Your website shouldn’t take so much time away from what you do best, painting, creative writing, drawing, singing, or any creative endeavor. But what if a website were part of what fueled your creative ideas? What if instead of being outside of your creative process a website was part of your creative habits? How is that even possible?

Here are five ways (of many!) having website can fuel your creativity.

The Website Feedback Loop

The process of building for and interacting with your website audience gives more ideas and feedback than you could ever get on your own.

To understand how I would like to introduce you to Jon Morrow (really does he need introducing?!), a former chief Copy Blogger for Copyblogger. Now he runs Boost Blog Traffic a website dedicated to showing you how to blog with intention. Consider this popular blog post titled Why You Shouldn’t Create a Newsletter where Morrow describes how comments takes the guesswork out of knowing what to create.

Not only is that immensely encouraging, but those comments also contain ideas for future posts, new products and services, and even separate businesses. You guys are literally telling me what to do next. I don’t have to guess at all.

A dedicated audience providing ongoing feedback is essential. Those commenters are part of a tribe helping you to create. A tribe of like minded people is what many on the Creative Habits Podcast describe as being helpful within their creative habits.

Content Curation Increases Idea Pool

Here is a quick primer on content curation. Content curation is a process that helps expose your mind to a ton of other ideas. As a side note it also provides content fuel for social media. As you spread other people’s content it increases the authority of yours. Reading a ton is a creative habit many in the Creative Habits Podcast say helps fuel their own creative endeavors.

Researching ideas for different blog posts is a form of curating. You cull together different ideas to bounce your own off of. Those same pool of ideas contribute to your own when creating. Here is how Jonathan Fields describes the process of connecting the dots:

When curating ideas for blog posts the process extends the potential pool of ideas. Those ideas later become interesting connections.

The Writing Process as Feedback

By writing for your website you extend ideas through the writing process. You are making sense of these ideas at the same time you are creating them. It is a process of creating and thinking upon the page at the same time. When writing about your art, the process of writing feeds your subconscious mind. Those ideas then come out when you go back to other creative ventures like painting.

You are also writing for an audience. There is something at stake and that crystalizes ideas making you solidify initial thoughts. It hones those thoughts making them sharper and more tangible.

Site Analytics

Ok website analytics are probably something most who have a website to display their creative works skip. Your focus is upon creating. What if you could take ten minutes or so a week, view a quick report and know how people were engaging with your content? You would know which posts were more popular and which might need more work.ImportButton

There are these pre-done reports for Google Analytics that do just that. The first one is from a master of analytics Avinash. It is easy to install, just click on the name and then the import button at the top of the page (see image to the right).

When you can see people are spending more time reading a certain post and then looking at multiple other pages on your site, there is more inspiration towards writing more posts like it.

Direct Feedback

You can also get direct feedback via your contact form. Use Unpop, or Hello Bar to drive attention to a contact form with questions.

Or you could try Speakpipe and have people record their answers to questions. If you ask your audience they will tell you it’s just not all of them like filling out forms. Having a quick recorder like Speakpipe means someone can answer more directly.

If you keep them short many people don’t mind taking five minutes to give you answers especially if you have valuable blog posts or art they admire. Give any of these a try!