Creating content you love is the heart of your blog, the thing that keeps people coming back time and time again and the reason you created your blog in the first place. It’s your way to express yourself, your creative outlet and your gateway into the big wide world of finding like-minded people, inspiring others and sharing your thoughts and opinions. But creative inspiration isn’t constant and it certainly isn’t linear and there will be times where you can’t write new content for a whole host of reasons – illness, holidays, other commitments or simply just from a bit of a creative lull. We’ve all been there, it’s nothing new. It’d simply be impossible for us to be creative and have ideas falling out of our fingertips 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
But, as most of us know, blogging isn’t all about the content creation. A heck of a lot goes on behind the scenes of a blog which arguably is the most common misconception that “non-bloggers” have about our industry. We only see the final product – the perfectly posed and edited Insta shot or the immaculately crafted blog post (I certainly wouldn’t call my own blog posts “immaculately crafted” though – just keeping it real) – but blogging is a wormhole of behind the scenes activities which help bring those end results into fruition. And there’s plenty you can be doing when actually sitting down and writing content isn’t available to you for whatever reason.
Brainstorm new ideas
If you’re not in the place (or the mood) to actually write new content, brainstorming new ideas for future content is a great way to keep yourself productive and moving forward. Think about the time of year you’re in, can you do any topical posts around that? I have plenty of seasonal and topical blog post ideas posts, which might help if you’re stuck for inspiration and there’s lots of advice around coming up with blog post ideas in my new eBook too!
Update your socials
Another main aspect of blogging is social media and making sure all your social platforms are up to scratch and the best they can possibly be is a great way to help you stay on top of the more ‘mundane’ side of blogging when you can’t actively create new content. Are you keeping it consistent across all your platforms? Is your email address noticeable in your profiles so brands can reach you if they need to? Have you responded to your tweets or Instagram comments?
Reply to blog comments
It’s very easy to let actual blog comments get on top of us to the point where it seems like such an impossible and daunting task that we just leave it and hope nobody notices. Now the comment police aren’t going to come and get you if you don’t reply to your blog comments but it’s always nice to take the time to thank those who are taking their own time to comment on your work. Replies to comments may also encourage new comments, if readers know their comments isn’t just going to fizzle out into the abyss and never get read.
Schedule tweets / Facebook posts / Pins
Arguably the most boring and painstaking aspect of blogging but, it really does work. It really does have an impact on views so it’s worth just sucking it up and getting it done. I use Buffer or Smartpost to schedule my own blog tweets, Tailwind for Pins and if you have a Facebook page for your blog, you can simply schedule a post for the future instead of posting it now. If you’re not actively creating new content right now, scheduling your old posts in a new exciting way might gain you new viewers who weren’t around when that post actually went live and keeps things interesting.
Take photos / create graphics
If you’re not feeling writing new content right now, then maybe now would be a good time to up your photography or graphics game. Take photos in bulk – flay lays, product photos, photos of you – and get them edited and stored away ready to add to your new content when it’s created. You never know, taking photos might also give you some inspiration on what to write about. You could also hop on Canva and start creating some cute graphics for your posts too.
Make a plan
When I’m not feeling the writing part, something I always find myself leaning towards is goal setting and making plans. I’m a very goal oriented person and I like always moving forward and progressing and an important thing to remember is that just because you’re not actively creating new content, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not moving forward. Having a break to really figure out what you and your blog are all about, what topics you’re really passionate about and refining your skills in other areas, might just be the thing that helps you progress further.
So sit down and think about what you want from blogging and your blog. How you feel about it right now and how you’d like to feel about it. Where would you like to be in a years time? 5 years? Even 10, if we’re getting brave? What do you want to improve? What new skills do you want to learn? And most importantly, what steps are you going to take to achieve these things? A huge ‘behind the scenes’ element of blogging we can work on, is ourselves. So use this time wisely!