8 simple ideas to inspire your blogging

Another New Year’s inspirational post? Not exactly…

The blogosphere is full of inspirational New Year’s posts. And why not? It’s that time of the year to dust off the good ideas you may have left behind last year and refresh them. Or not.

This post is about finding new inspiration for your blog and its care and feeding. Can you believe some folks’ resolutions are to STOP blogging? Oh, the horror!

Well, that could have been me!

In 2016, I left the comfort of blogging on WordPress dot com, for the world of self-hosting. I envisioned taking my blog to a business level (with no real plan in mind, other than tying it in with my consulting business), having been inspired by many fellow bloggers who have done so. For many, self-hosting is a wonderful and valuable experience. However, there are limitations. Losing your followers is a big one, followed by endless social networking and just plain work!

I retired for a reason!

In September, shortly after re-launching my eBook, my images slowly and systematically began disappearing off my posts. Because I was still associated with WordPress dot com, I successfully used their happiness engineers to aid me with the problem, as well as migrating it all back to dot com. I am much happier here. Since I “came back” I now have almost 300 new followers.

For most of us, blogging is a hobby, a creative outlet for writing, sharing and connecting. Overall, I want to be able to simply blog about what I LIKE and not what some random “how-to” book suggests to be successful. Just what IS success anyway? A blog with 20,000 followers? Sure. A blog where the writer happily posts whatever they feel inspired to write? Another yes.

Whatever the reason you blog, is yours alone! Own it and be happy to share your thoughts.

However, if you are looking for a little inspiration, try one of these simple ideas now.

8 Simple Ideas to Inspire Your Blogging

Start with the easy ones first!

1. Spruce up your blog site with a new theme, or simply add a new header and fresh color schemes! When I moved back to WordPress dot com, the Premium package was discounted, so I splurged and have many more options for customizing the look of my blog.

  • Debby at DGKaye Writer just posted helpful blog information using widgets.  Small changes make for big differences in the appeal of your blog and help motivate you when you look at your own blog!

2. Reach out and leave comments on other blogs rather than just pressing “like.” (I know, sometimes I do that too when I am in a hurry and want to acknowledge the post). It might take an extra moment or two, but we bloggers ALL love comments!

3. Take part in WordPress challenges. Many bloggers offer their own challenges, whether it is photography, flash fiction, coffee chats, etc. Challenges help you focus on a subject and provide a daily or weekly structure to your posting schedule, while providing subject matter for your blog.

Try these intermediate ideas for sharing and networking!

4. Start your own link-up. Or partner with another blogger who does link parties. Link-ups are a great way to network your blog. I have met countless bloggers through this system.

  • Inlinkz seems to be the easiest method for offering link-ups.

5. Get more involved in another social network—for example, if you don’t tweet, try it!  I recently flipboard started Flipboard, a magazine-style app for saving and collecting articles. I added a button for Flipboard for easy sharing at the bottom of my posts. It’s doable for WordPress dot com users. If you are using Flipboard, please follow me here! If not, at least check it out.

  • Janice at Mostly Blogging turned me on to Flipboard with this post.

6. Explore a local MeetUp with other bloggers.

MeetUp is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world. Meetup allows members to find and join groups unified by a common interest, such as politics, books, games, movies, health, pets, careers or hobbies.

Because of my growing photography interest, I recently clicked on MeetUp’s explore page and found a local, nature-event photography club. Even if you don’t meet other bloggers, connecting with others in a leisure interest may inspire you in ways you didn’t imagine!

If you REALLY need inspiration, try these more advanced tips!

7. Start a specialized Facebook group tailored to your blog. I am surprised at how many bloggers do not use social media to promote their blog posts.

Facebook groups are more complicated but yield great results for networking. The newest one on the block is Big Up Your Blog hosted by Suzie Speaks. Visit her blog where she has instructions on how to join.

Is starting your own Facebook group a daunting task? This IS the advanced section after all. However, simply joining a Facebook group should be much easier.

I haven’t started a Facebook group yet, but I do have a Facebook page. Second Wind Leisure Perspectives, is set up just for my blog and its posts. It is meant to be separate from my main Facebook page. These are all simple to set up via WordPress.

