I do not think I’ll ever feel truly qualified to give blogging advice. It seems relatively common to write posts doling out personal guides on blogging advice and while I’ve always enjoyed reading these posts I don’t feel like I can write one. Who am I to give out blogging advice? I’ve been blogging for 2 1/2 years and most of the time I still find myself tapping away at the keyboard unsure of what I’m really doing. SEO? Sponsored posts? Pretty, bright images with marble backdrops and faux fur rugs? I can’t give you unique advice on these topics and I can’t imagine I’ll be able to any time soon.
Over the past month or so I’ve noticed an influx of posts regarding writer’s block, or in this case “blogger’s block”. A few of the authors of blogs I enjoy have quit blogging all together or decided to take a breaks for undetermined lengths of time. I’ve seen bloggers posting on twitter asking for suggestions on what to blog about and though I’m not trying to criticize I can’t help but wonder “If you’re a lifestyle blogger who can’t brainstorm an idea about what to write about…is blogging really the hobby for you?“. I realize that we all have days we don’t want to blog, I’ve taken a couple days off here and there to go on vacation or attend to life’s other responsibilities but I’ve never even dreamed of quitting blogging due to the lack of post ideas. I’m working on a novel and from that standpoint I understand writer’s block. There are times I need to step away and stop working on it because I’m out of ideas but as a lifestyle blogger I don’t fully understand blogger’s block.
If you’re writing about your own life and experiences how do you run out of topics to write about? How do you burn out on blogging when you’re only documenting you? I’m not asking to ostracize but because I am genuinely confused! Though I can’t say I completely understand blogger’s block (I have yet to experience it) I would like to offer up a few reasons why I believe my blogging rhythm naturally combats blogger’s block without forcing me to ever turn to the guide’s that offer up “30 topics to blog about when you’re in a rut”.
1| WRITE WHAT YOU WANT TO WRITE ABOUT
Unless you’re blogging as a source of income or cultivating a very specific niche blog there is no reason why you should ever run out of topics to blog about (even when your life is boring). Write about test anxiety, write about your favorite childhood summer memories, write about why you wish Spiderman was your boyfriend, write about your favorite stores to buy jeans, write about Carrie Bradshaw’s killer shoe collection…the options are endless. When you are a lifestyle blogger you can write about whatever you want-you can provide as much (or as little) insight into your personal life as you please. You can write in long, ranting paragraphs or you can write in neatly bulleted lists. You can write using the incorrect you’re and your combos (though I think we all hope to avoid that). When you feel stifled by your blog or unsure about what you should write about, step away from the computer and meditate on where your mind has been wandering lately. Write about what you think about, it’s so simple!
2| STOP TRYING TO BE TRENDY ALL THE TIME
Major disclaimer right off the bat, I’m not saying you should not write about trendy topics. I am all for reading tips on caring for succulents, enhancing my instagram photos and creating natural skin care remedies. These topics are trendy but it’s because there is a large audience demanding them-lots of people want to know how to keep their skin clear, and since there are thousands of way to care for your skin it only makes sense that hundreds of bloggers can (and should) share their tips. However the problem arises when we spend so much time reading other blogs that we subconsciously feel compelled to write about what everyone else is writing about (even if our perspective isn’t anything new or different). The Netflix documentary “Fed Up” has been all over my Bloglovin feed lately and I understand…it’s probably a pretty eye opening film. Am I tempted to watch Fed Up? Yes! But, unless I have any new and insightful commentary regarding the film I don’t plan on blogging about it. This is not to criticize those who have written about it (each post I’ve read has been thoughtful and indicated the film clearly stirred up some sort of emotional response) but rather I’d like to compare this sort of “bandwagon blogging” to a Facebook feed. I currently cannot log on to Facebook without five hundred Caitlyn Jenner articles slapping me in the face. Even if the topic is interesting at some point it becomes over-saturated and therefore under appreciated. Rather than wasting your beautiful writing, thoughtful commentary and heart full of emotions on the same old redundant topics ask yourself if you can offer a new topic or at the very least a new twist on a trending topic. I want to appreciate your writing and it’s hard to despite your superior eloquence when it seems like a repeat of the exact same information I’ve just read ten other times.
