I’ve read a lot lately about blogging getting people down, about it not being what it used to be, about the community and the workload changing. I am the first to admit I get stuck in ruts with it, it’s my job now, so there are bound to be days when It overwhelms me. I have plenty of unposted drafts from those days, funnily enough they rarely get finished, as something more exciting usually distracts me.
When I asked my fellow bloggers what I should talk about at Blogstock, the blogging festival on Friday 4th – Sunday 6th September, at Aldenham Country Park, Elstree, London, they all suggested I unpick how you create success as a generalist, as opposed to someone who has a niche. As a blogger I have always thrived on not having a niche and its stood me in great stead in terms of both amazing opportunities, and making a living. The great thing about Blogstock is it isn’t for any one niche of bloggers.
BLOGSTOCK A place for pioneering new bloggers, established veterans, vloggers, YouTubers, Foodies, Tech-heads, Travel addicts and social media junkies to meet, learn, experience and party!
I am really excited by the idea of Blogstock – a festival style conference for all kinds of creative bloggers – networking with other creative people is just what you need when you work alone. It’s outdoors too – with tents and tipis for sessions – I always venture outdoors when my blogging brain gets stuck, so it makes complete sense to have a blogging festival. If you think it might be for you too – I reckon it might if you are still reading – I have tickets to giveaway and discount codes.
There are loads of great speakers, I want to go to all the sessions already, plus live music, fun and entertainment. The pictures of Blogstock 2014 by the way, are by fellow speaker Elizabeth at Rosalillium, check out her Blogstock post and blog about the day.
50 ways to boost your creativity
Nurturing my own creativity is what helps me thrive, especially now that blogging is my job rather than my hobby. I won’t lie to you, writing blog posts every day (and all day sometimes), changes things, and if I didn’t find ways to mix it up I would be stuck in a blogging rut all the time. I love the flexibility of working for myself, being around for my kids and creating amazing opportunities for my family, but sometimes I do ponder what it would be like to do something else for a living.
At that point I reach for some new inspiration, conferences are a brilliant way to rejuvenate your blogging mojo, but day to day I dip into my creative tool box of blogging techniques and try something new.
I’ll be sharing at least 50 ways to boost your creativity in my session at Blogstock and I am kicking off with a few here to whet your appetite. I used to be a drama and film teacher, I also have a Creative Writing Diploma and an MA in Media Education, I believe in Iifelong learning, trying new things and being creative – (but I promise not to make anyone be a tree, do any role play or drama games in my session).
Have you made time to refocus and plan?
The timing of Blogstock is perfect for me, as a parent Summer is always full on, September is always the time to refocus and plan for the year ahead. I’ll be including some tools to help make room in life for more creativity in my session too. I’m leaving some time for you to make an action plan too.
Check out the video from 2014 here:
About me, and my blogs
Blogging has opened my mind and lots of doors….
Parentshaped covers our family adventures, my first multi award-winning blog A Residence began as a parenting blog but ventured more into lifestyle as my kids grew up, and by the time it was bought by Wayfair.co.uk, the home store last year, it was a garden, food, interiors blog. I now write it as a freelance employee. Space In Your Case, the award winning travel site I co-edit with 3 others, is all about family travel – it won an award after only 6 months, demonstrating the power of creative collaboration. I’m also one of the three founding members of Team Honk – we’ve achieved three awards for social media and fundraising campaigns with Comic Relief, highlighting their work live from projects in the UK and Africa.
5 easy steps to boost your blogging creativity, and get you out of an artistic rut.
1. Keep a notebook. Obvious I know, but everyone says they do it. I always say I do it, but in truth I’ve often let the best ideas float off. Notebooks are a brilliant way to commune with your subconscious mind and when you get into a habit, magic stuff happens.
2. Brainstorm for an angle. That 2 minutes spent with the topic and an empty page, with a pen you give permission to write down anything that comes to mind, could be the difference between a run of the mill blog post and a totally original angle. Give yourself permission to wander into your subconscious.
3. Get organised. Have SMART goals, swot up on time management, be able to differentiate between urgent and important – I’ll share some great ideas in my session. If you want to leave time to be creative, you absolutely need to prioritise.
4. Collaborate – blogging can be a solitary pursuit, I’ll be talking about easy, and more involved ways to work with others to boost your creativity and earnings.
5. Learn a new skill – this week I decided to try out making videos on my phone, it was exactly the release from editing at my desk I needed.
Goes without saying, but go for a walk, get out in nature, or head to Blogstock!
My session: How To Boost Your Blogging Creativity
Penny Alexander gives you the chance to get hands on with simple tricks which can significantly enhance your creative output as a blogger. From writing, to design, to film and photography – blogging is all about being a creative, but it can be hard to find the time to nurture your creative development. We’ll take time to make your creative action plan, to supercharge your creativity going forwards.
What you get: 50 ways to boost your blogging creativity. An action plan for your own creativity going forward. Lots of inspirational ideas to play with straight away.
I have either two standard tickets or one family ticket up for grabs (Includes 1 blogger ticket plus 2nd non-blogger ticket and unlimited children passes), just leave a comment telling me your favourite creative tip in the comments below.
You have until Wednesday 19th August to enter.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a thinly veiled attempt at crowdsourcing my session, I love creative conversations and using comments to create resources – I will be sharing my 50 tips in my session, but I will round up these tips as a handout for you to take home and also publish on the blog.
The Discount code
PA15 will get you 15% off when buying a ticket.
Image credit – Shutterstock Business Doodle.