In the past week or so, I’ve had the energy levels of a sloth. I.e. none. And that’s kind of bad when you a) work for yourself and b) your job relies heavily on your ability to be creative. Luckily for you and me, I’ve spent the past two years working hard at this blogging thing and so I’ve managed to learn a few tricks on how to brainstorm new blog post ideas when you’re stuck for inspiration. Here are all my very best tips:
Hop onto Pinterest
Until this year, I had pretty much no idea how Pinterest worked, let alone how to use it! Now, I’ve become a Pinterest user myself and I really see the benefits of the platform. It’s a visual search engine and works perfectly if you learn well by sight rather than text.
Search for something in the toolbar like ‘vintage’ or ‘Europe Travel’ and you’ll see millions of inspirational posts. Often, just seeing an image of something can be enough to inspire you to write something on a completely different topic! P.s. becoming a Pinterest user has not only given me oodles more inspiration for writing this blog, but it’s also helped me gain more traffic on this website. Read more: How to create amazing Pinterest Pins very quickly!
Figure out a problem people have (and then write about how to solve it)
And it doesn’t have to be a difficult problem at all. Instead, it can be something simple and easy to solve, the kind of thing you’d love to explain to someone. Tell someone how to pipe their icing properly if you love baking, explain to someone the benefits of Yoga if you love it. Figure out a problem someone might search for, and think about how you’d solve it.
Work to your strengths, because chances are, your knowledge will be useful to someone. Examples of posts I’ve done that readers have come back to me and told me it helped them include “how to create sunstars using your camera” and “Why You Should Visit Cité Florale” (an area of Paris the reader may never have heard of otherwise).
Look at your old content
If you’re like me, then your blog posts might often be of a short to medium length, and straight to the point. This means that in future, there’s plenty of room to build on something you’ve already written about, especially if you’re trying to brainstorm new blog post ideas. To give you one example, if you’ve done a ‘roundup of the best cafés in Paris‘, you could narrow your focus down and do a complete review of just one of the cafés on that list.
Make sure you have a suitable space to work in!
Inspiration creates more inspiration… so make sure that you have a good workspace. For me, this includes always having a caffeine fix to hand, a cosy knit and plenty of vintage postcards around my blogging space. Here are the top 10 things I keep in my blogging space!
Read a good book
When you’re trying to brainstorm new blog post ideas, sometimes the best thing you can do is to stop and focus on something else for a little while. In my 10 very best blogging tips, I say that one of the best ways to improve your knowledge base (as well as your writing- because most of us could always do with improving our craft!) is to read, read, and then read some more. When you’re stuck for ideas, reading something inspirational, or completely different to what you’d normally pick up is always useful.
Write what you’re passionate about
I’m a big believer in writing about what you’re really passionate about. I’ve already written why I think that finding a blogging niche sucks. If you get too wrapped up in focusing on one small thing, it’s easy to lose complete sight of the bigger picture. Instead, o where the writing takes you.
Go with the flow and where the writing takes you
Just sit and write. Write some more and continue writing. Don’t worry about the mistakes. Don’t worry about the errors. Just keep writing and see where it takes you. Besides, you can always edit and delete after! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and work on your blogging confidence so you don’t feel so scared to hit publish on that more personal piece you’ve been working on (we’ve all been there!)
I’m a big believer in Google being able to solve a whole load of problems (ha!) Search for current trends and get writing about what hasn’t been covered yet. Look at what your competitors are writing and seek out another angle to write from. Just never ever, ever, ever, ever copy someone else. Please, just don’t do it!
Go old school and brainstorm with pen and paper
Do you remember in school when you used to make those mind maps? Well, it’s because they kind of worked. And they kind of worked well. Put away your laptop (YouTube is a major distraction, anyway) and get out some pen and paper. Draw a mind map of things you could write about and narrow down your focus from there. Come up with a rough sketch (i.e. the city you want to write about, or the season you want to bake for) and work your ideas from there.
Focus on another hobby (at least for a little while)
Is your passion collecting coins? Do you love baking? Then go and do it. Take a break from writing your blog (unless, you know, you’re on a tight deadline- in which case stop reading this and stop procrastinating!) and focus on something else creative instead. When you stop putting so much pressure on yourself and your writing, you’ll find it so much easier to come up with new ideas.
Head outside for some fresh air
If all else fails when you’re trying to brainstorm new blog post ideas, then head out the door and take yourself on a walk for some fresh air. Rather ironically (or perhaps not so ironic if you consider this proof that the tip works), I sketched the draft for this blog post in my mind while out walking the dog. Heading out for some fresh air will help you to clear your mind while getting healthier in the meantime- which can only be a good thing!