So you’ve made the decision to start a blog. You have your name, you’ve set up your hosting, your social media — the works. You are finally ready to sit down and come up with some great content. Only problem is — you have no idea what to actually write about.
I’ve been there and I know it really sucks to be so excited to get your blog going, but aren’t quite sure what to say. The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to get the creativity flowing, whether you are starting something brand new, or are having writer’s block on your current blog:
BRAINSTORM. When I knew I wanted to change the direction of my blog and focus on how-to’s for other bloggers, business owners, and throw in some lifestyle content as well, I sat down and created a list of ideas. I literally wrote down anything and everything that I could post about. Those ideas led to more ideas, and before I knew it I had three pages worth of topics. It can feel a bit daunting to open up a new draft on your blog when you’re lacking inspiration, so step away from the computer, grab a pen and some paper and start jotting down what you feel passionate about and what you think your readers would like to see. For me, writing down these ideas has been the most effective way to come up with more content. I return to that list often for inspiration, and add to it every time because it continues to spark more ideas.
GET INSPO. Repeat after me: Pinterest is my friend. Say it one more time. Pinterest is THE place to be for inspo. I’m going to ask you to do something, and I actually want you to do it — if you have a domain name already (and likely you do if you’re reading this post), I want you to sign up on Pinterest for a business account. If you have a pre-existing account for your website but it’s not a business account, you need to make the switch before you go any further. Making this minor adjustment will not only connect your followers and viewers to your blog, but it will allow you to track the analytics of your Pinterest, and gain insight to how this platform is helping drive traffic to your site. I’ll have a tutorial here soon on how to make this switch.
Once you have your business account, I want you to create a secret board for yourself. Use this board to pin any and all inspo for your blog. Use the search bar to find pins in your content area and add them to your new board. See what other blogs in your content area are talking about, and see if these steps help spark some new ideas. You can even type in “ideas for _____ bloggers” and something will come up!
Aside from Pinterest, I will also go through some of the Facebook groups I’m in to see what people are struggling with when it comes to blogging. If I find that I can answer their question through a post, I start writing! If you’re not in a blogger group or a group related to your content area, I highly recommend joining a few.
KNOW YOUR NICHE. Okay, so by now you probably know how much I hate the word niche, but it’s almost unavoidable when you’re talking about blogging. What is your content area? What is your blog about? When someone new comes to your blog, what will they see? If you’re a health and fitness blogger, I would personally expect to see lots of recipes, workout tips, videos or photos of specific moves to try at home or the gym, and maybe even some cute ideas for workout clothes. The options are really endless no matter your content area. You can be super specific with your niche, or be a bit more broad. Either way, your blog should have clear direction and focus.
REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED. I think one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in having half a dozen blogs, is that you really need to find something that you are deeply passionate about. I can’t tell you how many times I started a blog and ran out of ideas because I just wasn’t passionate enough about the content anymore. After I started my business I had so many people asking me what I did and how I did it, that I used that as inspiration to start How She Does It. I soon realized that I had a real passion for creating graphics, designing websites, growing my business + blog, and teaching other people do the same. That passion alone fuels so many new ideas! When I had my makeup/skin care blog, however, I hit a wall pretty quickly because I fell out of love with what I was talking about. When the passion was gone, so were the ideas. Chances are if you could talk about something all day long, and know a good bit about it, you can blog about it. I talk about blogging and running a business all the time so it naturally flows into content for me.
ASK YOUR AUDIENCE. Even if you’ve established a small following, ask your readers what they want to see! It never hurts to ask. If you’re just starting out and don’t have any content out there yet, ask your friends or family for some ideas. Ask them what they would want to read if they came across your blog. Turning to outside help is a great way to generate some new ideas for content.
The other piece to this puzzle is finding something that will be beneficial for your audience to read. You have to have passion and knowledge for your content, but you also need to be catering to the interests of your current or potential audience. What are they looking for? Will they find this helpful? This is also where creating quality content comes in. You can post every day or every other day, but if your posts are not high quality, you’re going to lose your audience. Trust me when I say that people can tell when you’ve just slapped something together for the sack of adding more content. When you have a new idea for a post, start drafting it. Gather any resources you might need, write, rewrite, and proofread. Even when you think you’re done writing, go through and check your post one more time just to be sure. Then add in any graphics and put the finishing touches on to pull it all together.
Blogging takes a lot of time, energy, and hard work. You really need to love it and be willing to work your ass off. When writer’s block happens — and it will — don’t let that discourage you. Find something that works for you to generate new ideas, and keep on going. If you put the steps I outlined above into practice, you should see a difference! If you have any additional tips on what helps you when you’re stuck.