10 Ways to Help the Creative Flow
Here at InspiritLive, we’re always trying to find ways to help bloggers break out of the mould of the typical blogger in their niche and truly stand out from the crowd. Michael Martine has written about some blogs that take a creative or unique approach to blogging, which really allows them to distinguish themselves. In addition to the way that you go about blogging or the way that you brand your blog, uniqueness and creativity are necessary for the writing of your posts. From my experience, this is difficult for most of us, especially when the blog is in a saturated niche.
What are some different ways to help the creative flow?
One of the common methods for bloggers getting ideas for their posts is to scroll through their feed reader and see what others are writing about. Personally, I hate this approach (although I think we’re all guilty of it at some point). Unless you’re able to add something very valuable to the conversation, it’s just plain redundant to always be covering the same subjects.
Fortunately, if you’re struggling to come up with your own unique ideas or an original angle on a particular topic, there are some things that you can do to improve the flow of creativity. Of course, each of us has a different approach to writing, and not everything works for everyone. We all need to find what works best for us in order to maximize our efforts. Here are some ideas for you to consider.
10 Ways to Help the Creative Flow
Change of Scenery
Do you always write you posts sitting in front of your computer? Why not try to change things up a bit and see what happens. Sometimes just moving to a comfortable chair in another room can help. You may also want to try going outside on your porch or even going to a park. Fresh air can make a big difference if you’ve been trapped inside for too long. If the outdoors is not an option or not you’re thing, try finding a local cafe or library where you can work for a while.
Work at a Different Time of Day
I find that my productivity and creativity are drastically affected by what time of day I’m working. Likewise, my most productive times may not always be my most creative. For example, on Saturdays I like to crank out several posts for the upcoming week so I can get ahead. However, my creativity is often lacking at this time because I feel the pressure to get a lot done. What I’ve found works best for me is to use my creative times throughout the week to jot down ideas in a notebook and outline potential posts. Then on Saturdays when I want to get through several posts I’ve got some solid outlines to work from and the creativity doesn’t need to be there.
Have you tried mixing up the times of day that you work? Some of us are more creative in the mornings, some at night. If you’re struggling to come up with good ideas, why not shift your schedule so you can give it a shot at a different time of day?
Remove the Pressure of Posting Frequently
Have you put yourself in a box in terms of posting frequency? Do you feel that you just have to post every single day? I cut back my posting schedule on my blog a few months ago and the traffic and readership has increased at least as fast as it was before, if not faster.
Don’t simply publish a post because you think you need to get something out there. Take your time to create your best work and you’ll see the results. There’s a lot of pressure that comes with a set posting schedule whether you feel it or not. By relaxing your schedule a bit you may find yourself feeling a lot more freedom to explore some new ideas, and you won’t force yourself to publish work that isn’t up to your standards.
I think brainstorming is one of the most critical activities for the average blogger. Because unique ideas are so valuable, a considerable amount of time should be dedicated to generating and developing your best ideas. If your writing process involves sitting down at the computer and writing about whatever comes to your mind first, you’re probably not creating the best content that you’re capable of. We all have different approaches to brainstorming that will work best for us, but you may want to check out an article that I wrote several months ago about a few of the different brainstorming techniques that bloggers can use.
Write a Response to Other Blog Posts
I know, I said earlier that I don’t like the approach of getting ideas from other blogs. The one exception that I do like is writing a response to a post on another blog. By doing this you are not simply repeating ideas that have been presented over and over again on other blogs. Instead you’re presenting you’re on take on the issue and defending why you feel the way you do. You can present a different angle or dispute the opinion of another blogger if you have evidence or reason to back up your opinion. I’ve only used this approach a few times, but with good results each time. In fact, I got a few links from the original source that I was responding to, which helps to bring in some new readers.
Keep a Journal
Without my idea journal I would be lost. Almost every day I write down a handful of ideas that I think might be able to develop into a nice post, and then when I have time to work on them some more I’m not starting from scratch. With an idea notebook or journal you can write down all of your ideas as you get them, so you’re less likely to forget your ideas. I strongly recommend that every blogger keep some kind of record of their ideas as they occur.
Capitalize on Your Best Times
I mentioned earlier that I like to do my writing at certain times that are more conducive to my productivity. One of the things I have learned is to get as much out of those productive times as possible. If the creative juices are flowing don’t stop just because you’ve written the post you need for that day. I like to write several posts at a time so that when I’m not at my most productive or most creative times, I don’t have the pressure of forcing myself to write.
Look Through Your Referral Stats
What keywords are sending the most traffic to your blog? Have you thought about writing more posts to target those same keywords or maybe some similar phrases? If you have pages or posts that are well-optimized for a particular phrase you may be able to generate even more traffic by going after related terms. Go through your referral stats and jot down a bunch of the keywords that are sending traffic, then look through those keywords and brainstorm of potential posts that you could develop to build on your existing success.
Look Through Your Old Posts
If you’ve been blogging for a while you no doubt have some posts that could be developed even further. Go through your old posts and see if there are some that you could follow up on or drill down and focus on a specific aspect that was mentioned in another post. For example, if I was looking at this post to help me find ideas for future posts, I could take the point about writing a response to other blog posts and I could write and entire guide to finding appropriate posts and how you can go through the process of responding and getting your posts noticed.
Take a Different Approach
I think most of us get into habits when it comes to writing blog posts. I know I do, and I’ve mentioned several of them already. Why not try something completely different and see how it affects your creativity. Whatever your typical approach is, abandon it temporarily and see if doing something different will help your creativity. If it doesn’t work, try something else or go back to the old approach.
What Do You Do To Promote Creativity?
I’m interested to hear how all of your attempt to increase your creativity throughout the writing process, so please leave a comment with some of the methods that work well for you.