5 Ways to Get Re-Inspired to Blog
It’s been no secret that I hit a bit of a rough patch with my blog this summer. I was in limbo, I lost my motivation and inspiration and couldn’t see the bigger picture for a long time. I didn’t have a clear focus on what my whole point was, I kept getting overwhelmed by what everyone else was telling me to do and I was frustrated with my lack of growth on social media channels. It was #badnewbears. And I pretty much just did the bare minimum to keep my blog running.
But that was this summer. And now it’s basically the end of November and I can say (very happily) that this is no longer the case. I’m feeling REALLY motivated and inspired again and wake up every morning excited to get to work on my blog. But, there was definitely a bit of a journey that got me back to a good place with this space, and I wanted to share the five things I did to find inspiration to blog again! So, if you’re stuck or in a rut (or limbo) with your blog, know you are not alone and that it IS possible to get out!
Examine & Realign your Mission Statement
As a human being, I am constantly changing, growing and evolving. When I first started blogging at Life with Rosie, it was simply to give me a creative outlet and something to fill my spare time in. Since it was named after my dog, I briefly thought about being niching down and being a dog blogger, but as much as I love Roo, I couldn’t find the passion to write about how much she loved dog treats.
When I rebranded to Hey There, Chelsie, I thought I would narrow down again and start writing about blogging and teaching others how to blog as well. I had a lot to say about the topic and, let’s be real, I could talk about blogging and social media strategies for dayzzzz. I launched an eCourse (which is in the process of being revamped into new blog content) and did some mentoring, but after a few months, I realized that I felt very limited and backed into a corner. I was having some serious anxiety because I felt like I couldn’t write about other topics and I started avoiding writing for my blog because of that. Plus, it didn’t help that so many other bloggers were pursuing the same path and I felt like I would have a hard time standing out in the blogging world that was full of others doing the same thing.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me a good blogging post and I still plan on sharing my tips and tricks when applicable, but writing JUST about blogging wasn’t for me. And that’s okay. Recently, there’s been a big push in the blogging community to get back to the origins of blogging, like writing more personal posts that tell a story and I’ve been loving it. It’s been awesome to feel more connected to my favorite bloggers and to not feel the pressure to write an informative post EVERY time I want to write.
So, over the summer while I took some serious time off from most of my blogging responsibilities, I thought day and night about what I wanted my purpose for my blog to be. I thought about the things I wanted to still inform others on (beauty and fashion) and topics I just wanted to bring back into my blog (like life updates, personal stories, and being open about my continued journey of cancer survivorship) and I realized that if I had a simple focus for my blog, everything else would fall into place.
I wrote about how I redefined my blog’s mission here in depth, but here’s the gist of it all: I want to encourage others to live a vibrant life, despite their scars or past. Whether it’s through fun beauty/fashion posts or the deep and dark emotional posts, I simply want to share my pursuit of a vibrant second chance life. I hope I can remind others that they are worth taking the time and effort to live a life they are proud of. I also hope I can encourage them to spoil themselves and practice some self-love because they deserve it!
Ever since I redefined my blog’s focus and mission, it’s been SO easy to not only write posts and come up with topics but to open up and be more personal and honest here. It’s been life changing.
Revamp your Social Media Strategies
What’s that saying? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results? I think it goes something like that – and that’s how I was feeling about my social media strategies. I was following the same old strategies that I had implemented over a year ago and not getting anywhere. Social media wasn’t fun for me- it became a huge chore and I dreaded it.
I plan on going into more on exactly what I did to change my social media strategies in the 2016 Blog Report, but here’s a brief synopsis of what I stopped and what I started doing instead.
Facebook – I stopped using a third party scheduler to share my new posts when they went live. I opted to post the updates live in the evening instead or use the native FB scheduler. I have noticed a pretty decent improvement in my organic reach since changing this! I also started creating videos SPECIFICALLY for Facebook (as in not uploading them to Youtube and then sharing the youtube link on FB, but uploading the video specifically to FB to begin with.) These videos have seen awesome engagement from my audience and has improved my organic reach, along with giving me some great examples for potential partners of work that I can do.
1. I STOPPED promoting my pictures in FB groups PERIOD and instead focused on hashtags and ideal audience members ON Instagram
2. I started planning out my feed in advance with an app called PLANN so I wasn’t flying by the seat of my pants every day on what to post.
3. I downloaded the ColorStory App from abeautifulmess and edited my photos in the same consistent process to keep my feed on brand
4. I strived to never loose my authenticity or honesty through my captions – I am no afraid to get real with my audience on Instagram and to open up.
Pinterest – Honestly, I’m still trying to crack this one, but I have started completey re-doing my old images so they are on brand and I stopped neglecting Tailwind. Both of these things have helped me see an increase in Pinterest referals in the last two months.
Twitter – I just tweet when I think about it – not as worried about this platform as I am with the others!
Do a Design Refresh
I absolutely loved the original color palette I chose for Hey There, Chelsie, but quickly realized that it just didn’t translate well through my other social media channels (especially Pinterest.) This is NOT my designer’s fault – she gave me EXACLT what I had asked for. I just wasn’t very clear on my branding and picked colors I liked. But, since I refocused my blog around the idea of living a vibrant life, I knew I needed to change up the colors to reflect that theme and message. Muted and pastel shades of green, blue, and lavender just were not translating my message the way I needed to.
