Hoo boy! I know it’s been a hot minute since my last two posts on blogging for authors, but I just wanted to pop in and share my thoughts on the third most common question about blogging...how do I find motivation and inspiration?
Specifically, I’ll be sharing a huge collection of ideas that you are more than welcome to steal (post idea piracy is encouraged ‘round here, y’know *winks*) and ways to come up with new ideas and inspiration!
Before we dive in, it’s time for a recap! *in a deep, television announcer voice* Previously on Blogging for Authors…
There are so many benefits to having and maintaining an author blog, and even if you only reap one or two of those benefits, you’re still utilizing an amazing marketing strategy and you are building a platform that will last for years to come!
If you’re looking to enhance your author career or establish your very first platform as a beginning writer, a website with a blog is the best place to begin! Even if you start out with one long post a month or a 200-word post a week (the latter is actually the most beneficial), just having and maintaining that platform is one of the best decisions you’ll make as a writer!
Not sure how to make the most of your time? Just remember to stay consistent and that consistency isn’t a post every Tuesday...it can be four posts a month, whatever works for you; be aware of your current lifestyle and don’t push yourself beyond what you know you can manage; understand your audience and your type of blog; write inspired or schedule ahead; and cross-post content or have a guest poster on to limit how much time you spend writing!
Now, you may have built up your blog over the last year and set aside a whole week just for writing blog content, but in the end, what matters is most is that when you sit down to write...you do.
My unofficial motto is Write Inspired, and so my first piece of advice is, well, to write inspired. If the lines for a beautiful poem fill your mind instead of your article on time management, then write the poem and share it instead! If you’re not motivated to blog, take a break (whether for five minutes or five days), then come back refreshed.
Unfortunately, not all of us can afford to take time off or walk away, and not everyone is brimming with inspiration.
Sometimes you gotta look for it.
So how (or, rather, where) do you find inspiration and motivation to blog?
I’m glad you asked!
Seriously. Put aside thoughts of comparison or pressure, and just enjoy reading other people’s blogs! You may notice that your favorite authors share book recommendations or WIP snippets, or that you love a certain element they include in their posts...instead of feeling overwhelmed, channel that into inspiration for new post ideas and motivation to devote extra time to your blog!
Take note of what other bloggers do, what’s most popular, how they engage with their audience, what your favorite post of theirs is, and more! You can even join linkups, borrow tags, do blogger interviews, trade guest posts, etc. Becoming a part of the blogging community can open up so many doors—not just of opportunities, but of ideas!
I know, I know. Social media is typically where you go to procrastinate blogging...but it’s also a great place to find inspiration! Pinterest especially is full of great tips, tricks, and prompts for new posts, and keeping up-to-date on what’s popular through Instagram and Facebook can motivate you to share your thoughts!
poll your followers
You don’t blog for yourself, believe it or not. (If you do, that’s called a diary...and that certainly doesn’t need to be thrown up on the internet.) You blog for your followers. So who better to ask for ideas, suggestions, and inspiration? You can field for suggestions in the comments or set up a feedback form or poll widget to prompt your readers to share their thoughts—and who knows? They might have the perfect idea to kickstart a new blog series or motivate you to write that post that’s been on your heart!
And just keep an eye on what they say in the comments and what posts they like the best! You may find they want more of your unpopular bookish opinions or more poetry snippets, and that can give you plenty of motivation and inspiration for new posts!
listen to your heart
Speaking of your heart…“listen to your heart” is a piece of advice I would never give to someone in a serious context. After all, the Bible says that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).
But if God has laid something on your heart, or you’re passionate about something, or you just wanna share something specific...do it! Be open to all ideas and inspiration that comes your way, especially when it’s something meaningful and close to you. When it comes to creative decisions, do listen to what your heart is telling you, becomes from it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23)!
try something new
Out of ideas? Pull one out of a hat! (Both literally and figuratively, of course.) Try something new or out of the box—like a movie review, contest, giveaway, photo/art dump, or really anything you rarely do on your blog! It just might catch on and be the next big thing on your blog!
Not only will the blogging community provide you with amazing friends, blog tags, motivation, and collaboration potential, you can also join blog tours, launch/street teams, and linkups. Trust me, I have never hurt for a blog post, since I’m part of at least one blog tour a month, and that can entail a book review or a cover reveal, book spotlight, character interview, author interview, AND review! Tour and launch/street team opportunities are a great way for writers and book bloggers to grow their following, increase blog traffic and engagement, and support their favorite books/authors!
Y'all check out Celebrate Lit Publicity and JustRead Tours for some great blog tour opportunities, and keep an eye out on your favorite authors' social media for when they open signups for launch/street teams!
space things out
Instead of posting three times a week (or every day or what have you), post once a week (or at least less than you usually do) and schedule out any leftover posts for the upcoming weeks or months. This time, you’ll have more time to rest, find inspiration, and stay motivated to keep writing!
Gracie's extensive list of blog post ideas for authors
Now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for...my extremely long list of authorly/writerly/bookishly post ideas! These are perfect for authors, writers, book bloggers, etc., and can be stolen as is or can be borrowed and given a face-lift—it’s up to you! And if none of these are something you’re interested in, then mull over them a minute and see if they inspire some different ideas!
Behind-the-scenes of your writing process
Photo dumps (especially of books)
Life updates (from vacation to finals week)
Rants on politics, culture, faith (especially as pertaining to literature)
Your thoughts on popular books, tropes, character archetypes, etc.
How-tos for fellow writers
Your writing journey
Invent a blog tag
Put together a linkup
The story behind the story (namely, your story)
Favorite quotes about
Art dumps (especially character art)
Movie/TV series spotlights/reviews
Lessons you learned
Fun facts from research (like the history of weather prediction...which isn’t all that fun)
Your favorite books ever
Books that changed your life
Collaborate with another blogger/author
Tour of the setting (real or fictional)
Writing updates/progress reports
What can teach you about writing (for example, I wrote an article about Spiderman and I’m currently working on one about Hallmark)
Commentary/reactions to your old/current writing
Guest post from a character
Character evaluation (specifically a popular one)
Your top writing advice
Encouragement for your readers/fellow writers
Share reviews of your own book
Your publishing journey
Repost your guest posts/interviews from other sites (as long as you have permission)
Welp, there that is! These are literally just the first ideas that I could think of, so I hope you find something interesting to share—or at least something that inspires you!
If you want to learn more about blogging, I HIGHLY recommend checking out my fiend Allyson’s blog series on, well, blogging! You can read her first two posts HERE and HERE—and, believe me, they are spectacular and flesh out what I’ve been saying about blogging!
If you have any specific questions, suggestions, struggles, ideas, etc., that you’d like to share or want me to post about in the future (specifically as pertains to blogging, but other ideas are always welcome, of course!), just drop them in the comments!
Which of these post ideas stood out to you? What’s your favorite kind of post—to read and/or write? Who are some of your favorite bloggers? How to you find inspiration and motivation? What’s your favorite kind of motivational chocolate??? Let me know down below! *winks*