Need a little inspiration to spice up your blog, it's time to grab a stack of magazines, some sticky notes, and a notebook, and do a little research.
I know what your thinking - why magazines?
Magazines are a medium that are similar to blogging and that has been around for a long time. There are things in print publishing that as bloggers we can build upon.
Any magazine will do for this project, but if you can find some that cover the same topic as your blog then that's even better. You can use old magazines you may already have, or head to your local library to check out new magazines or magazines you have never looked at before.
This process can help you blog in a number of ways:
Discover marketing ideas - like what they do on the front cover to entice people to purchase their magazines.
Layout ideas - how they are using photos within an article, what kind of type, and colors to draw the reader in.
Post ideas - magazines are a great way to find ideas for posts, and to inspire post titles.
Learning about your niche - if you choose a current magazine that covers your topics, there is always something to learn about what is happening in your niche, and the latest news.
Writing tips - a good article can teach you a lot about effective communication.
Reader engagement - review how the magazine gets their reader to contribute.
It's best to start with a quick go through and see what catches your eye. Use your sticky notes to mark things as you go.
Once you have done the quick scan, now start at the beginning and slowly page through, noticing photos, headlines, colors, and opening lines.
Some questions to keep in mind while your are going through this process:
What techniques are they using to draw people to the magazine?
What makes you pause to read an article?
Why do you skip over articles?
How is the pictured used?
How effective is the headline?
This is where you want to start taking notes for story ideas, design and layout ideas, headlines structure, and whatever you might think will work on your blog.
You can do this process whenever you need inspiration, or make it a regular part of your blogging process.
This project is a great way to get away from your blog and get a fresh perspective. Grab a stack of magazines and see what you can learn today.
What magazine do you think would inspire ideas for your blog?