Get Inspired: Blog Ideas for 2014

Image by Stephen Ritchie (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Write more. Paint more. Photograph more. 

Do something amazing. Go down a different path.

Challenge myself. 

New year’s resolutions — you might make ‘em, or you may think they’re trite and a waste of time. Whatever the case, you’re here, aren’t you? Exploring WordPress.com, contemplating your next blog post, and scheming up 2014. We closed out 2013 with a showcase of year-long, daily, and weekly projects, so let’s brainstorm ways, big and small, to get your work out into the world in 2014.

Think big

the wanderers

Photographer and writer Stephanie Dandan at Infinite Satori sets off for Asia soon to work on a photo storybook called The Wanderers. Traveling solo, Stephanie will meet other explorers on her journey and tell their stories. She lays out her project on Kickstarter, and its design aesthetic — and her nomadic and adventurous spirit — echo the work she publishes on her blog.

But thinking big doesn’t mean you have to hop across oceans to take on something new. Writer and reader Andrea Badgley sets off on a literary journey: she launched Andrea Reads America, in which she plans to read three books set in each state of the US (plus the District of Columbia), and written by male, female, and non-Caucasian authors.

Think small

Consider small goals, too, which help you on your journey to where you’d like to be. Stay motivated or beat writer’s block with manageable, byte-sized tasks:

Join a blogging event — or launch your own

Participate in recurring events hosted by fellow bloggers, from photography and travel to fashion and writing. While we’re at it, check out Zero to Hero, WordPress.com’s January blogging challenge.

Or, why not create your own for 2014? Over the holidays, we mentioned Linda Silvestri’s fun and festive sketch project, in which she established HoHoDooDa (Holiday Doodle a Day). From recipe challenges hosted by food bloggers to reading clubs led by bibliophiles, consider your own event — then submit it to the blog listings page so others can join.

Ask people what they want

Curious about what your visitors want to read, or need advice on how to develop your characters? Ask ‘em. You’ve got the tools in your dashboard to do this, from polls to contact forms.

Insert a poll into a post or page to ask questions and get input. Bloggers use polls to meet their specific needs — and have used them creatively for collaborative, crowd-sourced storytelling, too. You can also insert a contact form to a post or page, through which readers can get in touch privately (without having to give out your email address). You can gather a lot of information from contact forms and personalize them as you see fit. Encourage modern-day letters to the editor. Urge your readers for detailed critical feedback on your latest essay or chapter-in-progress. Use these tools in ways that work for you.

Strategize for world domination

If the heading above got your attention, maybe you’re ready to expand your reach. Your blog is just one platform to shape your online presence. To build your network (and personal brand), reach out to people whose work you respect and ask to collaborate. Contribute a guest post elsewhere (bloggers set up submission pages in different ways — check out Thoughts of a Lunatic or A Manic World for examples), or widen your circle and invite guest bloggers to your own site.

Link your blog to your social media accounts like (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more) with Publicize, which you can do in Settings → Sharing in your dashboard. (We’ll publish a crash course on these tools next week, so stay tuned.) Also think about using social media strategically to best promote yourself and your work in a way that makes sense for you — take a look at these posts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, which are good starting points.

Give your site a makeover

New year, new you, new blog: it might be the perfect time to give your site a refresh. Again, you can go big (switch your theme) or small (add a widget or change your custom header image). Find inspiration in these theme customizations . . .

. . . as well as these showcases for more ideas:

Now, over to you: what’s in store for you — and your blog — in 2014?


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Cheri Lucas Rowlands

87 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Rebecca Meyer

    Good advice! Definitely some inspiration for the new year and some awesome new blog posts. :)

    Like

  2. bumblepuppies

    I don’t know if there will be much new for me. When I did my custom design last month, I forgot to create new comment boxes. Since everything else is so new, that’s probably all I’ll be changing for a while.

