In a world of excess, do people even practice intentionality anymore? Scrolling through my Instagram, browsing Pinterest or maybe finding new blog posts through Bloglovin, one thing is very obvious to me… There are so many “creatives” and bloggers in 2018. (Duh, Marah) That much is obvious but let’s dive deeper than this surface level fact. There are far too many self-proclaimed creatives, influencers and bloggers who I humbly say, are just contributing to the excess of noise. And if this statement of mine upsets you, please keep reading.
I actually wish to inspire you, rather than bring anyone down! With the words I’m typing, I hope to uplift you, push further than the norm and introduce intentional creativity into your life. This concept isn’t a new one and I’m not the creator of it. However, I’ve carved out my own take and figured out what intentional creativity means to me. Through this my aim is to help as many creatives, influencers and bloggers as I can, with this fresh new mindset you need to adopt. So allow me to share with you intentional creativity: the strategy you need to stick out in a saturated blogging industry.
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The Strategy You Need to Stick out
in a Saturated Blogging Industry
How many dead end days do you have where you feel overwhelmed with brainstorming creative content and sharing valuable information on your platforms? I’d be willing to bet this is a virus of an issue, plaguing most bloggers right now. Pending how serious and regular you are about sharing new work, this can really way down on your mind. There’s always another blog to discover and 100, 1,000, 10,000 other lovely women writing about fashion… (or whatever your niche is)
With one year of blogging under my belt, I feel I’m starting to have a better understanding of how to solve this issue. At the end of the day, saturation doesn’t have to equal the inability to succeed. With the proper mindset, approach and plan, you can stick out! While I don’t have the perfect solution, I think this practice will help you break new ground and contribute meaningful value to the blogging space.
So let’s go over a couple of no-no’s first…
1. Stop vomitting new content like there’s no tomorrow
Ahh, I know this sounds a little hostile but hear me out! All day and night it seems, we’re encouraged to post as much as we possibly can. Some social media marketers even encouraging to post on Instagram two, three times a day, everyday, if you can. And while I understand sometimes posting twice a day is necessary, (say if you want to break up a sponsored post with a non-sponsored one) it is in my opinion that this should be done sparingly rather than on the regular.
When we feel the obligation to post too frequently, it can come off a bit too random. (and trust me, you don’t want to bombard your followers with too much content) I believe rapidly posting isn’t the only growth method you need to utilize and honestly, it’s not even necessary. These days, instead of posting everyday of the week, I selectively choose to post on the days when I get the most engagement.
These posts have a clear plan behind them involving what I want to say, what the point is behind it and some type of call to action. On days when I don’t post, I simply engage! I believe I’ve cracked the code as to why engagement on Instagram is down for bloggers… Do you want to hear the crazy reason? And no, it’s not the big, scary algorithm guys.
So many of us are simply on Instagram to get likes and followers and couldn’t care less to engage with anyone. And no, commenting “super cute” or “love your outfit” does not count towards genuine engagement. If we really want to start seeing more people engage with us, then we have to take it upon ourselves to actually go out and talk to people on social media. If that’s Instagram, actually have real, meaningful conversations with people. Reply to peoples stories that interest you, click on the people’s accounts that commented on your photo and give them some love if their photos speak to you! Have a real conversation with people that dm you. Don’t just try and give a quick and basic reply, then move on.
2. Quit posting meaningless but pretty content and hoping it will stick
This follows pretty closely with the logic I talked about in my above point. If you don’t have anything meaningful or interesting to post, just don’t post! Take the day off and talk to your followers. Figure out who the people are that are constantly talking to you and actually give them the time of day. Actually show them that they mean the world to you for connecting with your content. Followers are not an entitlement, they’re a group of people that you earn attention from. They are your people and should be your number one priority, always. So treat them as such and don’t share meaningless content if you’re short on content. It’s okay, we’ve all been there from time to time. Regroup and show up on social the next day. You deserve the break to unplug too!
3. Put an end to simply copying all the trends and what’s working
I get it, following the trends can be a great way to grow. It works to do this from time to time. Riding the wave of something popular is a legitimate tactic. My issue is when your entire brand is just one popular trend after another with nothing unique to offer. We don’t need anymore bloggers simply creating the same content we saw twenty photos ago in our discover feeds. We’re all craving for something more and that’s very clear to me as I see these types of posts receiving less engagement.
