Drawing a blank: 10 blogging tricks for when you run out of ideas | Health, Love & Fire

Drawing a blank: 10 blogging tricks for when you run out of ideas

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

When I started blogging a little over a year ago, I'll be the first to admit I had no idea what I was doing. And while my intentions were just to write for my friends and family, that quickly shifted a bit once I got to know some fellow bloggers. Once I decided to write for a larger audience, I felt more pressure to put out better content, not that my friends and family don't deserve the best of course. But deciding what to fill this blank space with on a daily basis was overwhelming.

There were so many different types of bloggers, and I was unsure what I wanted to be. You know like the first day of middle school where you're suddenly in the middle of the cafeteria unsure of which group to sit with cause it's going to define you for the rest of your life the year.  I love photography, but don't have my own business. I like to cook, but definitely only on occasion. I love a good shopping trip, but feel so awkward taking outfit photos of myself. So where did I fit in? I was a little bit of all of that. So I guess that makes me a lifestyle blogger. Sharing stories about what's going on in my life, with some diy and recipes mixed in was what I really wanted. And I figured, if it was something I liked, I was more likely to stick with it. Plus, I can't be the only one who loves looking at wedding pictures or hearing about what other people did on the weekend. (I mean, we are all a little bit nosy aren't we?!?)

It's not too difficult to think up 2-5 10-20 ideas for great posts you can share with people, but after the first few dozen, I quickly found myself scrambling for ideas. I'd try to think about upcoming anniversaries or special occasions I could share. Were there any events or activities happening in my area that I could go to and write about? How could I fill this space with something people actually wanted to read 3-5 days a week? So over the past year, I've developed a few strategies that work for me when I'm drawing a blank, and I thought I'd share them. If you have any that I don't think of, please share them with me!


1. Don't post just for the sake of posting. We are all guilty of this from time to time, but remember the phrase less is more. I've found myself filling the page just because I've only posted twice that week, and those are normally my least viewed posts. They are also the posts I'm less likely to comment on or read all of.

2. Remember what you like to read. If you like something, chances are other people like it too! Do you like reading diy posts or finding new recipes?

3. Keep a notebook or journal with you all the time. Being a blogger, we are constantly looking at situations with the "how can I blog about this" question. I'm amazed at the times and places I think up something to blog about, and if I don't write it down when I think of it, chances are the idea is lost forever! I can't tell you how many times I think of an idea when I'm trying to fall asleep at night and I don't write it down and can't remember it in the morning! (so frustrating!)

4. Take time to brainstorm: Every so often I try to sit down and brainstorm new ideas for the blog. I take a page in my blog journal and try to fill it with ideas, that way when I'm having trouble thinking of something to write about I have a bunch to choose from.

5. Schedule out your posts. I know some bloggers may disagree, but I love being able to schedule out my posts. I love every minute of sleep I can get, and I like to have my evenings free after work. I also have anxiety about being late, so knowing that I can write when I want and schedule posts for the next day keeps my stress at a minimum. This also gives me a few ideas to pull from if I'm drawing a blank one day. I have a few posts that are started or just waiting to be scheduled that I can use for days I can't think straight Fridays.

6. Link-Ups. While I don't want to bombard my blogging feed with link-ups every day, every now and then it's fun to write on a topic that others are sharing about as well. Whether it's your weekend plans or your favorite sports team, it's fun to be able to compare thoughts and ideas with other bloggers and helps you dream up a topic for the day!

7. Keep a Blog Calendar. Balancing my work schedule, my husband's work schedule, our volunteering meetings and all of my blog posts has my mind in a jumble just thinking about it (i'll take a glass of wine now! #itsfiveoclocksomewhere). My calendar also helps me keep track of other blogs I'm sponsoring that month, when link-ups are happening and when I have guest posts scheduled.

8. Go try something new - I love having the excuse to try new things so I have something to blog about. It not only pushes me to try new things, but it gets me out of the house more and makes me have more fun on the weekends. I secretly think my husband appreciates this too, aside from the extra time it takes to do everything because of the time it takes to photograph it. (blogging rule = if there's no photos, it didn't happen)

9. Talk with other bloggers. While I need to get better about this, it's always fun to collaborate with other people in the blogging world, or out of it too. While my husband and family might not enjoy the quizzes and questions I ask them for inspiration, other bloggers are usually more than willing to work with you to come up with fun new ideas for posts or linkups. Don't be afraid to reach out to some of your favorite bloggers to grow your idea and your reach.

10. Remember why you started - for most of us, we didn't start a blog to reach 10,000 followers or make a living writing every day. We started to share something we love with others or as a way to remember important parts of our lives. While they might not always be the most repined posts, other bloggers (okay, maybe just me) love to read the more personal posts about what's going on in your life. Share why you started your blog, update us on what's going on in your life, or share a fun personal story. Readers like to learn more about the person behind the blog and are almost always up for a personal post!


Hopefully these tips will help you when you run out of ideas, like I have the past couple weeks. Remember, it's okay to not post every single day and to take a break every now and then. Sometimes no post is better than a so-so post that's thrown together just so you have something. What helps you come up with things to fill this white space? What are your favorite posts to read?

6 comments :

  1. great tips...scheduling post helps SO much :)!

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  2. These are some great tips! I definitely love the schedule option!~

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  3. Wonderful tips! Lately for me, taking a little time off and stepping away has helped tremendously. In the beginning I was guilty at thinking I needed to post every single day. It was stressful and I got burnt out. Posting 2-3 times a week has helped me. I usually feel a lot more inspired and motivated too :)

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  4. Great tips! Keeping a small notebook with me has done wonders!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute ANgle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  5. Such good reminders. I think remembering why you started is a big one. I've recently joined a collaboration and it was nice to sit down with the founders and really get a chance to pick their brains. It refocused me quite a bit.

    We stick to a schedule usually 3 weeks out, with one day of randomness or fluff. Works well for us.

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  6. These are some great ideas! Scheduling and planning does make a huge difference. I wasn't feeling well this past weekend, so I stayed in bed mostly, but I made the most of it by working on my blog. I completely wrote and formatted two blog posts, I wrote all copy for a third (still needs to be formatted), I prepped my editorial calendar for the next three weeks, and I started a guest post. It's made this week so much easier!

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