Saturday, March 17, 2018

Should a Blog Always Provide a New Perspective on a Topic?

A friend’s post on his Facebook profile the other day got me thinking about bloggers who are always striving to give a unique, new perspective on the topic of the day.

Has everything already been said? What if the new perspective I want to give about something isn’t new at all, and has already been raised by someone else? Should I worry?

I’ve been thinking about a Facebook post from a friend. It included this line: “What I continue to find is that I have very little to say which hasn’t already been said by someone else.”

I imagine there are plenty of bloggers who feel the same way when they’re ready to start writing a post on a subject about which they’re passionate.

“It’s already been said.”
“There’s nothing new here.” 
“I don’t have anything different to offer.” 

Some blogging gurus would suggest that you need to hold off on making that post until you do. But I don’t know that it’s valid advice.

Let’s think about the fast food industry.

If you want a hamburger, there are plenty of choices out there. You could visit McDonald’s, Burger King, Hardee’s (or Carl’s Jr., depending on your part of the country) or Wendy’s. If you’re lucky enough to be out west, In-N-Out might get your business. If you’re lucky enough to be in the place where I grew up, a family restaurant called Zesto might be your first choice.

Any of those choices might provide you a satisfying meal. (That last one will certainly do so.) And that’s just a fraction of the choices out there that will provide a paying customer with a hamburger.

But despite some slight differences in the recipe, they’re all a slab of hamburger between bread.

Why on earth do we need so many choices? Why don’t we all just pick one and force the others to close down?

Well, besides the fact that the capitalist system doesn’t work that way, there’s this important point: remember where I said that part about “slight differences in the recipe”? That’s what it’s all about.

Some of the people who might hate McDonald’s fried hamburgers might love Burger King’s chargrilled burgers. And vice versa.

It’s those differences, some subtle, others not so much, that help people decide where they’re going to go. And frankly, it’s also, to some degree, the personality of the people who serve your food that play a part. You might love what one of those restaurants is selling, but find that the employees at that particular restaurant are rude or are in some other way unprofessional. That difference might turn you away from the place that you think serves the better burger and toward the place that treats you with an appropriate level of respect.

It’s your money, after all. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But there’s something you’re getting at that restaurant that you’re not getting at the others because you’re choosing the one.

It’s the same with blogging.

But there’s more to it than that.

Sometimes, people need to hear the same message — or at least a similar one — before it really begins to make an impact on them. And sometimes, it’s about who is delivering the message that might make them stop and think about it more than they might otherwise.

If you have a loyal audience, a group of people who’ve come to respect your opinion, your thoughts on a particular subject, even if they’re similar to someone else’s thoughts, might carry a bit more weight for your audience. You might have, because of your audience’s trust in you, a bit more clout with them to present such ideas.

And because of that, you might have a bigger impact, even if the perspective you’re offering isn’t original.

You also have to remember that only you have your audience; those who might have expressed similar thoughts have their own audience. But no one else has your exact same audience at all times.

And you have your own background, your own life experience, and your own thought processes that led you to the conclusions you hold. Others may have a similar timeline to that opinion, but yours is uniquely yours. And your story might just relate better to someone in your audience so that your perspective resonates better as well.

So no, I don’t think you have to be the one to offer only a new perspective on an important issue. If it’s important to you, it might just be important to your audience, and if they value your voice, they should value your perspective.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 26 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.