    Like

  3. Sheri

    I love this post so much! There are so many great ideas in it, and it really shows off the sheer number of awesome things WordPress.com can do with ease.

    Like

  4. JManuelCamposN

    Thanks for the ideas, I am checking other blogs related to English Teaching every day , I am also posting new information every day.

    Like

  5. Harliqueen

    Great advice, also love the title, ‘Strategize for World Domination’ :D Good ideas and stuff I hadn’t even thought of. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

    Like

  6. orthodoxmom3

    Thanks for the ideas! I hope to implement more soon. Right now, I’m just trying to keep up with my own goal of writing 6 days a week!

    Like

  7. Lucid Gypsy

    Ive been doing a weekly ‘lazy poets Thursday haiku using my own photo for inspiration and it seems quite popular!

    Like

  8. Kay Wilson

    So much great info here, I want to read this again & again as a guide & inspiration!

    Like

  9. andreabadgley

    I needed this today – the book I’m currently reading for Andrea Reads America is moving pretty slow, and I was starting to lose steam for the project. Seeing it here has remotivated me – thank you. I love all these other ideas as well. I am intrigued by the possibility of launching a blogging event. I’m going to think about that one.

    Like

  10. thedifferenceis13

    Excellent bullet points to start fresh and better oneself.

    Like

  11. philly89

    Great ideas that I will definetely try out!

    Like

  12. hecaterin

    I consider this post very motivational. Today I created my own blog, my first blog and your post tells me exactly what I need. Thanks

    Like

  13. margber

    Love these ideas. Bookmarked….

    Like

  14. joseyphina

    Great advice! Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  15. Gaurab

    Gave a make over to my blog few days ago and will continue my association with some of the blogging events that I take part in. This post has given me a push for having my own personalized targets as well. :)

    Like

  16. elizabethrhodes87

    Thanks so much for all the ideas, and the ventures you mentioned at the beginning are so inspiring!

    Like

  17. Kathleen Dixon Donnelly

    My new year’s resolution for my blog, ‘Such Friends,’ about early 20th century writers and artists, is to post regularly about what they were doing in Ireland, England, France and America 100 years ago, 1914. It’s going to be quite a year…

    Like

  18. Paul Bowler

    Some great advice, thanks for posting so many good ideas!

    Like

  19. dealersunited

    Excellent piece Cheri. For me, at least, it is timely and useful.

    Like

  20. ornellataylor

    Loved it! Definitely going to share with others.

    Like

  21. Steve

    I gave my blog a makeover a few days ago and it’s given me more inspiration to carry on and do more. I’ve set up a few weekly events and more people are joining in and I have more ideas to come. Thanks also for these other pointers.

    Like

  22. oscarc33

    Well done! Well done Cheri! At 81 years old and WordPress blogs that have not gotten a single post. Perhaps you have inspired me. But, Alas I doubt that creating other sites or redoing current ones will prove otherwise. Therefore I remain till death an eternal pessimist.

    Like

  23. kbandaruk

    Thank you for some new ideas! I posted every day last year and am now searching for a new approach to boost my audience. Looking forward to another great year on WordPress!

    Like

  24. cathemyers

    Thanks for the inspiration. Not doing resolutions, but looking to challenge myself in new areas.

    Like

  25. neverlandlife101

    Nice Pictures :) Do you have any tips for new bloggers

    Like

  26. iQaeds

    Yep. Followed the site makeover tips and it sure did make a whole lot of difference (went with a BIG makeover though). Now weekly posts look more than just a possibility.

    Like

  27. laikaspacedogpoker

    Thanks for posting, this stuff is a great reminder. I started my Blog with a Goal, if I make it, Ill shoot bigger :)

    Like

  28. pink-briefcase

    I’ve done a complete overhaul of my blog this week, and was glad to see a few extra tips and tricks here I hadn’t thought of yet! For one of my goals this year, I’ll be reading, cooking, and reviewing a new cookbook once each month of 2014.

