I’ve signed up for BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo online challenge. The challenge is to blog every single day in November. I realize my proverbial plate is already full but I strive to blog daily anyway, challenge or no challenge. With NaBloPoMo, I can share that experience with other inspired bloggers and earn the right to display a pretty cool badge on my domain. The reason daily blog posts can be a challenge is usually a matter of time and topic.
It takes time to prep, write, photograph, edit and upload a blog post. It’s satisfying but is definitely time consuming. I’m still struggling with finding the time to write. As for topics, I have a few tips on how to keep the inspiration flowing.
Take notes…everywhere and anywhere. Keep a running list of events, art, food, jokes, music, whatever inspires you as you go through your day. Most phones have a note-taking app or just keep a little notebook on you. Instead of just thinking, “that would make a great blog post”, write it or type it. You don’t need to write an entire outline, just a line, a phrase or word to rekindle the thought later. This list will be invaluable when you’re at your laptop ready to write.
Become a shutterbug. Carry your camera everywhere. Snap shots of the great outdoors, a beautifully presented meal, the gorgeous dress that makes your heart sing or the molding on the wonderful old building you pass every day on your way to work. One picture could inspire an entire blog post or a series of shots with a common thread could be combined for a future post. You can also use images to provide visual interest on a motivational essay post. Or, if one Wednesday, words have escaped you, you can at least participate in the very popular blogger’s “Wordless Wednesday” where participating bloggers everywhere post a beautiful or thoughtful image sans words.
Read everything you can get your hands on, mags, blogs, news, books. Time is tight but you can still find time to read a little here and there. During your lunch break, waiting in the car for your kids, at the doctor’s office, all those little pockets of time where you feel impatient waiting can instead be moments of reading and inspirational pleasure. Did you know? Claire Cook, the author of Must Love Dogs, wrote her entire first novel in a minivan at 5 am outside her kids’ swim practice. Why read? By reading, you’ll keep abreast of trends, news and community events . All of which could be the topic or the spin on a future post.
Remember, the everyday is not boring, it’s relatable. Many aspiring bloggers worry their life is too boring and not interesting subject matter for a blog. Some of the most popular blogs and blog posts have to do with the everyday. A love of cooking, diy home improvement, self reflection, tackling life’s challenges, meeting your personal finance goals and street style are all topics readers can relate to. Social media, including blogs, is about engagement. Readers and followers may be interested in the lofty or the glamorous at times but someone they can relate to will also get their loyal attention.
Last but not least, inspiration is not literal. The great picture you shot of a rainbow could become the image and inspiration for a post about always chasing the elusive pot at the end of the rainbow in life. The article in Vogue about what a fabulous fashion editor is packing in her equally fabulous Goyard duffel for a road trip to the Hamptons can inspire a blog post about what a bride to be should throw in her carryon for a destination wedding in Maui. A book on vintage decor could be the jumpstart for a post on ten different ways to reuse mason jars.
I do write a lifestyle blog so I write about a variety of topics but you can still be inspired by anything and everything even if your blog is to promote your business or is specific in topic. A local chef could write a post on the slow food movement and how local fresh products can enhance any recipe. Beach bungalow or shabby chic decor trends could inspire a wedding planner’s series of posts about different non-traditional options for a wedding reception. A real estate agent could blog about shopping and dining in a certain area to give clients a taste of what their life would be like if they bought a home in that neighborhood. A full time author can give us a sneak peek into their writer’s studio.
How do you find inspiration?