It is true… sometimes you get in a rut when debating on what you should write on your blog. The depressing thought-police come crashing through your door and stop any hint of creative musing… just because they can. How do you push yourself out of the mind block and towards creative thinking/writing?
When I personally find myself in a rut I tend to retreat to my Google Reader to find inspiration from other writers in my specific industry. It helps when there are hundreds of people writing about the same topic and feeding off each other to create content.
But that is where it stops or it should stop.
There are plenty of blogs out there that credit an author by linking to their post… but then continue to copy the content and paste it directly into the post. Be very careful when using content from another blog. Is there a right way to credit a writer and still build off their ideas while creating your own? Of course!
If you are building off of another writer’s idea be very sure that you link the title of their post in your content. By linking to their blog posts it gives the author the ability to visit your blog and comment on your idea. This is a great way to create a environment of co-collaboration. An even better thing to do is to email the author and let them know you are writing about their post.
It is okay to paraphrase an author’s work as long as you are giving them credit for the idea. This does not mean you can copy and paste their ENTIRE post inside of your blog. This does not give any credit and it just means you are lacking in the area of original thought.
If you enjoyed a sentence or two from a blog post it is okay to quote that author if it supports your post. Be sure that you give them credit for the post and put the quote in italics.
This just happens to be a few personal ideas I have been building over the past year while writing. There have been times when I have made the mistake of borrowing a little more content than necessary and for that I apologize. The important thing to remember is judge the amount of content you are borrowing. Would you enjoy it if another blog borrowed that much content from your post?
There are many authors who could care less if you borrowed their content for a post but like mom always said, “Kyle. Better safe than sorry.”