- Jun 14, 2018
Many people claim that blogging is so easy, anyone can do it - like, every single day, several days a week. I beg to differ. I blog on the side (both for personal and financial reasons), but even the kind of flexible schedule I currently enjoy doesn’t make regular blogging any less difficult for me. I enjoy doing it, sure, but it’s not like I’m always primed and ready to produce fresh content to share with others at the drop of a hat.
See, it’s not really about the lack of time, at least for me. I find that any creative pursuit, even if it’s a simple and basic blog post, requires focus and inspiration. Unfortunately, with a very busy schedule filled with work-at-home and family tasks and commitments, I usually find myself in short supply of inspiration and fresh ideas.
I have found ways to get around the being-stuck obstacle, though. So today, I’m sharing them with you, and hopefully, you will be able to find them useful, as well.
1) Write a listicle
We live in a world of instant gratification and shortened attention spans. People who read stuff online usually want instant solutions, or feel as if someone knows and gets what they are currently going through. Sure, a long-winded explanation on something could be informative, but most of the time, people don’t want things explained to them. They want things to resonate with them, they want problems solved NOW, and they want both, preferably in a structured form.
This is where listicles become extra-useful, both for your readers and you, the blogger. If you see blog posts or articles with titles beginning with “Top Five…”, “Ten of the Most…”, “The Best Ways to…” - oh my gosh, I just described most of my headlines here! - you will likely be reading a listicle. One of the reasons they are so popular is the topics are simplified and sorted out for the reader, then served up in numbered or bullet-pointed tidbits. Easily digestible facts, in short.
2) Revisit an old topic you love
Blogs are usually created around the author’s passions, hobbies, career, or lifestyle. It’s very rare for personal bloggers to take on subjects that are alien to them unless it’s for a sponsored post.
What this means is, if you really love something, you probably have lots to say about that topic. Even if that topic is the backbone of your blog, you will likely find an aspect of it that you’ve already talked about in the past, yet feel like you can talk more of in new blog posts. For instance, I love vintage wedding dresses, which I’ve written about before. But now, I’m thinking of revisiting that topic, but writing more specifically about flapper-type wedding dresses instead.
So it’s a good idea to look back on past topics you feel you’re passionate about or an expert at, or which got a lot of feedback and reactions, then update it with a fresh twist or another layer of perspective for a new post.
3) Look through your drafts
I use WordPress for my blog, and it has a Drafts section which is full of topics I couldn’t quite flesh out at that point in time but didn’t want to discard. These topics cover anything from holidays to recipes, to events I’m supposed to have attended (but did not), to even the most mundane stuff that I thought was worth writing about.
When inspiration is hard to come by, the Drafts page one of the first places I visit in my blog’s dashboard. And you know what? It usually works!
Some of the drafts are just titles with words or outlines in the body, while others are long bodies of text that seemed to go nowhere fast. When I re-read them with fresh eyes, I see all the mistakes I made while writing that draft in that particular moment, and how I can potentially make a new and better post from it.
4) Make a reader poll
I discovered that for most of the time I felt stuck when I’m supposed to be writing, that a small push made by other people’s suggestions was enough to get me typing furiously. All of a sudden ideas came pouring in with a bit of impetus. This is why I regularly use polls on my social media platforms and blog so that readers can share what they want me to write about next.
I use Facebook’s poll maker app for convenience when I want mileage on social media for my blog polls, and the YOP (your own programming) Poll plugin for my WordPress blog so I can see the results right away. Then I get an instant list of new topics to write about!
5) Use a content generator app
I know this is technically cheating, but sometimes our brains operate best upon suggestion. I like using content generator apps to give me the above-mentioned impetus to churn out fresh new blog topics. Some apps give you topics straightaway, while others, like this title maker app from Portent (which has become my personal favorite), gives me a potential “title” based on a subject I already know.
The way it works is, there is a little white box where you can enter the subject you want to write about, and it will generate a title for your post. I typed in “cats” and got “17 Things You Don’t Want To Hear About Cats”, which is so refreshingly absurd and funny, yet something I can definitely see myself blogging about!
The tips I listed above (a listicle, hah! Who would have thought?) are from my own personal experiences of getting stuck with blogging. There are many tools and information online to help you, but ultimately, I find that personal experience is still the best source for creative blogging that will resonate with others.
Do you have a personal blog that you update regularly? What do you do when you feel like you’ve run out of topics to blog about? Please share with us your tips to getting unstuck!