose of the news is to get your attention and sell your eyeballs.
Its secondary purpose is to inform.
Do you write a daily blog? Where do you get your ideas? I have a few methods I use to get daily ideas– sometimes from conversations, or offline stuff, and sometimes from online when those methods fail me.
When I write a post, the absolute last inspiration method I use is what’s topical. It’s at the very bottom of the list. Perhaps that has made my traffic suffer– but if everyone is writing about something, I want to avoid it, not add my two cents. That’s my way– but a lot of other blogs differ in how they work. Many are more successful than this.
The purpose of the news source is to get your attention and sell your eyeballs. If it succeeds at this it gains marketshare, and it leverages interesting, current subjects to do this. Choosing an unpopular subject makes it far more difficult to interest people. If you’re picky, it makes your life harder.
I challenge you to 7 posts that have nothing to do with anything going on in the news or the blogosphere. If you do this, here’s what will happen:
New methods. You’ll learn that there are more ways to be inspired than to read your RSS feed or Twitter. You’ll discover patterns around you that help you understand what goes on. You’ll see yourself getting more from the offline space.
Increased interest. Your existing audience will learn something new about you, or will sit up and pay attention to what you write, because you’ll be writing differently. You’ll find that you get more comments from the lurkers because they’ll see a change in your patterns.
Different audience. You’ll attract a new kind of reader. People in your space already know about you and what you’re about. Ann Handley not only does MarketingProfs but also writes the personal blog Annarchy, in which she reveals a whole other side of herself. These two attract different kinds of people.
What methods are you using right now to help you write? Can you live without them? Think about it.