A Brilliant Brainstorming Secret : That Every Blogger Should Know

b803d38d562a4f3db8ac2061eb9a6e80I like to consider myself a seasoned blogger.

What I mean is, I have been blogging for some years now and I have “been around the block” so-to-speak. I have experienced the shining moments when an article of mine was well received and went viral on Pinterest or Hometalk. Or when my sites traffic sky-rocketed for a solid 2 months because of a project or round up I shared. However, I have also endured the harder times when I thought the subject I was writing about or an image I created would be a hit… and it wasn’t.

I think trial and error has always been the best way I have learned anything. From blogging to my full-time job, and even in my personal life. I absorb info best when “thrown into the fire.”

No plan… just go for it when it feels right!  If you want your blog to stay a hobby and nothing more… this would be a fine path to continue to pursue.

But I want to take my blog to the next level. And I am sure, you do too if you are reading this.

The No Plan Method (if you would even call it a method) has pretty much been my modus operandi with Arts & Classy until recently. Posting projects here and there. Hoping for readers to stick with me and be happy when they do see a post in their email inbox from me. But this is not a conducive process to gain a loyal following. I realize that now.

Recently, I have been doing my very best to approach my blog with a plan. Enough of this… post when you feel like it. It isn’t effective and if I want to reach my goal by next year of making a full income online, cutting the wishy-washy artist side of me has to stop.

I do love my wishy-washy artist side at times. She’s cool. She doesn’t strive for perfection… she finds the beauty in flaws. But in the world of blogging, not really effective to grow my platform. So she can hang out and chime in on other things. I am not getting rid of her completely because she is creative and all my projects come from this side! I would be lost without her. 

My main struggle was approaching my blog with a business mindset. Then I found Regina at byregina.com. She is my hero. I think she is the first blogger I have gotten evangelical about. I love telling people about her because she knows her shit  stuff. She also creates amazing workbooks that help you hone in on whatever you want to fix, create, or grow on your platforms.

It was when beginning her “Grow Your Traffic With Social Media eKit” that I discovered what an editorial calendar was, and what it could do to help me make a plan. This excitement was teaming all through my body at the idea of getting my shit together and posting on a regular schedule. A lot of professional bloggers post on a schedule and have their calendars planned out 3-6 months in advance! Can you believe that?

That seemed crazy to me when I read it. How the hell could I plan that far in advance? I mean, that’s a good chunk of time.

After many attempts of filling out this editorial calendar excel doc that Regina posted on our GYBekit Google Community (you get access to this after acquiring the ‘Grow Your Blog Traffic With Social Media’ workbook) I was able to plan a couple days in advance, but really struggled with brainstorming ideas for months and months in advance. For some other bloggers in the GYBekit  Googe+ Community, it seemed effortless for them. Super jelly over here.

It wasn’t until I discovered Ruth at livingwellspendingless.com. She is also an amazing example of what a blogger can achieve. She is extremely successful with solely her blog, supporting her husband and 2 kids. I was impressed when I was exploring her site and products. I found that she was the author of a book that I had been seeing pop up around the web on other bloggers sites.

It’s called How to Blog for Profit: Without Selling Your Soul. Until I stumbled upon her site, it took me a about a year to decide to finally get it and read it. The reason I was reluctant to read it at first, was that I wasn’t sure if it would teach me a few things I didn’t already know. But I am happy to report that I am excited that I bought it, and at $9.99 it was a steal. Not a bad price at all. AND to top off, it learned so much from the book.

I downloaded the kindle version through my kindle app for my iPad. I love how seamless the download process was. No waiting for it to be shipped etc. Have I mentioned how much I adore my new iPad mini with retina display that I got for my birthday?

It was in that book that I discovered Ruth’s “brainstorming blog posts” method, and after applying it has already has changed my world and how I approach my calendar.

Here is her brainstorming break down that I have applied to my blog.

  1. Schedule a 1-hour brainstorming session twice a month in the morning when your mind is clearest.
  2. Brainstorm with a couple supplies: a pad of post-it notes and a pen.
  3. Lay out the sticky notes on a desk or other work surface, and on the top of each one, write all of your blogs “subcategories.” {For example, for me it would be something like…blogging, DIY, decorating, small space solutions, etc.}
  4. During that 1 hour (uninterrupted period) ponder some ideas for posts that would fit into each subcategory.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this. I have always been a visual person, and this brainstorming method really helps me connect all the dots for my posting ideas. It also helps when developing series posts ideas. It has assisted me in prioritizing projects, posts, and my to-do list.

Regina at byregina.com also has stellar ideas with brainstorming, such as, creating a “theme” for each month and developing all posts that month to fit that theme. This will work well with holidays and seasonal topics that are frequently searched during those months. GENIUS!

My first themed month will be January 2015!

What continues to amaze me about the blogosphere is that there are so many methods for creating a functioning system for your posting schedule. Do whatever feels right.

I am soaring on cloud 9 right now for the future and what I will be sharing with you. It’s important to stay connected to and surround yourself with more seasoned bloggers because they can help you better your site.

Now I ask you, what do you do to brainstorm your article/post ideas? Where do you draw your inspiration? I would absolutely love to know!

We are all in this together. Let’s help each other out. Please comment below and tell me what you are thinking about this subject.

Also, If you like this post, YOU WILL LOVE…

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    1. Courtney! I am so happy you found this post helpful. I seriously have tried so many ways to dream up my ideas, but post its just get me. 🙂 I am hoping you get the inspiration to keep on plugging away at your blog! I look forward to reading yours. 😉

  1. When I first started reading this post I was thinking, ‘what could she possibly say that could spark brainstorming inspiration?’ I gotta say, you definitely did! So simple, but I know it will work for me. Thanks for sharing-I’m so excited!!

    1. Tarynn! I am so happy you were inspired by this post and found it helpful! I know… it is so simple and it took be over 2 and a half years to get there. Good luck with your brilliant brainstorming session! 🙂

  2. I have been having such a hard time scheduling posts and thinking up ideas. I feel redundant with my posts! I’m so glad I found this post! Such a great concept! Thank you!

    1. Amanda! I am so happy to be hearing from you! I love knowing that this post’s info will help you on your blogging journey. It’s funny how it is such a simple concept, but so effective. I have been using it for about 2 months know and I am having a lot of success with it. Keep me posted on how this hopefully continues to work for you! Best of luck. 🙂

  3. Finally a post that gives actual advice instead of just “you can learn my secret for $10.99” . You’ve given me avreal boost, I wss stuck blogging random , empty posts just to fill my blog but this is a huge help! Thank you so much!

    1. Holly, I am so happy your found me, and that this brainstorming technique will hopefully help you on your blogging journey! Your comment has made my day! So happy I could help. 🙂 Good luck!

  4. Hi!! Thank you so much for this post-it was just what I needed! Sometimes I feel like my brain has hit a wall, and no idea sounds like a good idea! I am planning to jump into action this weekend, with a cup of coffee in hand, post its at my side, and it’s game on baby! I’ll let you know how it goes! Thank you!

    1. Kendra,

      I am so so happy you found this post helpful and motivating for you. I get that way too sometimes and don’t worry it is totally normal. Post-its are now my favorite way to brainstorm + writing ideas down on paper is super powerful. Yes please keep me posted on your progress!!! I can’t wait to hear! Best, Meredith

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