70 Unique Places to Find Ideas: No Metablogs Allowed

I have my best ideas and learn my most valuable lessons when reading outside the metablog niche.

Step outside the walled garden and there’s a thousand sources of inspiration waiting to be tapped. You just need to know where (and how) to look.

There are no new ideas. The essence of creativity is taking two or more existing ideas and combining them in ways that have never been seen before.

Can you bring the best elements of other niches — and other bloggers and webmasters — into your own niche? Absolutely.

What follows is a bite-sized list of 70 places to find inspiration for your blog or website outside the blogs-about-blogging niche.

Making every word count & brevity

A Brief Message
Seth’s Blog
Your nearest metropolitan
newspaper.
Twitter
Kottke.org

Fine writing

A List Apart
Non-fiction
Feature articles in magazines
Books on journalism
Books on copywriting

For personal bloggers

Memoirs and autobiographies
Newspaper profiles
Magazine columns
Stories other people tell
Stories you tell others
Chelsea Peretti
Documentaries about people

New marketing

If you blog or own a website
and you want people to visit
you’re a marketer
congratulations
(or sorry).
Church of the Customer
Seth’s Blog
Seth’s books, being:
Purple Cow
Small is the New Big
Unleashing the IdeaVirus (free download)
All Marketers Are Liars
et al.
Other new marketing books

Productivity

Web Worker Daily
Zen Habits
Lifehacker.com
Getting Things Done
Make a time budget and
treat your time like you treat your money:
cut out unnecessary expenses.

Formatting

Coding Horror

Outstanding content

del.icio.us/popular/blogging
Tumbelogs
Twitter profiles of those with good taste or
similar interests.
Content your friends stumble.

Value-blogging

Freelance Folder
Lifehack.org
Freelance Switch
Instructional books
Self-improvement books
Academic textbooks
How-to books

Design

Rainfall Daffinson: Minimalism
New book covers
Magazines
Art
Fonts

Linkbait

MakeUseOf.com
Smashing Magazine
Your bookmarks
The Digg front page

Creativity & innovation

StumbleUpon
The essays at ScottBerkun.com
Tim Ferriss’ Blog
The Laws of Simplicity
gaping void
Boing Boing
Kottke.org
Outline where your niche falls short
then brainstorm solutions.
Combine two existing ideas to make
a new one. For example:
News + extreme brevity.
Companies + value-blogging.

***

My message here is not that the metablogging (blogs about blogging) niche can’t be a source of inspiration. It absolutely can. You’d be silly not to take advantage of blogs and websites tailored specifically to you.

What I’m suggesting, however, is that valuable lessons about creating web content can be found everywhere.

You just need to know how to see them — just like we might train ourselves to recognize the 3D image hidden in a pattern.

If you confine yourself to the metablog niche only you’ll never expose yourself to the full range of ideas and possibilities available.

There are several skills to help you do this. I’ll be writing about the following in the next few days:

  • How to learn by example.
  • How to innovate by combining existing ideas to form new ones.
  • What bloggers and webmasters can learn from new marketing.
About Skellie

Massive nerd who just happens to enjoy anything related to blogging, creativity, and online marketing.

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