I probably get the dreaded blogger’s block at least once a month. I sit there, staring at my screen, hoping a brilliant idea will just magically hit me. It rarely does of course, but I do have a number of things I do which help me to wriggle through it.
1. Start a new series or project
Giving yourself a new challenge is a great way to over come blogger’s block. You could do something big like starting a whole new business (!) or publishing a magazine (!!), or you could do something more manageable like kicking off a new regular series on your site.
I did this recently with my Marriage Mantras posts. Setting it as a ten part series give me a feasible goal to work towards (I wasn’t sure if I’d have much else to say past ten articles) and tackling a new topic really stretched me as a writer. It also surprised my readers, and showed a new breadth of content. In fact they loved it so much that many of the articles ended up being my most popular of all time!
It can be very easy to get into a routine with blogging, the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. But changing things up and embracing new ideas not only helps you to re-find your passion, it gets your readers more excited about what you’re writing about too.
2. Write about something that scares you
It is always the blog posts that you’re afraid of hitting ‘publish’ on that surprise you with their popularity. Why? Because people love to read things that are relatable.
We all have struggles and personal demons, and while I never think you should write about difficult things just because you want some kind of validation, being open and honest about them always garners a big response.
3. Have a clear out
If you’re stuck in a rut or a blogging slump then have a clear out. Go through your RSS reader and unsubscribe to any blogs that you no longer really read or find inspiring – and then follow some new ones! Same goes with social media. If someone you follow on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook is boring you senseless or being a Negative Nancy, then screw the politics and unfollow them!
Life is too short and new faces will give you a much-needed jolt of inspiration.
4. Change up your location
It could be a different room in your house, a coffee shop, or even a friend’s sofa! If you’re struggling to focus or to come up with new ideas then a simple change of location can really help you.
I’ll often switch from my desktop computer in my office to my laptop on the sofa in our living room if I’m feeling ‘meh’. Sounds silly, but it really works! I’m also exclusively writing my book on my laptop. I find that getting off my desktop computer and out of the space where I do my blog writing has really helped me to focus on this new and different task.
5. Get out!
Similarly to above, if the ideas just aren’t flowing then don’t try to force it. Get off your computer and go and do something else. You never get your best ideas when you’re sat at your computer, willing them to come anyway.
Go shopping, go and people watch, meet a friend for a coffee, take a shower… you’re much more likely to get your next brilliant idea when you’re not trying desperately to think of it.
6. Keep a notebook on you
I used to always carry a notebook in my handbag to jot down any idea – however big or small – when it hit me. I’ve stopped doing that recently, and these days I make a note of them on my phone. The method doesn’t matter, as long as you write things down!
Sometimes it’ll just be a few words, other times full paragraphs or articles, but the point is to not disregard ideas or think “Oh I’ll write that down later” (believe me, you won’t because you will have forgotten it). However trivial the idea may seem at the time, WRITE IT DOWN.
Then, when you’re having a uninspired moment, have a flip through that notebook (or your phone) and see if something you jotted down a while ago sparks something.
7. What do you know that other’s don’t?
Some of my most popular articles have come from, what I felt were very simple or obvious ideas. But it is often the most self-explanatory (to you!) things that people are really searching for.
For example, I wrote a post a while ago called Want Great Wedding Photographs? Follow These Ten Simple Tips. It took me about half an hour to write, because to me all the tips were so straightforward, but people LOVED it. It was shared like wildfire by brides and wedding photographers alike. Brides loved it because it contained useful information that they hadn’t read anywhere else, and photographers went crazy over it because it was full of things they wish they could tell their clients.
When you’re looking for a topic to write about, start thinking about the kinds of questions you get asked over and over again by your friends or readers. Also think about the problems your ideal reader faces. What are people really looking for when they come to your blog?
Pretty pictures and Pinterest round ups are all very well and good, but posting really meaty, useful content that people can’t get anywhere else is what will make them come back to your blog again and again.
8. Take questions
My readers email me a lot asking questions about planning their weddings or running their own businesses. Instead of simply replying to them (where I could help that one person) I will often turn these questions into blog posts (where I can then help thousands of people).
If you’re looking for some topics to write about, why not ask your readers if they have any questions for you? You could do this on your social media very easily.
9. Collaborate with others
Collaborating with other people is one of my favourite things to do. Not only do you get a very different outcome when you work with others, but they might have ideas that you don’t. How about organising a shoot, guest writing on each other’s blogs or interviewing each other?
As a side note, my little ideas usually get properly formed when I am chatting them through with other people.
10. Take some time off
Whether it’s a holiday, a weekend, a day or even just a break for a cup of tea, taking time away from your computer is vital if you’re feeling uninspired. I always come back from Blogcademy trips with a text file FULL of blog post ideas. I’ve been surrounding myself with like-minded people who I can bounce ideas off but, more than that, because I’ve got away from the daily grind and allowed myself, and my brain, time to switch off.
Being chained to your desk 24/7 is probably the quickest way to deteriorate your passion and deplete that ideas bank. The quality of your content is definitely going to go down if you’re not actually out living your life! Otherwise where will you get those ideas from: Pinterest? Other blogs? Industry dramas? That’s a recipe for a dull-ass blog, believe me.
So next time your creative juices are low, why not give yourself a much needed top up by doing some of the above. So tell me, what do you do when you’re feeling uninspired?
- Photography: COREY SLEAP