The other day, while coaching one of my blog clients, I asked her to share the blogs she reads on a weekly basis. This in an effort to assess her interests and her level of exposure.
She responded: "I don't really. I typically read whatever appears in my news feed."
Her response had me scratching my head in disbelief.
This blogger is an educator by profession. She's bright, cultured, and usually well-informed.
I suppose if I were to evaluate things a bit further, I would probably conclude that the lack of reading other blogs is merely a time issue.
It's highly likely that she's up to her eyeballs reading and grading essays, homework assignments, and mounds of paperwork, for the successful execution of many of her job-related duties.
I can dig that.
There's only one problem.
It's stunting her creative growth. And perhaps yours too.
"Reading is fundamental."
And the more blogs, the better. So I gave her some recommendations as an "extra credit" project.
Now, here's my recommendation to you...
If you're seeking to take your blog game to the next level in 2016, here are 5 crucial reasons you should read outside your blog niche.
1. It enhances your creativity and broadens your knowledge base. It's a must for combating writer's block.
2. Read other blogs because writing is not just a career; it's a lifestyle. The more you read, examine, and experience, the richer your writing can become. This allows you to reach broader audiences.
3. You meet and connect with so many other bloggers who can become mentors, creative partners, friends, and supportive allies.
4. It enables you to become a more resourceful writer for your readership. When you visit other sites, you learn about different contests, link parties, book reviews, fun recipes and helpful tools. True?
5. Even reading "bad blogs" helps you to develop a critical eye and avoid common mistakes.
To further illustrate my point here, I'd like to share the different types of blogs I read on a regular basis (other than writing) that I feel help me to become a more well-rounded blogger:
- Cooking Blogs---These sites are great for examining photography, design, layout and following steps. Not to mention, I'm a big "foodie" myself. Here's one I think you'll enjoy: http://therecipecritic.com/
- Personal Development Blogs---I love these blogs for life hacks, improving relationships, and becoming more self-aware. Here's one I think you'll enjoy: https://www.personalgrowth.com/
- Business Blogs---These impart crucial lessons on time management, operating "in the black," and client relations. All of which can enhance your freelance writing business. Here's one I think you'll enjoy: http://smallbiztrends.com/
- Frugal Living Blogs--- Help to deal with the "feast or famine" cycle and how to survive on a shoe-string budget. Here's one I think you'll enjoy: http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/
- Yoga Blogs---These are a personal choice for their emphasis on mindfulness, discipline, and "stretching" our limits. Here's one I think you'll enjoy: http://blog.sivanaspirit.com/
Remember the more you know, the more you grow.
For optimal blogging success, read broadly, read often.
And keep reading Pen and Prosper. :-)
Disclosure: I'm also a contributing writer to the personal development and yoga blogs mentioned above.
Thoughts? Agree or disagree?
What's your favorite non-writing blog to read?
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