Sometimes inspiration strikes at the perfect moment. But sometimes we have to be proactive when we come up with content for our blogs and social media.
Because of my busy schedule working full-time, I’ve been in and out of blogging these past few months. Biggest apologies, dear blog readers! As I sink back into a blogging routine, I want to help you all when you feel stuck in a blogging dry spell. These tips will apply to blogging, Instagram and other social media sites, and I hope they help you start creating quality and meaningful posts for your communities!
1. Look through your email. What questions do people ask you about?
Have you ever typed up a long response to a friend about a topic that you could easily turn into a blog post? I sure have! If you get questions from your readers, this is the first place to start when crafting blog posts. You start with your community at the center of your online space. For example, I had a friend ask me about blogging and what my thoughts would be on her ideas for starting a blog. It turned into a nice, long email exchange and I was able to go back and turn it into several post ideas, including 12 Must-Have Plugins for WordPress.
Action step: Bookmark email threads with blog post potential! Write them down in your blogging planner!
2. What issues are important to your industry right now?
Connect your blog to a larger movement. What are experts in your field talking about? Is there a new social media platform you have to check out that you can review? You can even do a Google search of “new trends in [your industry]” or the like.Blogging Tip: Follow trends + see what's important to your industry. These make great blog post ideas! Click To Tweet
3. Collect inspiration from books you read.
One of my favorite things this past week has been going through some of my favorite books and writing down the quotes I starred and the notes I made in the margins. This helps me generate new ideas and see what topics really stand out to me. Plus, you can share a quote you really love and expand on it for a post!
4. Join a Twitter chat and see what your audience is talking about.
Twitter chats are fun and engaging environments to talk to like-minded people. Look to see specifically what questions people ask and if you have insight on the matter. Or better yet, come prepared with your own questions to ask your audience. It never hurts to do some hands-on research! For example, if you post recipes on your blog, you can chat about food blogs and where people like to find their favorites. If you post about blogging tips, asking others about their favorite blog resources may spark some ideas!
Related Post: 16 Creative Things to Do NOW (Without the Internet)
5. Create a survey for your readers.
If you feel like you’ve lost connection with your audience or have had decreased motivation when it comes to blogging, a reader survey can help you gain momentum. Always remember that you are blogging for someone. And the best thing about the Internet? These someones can give you feedback! Create a short survey for your readers to complete so you can see what topics interest them most. They may even give you some suggestions for post ideas, a win-win scenario!
Action Step: Go to typeform.com and create a survey for your readers! Keep it short (10 questions or less) and include some fun questions to get to know your audience better!
6. Read a page in the newspaper.
We are going old school! Just like reading a book, a newspaper can shed light on important updates and conversations happening locally and globally. I’ve found that when I pick up a newspaper and get out of my comfort zone a little bit when it comes to reading content, I tend to find inspiration.Need blog inspiration? Here's how to generate creative ideas! Click To Tweet
7. Pay attention to the content you’re reading online.
Often, I’ve found that my personal reading preferences shift over the years. Several years ago, I read a lot of fashion blogs (honestly because I thought those were the only types of blogs out there—so NOT true!) and now I’ve been interested in health and nutrition content more than before. I’ve incorporated some more food and health posts on my blog and social platforms simply because I enjoy reading them myself. To keep it simple, write what you like to read! Maybe you’ve outgrown certain topics or would like to explore a different niche. It’s all about what brings you joy as a writer and content producer. Perhaps take a step back and really think about what you want to write today.
Action step: Make a list of blogs, websites, YouTube channels and social media accounts you love to follow. What are the similarities between all of them? What themes jump out to you? Maybe you should be writing about these topics.
8. What questions are in your comment section?
Similar to your email, what questions or themes stick out in your comment section? Go to posts with your most comments and see what your readers like or have questions about. Can you expand on an old blog post? Can you give more details?
9. Talk it out with a friend.
Take some time to talk about your blog or other creative projects with a friend you trust. It’s always good to have a blogging bestie, but even chatting with a friend outside the blog world can give you insight on what kind of trends are popular, what problems people have and what people are reading. Your friends may not be bloggers, but , they probably are Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest scrollers. They love the Internet as much as we do! :)
Bonus: Turn it all off.
If you need inspiration, I’ve found it’s also equally refreshing to get away from your normal circumstances and unplug from the Internet world. I turn to my notebook full of random thoughts to spark blog post ideas. I turn to reading books on a bench by the lake in my neighborhood. Ultimately, your ideas come from you. Run away with your creativity. Get wild. Get messy. Break the rules a little bit.
Remember you are talented. You have expertise and a voice the world needs to hear. Happy creating, friends!