Every now and then a blogging drought comes along, writers block, lack of inspiration, what ever you want to call it, it happens to us all. I decided to write some tips for what helps me when I’m going through this stage, what tools help and what can make things worse.
FIND A NEW DIRECTION
Firstly it should never be about products, I’ve stopped doing as many reviews, whether they’ve been paid for by myself or sent. Reason being everyone else will be writing about the same thing. Unless of course it’s a passionate subject of mine like skincare I’ll make an exception but I’ll always to make it fact worthy and give a little more insight into skincare, how ingredients work together, similar items etc.
I’m finding I’m writing more about topics than specific products, things that I find interesting, things I think will help people. So here’s an example.
I purchased a neon nail polish from Claire’s accessories the other week, now usually I would soley write about that product but instead I decided I wanted to make it into an article on orange nail polishes under £5. You see how it can turn what others could writing about ( say if you all got sent or bought the same product) into something more unique. All the other nail polishes were ones I’d also bought and 2 were old items but still available to buy. So don’t pressurise yourself on buying new things all the time.
When I’m having a blogging drought I DON’T read other blogs, it distracts me. I put my blog blinkers on and pick up magazines, old and new, look at pinterest, tumblr, create a mood board. This helps greatly, start by forgetting what everyone else is doing and write a list of things YOU like and things you like to read in magazines. It may be features, Edits, wishlists, the hottest new looks… grab a cuppa, a notebook and pen down all these things.
DON’T LET YOUR BLOG TAKE CONTROL
I often see in blogger chats that people hate their blog or that it’s a huge burden, if that’s how you are feeling, stop and take a little break. It’s never good to work on something you don’t enjoy, it shows in your writing and efforts. This happened to me during a spell on YouTube, I was stressed and going through a bad time but felt I had to keep making videos, I should have stopped then but it wasn’t until people were commenting saying I looked and sounded sad that I decided to take a break. It did the World of good and when I came back everyone left comments saying how the video quality was better and that I looked happier.
I do understand that strange pressure you feel to keep up with people and the fear of missing out on specific topics. The truth is if you have a loyal readership they will wait. Take time out and re-design your blog, maybe not necessarily aesthetically as that can be costly and time consuming but in the content style. Make sure you schedule a full weeks worth of posts before announcing your back to blogging as the last thing you need is the pressure of blogging on time again. Each week aim to have a week done and ready to go in advance so if you are busy or a bit poorly or simply can’t be bothered then your timetable won’t suffer.
This is a tricky one, as a parent and working part-time my schedule is a little hectic so I try my best to work around my personal life to create the best blog I can. Set yourself a timetable for uploading if it helps, you may decide a Monday, Wednesday, Saturday is best so on your day off get writing some posts and schedule them for these specific days. If you can’t write everyday don’t. It’s better to have 3 well presented posts that 7 shitty rushed ones that show no real thought. Below will help you in getting organised…
THE TOOLS THAT CAN HELP
Obviously a diary is my number one, I use a filofax that organises my life basically. I write down what I need to do each day as I’m somewhat of a procrastinator so can waste hours thinking about how to be organised instead of well, just being!
The notes app helps greatly for when I don’t have my diary near by and gives me inspiration when I’m lacking it.
mycal: Calendar and events organiser app is great for seeing your full months events on the screen
Stationary: Of course highlighters, timetables, to-do lists all help to and if you’re like me you still like to write things down.
Timers can also help, some of my better work is done to a strict deadline so I can work well under pressure, however if I’m tired I’m likely to throw that timer in the bin!
When you’re on the train, in the car or on lunch you may suddenly have an idea for a future post, writing down all my ideas has given me lots to work with on days when my abysmal memory fails me and so I reach for my notes and feel organised again. If you have a filofax or even folder get some dividers and separate them into blog,videos, to-do or if you don’t do YouTube you may prefer to section your topics like this, Hauls, Reviews, Wishlists, Fashion etc that way when you think “today I’ll do a fashion post” you can look into this section and see what ideas you have. I’ve had loads of inspiration for posts on public transport and if it hadn’t have been for my notes I would have definitely forgotten them. This also stops you from writing about the same topics at the same time as other bloggers as you’ve reached into your own inspo file!
So this is my final tip, it’s a subject I still try to perfect as HD quality and technology improves I feel my images and videos need to follow suit. This doesn’t always mean the higher the price of equipment the higher the quality. If you haven’t got a DSLR don’t sweat, I still prefer my digital camera for product images, the colour is better, I can get in closer and work at more unusual angles with it being a smaller device. Phones have amazing kit on them now so you can email yourself the images, crop them and bang them on the post.
The things that people gravitate towards the most are images with fresh white backgrounds, clarity, interesting angles and arrangement. Adding a small flower in the same shade as the lipstick is a nicely thought out touch. Arranging makeup as if it has fallen out of your bag looks chic and images of home cooked meals can look professional.
I hope these tips have helped, we pressurise ourselves and almost battle over blogging but it’s not a competition, we’re all just showcasing our passion whether it be beauty writing, fashion, cooking or photography. We should work together and boost each other more. Expect a post on my favourite blogs and why soon!