So, I decided to do some color palette soul searching and spent hours looking through different color combinations on Pinterest. I finally settled on a bit of a variation of my original color palette and choose a vibrant spread of turquoise, indigo, and orchid purple. Recently, though, I realized that I needed to add a little more pop of color that added some contrast to my new color palette and introduced a coral red and mustard yellow. I’m SO thrilled with the palette and feel like it really reflects my overall vibe!
The other design element I had to fix was my WordPress theme. Prior to this summer, I had gone through about 5 different themes and templates and none of them were working out the way I wanted them to. First of all, I’m not very tech/code savvy, so trying to customize a theme was way beyond my limited skills. I buy a theme thinking “oh, this will be great as long as I can change the color and font” and never be able to get it the way I wanted. I was getting SO frustrated with my lack of skills and the money I kept spending on templates.
I finally stumbled upon the theme I currently have from BellaCreativeShop on Etsy and fell IN LOVE with it, but knew I needed the colors to be different. I was so excited to see that there was a VERY affordable installation/customization package that I could buy in addition to the theme and within two days, had the layout of my dreams completely customized in my brand colors. Gina (the owner) was SO amazing to work with, responded to all my emails within a few minutes and adjusted everything to my exact specifications. SO! If you’re in the market for a new theme (and don’t want the hassle of installing it yourself) I highly recommend Gina from BellaCreative. She’s also running a promo for 25% off all themes and installation packages from now until Monday, the 28th of November!
Invest in Yourself and Your Blog
Sometimes, you just need to take a leap and invest in yourself and your blog to take it to the next level. There have been many times when I have been stuck thinking “what do I do next to grow and get better?” and just be completely overwhelmed with not knowing what to do. Here’s the thing: there is no bachelor’s degree in becoming a blogger/influencer and there is no textbook that can give you the secret formula to success. This whole blogging thing is very much a figure-it-out-as-you-go, trial and error type gig and while that’s fun and exciting at times, it also can be frustrating and overwhelming!
However! There ARE some pretty awesome bloggers out there who have been at this for quite some time and have figured out some strategies that help them be successful. Some of those bloggers have created courses and classes to teach those strategies and most often, they do not come cheap. It can be absolutely terrifying to spend money on an online class and not know if you’ll see a return on it, but more often than not, it’s worth it!
I recently just invested in Erica’s (from Coming Up Roses) BossPitch course – all about strategically pitching and collaborating with dream brands. It was terrifying and exhilarating all at once to invest in myself like that, and it gave me SUCH an amazing boost of motivation and inspiration for my blog. I wanted to make sure my blog was in an ideal position so that I could take full advantage of the materials in the class, so I immediately got to work making a list of small things to work on, like re-doing some old Pinterest graphics with my new brand colors and updating my email list.
So, as terrifying as it can be to invest in yourself and your blog, it can truly be worth it! Yes, there have been a few “dud” classes out there that were not worth my time or money, but if you do your research and truly dedicate yourself to finding the RIGHT course for YOU, it can help re-inspire and motivate you to get back on the blog train.
Do a Reader Survey
Oh reader surveys! I remember the first one I did for Life with Rosie about 6 months into blogging seriously. I was silly and promoted the crap out of it to a bunch of random people in facebook groups, and got a lot of skewed data that got me so discouraged. It was #badnewsbears. It took everything I had not to throw in the towel for blogging after that first survey, but thankfully, my sweet husband helped me pull up my bootstraps and look at the data logically.
Since then, I’ve learned that reader surveys can be SUPER valuable, but only if you conduct them in the right way! (NOTE- Only ask your regular readers for feedback because they are the ones who matter! Not other bloggers who haven’t ever head of you (or read you) before!) Reader surveys give you valuable information on who your audience actually is, what kind of content they are enjoying, and what content they might not care for as much. Additionally, if you’ve been debating on changing a couple things up, you can bounce those ideas off your readers before flipping the switch.
Of course, HTC is first and foremost my space and I will only continue to write things that are honest and authentic to ME as a person. But, the way I present that information (or what kind of topics I could expand on) will always be written with my audience’s insterests at heart. The community here at HTC has litereally changed my life, in more ways then I will every be able to express, and I could never find the words to thank you all enough.
So, that being said, I’m conducting a quick little survey (it will take you 10 minutes or less!) to help me prepare content for the new year. If you’re a relatively regular reader here at HTC, I would SO appreciate it if you would fill out the survey! If you do (and if you leave a comment below saying you did) you’ll be entered to win a $25.00 gift card to the Apple Store! Soooooo, yeah! I’ll be a huge fan if you help me out!
If you are on the Hey There, Sunday email list, you’ll have gotten an email about this already
This blogging journey that I’m on is always challenging me, stretching me, and changing me. Yes, there have been periods of time where I’ve been un-inspired by my space, but following a few of these steps (or all) has always brought me back to my blogging roots and helped me find the motivation to write.
I’d love to hear what YOU do (if you’re a blogger) to find inspiration for your blog. And if you are not a blogger, I’d love to hear what you do to find inspiration in general!