Instead of engaging with every trend, try being selective about it. If you truly love that Free People dress you’re seeing everywhere and it clearly reflects your style, then wear it! Want to take a photo in a popular coffee shop in your city? Do it, just find a way to rework how everyone else has photographed it. Choose to engage in trends that you see perform well for others and perfectly embody who you are as a brand. But mix them in with your own unique style, content and taste.
4. And please, never, ever, copy another fellow creative’s art
I’m not going to expand on this point too thoroughly as I believe this is pretty fundamental. I’m aiming to lift you up and encourage you through this post. (I promise) BUT and this is a big but, if copying other creatives and robing them of the creative recognition they deserve is your game, I have zero respect for you and I don’t mind if you know it. Unoriginal content serves no one and only hurts this amazing community. So do me a favor and just avoid the temptation. Originality is queen and it needs to be at the forefront of your strategy as a blogger.
What to do instead:
1. Practice intentional creativity
How often do we shoot just to shoot? Because you need new content next week, right? How many creatives reading this feel an obligation to vomit new material like a machine, endlessly, day after day? I’ve felt this on a deep level almost my entire experience blogging. There’s so much pressure to keep up with everyone, stay relevant and continue growing. To do this, there’s no doubt you must produce unique content on the regular.
But the truth is, it doesn’t have to be a never ending cycle. You should never go through with shooting if you just don’t have a plan, purpose or creative idea in mind. I urge you as I’m attempting to do myself, to be more intentional about the art you’re putting out as a blogger, influencer or creative. Try to put a little meaning behind your next Instagram photo, create a message, come up with a creative concept for a photoshoot. Whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to shoot just because. Let’s get intentional ladies! (And don’t worry, I’m in this with you. It’s my struggle too!)
2. Plan out your intentions for the month
Another positive improvement you can make on your work, is to actually have intention behind your content’s monthly strategy. So rather than posting a bunch of random blog posts you came up with, each during that week, get ahead! Sit down each month and think about what message you want to convey. What problems do your readers & followers have that you want to solve? What collaborations do you have lined up?
Write all these things down and then create a plan that allows you to organize and understand what information you want to convey to your followers that month. In doing so, rather than publishing random topics and praying they’ll stick, you can dive a little deeper. It’s at this crossroad, that you may begin genuinely helping your readers, rather than just digging for likes, comments and views. Which are a nice boost to your ego but don’t actually translate to loyal, engaged followers who have been positively impacted by your blog.
3. Think of how you can always add value
Do me a favor and just completely take your wants out of the equation from here on out. There’s a difference between producing content that motivates and inspires you and simply putting out content that will produce the most likes for you and therefore give you a pat on the back. Blogging was never mean’t to be an ego boost. Your blog should serve as a platform that helps your readers. Whether it’s through posts that inspire them, help with a common problem or is simply uplifting. When creating your art & content, consider how you can help your followers and what problems they have that need solving. Once you stop focusing on yourself, you should see noticeable growth because you are now investing in creating a community. A group of real people, with real problems, that need your help!
4. Work the angles, never stop trying to be a game changer
Following on-brand trends can be a great way to hook and find new followers & readers but it shouldn’t be an integral part of your marketing plan. Sure, not everyone can come up with entirely original content on the daily but it can be done on a somewhat regular basis.
And if I can urge you to take any single piece of advice from this blog post, it’s this: Don’t take the word creative or blogger lightly.
This is a space in which the innovative and creatively gifted thrive, so don’t put what should be a priority, on the back burner. Put yourself in a position to foster a little inspiration and then run with it through your work. People will notice your talent and innovative art, so give this corner of your strategy all you have. And if you’re not sure where to begin, start with this: Think of how you can work a concept from a different angle. Try to breath new life into trends and reimagine them in your own image!
In conclusion, I truly hope this post was nothing but inspiring to you! My goal is not to be hostile or to hurt anyones feelings. However, I don’t want to be afraid to speak my truth, if I think it can help someone. Please share your comments, concerns or advice you’d like to contribute to this below. Let’s continue to be the talented bloggers we are and push for greater, more inspiring content together!