Updated May 28, 2020.
This is a bit of a departure from the usual travel posts I write, but hopefully it’s worth reading anyway! I belong to some blogger and influencer groups, and one question keeps coming up: how do I come up with enough material?! I am admittedly terrible at marketing myself, but I am also unashamedly good at coming up with helpful material five days a week!
Even when I tried to cut myself back to one day a week to work on other projects, that quickly became two days, then three, and now we’re back to five again. If you need some help figuring out what to post on your own blog, here are some ideas to help you get creative!
1. Where is there a gap in information?
What are you Googling without the results you want? I was recently planning a trip to Charleston and wanted to find some free activities to fill in around the (rather expensive) house tours and other activities. Much to my surprise, there was very little information online in the way of FREE Activities in Charleston! So I made it my mission to write a really good one.
Whatever your niche or focus you have for your blog, find a gap in existing information and fill it! Your perspective and your angle have a place; you just might need to do a little digging to find it!
This worked so well, I decided to do more of them! Here is FREE Things to Do in Cheyenne, Wyoming
2. What are you interested in?
Fashion? Travel? History? Empowering women? Fitness? There are as many combinations of interests as there are people in the world, but there’s also an awful lot of overlap. My blog is mainly about travel, but within that genre there’s plenty of material to write on fashion (packing), history (practically every site tourists want to see all over the world), fitness (how to keep up your fitness goals on the go), and more!
So what are your interests, and how do they overlap? Someone else surely has those same interests, and they may not even know it yet! Write about it.
For Example: I’m interested in both travel and writing a book, so I planned a little writer’s retreat and wrote about it!
3. Who is already reading? And who do you WANT to be reading your blog?
Every writer ought to know his or her audience before the audience knows the writer! Who are you writing for, who do you want to read your blog, and just as importantly, what do they want to read? If you’re not sure, ask some people you know who read your blog what they might be interested in reading, then make it happen!
A friend was having some trouble planning a long-term summer Eurotrip, so I wrote a Complete Guide to Long-term Travel in Europe!
4. What do you do well that others have trouble with?
Packing? Planning travel? Finding deals and sticking to a budget? Are you a fashion blogger who’s great at putting unexpected combinations together? Someone out there needs help with that (namely, ME)! Write up a how-to guide for whatever you do best. You might even be able to make it a series of three or more posts!
For Example: I decided to write a post all about packing strategies, and I ended up writing a series of seven!
5. What secret info do you have?
People love to know secrets! It doesn’t necessarily need to be a secret, but people are very interested in unique tips, tricks, and hacks that can help them be better at whatever it is they want to do. For my blog, I love to let people know what I wish I’d known about a destination before my trip, so I write a “What to Know Before You Visit” post for practically every destination!
For you, it might be the secret to getting a zillion hits on every blog post (please leave your secret in the comments section!). Or maybe it’s how to bake perfect cookies every time. Whatever secret you hold, other people want to know it!
For Example: My most viewed and most most Pinned post so far this year is What to Know Before You Visit the Hawaiian Islands!
6. Create a theme: for each day of the week, a hashtag, an interest, etc.!
Really stuck for ideas on a regular basis? Here’s my secret to finding inspiration: a theme! Life is better in theme, I always say. At one time I had a theme for each day of the week that I wanted to publish:
- Motivation Monday (or sometimes, Museum Monday): I wrote something to encourage people to travel or just something intended to brighten their day and help them dream about exciting places. Occasionally I’d mix it up with a post about D.C. (basically a living, outdoor museum). One of my most popular posts is A Guide to D.C.’s Smithsonian Museums.
- Travel Tip Tuesday: I would write my best travel tips! Everything from packing to “know before you go” to what to do when you get there.
- What I Ate Wednesday (or sometimes, What I Wore Wednesday): My husband came up with this idea. People love food! I always got a lot of likes and comments on my food pictures, so he suggested I write about what we eat when we travel. It became one of my most popular post themes, and I created a whole World Foods Page! When I ran out of food, I wrote about what I packed. I never knew so many people Googled “what to pack for…” about their destination. What to Wear in Singapore and What to Wear for 8 Days on Maui are two of my most pinned and most viewed posts!
- Throwback Thursday: I had a lot of old posts from my old website that I still wanted to have on my current website. I couldn’t find a good way to just move them over from one platform to the other, so I would simply copy and paste, insert pictures, edit, and publish them as “new” #tbt posts on Thursdays! I got through all my posts about Japan this way—those Japan posts are what got me started in my blogging journey!
- Faraway Friday: Fridays are good for lists! I love a good top 10 list, and so do most readers. I like to do “10 Reasons to Visit _____,” “10 Things to Do in _____,” or “10 Trips to Take.” But you don’t have to stop at 10, or even get all the way up to 10! For example, I recently wrote 10 Things to Do in Tumon Bay, 10 Reasons to Stay in Hana, Maui, and 10 Things to Do in Verona!
Establish a theme for each day of the week you want to publish, and let that guide your creativity!
For example: I struggled with what to post about food during the 2020 COVID-19 Quarantine extravaganza, so I wrote
What to Eat in Quarantine!
7. What can you do where you are?
As a travel blogger, I am focused on what to do when I travel to new places. It took me a couple of years before I realized that it might be useful to write some posts about where I live! People travel to Washington, D.C., all the time, and a local’s knowledge and tips could be really helpful! So I started writing about Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh (where my husband grew up), and Tennessee (where I grew up). That’s a lot of new material right there!
Whether you’re a travel blogger, fashion blogger, food blogger, lifestyle blogger, or another kind of blogger entirely, take a look around you. Why did you decide to live where you do? Does it have the best backdrops or the best desserts? Does it inspire you? Let it be your inspiration!
I went from 0 to dozens of posts and an entire page about
8. Make a List
As mentioned above in #6, lists are quick and easy to read, and for me at least, they’re pretty quick and easy to write when I need something soon. It could be a list about anything you want. Make a list about places you want to visit. Make a list about places you recommend your readers should go. Make a list about your favorite places to work remotely—your favorite local coffee shop, your local library, the place with the best view, maybe even your favorite breakfast spot with plenty of outlets so you can keep your laptop charged while you work!
Make a top 10 list, a countdown list, a favorites list, whatever list you want! Some of my most popular listing posts are 20 Trips to Take in Your 20s, 5 Trips for Positive Vibes, and 10 Trips to Take in College!
In fact, I now have an entire section dedicated to travel lists on my Travel Tips Page!
9. Revisit Past Material
Remember how I said in #1 to find a gap in information and fill it? Well, it works both ways! Take a look back at your old material, and fill in some gaps you hadn’t thought about before. I wrote about the Baltic States when we first visited in 2016, but months later, I decided to change up the way I write my posts—instead of journal entry-style posts, I switched to tips, lists, and other things that might be more helpful than just a pleasure read. So I went back to those old pictures and old posts and created new posts with things to know before you go, what to eat, and reasons to visit!
So go back to your old material, and you’ll find some things you missed the first time around. People will be happy to read something fresh, even if it’s about a place or topic you’ve written about before!
How do you come up with material? How often do you post? Comment below to let me know!
Want more creative ideas? Check out the Creativity Section on my Travel Tips Page!
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