I’ve been blogging in various capacities for about five years now, and a consistent challenge I’ve noted amongst fellow bloggers over that period of time is continuing to maintain the inspiration—and often even motivation—to create content. Writer’s block, anyone? Like this Blogging.org contributor says you gotta “keep it coming“! This post will help you in finding inspiration for content.
This is something I can most certainly identify with. I recently, though, came up with a solution to combat such creative blocks and it seems to have worked for me so far.
Let me preface that statement by saying one of my primary blogs is writing about “life” in the city where I live. So: places to dine, events to attend, people to know, places to shop, venues to hear the best music, etc. Knowing that, you can imagine there’s most certainly something to write about with every turn of my head (that’s not always the case). What I decided to do quite some time ago is take my camera with me everywhere I go–of course, I always have my iPhone as well–and am constantly aware and alert of my surroundings and how I might find inspiration and relevant content around me. It works!
While this is not all-encompassing by any means, here are a few tools that facilitate inspiration for me personally.
Like many, Instagram has quickly become a major obsession of mine. It’s a fantastic creative outlet for me personally, and once I set up an account for my local blog it became a hyper-sensitive way for myself and my blog partner to connect with our blog fans. It’s really become a tool that drives motivation, inspiration, and ideation for me and many times the photos I post become great sources of ideas to build content around.
One way to do this is to follow other Instagramers who post photos of things that interest you, are similar to things you post about, and also to search for hashtags (e.g., “#livemusic” or “#fashion”). One of the keys to connect with other content creators on Instagram is by way of #hashtags.
Twitter is a great way to get ideas for content. Exchanging ideas and conversation can never be a bad thing, right?! I don’t know how my activity compares to that of the average Twitter user but I’d say I’m pretty active on a daily basis. Word on the street, too, is that Twitter hasn’t even piqued yet, so I’m eager to see what sort of new ideas come from this outlet in the future. For me I follow thought leaders in my space, companies and/or brands I think are “doing things right” in the space, and folks in my city (relevant to my localized blog) that might help spark ideas or blog posts.
As with Instragram, hashtags on Twitter are quite useful. Most folks active on Twitter utilize hashtags to follow conversations of interest or keep up with topics of certain subjects, events, etc. If you’ve never used hashtags on Twitter, just type in a keyword in the “search” field at the top of the application.
Facebook is probably the least “inspirational” tool for me. Sure, I get ideas from people I follow, brands that I’ve “Liked”, and just content I run across in general, but I wouldn’t say it’s a major source of inspiration for me. I also rarely promote my posts on Facebook – unless it’s specifically relevant to the audience I’ve acquired there.
While the three tools referenced above are all great ways to facilitate inspiration, nothing can compete with the good ‘ole camera. At least for me, anway. As I mentioned previously, I pretty much have my camera on-hand at all times. It’s not necessarily convenient, so when I’m out somewhere that’s not the best place to carry a camera, I have my phone accessible.
Do you find these tools useful to spark inspiration? What other sources do you use? Another great article here on Blogging.org you might find useful is John Rampton’s “A Quick List of 47 Ways to Find Content Ideas” (good thought-starters here).