Last week my fellow photographer friend Maki asked me how I’m able to stay inspired and write blog posts consistently.
The short answer is that I’m not always inspired – but I write anyway.
How I used to write blog posts
The first couple years I wrote blog posts only when I was feeling inspired – I had heard, seen or experienced something that got me to think and want to write. Sometimes I was in some kind of crazy flow state and the words would just pour out, leading to 3-5 blog posts at a time.
(There may have been something that would have been more important to work on that day – but I have space for the inspiration and dealt with the consequences later.)
I’d schedule the blog posts out once per week, and hope that I would brush against inspiration again before I ran out of scheduled posts.
I wanted to treat every aspect of my photography business as a business owner – not as an artist
One day in early spring 2019 I decided that I would really simplify some things I did on the backend of my business, especially the tasks I do for marketing. And I needed to treat the tasks I decided to keep as the important business tasks that they are – and leave the inspiration for my photography.
Blogging is part of my marketing, which makes it an important part of my business and not something I should treat as my art. And I learned to cultivate and find that inner source of inspiration for my writing, even when I at first didn’t sit down at my keyboard too inspired.’
Tricks that help me write blog posts:
#1 Keep an idea document
Whenever you hear, read, see, experience something that sticks with you, that inspires you, or that you feel the need to address, write it down. I have the Google Drive app on my phone and keep a document there for ideas. I might write down just a title, a topic, a sentence – anything that felt inspiring in that moment. This way I have a treasure trove of inspiration to draw from when I sit down to write.
#2 Dedicate a writing day
I sit down to write blog posts every four weeks, for the next four weeks. I have nothing else planned for that day other than writing – nothing else needing my attention, nothing else to think about for “once I’m done with this”. Often I get my writing done fast enough to also schedule my social media posts for those same four weeks.
#3 Create a writing ritual
When you always do things in the same way, in the same place, your system will kick into gear – “Ahh yes, this is that time when we write.” Ninety percent of my writing days are spent at the coffee shop, drinking a spicy chai latte, with the ambient coffee shop sound helping me get lost in my screen.
#4 Keep a distractions list
Keep a piece of paper or an opened notebook close-by, so that *if* you get distracted by an idea or a to do while you are writing, you can jot it down to tackle later. That way you can let it go and not worry about forgetting it.
But! If that task would take you just a couple minutes, and it’s available to you in that exact moment, just get it done. You’re already distracted, so you might as well get that little thing out of the way.
#5 Re-love, repurpose, recycle
Because there is a lot to do in a photography business, there is no shame in re-loving, repurposing, and recycling content within your business.
Re-love – don’t be scared to share your old blog posts – give them some love again when they feel relevant.
Repurpose – turn other pieces of content into blog posts, or vice versa. (A big part of this blog post is built around a Facebook Live I did in my blog post challenge Facebook group, which I thought could work well as a blog post too!) Maybe you tend to write really long social media captions sometimes – those could easily be developed into blog posts, too!
Recycle – you can write an updated version for the year of an informational post, especially if things have changed in your business.
A word on “keeping up” with writing when you’re pressed for time
If you are going through a rough patch, you’re planning a trip, or in some way know that you can’t tend to your blog as much as you’d like, don’t be afraid to schedule out social media posts or email newsletters that link back to old favorite blog posts for a period of time. You can be upfront about it if you’d like, and call that period of time something like a “summer-time revival” of blog posts while you spend time with what matters to you.
If you would love some major support and accountability to start off 2020 with building up your blogging habit, I would love to have you join me in the Stand-out Blogging for Photographers Workshop. We start round 2 on January 18, 2020.