Over her five years of blogging, she’s not only come up with almost two thousand post ideas, but she has also written for leading Australian parenting websites, magazines and blogs. If that wasn’t enough content for you, she also creates most of the Photo A Day prompts each month that sparks the creativity of social media photographers everywhere. She has also written an eBook packed to the brim of topics to get inspired – “Let’s Give Them Something to Blog About” will no doubt knock that blogger’s block right out of you.
Choosing blog post topics
But coming up with thousands of blog post topics can’t be easy, can it? Chantelle says when she’s super-stumped, there are a couple of go-to inspiration sources that never fail:
getting out and about (people and places are great for prompting ideas)
scrolling through StumbleUpon or Pinterest,
digging back through post archives to remind herself of the topics she really enjoyed writing about.
While having a niche is usually a good idea, sometimes personal blogging is hard to categorize. Chantelle says that over time, her post topics have been refined into: photography, family, “living life inspired”, and food. She says these are the themes that inspire her the most, and therefore form the backbone of her blog.
What do readers want?
A blog is nothing without its readers, and it doesn’t take long for a blogger to realise that writing reader-friendly material is the key to keep them coming back. But how does one know what will work and what won’t? Well that’s just a matter of trial and error.
“It’s hit-and-miss sometimes,” Chantelle says.
“Something I think will really connect can fizzle, and others that I’ve spent very little time on and think will be a dud, soars. I think if people can’t connect, then it just doesn’t work”.
Over time it gets easier to know intuitively what readers might connect with, and to provide it in an authentic way. Chantelle says she knows that if she is moved while writing the piece, it is likely to strike a chord with the reader.
“If I cry over my keyboard, I think others will too,” she says.
“The heartfelt, moving posts are always the ones that people connect most to, and they’re usually about life experience or family. It always overwhelms me the number of comments, and social media feedback I get on posts like that.
“I once wrote a post about a man I sat next to on a plane, and it was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. It’s still my favourite post, and the one most people remember on my blog.”
How she stays organized
But with all of these ideas, inspriations, chance encounters and motivating moments, how does Chantelle keep track of it all?
“I am a paper person, so I keep jot down post ideas onto Post-It notes and place them on my wall. I also have a big box that I add to when I’ve read a great article or jotted down lengthier notes so that I can delve in when I’m stumped for content ideas.
“I also have an editorial calendar that I try and plan a few months in advance. It’s not strict, because if I don’t feel like writing, I don’t but it gives me an idea of which direction I’m headed.”
After being asked daily how other bloggers can find ideas, an idea for the “Let’s Give Them Something to Blog About eBook was born.
Her advice to others
There are loads of things you can do; get out and about (go to a cafe, the beach, the shopping center)
Use images/video instead of traditional written content (I think it’s a great way to get inspired and find new content ideas. I’m a huge fan of photos, even bad ones, because they tell a story themselves. And short videos are great when done well, but they have to be short (I think under 2 minutes is key). I don’t think we should ever get stuck doing what we’ve always done. Trying new things is key to staying inspired.
Try something else new – buy a magazine you’ve never read before, or even just exercise.
Get a blank piece of paper, and vomit out your thoughts in a quick fashion onto the paper. It doesn’t matter if it’s a lame blog post idea, write it down… you never know what it might inspire.