I’m writing this blog post for purely selfish reasons. I’m aware there are so many blog posts like this one online, but none of them help me create content when I don’t feel like creating content. Hopefully, this one will!
I work on a lot of different things, but at my core, I’m a content creator. I love curating my Instagram feed, I love filming Youtube videos, and I love writing things for people to read. I always feel my best when I’m putting my ideas out into the world. And even though they might not be the most life-altering or visually appealing ideas, they’re mine. And they wouldn’t be out in the world if I didn’t bring them to life.
But every once in a while I find myself scrounging the depths of my brain for ideas and I find none. For someone who loves to create, that’s no fun.
I’ve been creating content for about 8 years now and I still haven’t cracked the code of what to do when I don’t know what to create. I’m not sure anyone has cracked it, to be honest with you.
But I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that have helped me work through the tough times when everything I create is shitty or, worse yet, when I just don’t even know what to create.
I present to you, my how-to-create-content-when-you’re-uninspired manual:
Good Old Pinterest
Pinterest is the superior social media platform and I will die on this hill. It’s unproblematic, it’s full of cool ideas and helpful information, and it keeps my grandmother entertained for hours. How can anyone not love Pinterest?
When I’m uninspired I like to go through my Pinterest home feed and just consume everything it has to offer. Everyone’s home feed is different of course, but essentially it’s a feed created specifically for you so there’s a pretty big chance you’ll find things that inspire you.
My feed is full of cool pictures, graphics, outfits, food, architecture, etc. It’s very me and when I feel uninspired I like going through everything it has to offer and pinning my favorites. I’m not entirely sure how to explain it, but when I’m scrolling through my feed and looking at pretty things, it makes me want to create pretty things of my own. I’ll get ideas for Instagram pictures or tips on how to film better Youtube videos and that usually puts me in creator mode.
On the off chance I’m feeling too bleh to search for inspiration, I just turn to things that have inspired me in the past. I go into my profile and look at my curated pins. I always pin things that I love and that inspire my life so there’s no better way to find inspiration than to look at things that I already know inspire me.
So the next time you’re completely stuck and uninspired to create, the doctor (me) recommends a healthy dose of Pinterest to soothe the soul.
Have an Idea Machine
The Idea Machine concept was introduced to me a few months ago and it has changed my life! At its core, an idea machine is just a place where you can store your ideas as they come to you. And when you run out of ideas for content or whatever, you can go back to your Idea Machine and realize there are still a ton of ideas you haven’t pursued yet.
I’m not the best at explaining the concept but this Twitter thread has all the info you need to start your own.
I house my Idea Machine in Notion and I have a super simple system.
I have an ‘Idea Brainstorm’ column where I just write any idea or content resource that comes to mind. I have a ‘Good Ideas’ column where I move all the good ideas that come from my brain dump. I also have an ‘Ideas to Execute’ column where I house all the ideas I want to bring to life. And finally, an ‘Ideas Done’ column where I move and keep track of all the ideas I’ve executed.
It’s such a simple process that works for me and has saved me from having nothing to post time and time again. And the beauty of this concept is you can truly make it your own and discover the best way it can serve you and your crazy ideas.
If you’re someone who tends to have an influx of ideas at the weirdest times you need an Idea Machine to store them. Otherwise, they’re just another thought running through your head, and you don’t want that.
Save Instagram Content That Inspires You
Instagram can be a great waste of time. Or it can be a great source of inspiration. For me, it’s a bit of both.
And when I’m struggling to come up with ideas of what to post on Instagram, I love to check up on my favorite creators and see what they’re doing. I save tons of beautiful pictures, good post concepts, and even funny memes. Anything that makes me feel something is immediately saved. I do this even when I’m not looking for inspiration because I know that I’ll need those beautiful posts eventually.
I plan out and batch produce my IG content at the beginning of the week. When it’s a particularly hard week and I feel uninspired to create, I always go back to my saved items and get inspired by the beautiful content. I even go as far as creating a ‘weekly inspo’ folder where I save particularly interesting content that I want to share with my followers to help them get inspired too.
This trick is similar to the Pinterest one but I specifically use this technique when I don’t know what to post on Instagram. And most of the time, it works!
The next time you’re scrolling through your Insta feed to pass the time, save all the content that makes you laugh or that you think is pretty. Your future, uninspired self will thank you for it.
Recycle Old Content
This is the oldest trick in the book. But it works so it’s worth mentioning.
Whenever I’m stuck with my content but I want the momentum of consistency to keep going, I always go back in time and recreate one of my best-performing pieces of content. It’s easy, I know my audience likes it, and nine times out of ten it looks a lot better than my first attempt.
You don’t just have to do this with one form of content. If you have more than one social media platform, you can recycle blog posts and turn them into videos and vice versa. The possibilities are truly endless!
Now, if you just started creating content and don’t have anything to recycle, recycle someone else’s content. I’m not saying copy their ideas but grab the general concept and give it your twist. Every creator does this whether they disclose it or not. And it’s a good way to establish constant posting even when your brain is fresh out of inspo.
Quality Over Quantity… Or Is It Quantity Over Quality?
Now this one I haven’t made my mind up on.
On the one hand, you want to post content that you love and that your audience extracts value from. You don’t want to post just for the sake of posting. So it is my belief that you should only post content that you’re proud of and that your audience will enjoy. Even if that means not posting every day.
On the other hand, I know consistency is key when you’re growing an audience. A lot of people swear by constantly posting on their social channels even if they don’t love the content they’re producing all the time. They churn out great content every once in a while and supplement that with ok content the rest of the time.
Personally, I go back and forth between these two. Some days I’m all for quality and others I just need to get things out as fast as I can. But if I had to stick to one, it would probably be quality because it aligns better with what I want to do with my platforms. If you’re all for growing quickly though, you might want to go for quantity.
Take A Break
If all else fails, take a break.
Sometimes your brain needs to shut off for a while and think about something other than posting schedules and photo ops. And that is completely fine. Like with many other things in life, if it’s just not working let it go.
Taking a break from posting doesn’t come without its consequences but it’s better for you –– and your inspiration –– in the long run.
Whenever this has happened to me, I always come back inspired and rejuvenated. And every time I take a break my content tends to get better and better. It’s like looking at things from a new perspective or something.
The key is in knowing when to persevere through the lack of inspiration and when it’s best to quit.
And that’s it for my how-to-create-content-when-you’re-uninspired manual –– sort of. Give these a try whenever you feel the lack of inspiration surging and thank me later!
P.s. If you’re a content creator and you too suffer from a lack of inspiration every once in a while, what do you do to get it back? I’m dying for more tips to add to the sorta-manual.