Creativity

Have you ever had a blog post idea knocking around your head for weeks and you just can’t get the chance or motivation to write about it?

I have mentioned creativity in seo before, unfortunately it’s something I rarely see talked about as an important part of seo.

Consider this:

“The birth of an idea may be preceded and followed by modes of attention that are much more focused, purposeful and intellectual”

from pp14 The Creative Thinking Plan by Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas

“Modes of attention”, interesting that it’s in the plural, as if we have to spend a lot of time thinking about a thing when we are in different mental states. Attacking the issue from different parts of our mind.

I no longer call myself an SEO and have not done for a long time, (if I ever was one) and I now the pursue the path of viral content creator, or online buzz marketer or what is commonly known in the business as linkbaiting. This requires a truck full of creativity each day, but creativity takes time.

It takes time to be creative, it’s probably the most important think I teach my linkbaiting students over at linkbaitcoaching.com, a good piece of linkbait will take up to ten days. Most of that is spent thinking and throwing away ideas. The ability to spot a bad idea is as important as coming up with the idea in the first place.

You need that time because the mind has to go through it’s different modes to come up with that idea. Now I know people who have taken 15 minutes to create a piece of linkbait and it’s a great success. But, you will probably find that the idea has been at the back of their minds fermenting and going through the editing process whilst snug in the sub-consciousness.

The true test is to be presented with a subject you are unfamiliar with and you have to start cold. It can involve a lot of walking, thinking and looking into the distance. It involves getting your brain to perform different modes of attention whilst thinking of the problem.

The same is with SEO, getting creative with SEO and not simply copying what others are doing can give you the edge. Most techniques when they hit the public are over. It’s those people who can see things in different ways and challenge the perceived wisdom. Usually the perceived wisdom is wrong as it follows what worked yesterday. To be a creative SEO you need to be thinking about what can work tomorrow.

I’m a natural contrarian, I believe will live in cycles and if someone says “don’t do that, it no longer works”, time to look at it closely. What I find also is that some things that are talked about in the SEO blogosphere are complete crap. A lot of the time you read something and you know it works because you are doing it and yet it goes hot on Sphinn, people are commenting and saying “good point”. Best thing is just to keep quiet and let them get on with it.

But when you start doing the opposite of what the masses do, strange things happen. You stumble across things which work and which no one else is doing. When that happens, you have struck SEO gold and you keep quiet about it (unless it can bump you up a couple of pay grades but that’s another matter), you then notice people saying it used to work a few years ago but not anymore.

To achieve real success in this business, you have to get creative. Which was what I was doing with my spoof news linkbait stories. It was a technique that has been used successfully by a number of people for years, no wonder they wanted to keep it quiet.

In the end, getting creative might lead you off the garden path and into the sharp toothed man traps Matt Cutts has laid for you, or you may get lynched by the foaming at the mouth blogosphere. No matter, you are in this business for results not some hippy-geek-ethos. You find what works and then you do what works.

Note:
I completely went off my target for this post, I wanted to talk and discuss creativity more. Ah well, stream of consciousness it will have to be