11 June 2013

Blogging For You: Finding Inspiration

 Finding Inspiration

How often do you find yourselves in a blogging rut? Or with bloggers block? It happens to me at least once every 1-2 months, and lasts sometimes only a few days or more often than not, several weeks or even months. It happens to every blogger!

Most times, all we need is a little inspiration to get us out of our rut. The question is, where do we find inspiration?

A lot of times, we feel like we need to blog about our over-the-top experiences, and the "milestones", and of course, those are awesome things to write posts on. But those things don't happen all of the time. So here are some ideas on how to find inspiration when you're out of ideas or lost as to what to blog about.

Be more observant.
This seems obvious, but the truth is that there are so many tiny little moments that occur in our every day lives, and to us, they seem uneventful and uninteresting. But if we're focusing on Blogging for Ourselves, than these are the things that we'll want to remember down the line. These "uninteresting"  moments are the ones that fill in the gaps and complete our families story. So unimportant and uninteresting? I don't think so. Pay attention to the details of your day-to-day and if you need to, keep a notebook on you to write down some of these in-between moments or tiny achievements, and BLOG about it!

Don't be afraid to share your opinion.
Are you opinionated? No? Just me? lol. Well, I have a lot of opinions. A lot of times I don't share them because I don't wanna spew nonsense all over my blog. But the truth is that there really are some opinions that should be shared. If it's important to you, and you find yourself thinking about it a lot, please write a blog post about it. After all, your blog is your space and so it's important to write content you care about (<---- first topic in this series). But be aware that although your opinions and feelings do matter, try to stay respectful and tasteful. (re: Being Genuine while Maintaining integrity)

Read other blogs.
I can not tell you how many times I have looked to other blogs for inspiration. There is a wealth of knowledge, information, and inspiration within the blogger community. Spend time browsing your favorite blogs, and be sure to visit new ones as well. I'm betting that by the time you close your browser window, you will have tons of new ideas. Just be sure that you don't cross the line from being inspired by others' blog posts, to plagiarism and being a copy cat. If your post is super similar to someone else's (which happens a lot and most times we don't even know it!), be sure to credit the blogger whom you drew the inspiration from.

Your own blog.
What I mean by this, is that you should go back through your archives and re-read some of your older posts. It's amazing how much inspiration you can draw from yourself. And you'd be surprised how your opinions and point of view will change over the years. There are probably a ton of topics you've covered in the past that you may want to write about again, with a new perspective. Or maybe you want to elaborate or explain a previous post a little more thoroughly. Go look in your archives!

Take a break.
Yes!! This!! This is SO important. Take a break from blogging. Why is there such a stigma that We. Must. Post at least every other day?? There is no rule. If you don't have anything to blog about and aren't finding any inspiration, just stop. Take a few days, or weeks and don't think about your blog or over-analyze it. Take a step back and just live and replenish. You will find that you will snap out of your bloggers block all on your own, and when you do, you'll likely have a ton of ideas.

Utilize your readers and social media.
Your readers probably have a ton of questions they want to ask you. And they are rich with ideas and suggestions as to what you could write about. There have been many times I've had bloggers block and posted on my Facebook fanpage something like this: "Finding myself with bloggers block and I'm totally open for post ideas! Give me a writing prompt or ask me a question and I'll blog about it!". I've had great success in doing this!! My readers have left awesome comments with thought provoking questions that have turned into some of my favorite posts.

Product Reviews.
Whether these are paid reviews or you just gushing over a product you love, these are always fun blog posts. My advise would be, though, to tread lightly with paid product reviews. Paid reviews can get obnoxious if you are endorsing products you don't believe in. Of course, like I've said in the past, everyone blogs for different reasons, so if money is the reason you blog, this won't apply to you. But if you are trying to make your blog meaningful, write reviews for products that are relevant to your life. Whether it be a place you love to shop, or a detergent you swear by, if it matters to you, than it's okay and fun to write about it. Again, be somewhat choosey about how many you write, but I say go for it!

Switch it up and be creative.
There are a lot of ways to be creative with blogging. Sometimes we get caught in our "niche". As a Mommy blog, I know that personally I feel like I need to stick to parenting or kid-related posts. Totally don't need to do that. It's okay to spread your wings a little. Try vlogging instead or writing. You could do an "ask me anything" post. Maybe write a tutorial on something you enjoy, whether it be a craft, makeup, hair, DIY... etc. Share your knowledge! Share a recipe or your most recent must-read list. Talk about your favorite movie or your new favorite band. The ideas are endless.

There are so many ways to find inspiration, don't be afraid to explore new avenues! But at the end of the day, and most importantly, Blog For You. You will always be proud of your blog if you do.

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Mommy Mandy said...

This is a great post!! Thanks!

Erica Alferez said...

great post!! :)

Kim Cunningham said...

Great reminders here. I think the best advice is to blog for yourself! I know we can all get lost there sometimes. These are all such wonderful truths!

Amber Gregory said...

Great post Mandy! I have definitely been in a rut lately.

Courtney said...

I love this! You're the best, Mandy.

Robyn said...

Wonderful post! Thanks for the reminder! I try to keep each day fresh and positive by reading inspirational books. I am reading a great one now called, " Happy Shorts" by author Susan Spira. People tend to overlook the obvious in life and need to be reminded of what’s important. She has also written the books, "The Happy Tips Book," and "One-Liners For Life." She has some wonderful children's books as well! http://susanspira.com/

Kate said...

Thanks Mandy! I have been in a rut for sure!

Heather N said...

Mandy, I love this series you are doing! These tips have helped me get more confident with my blog. Love your blog!

Michelle Thomas said...

This is so great! I definitely can get caught in that rut, your words make perfect sense! Your ideas are all great places to gain inspiration from- keep them coming! :)

Jess said...

I love your article - each of the points you've covered are so accurate. Particularly the last one about being more creative with your blogging - great stuff! Thank you!