Finding inspiration for your blog posts, videos or other types of content can be a real struggle sometimes. Even thinking up something to share on Facebook isn’t always easy.
Ever sat down to work on something and nothing happens? Happens to me all the time.
When I’m finding it hard to get creative and write or create content I take a look at this list and almost always find inspiration from somewhere.
1. Photographs and images
With all of these it depends on the type of blog you have, but for lots of us a photograph can be an easy source of inspiration for writing and creating content. It can be a photo you’ve taken recently or one from the past, or maybe you’ve seen a stock photo or a shot by another photographer or blogger that’s caught your interest.
Using the photograph as inspiration, is there anything you see, feel or are drawn to? It could be a place, a feeling, a memory or a colour even. Maybe looking at a photograph of your holiday to France in 2016 leads to you writing about the importance of taking a break every now and again, or someone’s Instagram of a much-loved book has reminded you to share a few words on how it changed your way of thinking. Or it could even be as simple as making you smile and putting you in the right place to find inspiration from somewhere else.
2. Your day
One of the easiest (and I’ve found quickest) things to write about is my day. It takes me hardly any time at all to reflect on a happy memory like the car journey to work with the kids, or something I’ve learned and could write about like the importance of not taking on too much work. It’s just happened so it’s nice and fresh in your mind. A bit like remembering a dream after you’ve just woken up, it’s easy to put into words.
If you’ve got a lifestyle blog then writing about your daily life, what you do and the places you go is almost second nature. It’s something you can talk about if you blog for your business too though – a blog or video behind the scenes is one of my favourites!
3. Current affairs
If you’re always reading the news and know what’s what in your industry then writing about current affairs and the latest changes can become a staple in your editorial calendar. It’s a really great way of demonstrating your expertise and gaining people’s attention – after all, if something’s new we want to know about it, right?
This is especially effective if you’re in a fast moving industry like tech, finance or consumer goods but it’ll work for just about anything. Every niche has its news, leaders and trends – writing about Etsy’s latest algorithm changes and what they mean for store owners is bound to be a hit with your crafting, entrepreneurial audience. And if you’re in lifestyle or parenting, how about sharing your take on the latest research or why you love the convenience of Deliveroo?
If something’s current or trending and you’re passionate about it, write about it!
4. Press releases
Ah, the good old press release. If you’re a blogger and you receive hundreds every week you might be tempted to send them all to your archive or trash.
Don’t! At least not without a quick glance.
As well as being a good source of potential collaborations with brands and companies, press releases can be a source of inspiration for original content too.
I’ve received media alerts that have contained seasonal lookbooks and insight into key trends and colours for the upcoming months – perfect for pulling together a blog on interiors trends for Autumn. I’ve also had ones containing key stats and research on the difficulties that parents face when it comes to work, survey results and data that can be worked into an opinion piece on something that’s trending and newsworthy.
Another great place to look is the #journorequest hashtag on Twitter – it’ll give you ideas on what’s newsworthy and even where you might be able to score an interview or feature in the media.
5. Other bloggers
I’m completely on the side of being original and authentic but, as long as you’re not repurposing other people’s work or infringing copyright, taking inspiration from other bloggers and thought leaders is fine. More than fine, in fact!
Have you ever read something and felt compelled to say ‘me too’ or even ‘you’re so wrong’? Next time, why not turn that into a blog post or video blog. Be inspired by someone’s post on why you should spend 20 hours a day hustling on your business and share your take on why you hustle 24/7 or why you’re a believer in building things slowly.
Reading other blogs, looking out for bloggers’ conversations with commenters and on social media is also a way to find questions to answer in your own content. If lots of people are asking how to run a Facebook Ad campaign and you’re Queen of Ads take it as a sign and write, write, write!
6. Other media
As well as blogs and social media, try other forms of media for inspiration too. If you’ve got a stack of magazines to read (like me) why not spend a few minutes looking through them to see if they spark an idea?
Here’s where you can tick off watching Netflix as being productive too – there might be a detail in a show or a documentary that makes you think of an amazing idea for a blog or video.
On a simpler level, the magazine, newspaper or show might become the subject of your content itself. Writing a review of a new film or why you think a fashion magazine should be more diverse are both examples of taking inspiration from the media around you.
7. Your memories
Sometimes our minds are already full of the best ideas – we just need to find them.
Like photographs, memories can bring on an emotional reaction or take you back to a place, inspiring you to create something. They might even inspire your best work yet.
If you’ve been stuck for inspiration I hope this list has given you a few ideas. I’d love to know yours too – how do you find inspiration when you’re feeling stuck?