How I Find Inspiration For My Content

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Being someone who adapts well in the creative world, finding and using inspiration has become second nature.

I've always been asked where I get inspiration from for my content. From my photography style to my posts, to the entire theme of Little White Socks, but thinking about it on the spot, I got slightly stuck. I didn't have a definitive answer. When I had planned this post a month ago, I had to stop and break down the reasoning behind why I was writing the posts I did. I subconsciously had a mental checklist, but seeing as I've been doing it for so long, it's become a routine.

I wouldn't say I'm an absolute perfectionist when it comes to creating my content. I think I just know what I love and what works well, so I use that as my starting point. I've put together some points on what has helped me find ideas and schedule posts over the last month. It can hopefully help you find inspiration, or you may just be interested in what I do to get my ideas.

pink lifestyle flatlay

USING MY NICHE

When you look at my blog, and even my social media, everything has a theme; visually and textually.

That's because I have a niche, (well my blog has a niche) and I like it that way. It allows me to focus my ideas and make sure that what I am publishing is exactly what I want to be represented by me and my blog.

'Little White Socks is an online resource sharing inspiration, tips and advice on all thing fashion, beauty, lifestyle, pop culture, DIY, and food.'

And I hope you can agree.

Before I redesigned my blog, my content was kind of all over the place. Even though I had many ideas, I still felt like I didn't have a focus. My posts were well planned out, I covered exactly what needed to be said, but it was still missing something. I sat and wrote down exactly what I wanted my readers to get from my blog, and that's how my (I guess you can call it) tagline and niche came about. Now, with my niche in mind, I can stop and think if this post is being inspirational or motivational, and adapt the structure of my post to fit accordingly. That's not saying that if something doesn't fit that category, I won't post it, but it helps me to make sure I put the right content out. If I'm putting together a recipe or diy tutorial, I make sure I word my tutorial in a way which can be reached and understood by even the absolute beginners as I want them to feel like it's something they can accomplish.

When I'm planning my posts, the first thing I think about is will this encourage my readers? Will it make them think about something new? Will they feel good about themselves? It has also helped me put out more blogging help related posts, just like this one. My end goal is to give my readers somewhere they know they can come if they're looking for something that will inspire them... and I hope it's working. Obviously, you don't need a niche to have a blog. I love having mine, and it's not something that is permanent but can adapt in the future.

KEEPING IT SEASONAL

Oh, I love a good theme. When I'm thinking about content, the times of the year can be a huge influence in how I focus my posts. I would say January and September are "new beginning" months, where talks are about new starts, new stationery, and new goals. February is surrounded by love so I like to created themed diy or baking posts. You've obviously got your summer and winter months, and public holidays too; Christmas, Easter, Halloween etc. I will always note down in my blogging calendar ideas months in advance so I can be prepared. If I have an idea for a post, I will sometimes change it slightly so I can schedule it at a time when I feel like more people would be looking for that sort of content.

CHECKING SOCIAL MEDIA

I follow a lot of bloggers on social media, and they often ask for advice on a number of topics such as content, photography, or just blogging tips in general. If I see something I know I can talk about, and talk about well, I make it into a post. Or I'd gather different ideas and theme them together in a single post. It's not just blogging advice posts I get inspired for, I may see a flourish of 'self-doubt', or 'not having a place to fit in the blogging community' tweets which really inspire me. (I've always got my inspirational hat on). My next post is actually inspired by some tweets I've seen shared around. Posts like this tend to have a quicker turnaround, so I usually do this if I'm stuck for an idea last minute, or if I'm that passionate about it, and I'm willing to change my schedule to post something new.

KEEPING A LIST

Random post ideas can pop into my head, so I make sure I note them down in my phone. If I'm really stuck for ideas, that's the first place I go. It's honestly a strange place and a slight indication of the ideas that float around my head very late at night. Most of the time they don't make much sense, so it's always a guessing game for me. If I'm having a discussion with someone, or I hear something that I know can translate well in a post, it goes straight into my phone.

.@helloaycan is sharing how she finds inspiration for her content. Come check it out!

TALKING ABOUT WHAT I KNOW

As bloggers, we all have unique experiences and perceptions on different topics and events, and as a reader of many blogs, it's what I love to read. There can sometimes be a running theme going through posts and reading the opinions and thoughts of others helps me get a real insight. Seeing bloggers are being open about their health has really taught me not only about them, but encouraged me to share my experiences. I try and be as open as I can, and when I have an outburst of feelings that I'm comfortable enough to share, I do. I think it's important to not only help me, but to also let others know who may be in similar situations, or know someone who is, that they're not alone.

I also love covering topics about new things I've experienced; working at fashion week, studying fashion at uni. I don't just see these posts as a place of reference for people who may be about to experience it too, but for people who are just wondering what that might be like. If something new happens, you bet as soon as I come home, (or even while I'm out on my phone,) I'm writing it down. This is what I love reading about because it opens up up a world for me I knew nothing about.

pink lifestyle flatlay

LISTENING TO MY READERS

Sometimes you guys ask me to talk about something particular whether it be showing how I've done something on my blog, how I put my content together or reviewing a product you've seen me mention. (Yes Laura, my flatlay guide is coming). As much as this blog is mine, I like to see it as something that everyone can be a part of, and your input is always welcome. If you ever have something you'd want me to talk about, please ask away!

CHECKING MY RESOURCES

Not quite sure why I've labelled this as "resources," but I guess it sounds professional. I have a small journal and one weekend when I was very uninspired, I wrote hundreds of blog post ideas, working titles, and lots of other points to help in such situations. I also have my own blog posts which I refer to. And here comes the shameless self-promo.

I would always recommend having a written journal with all your ideas, not only because that's where they'd be kept safe, but I like to see the journey and progress my ideas have come throughout the years.

MY PHOTOGRAPHY

Last but not least, my photography. I am always getting asked where I get my inspiration from and how I put my flatlays together. When I first started blogging, I would get so frustrated with taking photographs. Nothing would ever look right, it would be blurry, the colours never matched. I really wanted to make beautiful imagery so I started looking at product and e-commerce photography. Even though my images aren't used to sell products, I wanted my photographs to be presented in a way that would showcase each and every item in my flatlay. Of course, I like to be as fun and creative too, so that's where the colour and details come from. This might sound a little big-headed, but for inspiration, I turn to my own posts now. I look back through my gallery of flatlays and see elements I like and work in that style, so nothing ends up looking too similar. It's what has given me my signature look, so I'm constantly trying to improve from my last photograph.

I hope this has given you a little insight about my thought processes when planning my posts. If you'd like to learn about anything else that I do with blogging, let me know in the comments, and also how you find your content inspiration.