“Good writing doesn’t get hung up on what’s been said before,” advises Ann Handley in Everybody Writes. “Rather it elects to simply say it better.”
That piece of advice, I believe, applies not only to what others have written on your topic, but to what you’ve had to say in earlier blog posts. In corporate blogging training sessions, I often explain that it’s perfect OK – in fact a good idea – to repeat themes you’ve already covered in former posts, adding a layer of new information or a new insight each time.
Rather than asking yourself, each time you’re preparing to blog, whether you’ve already covered that material and how long ago, I teach newbie content providers to plan around key themes. Then, what you’re doing in any one post, I explain, is filling in new details, examples, and illustrations.
And when it comes to writing on topics that others have already written about, remember that ideas are not “copyrightable”. As one writer put it, “You are absolutely free to use someone else’s idea as a jumping-off point for your own expression.”
One interesting thing I’ve discovered over the past ten years of writing Say It For You blogs and offering business blogging help to others, is that blogging forces business owners and professional practitioners to verbalize the positive aspects of their own products and services. Those “training benefits” are not lost to those who hire freelance content like me to be their voice. That’s because the very process of choosing themes, sharing strategies, and planning for content creation involves both owner and writer.
When that synergy is created, something much better than OK happens, resulting in nothing less than great blogging for business!