WHERE I GET MY INSPIRATION FOR BLOG POSTS
A big part of being a blogger obviously has to do with writing. Personally, when I have an idea for a post, the first thing I think about is the writing. Unless I’m styling an outfit or thinking of a specific photographic concept for Instagram, where it’s more about the pictures themselves, words always come before pictures when it comes to my actual blog.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t take picture-taking seriously. Sometimes, a shoot will take longer than writing an actual post… Especially when you consider setting up the shoot and editing the pictures. But in the early stage of planning a post, in my head, it’s all about the words. The photos are more like the second stage of the planning, once I’m done with the post itself.
But what about when I can’t even think about the right words, let alone a topic to write about? Writer’s block hits all of us at some point, even the most successful authors.
As some of you know, the past 2 weeks have been spent recreating the whole blog from scratch, so I didn’t write any new content. Yet, I have been super inspired to write about a variety of topics, which got me thinking about inspiration.
Inspiration is a funny thing, in that it sometimes hits when you least expect it… Or need it. Like when you’re already full of ideas, you keep getting more and more. And then when you really have a deadline and no ideas… Crickets.
We’ve all been there. But the good news is, inspiration is also literally everywhere. And while we all get inspired by different things, today I wanted to share with you guys the places where I find the most inspiration.
Right before I start, I need to say that I won’t be focusing on outfit posts or recipes here, because inspiration for those is more specific, and quite frankly, everywhere. I’ll be focusing more on lifestyle and opinion posts, and everything that has to do with giving advice or a useful tip. Let’s start, shall we?
Magazines are a really cool source of inspiration, because they contain a ton of information about various topics. I mean sure, some magazines are pretty specific. But most magazines I read (Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, W, etc.) cover a variety of topics like fashion, yes, but also beauty, food, lifestyle, personal development and then some. Coincidentally (or not) these are also pretty much the topics I touch on on a daily basis. That’s actually not a coincidence, because I blog (and read) about the things I love.
So if you’re a car blogger, chances are the magazines you like reading the most are also about cars. Same goes if you’re a food blogger, a travel blogger… You get the idea.
Books are similar to magazines, I get it. But while you never know what kind of information you will find in a magazine, books are pretty straight forward about the topics they cover. While you could literally find inspiration in any kind of book, I particularly love reading non-fiction books about business, marketing and self-development. And sometimes, even though a book will be about business, the author will mention something that will trigger an idea about a totally different topic. As I said, you can find inspiration where you least expect it!
I personally feel like whenever I read a book I’m really into and get deep into it, I always find something in it that will trigger an idea (or many) for a post. Sometimes the same paragraph can give me many ideas about totally different topics. So get yourself a book, and don’t forget the notepad!
TV & MOVIES
While I really don’t watch a lot of TV, one TV show I did watch the hell out of was Sex & the City. Man, did I watch that show. So much so that I can quote the full 6 seasons and most of the 2 movies. With all the relevant topics covered on the show (relationships, sex, friendships, fashion, beauty, and then some) you bet I’ve felt inspiration hit me more than once while watching it.
So while I don’t necessarily recommend dropping everything and watching TV when hit with a case of writer’s block (because that sounds hella unproductive) it IS possible to find inspiration while winding down and watching a TV show. I’d say that personally, I find shows about pop culture to be easier to find inspiration in than, let’s say something about horror, drama or fantasy. I feel like the more “real” the show, the easier it is to draw connections between fiction and reality - duh!
My own life
OK, so I know this one sounds a little vague and not very actionable, but bear with me. The people around you can be so inspiring, without even realizing. If you’re a blogger, chances are you’re doing to help others. Either by inspiring them, teaching them something, or even just entertaining them.
So watch your family, friends and coworkers. What are THEIR problems? What are the questions THEY’RE asking themselves on the daily? What are they coming to YOU for? Relationship advice? Help on how to do a smokey eye? Meditation tips? No matter what it is, pay attention to the things that preoccupy them and you might find out what your readers want to read from you as well.
Much like magazines, books, TV and movies, I’m assuming you like to listen to podcasts about the same topics you blog about. If you didn’t jump on the podcast train yet, you NEED to. First, they’re FREE. You can also listen while you’re cooking, cleaning, driving, showering and waiting in any lineup. Some podcasts are also gold mines of information and a lot of them touch on so many different topics because they have a different guest on every episode.
So even if the podcast has a very niche topic (like sex or baking) there’s always an interesting variety. With usually one episode a week, podcasts are a never-ending source of inspiration for me.
Facebook groups are kind of an extension of your own IRL circle. While you may not know these people personally, you’re in a group that shares the same interests and/or preoccupations you do. I’m personally not in a ton of Facebook groups, but in every single one I’m in, people constantly ask questions, looking for advice. How should I handle someone who called me fat? What should I serve for Thanksgiving? Which concealer is the best? There, you just had 3 blog posts ideas, one about body positivity, one about cooking and one about beauty.
I’m telling you, Facebook groups are filled with interesting topics and people in need of answers and advice. I’ve personally found a lot of post ideas from some of the Facebook groups I’m in. And while a lot of groups don’t allow self-promotion, they do allow you to post a link to your own stuff (blog, resources, website, store, etc.) if it’s directly answering someone else’s question in a relevant way.
ASKING MY READERS
This might seem simple as hell but I know a lot of bloggers aren’t doing this, and I just don’t understand why. As a blogger, your readers are the reason why you’re doing it, and they can also be a really precious source of inspiration. And with social media, there’s new excuse to overlook your readers’s and followers’ tastes and needs.
I personally like asking my followers on Instagram questions every week. I’ll do some “this or that” questions, some polls and some open-ended questions and they usually do really well. Actually, they’re always my most engaged-with stories. People LOVE talking about themselves and asking your followers if they prefer lipstick or lipgloss can seem pretty innocent at first sight, but it’s actually a great way to know what beauty product you should blog about next.
That’s it, guys! That’s really all there is to it. I really hope this post helps you find inspiration, no matter what you do! And obviously, I would also LOVE to know where YOU find inspiration! Is there anything I overlooked?
Please let me know how you find interesting topics to write about if you’re a fellow blogger, and let me know what you’d like to read about on here if you enjoy THB like I hope you do!
You can leave me a comment below, or come chat on Instagram, where you’ll find me @thehungarianbrunette.
Love, Jenny xx