How to combat the dreaded ‘bloggers block’
A consistent stream of quality content equals a consistent stream of inspiration, right? Wrong.
Such a smooth process is rare. It’s entirely normal for bloggers to experience what’s known as ‘blogger’s block’ – that nightmare situation where all creativity comes to a grinding halt and you can’t see anything but a white screen in front of you. While moaning about it feels great, dealing with it is far better.
So, the next time you’re struggling to put ideas together while that now-celebrity vlogger you’ve been gawking at since the dawn of YouTube is continuing to hammer out top-notch content, take comfort from that fact that she’s also struggled … and got over it.
Here are some of our top tips to help you find your creative spark and ultimately get those words flowing again.
Take inspiration from your social feeds
What you think of as a mindless scroll through your social feeds may actually be helping you out creatively. This activity will not only give you an idea of what’s being talked about but may also deliver that bit of inspiration you’ve been looking for.
Referring to industry news outlets is a given but having a nosey through your Twitter or Bloglovin’ blogger idols can be equally useful. While reproducing a post you’ve seen them do is a big no, it’s definitely acceptable to look to other bloggers for inspiration – their content may just give you the kind of inspiration you need to get going again.
Consult your fans … and your critics
Engaged readers will always tell you how an existing post was received, but that’s not all – they’re also good at indicating what they’d like to read more of in the future. Consider having a look back at recent comments that you’ve received on your social or blog posts. Is there something that you can take from this, good or bad, and transform into an idea?
Usefully, your audience can be further relied upon if you’ve already stumbled into ‘blogger’s block territory’. There’s nothing wrong with being more open about this, so why not admit you’ve reached a creative impasse and ask readers directly for their feedback.
Social polls are great for this and they’re not demanding at all in terms of the time taken for you to generate them, nor the effort on a reader to answer. There can be a bit of a perceived stigma around this, but from the point of view of a reader, it’s a good thing.
Look backwards to move forwards
Have a look through the posts that you’ve previously written. Analyse them from both from the point of view of the reader and from your own perspective as a writer. What has and hasn’t been received positively, and what did you enjoy – and dislike – writing?
If there is a particular topic you loved – and, as a bonus, was a hit with your audience – why not revisit it, for example, six months to one year on? Or, if you’re a lifestyle blogger why not discuss what has changed for you over the last 12 months?
You might even want to take a different viewpoint from the one you originally had – and a new take on an old post gives you a very natural internal linking opportunity. Also, for any new visitors to your website, it can be a great opportunity to show them how your journey has progressed.
Regular updates don’t make you a repeat offender
Drop the belief that once you’ve written about a topic you can’t touch it again – you’ll very quickly run out of ideas if you operate in this way. Regular updates are a great way to interact with your audience, have them get to know you and ultimately get them to engage with your content. Think of blogging as a journey – whether this be a personal journey through certain life stages or quite literally a journey cross-country, why not update your readers along the way?
Posts that appear in a weekly or even monthly series can really help to encourage repeat visits to your site, as well as build a sense of community among your readers. Beyond this, it encourages you to keep writing on a regular basis.
Branch outside of your comfort zone
You may be struggling to have those lightbulb moments if you’re keeping your niche too small. While spreading yourself too thin and trying to cover everything can compromise your authority, confining yourself to one very targeted area can work to restrict your voice entirely.
That’s not to say that everything is up for grabs. No one will be drawn to your blog if you attempt to cover travel, beauty, fashion, lifestyle, food, arts and crafts, films, and so on. However, the occasional trip outside of your norm might just be what your brain is subconsciously craving.
Don’t let perfectionism stop you progressing
Perhaps you’re struggling to write something because you’re being too particular. Spoiler alert: you’ll probably never feel like you’ve written the perfect blog or taken an entirely flawless picture for your Instagram – and this is entirely normal.
There is always time to perfect something later, but for the meantime, concentrate on getting something down. Well executed posts take time and it’s absolutely fine to write something, set it aside and look at it later with some fresh eyes.
And if all else fails…
Perhaps your blogger’s block has roots in the fact that you’re simply overworked. If even tiny, three letter words no longer make sense to your brain, you’re probably craving a little break to think clearly. Take 10 minutes or longer, go for a walk, put on some music, whatever. Anything you do besides writing or thinking will be helping your blog in the long run.
And, you never know. Inspiration might come when you least expect it.