    Like

  29. bholdridge13

    I found a lot of “30 day blog challenge” ideas online and I found it helps me want to keep writing since I have pre-determined post topic every day. Eventually I might stop doing them, but for now it gets me writing!

    Like

  30. Minoring In Baseball

    Great suggestions. As a baseball blog I’m limited, but try to do a monthly column, as well as the adventures of my kids and I during the summer months. It can be tough in the off-season coming up with ideas, though.

    Like

  31. G M Barlean

    Love the idea of hosting a recurring event.

    Like

  32. aseegars

    You are absolutely right. I don’t make them but you have achieved yours already. You challenged yourself by setting a new years resolution.

    Like

  33. kianavproductions

    Good ideas!

    Like

  34. nicolettepohlman

    These are some really good tips! I’m super new to blogging, and I’m just starting to figure it all out. So thank you!:)

    Like

  35. beautiful industry

    So much great stuff for the new year. Thank you for the inspiration!

    Like

  36. lovekoanawangin

    Thank you for these ideas! Now I’m thinking to buy my own SLR, hhahahaha.

    Like

  37. momanyiharun

    A really refreshing way to plot for the year! :)

    Like

  38. kathydocuments

    I like this blog post :)

    Like

  39. tonyneds

    Thanks for the blog, i think this year is going to be a turn around for me as i will put in everything in me to see that i put down information about my yet to be published book and the published ones: “Daybreak Massacre and The Last Dictator”. Both were published by Trafford. Ned Tony Emeni

    Like

  40. livingwithshadows

    thank you, having just started my first ever blog, total newbie, i am going to be trying a lot of your suggestions

    Like

  41. thosesmallmoments

    These are simple but very useful tips. :) Thank you.

    Like

  42. mgracelyn

    Thank you for your advice! I’ve just started blogging on WordPress and have committed to writing more often and connect with people in the bloggosphere.

    Like

  43. elishbulgodley

    Shall i write a post asking readers what topics they would like us to cover the most?

    Like

    • Cheri Lucas Rowlands

      Sure — you can certainly do that, in lieu of a contact form or poll, to gather feedback from the very people who visit your site; they can leave comments on the post.

      Like

  44. elistonbutton

    This is such great timing! I have just launched my craft and art blog and started to panic about keeping up with interesting blog posts! This makes my ‘list hapy’ brain start planning a bit more and setting out the posts for each month – baby steps! this was a great way to look at things!

    Like

  45. Miss Dee

    I will seriously consider all that you have mentioned..

    Like

  46. aearthr

    Great post. I have learnt something new. Now I’m starting a weekly collage post on random topic to motivate me to post regularly. Hope it can cure my blogger block.

    Like

  47. This Beautiful Life

    Great Ideas!! I especially love the recurring events, I had no idea how to connect with other bloggers of the same like and now because of you I now do!! Thank you!!

    Like

  48. expressionstudios

    Fantastic post. This will definitely help me become a better writer. Just wonderful!

    Like

  49. allabakash

    Excellent….a boost of inspiration.

    Like

  50. onbecomingmyself

    These are all wonderful ideas. I will definitely use some of these ideas, especially the one about posting more regularly.

    Like

  51. Christine Shieh

    Great post! Definitely following some of these tips! Here’s to better bloggin’ in 2014! :)

    Like

  52. Ed Iannuccilli

    Thank you. Most helpful.

    Like

  53. Humans Are Weird

    Thanks for the shout out, Cheri :)

    Like

  54. 3and3quarters

    Thanks for posting! I’ll definitely be taking some of these ideas on board during 2014!

    Like

  55. krishna9d

    Thanks for the motivation.

    Like

  56. carlostorneropando

    Fantastic ideas and advice.Thanks.

    Like

  57. jakebelsten

    This is great! As a newbie to the wonderful (but initially daunting!) world of WordPress, this is extremely welcome! Thanks!

