The passing of Apple Co-founder Steve Jobs on October 5, 2011 was a watershed moment for me. No matter which side we are on—the PC lovers or the Mac addicts—I think we all recognized the genius of this man.
Do you remember Apple Computers’ 1997 Think Different ad campaign? Narrated by Richard Dreyfus, it had actual footage of people in history who chose to break the rules every now and then.
The copywriters who produced this commercial were brilliant marketers. By using video of other people who ‘thought differently,’ like John Lennon, Albert Einstein and Jim Henson, they made us somehow feel that as Apple users, we were a member of that exclusive club.
And who wouldn’t want to enter that circle?
Here is the ad script:
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They are not fond of rules and have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
We bloggers can be a crazy bunch, too. We also like to ‘think different’ from time to time.
In honor of bloggers everywhere, borrowing messages from this 15-year old campaign, here they are: 5 ways to shake up our blogs and rid ourselves of vanilla posts forever:
1. Be a rebel.
Now I’m not saying to take an anti-status quo stand just to be contrary, but go against the “thought leaders” when you feel strongly about something, like in this post, where I question the theory of ‘original content’ by telling my readers why it’s okay to be a copycat blogger.
Zig when everyone else is zagging. You may be surprised at the discussion you start (and at how many people actually agree with you).
2. See things differently.
Come at a post from a different perspective. How would a mechanic see your topic? What can Saturday Night Live’s Matt Foley, the motivational speaker who ‘lives in a van, down by the river, teach us about blogging? Or time management? Or sales?
3. Break the rules.
Who says you can’t write a post that is all questions?
Or go off topic when something important has happened in your life? Or how about devoting a whole post to recognizing someone who doesn’t get much attention?
4. Mix things up.
Try something new. Hey, you may bomb, but you’ll be in good company. Like most of the crazies throughout history, you’ll find some things work and some don’t. You just keep trying.
If you are a 1,000-word blogger, try saying it in one paragraph. Or go with images with short captions and make that your post.
Ask your readers to write your post for you. Pose a question and let them provide their answers in the comments. Take one of the most interesting comments and write a new post with that fresh angle.
5. Get a little ‘crazy.’
Does something bug you? Or make you sad? Blog about it.
Talk about a practice or strategy in your industry that drives you nuts. Tell us why. And what you would do differently. Or take something as common as the tragic misuse of the exclamation point and tell people how you really feel. Get a little crazy.
Come on. You know you want to.
What about you?
Do you ever shake things up on your blog?
Have you done any of these?
Do you get crazy in other ways?
This revised and updated post originally appeared on For Bloggers By Bloggers.