Thursday, February 20, 2014

Blogging Inspiration

Blogging is weird, don't ya think? We come to this place and we spill our deepest, darkest secrets for strangers on the internet to read. We talk about our parents, our relationships, our fears and doubts. Sometimes we say things we wouldn't think of saying to our closest friends. A lot of bloggers even keep their blogs secret from everyone in their real life.

Not only is it weird as you-know-what, blogging is hard too. It can seem like a full time job at times - for some people it is their full time job (can someone teach me how to do that?). Anyway, back to my point. Blogging, it's hard. You have to learn the "rules." Sometimes you have to deal with hateful comments or "cliques." On top of all of that you have to come up with original content several times a week, and where the hell are you supposed to come up with all of that?

There are a few things for me that are usually a shoe-in for getting some blogging inspiration:

Take a shower, a nap, or go on a drive. Just do something relaxing. I find that some of my best ideas come to me when I'm not even trying to think of ideas. They pop into my head as I'm washing my hair or drifting off to sleep. 

Read other blogs. Not only can other bloggers give you ideas for your post, but sometimes you can straight up copy another blogger's idea (with permission) and make it your own. I did exactly that when I wrote about my life in numbers, after Nadine wrote about hers. If you don't use the same idea as another blogger, it is always fun to write a rebuttal post to something you agree/disagree with.

Browse the internet. Have you heard of Buzzfeed? (If not then where the hell have you been?) I am always browsing, not just for my own entertainment, but there are literally thousands of blog topic ideas at my fingertips. I also like to browse Pinterest (the quotes section is a goldmine) and The Berry to get my creative juices flowing.

Write down every idea. Even if it's just half an idea - write it down. Whether you keep an actual notebook or planner, or you just save it in the notes section of your phone, you need to save it somewhere. Sometimes I will write down an idea and it will expand on its own accord, and sometimes I have to leave it for a few days or so and when I come back to it I'll have a new outlook or more ways to expound on it. I literally have about forty posts in drafts from where I've just written a sentence (or a word or to) to be visited later.

And because I'm feeling extra nice today, here are some post ideas for you to use, free of charge:

Tell a story. Most embarrassing moment (bet you can't beat mine). Your first kiss. A time when you were proud or scared. Any story will do. 

Write a letter to yourself. Whether it's your past or future self, it's always fun to pretend it's normal to be talking to yourself, right? 

How to... think of something out of the box. How to successfully go a whole day without wearing real pants. How to be the best tailgater at a college/NFL football game. Or you can write about how NOT to do something. Everyone knows how to do at least one thing with above average skill. Write about it.

Write about a hot/controversial topic. Kelly Cuoco wearing a pink wedding dress. Living with your boyfriend before marriage. Drinking on weeknights. Having/not having children. Go on, tell us how you really feel. I (double dog) dare you.

I really don't want to sound like a corny asshat here, but just remember with all blog posts you write, stay true to yourself and your writing style. Even when borrowing topic ideas, try to make them your own. Your readers love you for you, not for who you are trying to be. And with that, I'm done. Peace out, girl scouts.

This post was originally featured as a guest post on I Wore Yoga Pants to Work.


Samantha said...

These are such good ideas! And you're right, we're all a bunch of weirdos telling strangers our crazy secrets :) But good weirdos, right?

The Handey Way said...

I think it's time for Whitney to make a Blogging is Weird shirt. After all, it's true and so many of us say it... and prove it.

I still die a little when I read your most embarrassing story. So much awkwardness.

Anonymous said...

Great ideas dude. I shall put them in to affect immediately.

Whitney Alison said...

I have to remind myself to just be me when I write. Not to try and be like all the other bloggers. I think that's the hardest part of this weird hobby, the comparisons. Great post! I love your tips.

Lena @shinystout said...

Thanks, Love! I tend to write down ideas on my iPhone under reminders. Best posts come from middle of the night thoughts and AM coffee!!

Amy @The Crazy Wise Woman said...

I started keeping a notebook not too long ago and I find it is really helping me get ahead which is key for me. I tend to stress way more about it than I should. Sometimes the most random thought makes a great post! And if I can get it done in advance yee hawww!!!!

Sidney said...

I was reading this and thinking "goddamn this is some intense dejavu" and then I saw that you originally posted on IWYP and immediately felt less crazy lol. Loved the post then and still do!

Jay T said...

I'm so glad you did this because I've been feeling like I'm in a slump lately! Buzzfeed is usually my go-to for post ideas, but then I just get sucked into it and forget to actually blog.

Lisa @ Two Martinis said...

... or you can get engaged / knocked up / married. Then you all of a sudden have a MILLION new prompts to choose from.

Just sayin'! ;-)

Also, when you become a full time professional blogger, please remember me and teach me how it's done!

Sarah said...

Thank you for this!! I feel like I've been in a slump with ideas, this totally helps!

Fairy Princess Jord said...

Love these tips! I have started writing down every potential blog idea I have...even if I don't know exactly the direction I want it to go. I know I will never expand on some of the ideas that come to me in class /in the shower/on a run but others have become some of my very favorite posts.

Amanda - Voyage of the MeeMee said...

Great tips! I keep a notebook and I can't tell you how many times it's saved me!

Kayla MKOY said...

Not afraid to admit that I keep a little notepad with me like at all times to write down ANY and all ideas that come to mind for my little blog! Love this post, ma'am!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you about the notebook-it's a blogger's essential tool.


Eva Marie Taylor said...

How to not wear real pants for a whole about blogging about what you're an expert at! I am your girl on this one! Haha. But seriously, great tips. I try to jot down every half formed idea into my notes app on my iPhone, especially when I am woken up with a brilliant idea in the middle of the night...except it usually turns out to be not so brilliant, but why not blog about it anyway, right?!
Eva Marie

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