If you take photos, Instagram is an easy way to share photos from your blog or just for fun. Instagram allows you to share the photo through Facebook and Twitter as well. All of these social networking sites are accessible from my blog’s sidebar and can be set up on your blog site in a similar fashion.

8. Do you have a lot of posts centered around a particular subject? Consider using those to create and write your own eBook. My eBook was inspired by this post, How to Use Your Photos to Generate Blog Ideas and Readers.

Better Blogging coverFrom this and other posts, I was able to write my eBook, Better Blogging with Photography. Perhaps my eBook will provide some inspiration for you. Click the above which will take you straight to the book on Amazon. It’s on sale for 99 cents for the month of January!

I am proud to know a growing number of bloggers who have self-published books within the last year. There is an incredible amount of inspiring authors in this group: Glimpses Book Review and Author Round-Up

What will inspire your blogging this year? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments!


120 thoughts on “Eight Simple Ideas to Inspire Your Blogging

  1. Thanks for the great tips, Terri. I have just checked out Debby’s post on using widgets, which was very helpful. I am now off to explore Meet Up!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great ideas, Terri! I need to think about how to enhance my blog in 2017. My Twitter followers have increased quite a bit, and I started using Pinterest last year with some success too. I have used Flipboard in the past and have an account, but have not really used it lately. I have followed you and will explore it some more again and see how I might use it this year. BTW, I also bought your book on Amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll send you my info so you can redesign my site :). CAN’T FIND THE TIME! Good advice, although as you probably know if you get strung out on too many Facebook groups it will literally suck all your free time away keeping up!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Some wonderful ideas and tips there Terri. It is funny because I also went over to self-hosting for the same reasons as you, but just ended up losing followers as well.It also got a bit too much and I had a complete break from it.
    I am back, though, and like you, just blogging because I enjoy the interaction I get with all kinds of lovely people 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There is a growing number of us, Judy, coming back. I think WP has some excellent features that people forget about. WP encourages bloggers to be successful any way they choose. All I heard was a hosted site could take your blog down without warning, etc, and while that may be true for a tiny %, the average blogger can do just fine on hosted sites. Thanks for your comment, Judy!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Great tips, Terri. I agree with robjodie. I always have a list of topics in my head I want to write about and on Wednesdays, I usually do the WordPress photography challenge. It all requires a lot of time. What I have been struggling with is this: do I keep writing what I want to write about, which is easy, but, according to my husband not very interesting. Or, do I start focusing on a niche and attract a group of people that way. Focusing on one topic, the experts say, is better to grow an audience and provide real information… But, it is much more work and even more time-consuming, which will then lead to, say one post a week instead of three.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for including my post in yours Terri. Great post! Now I’m curious to know why you think your lost your images off your other blog?
    And ps. I’m on my desktop now that isn’t playing friendly with WP so it won’t allow me to ‘like’ or comment 😦 so I’m signing in with FB to leave this comment. 🙂 Gotta fight fire with fire, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wondered why I had to approve this! Glad to share your post–great info we can all use! Yes, my blog when self-hosted showed the images in the gallery but not on the blog. We did have the same theme, so you might want to think about changing yours perhaps, that could be the issue with yours.


  7. Great tips, Terri. Some I have tried and some I will try soon! Trying a new approach to add a little vigor to your blog is a good way to start the new year, and your tips are always practical and helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting what you say about having a FB group dedicated to your blog. I had my FB group first – linked to my blog and mainly shoes & accessories plus my latest blog posts (regardless of post topic). I then started my FB page, loosely linked with my blog and I share a lot of the same information. Difference is in my group, members can add posts and sell/buy shoes etc as well. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy New Year Terri! These are great ideas to tweek our work in the next year- or maybe even take it to another level. I’m glad you found your blogging home and are happy with it. I have recently started thinking about my blog as more than a blog but as one aspect of a business. I am working on a course and a book- lots of big plans for this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Terri I’m so glad you didn’t give up although I know the feeling. It is so hard to try to get followers and keep them interested. I currently do the tips you have provided although there are a couple I can improve upon such as the WordPress challenges and local catchups. Always learn something from you and have a wonderful New Year my friend. x


