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Pick up that magazine


Let’s use the pile of magazine I have in my family room, or your family room to come up with some great bloggy ideas! I am all for finding inspiration all around, even where you least expect it. So today, I am going to make it my business to go through the serious pile I have stacking up and look for some great ideas.

What you need:


Sticky pads

Pens or pencils

Open mind!

60 minutes, I’m even timing it!


Analyze a magazine with the intention of helping your blog:

I imagine if you are like me a lot of the magazines that you subscribe to are of topics you cover on your blog, for me food, healthy food, wellness, and design, and all of these are on my site.

The Cover– What is it telling you? Short words? Ideas for lists? Giveaways if that is your thing? Take a good look at the headline; what inspired you about this topic to pick up this magazine if you just purchased it?

In the sheets– What colors are being used? What is the chic new type-face? Is there something there that you might incorporate into your site?

The Stories– Nine times out of ten I will find something in a magazine that I “rip out” and put in my “idea folder” be it a title that inspires me, or content that reminds me of a story that I’d like to share with my readers. Read with an open mind…

Niche Ideas-Is there a story that relates to your niche that inspires you to write a post? Is there a new statistic or information that your audience would appreciate if you chose to share it in a post?

It’s all about the interaction– Take a look at how companies interact with their customers; how do they run giveaways or promotions? I know you are thinking “hmm I’m not Pillsbury” but sometimes it is not about the money that the companies spend rather the viral marketing which costs little more than your time.

Our weekly exercis

Go to a quiet place where you will not be disturbed for an hour, set the timer if you must.

Bring a few magazines with you and your sticky pads and pen or pencil to make notes.

Quickly skim the magazine from front to back cover.

Notice what “jumps out at you”

Now start over, upon returning to the beginning make a note of what were the things that “jumped out at you.”

Now go back one more time and this time take your time to think about the following:

  • What drew your attention on the front cover? What techniques did they use to capture your attention in various places?
  • What are the headlines saying? Are they affective? Did they make you want to jump and look for the article?
  • How is their use of photos?
  • How is the magazine formatted?
  • What it the magazines “call to action?”
  • Can you learn from their ads?
  • Who would read this magazine?
  • What do you like about the magazine? What don’t you like about the magazine? Is there something you can use on your site from this magazine?
  • Use your sticky pad to write ideas for posts and “rip” out the pages for the idea folder.

For this week’s lesson:

I would like you to take the hour to review a magazine and go through the above questions. Then either write a post that was inspired by a topic in the magazine, the headline, a photo, or something that “jumped off the pages” at you.

Come back and link up and take a few moments to review a few of the others posts in the group.

About shelley

Shelley Kramm is the founder and editor of I'm Still Standing and The DC Ladies. Learn more about her and her inspirational family here and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and on

Other places to find shelley


  1. I can’t wait to do this! I always say I am going to do the magazine research – and Lord knows I’ve got plenty of food mags sitting around.

  2. Thanks Shelley – this is a wonderful project.

  3. Shelley, I need to find some magazines, but its a great concept. Thanks

  4. It’s Halloween time so I love to check out magazines for foodie inspiration. This time I found it in Ladies’ Journal and I stayed up till 2am making it and writing about it….kids were sure happy in the morning and I have a great post from it.

  5. Uh-oh, the only magazines I have at home are AARP and TV Guide. Maybe I’ll check with the neighbors. Luckily, it’s close to Halloween and Thanksgiving, so there will be lots of interesting things to discover for “the dolls.”

  6. Great idea! I love Real Simple and Whole Living, so I’ll be doing something from one of those two magazines.

  7. Wonderful idea! Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Ha now the key is finding that 1 hour of quiet time :-)

  9. I love this idea, Shelley. I am sure I will be coming back to reread this before my next blog post. Thanks :)

  10. What a great idea for next week for my Whatever Wednesday. Thanks!

  11. Ann @ CreativeBoomer says:

    I’m starting another blog based on my paintings so this is going to be especially useful.
    I just started laying out the blog a few days ago so it’s still very rough. Also this is the first time I’m trying to customize a WP. I can make Blogger do anything I want, but WordPress…the learning curve is back to zero!
    Here’s the new site

  12. This is a great idea. I never thought of using a magazine as inspiration. I am going to start working on it today. I finally completed my about me page, my contact page is good and now I am going to work on this and then link up.

  13. Wonderful, I have a pile of magazines that have been neglected, now they have a purpose!! I’m so on this right after I finish those Halloween costumes 😉

  14. Going to write up mine tonight. Thanks for hosting this Shelly. It is great going back through all the challenges.

  15. Great ideas Shelly! I will be back to reread this and take notes! Blessings to you and yours ~

  16. I borrowed a few magazines from my neighbor and got lots of ideas. Since it was Halloween time, I stayed focused on that and did a blog and pumpkin carving and tellings stories. You can find it here ~

    Hope y’all had a great time doing your blogs. I certainly did and am looking forward to more ideas from magazines ~ thanks Shelley for the tip.
    Happy Halloween everyone!

    • just saw this pat, can you add the link above for everyone to follow? thanks so much!

      • Oy! I figured it out and added above and used just the “Linky” thumbnail (I’m at work right now so didn’t want to take too much time).

  17. I don’t subscribe to magazines so I will need to go to the library to pick some up but it will have to wait until I return home on Thursday.

  18. I finally made it Shelley! That was fun to do..and using a magazine is a great idea. I also enjoyed everyone’s magazine posts. I will take a moment to comment them.


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