Daily blogging is one of those things that appears deceptively easy, especially for a “generalist” blog written without much specific expertise in the field needed, which is often the case for lifestyle blogs—but that’s true for many others as well, such as personal finance or hobby-specific sites. However, what you’ll find, as I did, if you actually try to put up quality content every day is that staying inspired with enough ideas to create posts that will genuinely interest you and your readers each and every day requires great time management, planning, and a strategic plan just to stay inspired.
Yesterday, I opened my WordPress editor to find that there was absolutely nothing left in my “inspiration tank.” I had already talked about most of what was a current lifestyle inspiration to me, and the other things I’d tried recently weren’t noteworthy.
This blog is a creative project for me, and the last thing I want to do is make so many rules that I hinder myself from producing work that feels right and creatively fulfilling. I think that’s the case for many people who start a blog. However, I believe that some rough guidelines that can be incorporated to increase the number of things you are genuinely bursting to share about. I know I definitely don’t want to make opening the editor and wanting to write but having nothing to share a habit.
Another factor to consider is that when it comes to daily blogging about a topic, genuine inspiration and excitement can go a long way, especially around a topic like health and fitness. The way you feel will inevitably seep into sentence structure, diction, and punctuation, and people will sense your level of passion and authenticity. That in itself can be part of a competitive advantage. Not to mention the more driven and inspired you are to learn about and develop within your topic area, the more likely you are to become knowledgeable and consequently a source of value for your readers.
Below are some of the personal guidelines I created to stay inspired with blogging.
Try New Things Every Day With an Open Mind
This one’s obvious, but it has to be done with a good attitude. So many of the new things I try with good intentions don’t meet my expectations. Keeping the why behind why I’m doing this top of mind will serve me to wade through some of the new lifestyle trends and products that I wouldn’t necessarily have the motivation to try otherwise. I would never know about my favourite podcast, type of exercise, book or many other favourites if I hadn’t taken a risk at some point.
Whether it’s recipes, podcasts, new running tips and tricks, a new health routine or product, I really want to try each one with perspective. I may be looking for the next gem, but I have to realize that most of what’s out there is not going to be it and that that’s par for the course. As a blogger, I need to look at that reality objectively and not let myself get disappointed. From a numbers perspective, if I only know about and try as many things as the next person, I won’t be a more valuable source of knowledge and information than anyone else who is mildly interested in the topics I write about.
Write It Out (Privately)
Jotting down my thoughts about the things I’ve done, want to do, or even blog posts I’d like to write privately can create an iceberg structure where the tip, or best content, is the only thing that appears on the site. Not only is this a covert type of quality assurance, it also makes you a better writer.
Writing regularly keeps my analytical thinking skills fresh, getting me in the habit of noticing details and knowing what makes a great product, service, or way of doing something. Even though blog-writing is conversational, knowing what to share and with what level of detail is a skill that can be refined, and the more refined it is, the easier it will be to apply that skill.
Getting good at knowing what contributes to a good experience and what doesn’t will doubtlessly improve the value you can provide to readers. It’s about becoming a better, more perceptive communicator while making sure you never run out of ideas or a direction that can inform what to try next.
Incorporate Repeating Segments
Igor Stravinsky wrote that “The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self of the chains that shackle the spirit.” I believe Stravinsky’s point was that the more constraints there were on the creation of his music, the more he’d need to rely on the power of his creativity to overcome them, which in turn could reveal the true breadth of that creativity. This may be as true for music as it is for blogging, and in some ways, constraints actually invite creativity and inspiration.
Having a few structural and formatting parameters that narrow down the area within which you need to be creative can open up a well of inspiration and creativity that wasn’t there. I know that as a reader, I enjoy the repeating posts on other people’s blogs, be they roundup /favourites posts, a reading digest, or a what I eat in Wednesday post. The options are endless, but giving yourself and your readers something to rely on on a weekly or twice-monthly basis can be a great way to really focus your creative blogging potential.
A great place to find ideas for the types of repeating segments to include on your blog is magazines. They usually contain a significant amount of front-book matter that repeats in each issue. One of my favourite examples of this type of content is the 1500-calorie menu for a day of eating that Women’s Health magazine used to do each month.
Read, Listen, and Watch Mindfully
When I researched other people’s advice regarding staying inspired while blogging, this was often the first piece of guidance, and for good reason. Seeing the way other people have approached the same or a similar task as you can start churning your idea mill. So it’s priceless for that, and I couldn’t not include it!
However, I’ve noticed that reading, watching, and listening to too much of what other creators and publications are coming up with, or not doing it mindfully, can actually erode my unique perspective in a way. In an oversaturated blogosphere, I know that my unique, individual perspective is one of my biggest assets when it comes to positioning my site, so simply copying what someone else is doing is a bad idea. I want everything I write here to deeply resonate because when it does, I know it encompasses and agrees with the sum of that unique perspective that is so valuable.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop reading other, more successful sites and publications in my space, only that I’m going to distinguish between when I like something as a reader and when it resonates with me as a creator. I will likely always need to tweak other people’s ideas just a little to have them fit into my own niche and perspective. For example, a few paragraphs ago, I mentioned Women’s Health’s 1500-calorie day menu. Well, if I did that for this website, it would not only look different visually, but it would be plant-based because that’s part of what this blog is about.
In conclusion for this tip, I think it’s crucial that when you’re reading to gain inspiration, you appropriate other people’s ideas and make them your own. To do that, you’ll have to be clear on what your unique perspective is! I know that word tends to have a negative connotation, but it’s just a part of the creative process in this case.
Do you have a unique way of staying inspired for your blog? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment and tell me what your website is about and what tricks you use to keep yourself from running out of content.