Getting Creative With Your Content

blinkers.jpgI’m disillusioned these days. It takes a lot to get me interested in anything, and as each day passes, I scan more and read less. I don’t care.

I scroll through my feed reader, my attention dulled by the similar headlines. They’re carbon-copy titles that make a desperate attempt to grasp my attention. Some – very few – do. But I’m often quickly disappointed. The headline may be mildly intriguing, but the content of the first paragraph is just the same old stuff. Nothing new, nothing entertaining, nothing interesting.

The lucky rare posts that manage to keep my attention longer than two sentences disappoint me even more. As I find myself thinking, “Hm, this might be good,” the content cuts off. The blog blatantly makes an attempt to herd me like sheep to the site for more.

Three months ago, almost all feeds were full. I felt like people cared about having me read. Now, three quarters of feeds cut me off. I feel like no one cares about me as a reader any more. They just want to force me to their site.

I don’t click through. I am no one’s sheep. I have the urge to say, “F-k you. If you don’t care about me as a person, then I don’t give a damn about you and your site.”

I’m tired of the stupid games and the strategies to boost PR and page hits. I’m tired of the excuses or the blog owner debates about how spending my precious time to please them is something that I want to do.

I don’t. Go to hell. Quit making me jump through hoops to read what you have to say. Stop bombarding me with tricks that have been used too many times.

Too much of a good thing has one result: It backfires as people become acclimatized and their tolerance level rises. It takes more to get a reaction.

The headlines are backfiring. They have to be good, damned good these days to get me interested. The How-To titles make me sigh. The Top Tens make me roll my eyes. I am disillusioned.

Some blogs, the really good ones worth my time, save my faith. Their content means something to me – and I clearly mean something to them. There are no hoops, no see-through tricks. There are different and fresh perspectives. These blogs give me the full feed so that I can read. They want me to read. They want me as a reader.

These blogs, with their honest approach and their better-than-the-rest content, make me think. And I do. I don’t seize the inspiration that comes to me suddenly by its hair to yank it to my keyboard and witlessly pound it out into a raging post.

No, these days, I find myself slowing down. Maybe I’m getting old or jaded. Maybe I’m just tired of moving at such a reckless pace. I’m tired of not having the time to be more than I am.

These days, I’m taking the time to think over more profound posts or what something means to me. I put a note on my calendar with a main point, and I carry the thought with me for days. I toss my thoughts around. I ponder and wonder. Daytime, nighttime… I let my thoughts on the matter wander where they will.

I find myself thinking about what everything means to me, how it affects me and influences me.

And I am not easily influenced these days. I’m standing at a crossroads, contemplating with road to take, which way to turn. I’m tired of performing by the rules that everyone else follows, like horses with blinkers on, blind to anything but what’s directly ahead.

I don’t like blinkers. I want to see everything and run free in the fields. I need wide open spaces and room to make mistakes (as the Dixie Chicks say). I need to be able to be uniquely creative and different from the others. I’ve never done well just doing what everyone else does.

We are at the Content Crossroads. It’s time to make choices. The potential for revolution is ours. I, for one, will take the risk of starting it.

Join me?

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.