  11. Like many others have said, this is a great post to kick off a new year with, Terri. Plenty of great ideas that are going to inspire many people.
    I took a blogging break over the Christmas & New Year holiday and came back with a few new ideas for blog features. So far, so good. They seem to have gone down well. It’s amazing what taking a blogging break can do.
    I rearrange the widgets on my blog a few times during the year, as well as change the colour scheme. A fresh look not only looks good but also make you feels good. 😀
    Thanks for the mention of your review of ‘Glimpses’ post.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Wow! You’ve given me a lot to think about Terri. The first thing I’m going to explore are wordpress challenges. I have not ventured into this area and it sounds intriguing. Thank you for giving us such great ideas that have obviously worked very well for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Terri, I’m on Twitter and Pinterest and that’s about it. Blogging once a week and doing a bit with those two social media takes all the time I have. I can’t imagine adding Facebook to the mix. Nevertheless, I found this post very encouraging! I love your enthusiasm!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wonderful roundup of ideas and resource . Elena is always full of so many great ideas that I save to my Pinterest blogging board and return to again and again. Great idea on the ebook, I’ve already got so much content I need to do that!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Some great ideas here, thanks for the tips! I’d like to start a Facebook page for my blog, but haven’t figured out how to link my WordPress posts directly to it (they currently post directly to y personal page).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have changed my theme several times over the last few years. I write down all my widgets and get any URLS that are attached to them. WordPress make it pretty easy, but sometimes, you have to add some of the widgets back in. If anything, you can easily change your header or colors 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You can play with it and try different things before you commit to a permanent change. You can see what it will look like. I’ve just changed my header and background colour, not my theme. had to take a deep breath and steel myself, but I’m happy with what I came up with. It looks fresh and new after 18 months of the same look.

        Liked by 2 people

  16. New ideas always welcome. I have never participated in any WordPress challenges, because my head is full of my own ideas, I do not need other’s ideas. I am the one who select his own paths to wander. 🙂

    I use my blog to be better photographer. People tell if I have managed with my photography.

    Next maybe new to many bloggers. When posting, I am learning languages at the same time. English, I learnt in school, Spanish I learnt when working 4½ months in Spain. French I learnt by reading French books with my dictionary. After ten books I used up my dictionary. After ten books translated by using dictionary, was enough good to understand French text. This means that I very seldom need a French dictionary. Finally, I learnt Portuguese on two winter courses (once a week). When writing my posts in four languages, I need to grammars, syntaxes and dictionaries. My visitors came last year from 199 different countries and maybe the reason to it is that I write in so many languages. I think that it is a real challenge to write in four languages. It keeps my brain fresh and active.

    Of course, blogging is a hobby, but wonderful one.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank You replying. Weekly Photo Challenge, yes, so it might be, but for a short time. I give here four links to You. Two first show examples of my winter posts from my Winter Wonderland and two how our blogs are noted in the world.

        Examples of my winter posts:

        World’s Biggest Snow Castle.

        Arctic Circle in winter.

        First link shows Your blog:


        Here is mine:

        Sartenada’s photo blog.

        Read them carefully to get some ideas.

        Best regards Matti from Finland.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. My biggest blogging fault is not interacting with fellow bloggers! It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just something I need to make time for. I’ve tweeted and pinned your post, Terri… great info! Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Some really amazing tips there, some I do, some I don’t and I am always learning. I blog because I enjoy it mostly. Thank you for a fantastic post. Glad you’re back.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. What a lovely post.
    What you said was definitely true. Having success isn’t necessarily 120,000 followers, that’s merely just a number. But if you blog truly from what you like and from what you want to write about, about something that makes you happy, then you’re reaching the right goal with blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Reblogged this on Odyssey of a Novice Writer and commented:
    I stumbled across Terri Webster Schrandt’s blog, Second Wind Leisure,’ and found the article below quite helpful. If you get an opportunity to explore Terry’s web, you should do so. She has some very good content there as well as a very generous offer of free photos that you can utilize for your blogging. Check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Great tips. I’m in the process of designing a self hosted website but think at least for a while I’ll keep both running–maybe only posting the stuff that really suits the new site while still having the freedom on my dot com site.

    Liked by 1 person

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