    Like

  58. irlandzkiezapiski

    Great idea! New year’s resolutions not only about your private or professional life but also about your blog.

    Like

  59. Rahul Ranjan

    great idea as I missed a lot of days due to exams, I will look forward to participate..

    Like

  60. payinattention

    I’m changing it UP! Thanks for the kick-in-the-pants!

    Like

  61. mlvan

    First time blogger and this just blowed my mind! Thanks for the courage and powerful blog!

    Like

  62. Ambika

    “Do something amazing. Go down a different path.Challenge myself”
    Best lines I read this new year.And very inspiring
    .

    Like

  63. simonmilambo

    Cool inspiration — am gonna implement it all now!!!

    Like

  64. entertaininglinen799

    I love this post so much! There are so many great ideas in it,

    Like

  65. divyesh121

    I like this post — it gives a new direction on posting.

    Like

  66. Erica M

    Thank you so much for linking to the yeah write weekly writing challenge in your wonderful 2014 blogging must-do list. We have enjoyed all the new visitors and subscribers, and we are excited about folding all the newbies into our humble little community. We are honored to be mentioned here.

    Like

  67. jennisnails

    I’ve been working on revamping my blog by going through the #zerotohero challenges each day. My goal is to post a heck of a lot more this year and build up a good following as well as new contacts through networking on WordPress.

    Like

  68. ipictureit

    Thank you for the motivation and good ideas! Definitely helpful and inspiring. Think I got a new direction…

    Like

  69. Rob

    Hey would you recommend creating a blog if you need to keep 2 separate distinct journals? For instance could you have a menu with 2 tab items (DayTrades and SwingTrades) each menu item could contain unique posts? Then perhaps a 3rd menu item in which I make posts on random thoughts?

    I am wondering if I should just switch over to creating a website.

    Thanks, Rob

    Like

    • Cheri Lucas Rowlands

      You can create “tabs” in a custom menu on your blog/website: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/working-with-custom-menus/

      A tab might pull posts from a specific category you’ve created (ie, “daytrade”), which sounds like an option for what you describe.

      I think it’s manageable to keep all your material on one site, provided that there are still some connective threads between the material in each tab. Some people have sites that touch on each of their interests (ie, food writing, but also travel writing). It’s possible, and I don’t think a site needs to, for instance, have just one niche/focus.

      It depends on your interests and what you want to do. Hope that helps.

      Like

  70. glimpsecreations

    Great advice! I just gave my blog a makeover and am now trying to get more readers to my site!

    Like

  71. Jennifer

    Excellent advice! I’m just starting out so this should be very helpful

    Like

  72. misterhakeem

    Great idea. I should get serious with blogging in the new year.

    Like

  73. Noitartst

    Found the ideas bland, but then again, I am known to be picky.

    Like

  74. leelamusings

    Nice ideas for a beginner!!!

    Like

  75. the01storyofus

    Thanks soooooo much, this is helpful.

    Like

  76. Ddoesglutenfree

    Great write up made me think more about my blog. Love the idea of holding blog event so will have to check out some in the uk. How do I find them. Thanks

    Like

  77. sabzstyle

    Really nice ideas! I’m just new to blogging so reading over this has given me sense of direction, plus I want to be a novelist myself so I’m intrigued about ‘The Wanderers.’ Is there a way I can find out more about it?

    Like

  78. Pendar Bintang

    Definitely found some inspiration and have gotten many ideas :)

    Like

  79. foodiefy

    Awesome! :)

    I know so many of us hesitate to read certain docs because it’s maybe very lengthy! Not in this case; I found it to be informative, simple, easy to read & enlightening.

    Thanks for the tips! I find it very satisfying to know what & how to do things for my blog!

    Happy 2014!

    Like

  80. honeyandlimes

    thanks for the great ideas! love it, thinking big and small and taking risks :)

    Like

  81. noemzvillaren

    Hi everyone — can I join any of your conversations? I’m new with this blog.

    Like

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