I am not the queen of the blogosphere. I don't have the biggest blog in town. But, one comment I get frequently is that my blog is a bit 'different' *pats self smugly on back*. I'm humblebragging here but I'm only sort of half sorry. Some have even bandied around the word 'unique' *pats self smugly again while raising one eyebrow*. Ok I'll stop now.
The point is, I try to do things a bit differently on my blog, just because. And today I thought I would share seven blog post thought-starters for anyone feeling a bit low on new ideas (which happens to everyone do not panic).
ONE // GET PSYCHOLOGICAL ABOUT STYLE
I listened to a really interesting podcast recently which explored the psychological motivations behind how we all dress. It was a totally new way for me to look at personal style and I thought it would make a brilliant blog post (or series of posts). If you're running low on ways to keep beauty or fashion content feeling fresh, try the Freudian approach to an OOTD, or psycho-analyse a section of your wardrobe. What are you saying to the world when you put on a certain outfit? What personal histories have made you a die-hard wearer of baggie knitwear and thigh high boots (that's me btw)?
TWO // Ask your readers a question you can't answer yourself
There are a lot of how to posts floating about the interwebs these days, and as a keen reader of blogs I for one am very fatigued by being told what to do in absolutely every area of my life right now. Solution: create an inclusive discussion in the comments section. Are you worried that you might not be in the right career? Ask your readers if they've ever felt that way, and what they did about it. Are you on the fence about the helpfulness of clean eating? Open it up for discussion. Just give your thoughts (they don't have to be a firm, fully formed opinion - open-mindedness is good!) and then invite readers to give their two cents in the comments. It's a great way to talk to the people who take the time to read your posts, and can bring up some really interesting points.
THREE // Use your experiences to reassure your readers
I love it when a post brings the realness. Nay! We all love it when a post brings the realness. Authenticity is attractive, but can be hard to come by in a world of increasingly polished and perfected blog content. Try using your own experiences of overcoming a problem or facing a challenge not to tell your readers what to do in their own lives, but to reassure them that someone else has had the same issues or weird thoughts they might be having right now. You don't have to go all warts-and-all-viral-internet-confession with it either. My post on feeling like my content wasn't worth sharing is one of my most popular, but I'm not sharing all the details of my love life in it. Similarly, a post I wrote on all the things I wish someone had told me I could say no to went down really well. People like to know that they're not the only ones walking around wondering whether they have in fact messed up All Of The Things all at once.
FOUR // TRY SOMETHING new FOR A WEEK STRAIGHT AND REPORT BACK
I love reading these kinds of articles in magazines - you know, the ones where the writer tries to stick to something ridiculous or takes up a new hobby for a week and reports back on how they felt about it each day. They make for great blog posts as well because they allow you to discuss something thoroughly in easy to read day-of-the-week chunks, and provide lots of opportunity to inject some personality into your writing. I've been thinking of building a regular blog feature around this idea myself, trying things like getting up an hour early to write every morning for a week, going a full 7 days without giving in to negative self talk (can this be done? we shall see) or something as simple as trying co-washing for a week (what is it? Will it make my hair greasy af?). Try something out. Report back.
FIVE // Write that thing you think will turn your readers off
Do it. Do iiiiiit. You know what I'm talking about. That post that you think isn't 'in your niche' or is too ranty or too controversial? It's probably not. Just put it out there. For me, the thing I stopped myself writing about for a long time was feminism. I felt like I didn't know enough, wasn't authoritative enough and might come across 'angry' or 'ranty' (goodness gracious!). But, as is often the case, as soon as I started letting my true feminist colours show (green? blue? probably not pink idk) I was rewarded with tonnes of support and interest from the people reading my blog (because they are lovely). Genuine passion is as obvious as it is contagious. Write about The Thing. The worst that can happen is that it's not that interesting to your readers, but it's likely it will help them relate to you better and will attract exactly the kind of people you want hanging about in your comments section anyway.
SIX // What would you write about if you got a book deal?
Props to my girl Isobel Rose for coming up with this one. Imagine a scenario in which your obnoxiously successful blog has landed you a book deal. What would you write about? If you were channelling the essence of yourself and your blog into this book, what would it be like and why? Are you a coffee table picture book? A hefty tome of fool-proof home baking recipes? A satirical guide to surviving fashion week (hands off that's mine)? It's a great post because it allows your imagination to run wild while giving your readers an interesting insight into your personality and what you feel your strengths are. You might even find out some new strengths you didn't know you had from their feedback.
SEVEN // Write about an episode from your everyday life in the style of carrie bradshaw
Ok, I get it. This one is challenging. For those of us who are less confident in our writing abilities it can feel daunting to turn a trip to the corner shop for a pint of milk into a juicy post worth clicking on, but trust me, it can be done. If in doubt, Carrie it up (Keep calm and Carrie on?). Write up a quick recap of what happened, why it affected and you and finish with an 'and I couldn't help but wonder. . .'. I love reading posts which give an insight into a favourite bloggers' daily life, and if that can be meshed together with a little humour and social commentary à la Carrie, you're onto a real winner.