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| 5 minutes read

Where do you get your inspiration from? A breakdown of my last three posts

A common struggle, particularly if you’ve just started to blog, is ‘what do I blog about?’ You can have the best strategy, the best intentions, but sometimes the mind just isn’t willing to give you an angle for your posts.

I have committed myself to creating three posts a week – which I have done now for almost three years (with a few holiday breaks of course), and I can promise you that writing frequently only inspires you to write more frequently. Inspiration is a bottomless pit if you know where to look. 

(and, as I've argued elsewhere, quantity leads to quality).

In that spirit, I thought it might be helpful if I showed the genesis of the three posts I created in this last week.

Exhibit A: What do *NSYNC and ABM have in common?

This blog has multiple origins, and isn’t really typical of the content I tend to create.

Inspiration 1: Alex Low’s Social Selling Rap in which he turned Vanilla Ice’s lyrics into an ode to social selling. I confess I did spend some time singing along to the new lyrics.

Inspiration 2: Quuu’s playlist that week was themed around ‘school disco’ and featured *NSYNC’s ‘It’s Gonna Be Me’. I listened to it while reading up on ABM and it struck me that there were correlations there.

Inspiration 3: Account-Based Marketing is an increasingly large part of our strategy and we are planning various events and projects around it, so it was running around my brain anyway.

Realization: Drafted some terrible alternative lyrics and threatened my housemate to record a pastiche video of it. Looked into voice modifiers that could make me sound like a boyband. Abandoned idea eventually. Decided to go for a faux-academic tone and pretentiously analyse *NSYNC’s video into 5 acts, as if it were a classical play.

Time spent: Perhaps my most time-consuming blog of that week because I had to create each GIF myself (bar one) – which isn’t difficult thanks to tools like EzGIF and Awesome Screenshot’s screen recorder – but just a tiny bit fiddly to get them to the right size (under 3MB). I didn’t time myself but I’d say I probably spent 1-3 hours on it, interrupted by other work and tasks.

Exhibit B: Bringing your whole self to work: 3 inspiring stories of creatives who make it work

Inspiration 1: This post had been brewing in my mind for some time. I first heard the expression from Patrick Towell at Golant Media Ventures back when we met in March 2016.

Inspiration 2: I was then reminded of the phrase when I shared this great post by Doug Mackay to my LinkedIn, which garnered quite a few likes and a positive discussion on the topic.

Inspiration 3: I found this great post on Buffer’s always excellent blog, which talked about wholeness. While I enjoyed it I felt it didn’t cover the aspect I was interested in reading about: namely what your ‘outside of work’ skills, hobbies, passions, etc can bring to your ‘day job'. I discussed it on Quuu’s slack which made me want to write about it.

Execution: I have a lot of creative friends who don’t always do the jobs you’d expect, so I put out a Facebook call and got all sorts of brilliant responses from it. I emailed those who seemed to fit the bill, and published three of them. I quickly decided on the format of Official Title, Other Life, How do you bring your other life into your day job as a way of curating the answers.

Time spent: Not very long – you could say the gestation period was long, but once I put a call out and told people what I was looking for, the piece was very quick to put together. Maybe an hour altogether spread out over 2 days.

Exhibit C: Sick of Stock Photos? Try These Options

Inspiration 1: I had bookmarked this hilarious post on the 15 most over-used stock photos for a few days and knew I wanted to Passle it at some point. I think I stumbled upon it in my LinkedIn feed.

Inspiration 2: Freddy’s post on Best tools to find relevant images for your content is one of our highest performers, so I thought an opportunity to share it again would be good

Execution: I Passled the post on over-used stock photos, decided to share an example of a company doing things right (i.e using images in interesting ways, that make them stand out rather than blend in), and then include a mini-listicle of three posts with much longer lists. A meta list, if you will.

Time spent: 15 minutes maximum.


As you can see, no post arrived fresh in my mind without some kind of context – their origins stem from discussions, jokes, and pieces that I’ve read. 

If you want to find inspiration, and blog regularly the secret then is to:

  • Read articles related to your industry (that’s how you’ll know what everyone else is writing)
  • Read articles tangential or unrelated to your industry (that’s where you’ll get original ideas)
  • Join a group whether on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Slack, or some kind of specialist forum etc, and get involved in discussions. Nothing like expressing your opinions to make you realize what you want to write about.
  • Outsource when relevant – how about interviewing your peers on a topic, or polling your followers on Twitter and writing about the results?
  • Don’t silo blogging from the rest of your life – your unique viewpoint on the world is a great strength, how can it be integrated to your blogs?

Go forth and good luck!


content marketing, b2b marketing, inspiration, abm, account based marketing, writing advice, writing, writing tips, top tips, visual marketing