3| LET YOURSELF WRITE ABOUT TOPICS THAT YOUR READERS MIGHT NOT CARE ABOUT EVERY SO OFTEN
I’ll be the first to admit one of my favorite parts about blogging is the comments. Not only do I love connecting with readers and other bloggers but I often measure how well received a post of mine was based on the number of comments it received. I think we all subconsciously cater our content towards content that has been positively received in the past. It’s smart that we do this-it’s good marketing! Every so often I think it is important to step away from this model and write about what your heart is calling you whether or not it fits the mold of what your readers like. The post about your anniversary may not get as many comments or re-pins as your post about the best Mean Girls quotes of all time but it is necessary. By allowing yourself to rehash an important moment, feeling or topic you are hitting the “refresh” button in your brain and blasting your blog with a breath of fresh air. Though the “YOU” content won’t necessarily gain readers it adds a touch of dimension and purity to your blog. Real people have multiple interests, real people care about more than recaps of the Bachelor and chick flick quotes. Your readers will appreciate small glimpses into this real person-hood even if it’s just an occasional post about sports on your beauty and fashion blog.
4| TAKE BREAKS WHENEVER YOU NEED THEM
I try to blog 5 days a week every single week and most weeks I’m more or less successful. There are weeks I blog 4 times, weeks I hit the mark at 5 times and then there are the weeks that I struggle to post 3 times and feel like the worst blogger in the world. I know I’m not the only one who feels bad when I fail to show up to the blogger party however I think it is the mini breaks I’ve taken (both purposefully and unintentionally) that have allowed me to remain passionate about blogging. Though I aim for 5 days a week I don’t let myself stress when I miss a post now and then because I’m busy with work or my friends or a netflix binge. Just as we all need mental health days from school or work we need mental health days from blogging. The days I don’t blog aren’t an indication of my lack of love for blogging but an opportunity to focus on another portion of my life. Give yourself this luxury without beating yourself up and I pinky promise it will pay off in the longevity of your blogging stamina!
5| COLLECT INSPIRATION EVERYWHERE
You can never be sure when an idea for a blog post will hit you! Often times I’ll mentally “write” a sentence that later ends up sprouting the idea for a blog post about feelings or some crazy theory I have about relationships. My brain is moving too fast to remember all of my “brilliant” ideas so I carry a notebook with me everywhere. I take notes on blog post ideas, articulations of feelings, quotes from my friends or books or just ideas that interest me whenever I can. I always have a running list of “ideas” in my phone and I occasionally speak my feelings out loud via voice memo because hearing them back later provides further insight into how I truly feel. I’m not necessarily suggesting you become as self-obsessed with examining your emotions as me but I do highly recommend some method of collecting inspiration. You never know what that insightful comment your bestie made regarding gender roles could inspire! I’ve found so much blog inspiration from personal journaling (that I would never publish here), conversations with friends and other blogs or articles. Capture those beautiful fleeting ideas and allow them to continue inspiring you!
I know I’m quite verbose but I truly believe you and that beautiful brain of yours have SO much to say, so many ideas to share and so many minds to inspire that you don’t need to experience a writer’s block when it comes to your blog. Some posts will be better than others. Some days you’ll be overflowing with motivation and others you’ll look back on and wonder “Why on earth did I feel the need to write that?”. I truly believe the most beneficial aspect of blogging is an outlet and motivation to write every day. I know some of my rants will be silly and useless but others will be meaningful. I truly believe the best ways to combat any sort of writing block is to just sit down and write!
Have you ever experienced “Blogger’s Block”? How have you combatted it? Do you have suggestions that are different from mine? I would love to hear them!