Here’s the gosh darn truth, putting together a blog content calendar can at times feel tedious. There was a period of time when we were knee deep in the thick muck of way too many brand projects at once and though I wanted to maintain the blog it felt impossible. I was daily coming up with tomorrow’s post and I had lost all control of my content calendar. It was the fly-by-the-seat-of-pants kind of times in my blogging career that I am not proud of. In all honesty, it started making me dread the blog, a space I dearly love, all because I couldn’t come up with good ideas on the fly lead alone concept them and shoot them or plan a content calendar. Silly me.
As any moment such as that leaves you, I realized I needed to rethink how I dealt with planning content before I lost why I began the space in the first place. After years of a lot of learning, I know that a content calendar isn’t the only piece maintaining love for a blog. My problem in my busy schedule was how do I create a content calendar full of fresh and original content ideas? That is the question. Sometimes coming up with ideas is easy, but at times it can be a little daunting to work through it every season. In another post, we will cover how we maintain our content calendar and other tricks we use make sure we are producing the content we want to, but today, I wanted to share 5 ways we stay inspired when generating content ideas.
These 5 tricks we use to keep ideas coming and feeling fun and inspired all while on brand and the most important part is that we make sure they have a place to be a captured. That said, before you start down any path of generating ideas, always make sure you have a place to write them down to refer to later when creating your content calendar. Evernote is great for this, but use what works for you. Here are the 5 ways we develop inspired blog content:
- Head to the Book Store:
This sounds funny, but sometimes when I am just needing some extra inspiration or room to mentally breathe about a new idea, I will step into a bookstore. Sometimes seeing how things function in print makes all the difference. I love to see what Martha Stewart is doing and InStyle and other travel and food magazines. I love seeing things in physical form and magazines have always been a huge inspiration to me since I was young. Now, I still give myself a budget every year to purchase magazines and books that get my juices flowing. Also, it is fun to see what titles sit on the shelves in the store, and sometimes that alone can help me generate new ideas.
- Listen to what people are talking about around you:
Don’t be an eavesdropper, but whether it is a convo with a friend looking for help in a relationship or someone you overhear talking in line at the coffee shop, take note of how it could possibly become content inspiration. Some of our favorite blog posts have come from just listening to the people around us and what they are discussing and needing help with.
- Look back through Your Pinterest:
If you are a regular pinner, head to your page and look back at your pins. What are you looking for? Trends. See what you are gravitating to subconsciously. This is where I have come up with ideas for Interior stories and Style stories. I am not saying look at what other people are creating. I am talking about see what you are into. If you are pinning a ton of army jackets, maybe you need to talk about that this week? It is a good reminder of what you love and sometimes that is the kick in the pants we need.
- Self Reflect:
I am someone who needs room to just reflect and think nearly every other day if not daily. If I don’t get this I start to go insane. It is a key part of my creative process. Now, having a baby that time is slimmer and less likely to happen like it used to, but during those times this is when I can figure out what kinds of topics I need to talk about. What I mean is that sometimes by self-reflecting we can discover things we might need to solve for ourselves. Meaning if you are struggling to figure out SEO maybe a blog post would be a great time to do a ton of research and learn about it so you can write a post about it after you have implemented some of those things yourself. Or more often it is reflecting on what has been happening in life and what you have learned from maybe a really tough week. Is there something there that is worth writing about and sharing?
- Just go and do:
My favorite blog posts usually come from us just deciding we want to go hike a new trail or see a specific thing, or like this week, I really want to go pick some strawberries. We shoot it and share it. Having a blog is an awesome opportunity to inspire us to go and experience new things that maybe we wouldn’t otherwise. Some people may not like that pressure, but we love it and I would probably say most people who blog would agree. So, that trip near or far you have been dreaming may be the perfect thing to inspire a slew of new content. For instance, we wanted to go to London, so we did. It inspired probably about 10 pieces of content because we talked about all levels of the process of going and doing the trip. An experience is always a great way to create fresh content.
As you do these things, add the ideas that surface into an ever growing and long list on an Evernote so when you sit down to plan out the next month of your content you have some really solid and genuine ideas for what you want to share.
So how do you generate new ideas and work through concepting new ideas for your blog? Does it ever feel overwhelming to you? What tricks have you developed to make it feel fun and inspiring as it should?