I’ve chatted this summer with a few people thinking of starting blogs, and one of the things people ask about is how to create enough content! Sewing is expensive and time consuming, and taking pictures isn’t always easy.
Here are some of my suggestions – and I hope you’ll help us come up with more in the comments!
1. Blog Series:
You know I love a good blog series! I’ve done Better Pictures Project, Lazy Tips for Sewing Knits, Wardrobe Colour Palettes, the annual Sewing Top 5, and several others. The great thing about a series is that you can write up lots of posts in advance, and dole them out whenever you need a bit of content… and it also allows you to really deep-dive into whatever interests you about sewing!
If you aren’t sure what to make into a series, there are some classic topics like checking back in on past makes or altering/refashioning past projects. Weekly/monthly roundups of other peoples projects are popular too, or you could review new pattern releases. I like when people explore a certain type of pattern, like free patterns or comparing different versions of similar garments. Of course, if you have a totally original idea, go with that!
2. Ask a question:
The best discussions always happen when you have a genuine question to ask your readers. For example, my recent post about splurging on fabric had fascinating comments, because we all had very different answers to give! As with that post, I usually start with talking about my own experience, then open it up to hear from you! This year you also helped me recommend the best online shops for knits in Canada, and gave me suggestions on what Big 4 patterns to try!
3. Expand on a comment:
What happens in the comments doesn’t have to stay there! If one person had a question, chances are other people do too! That’s why I wrote “Is polyester sweaty?”, and also why I wrote so much about stretch waistband pull-on pants this summer! If people have lots of questions on a post, then it is worth exploring the topic more!
4. Explore your niche:
I’m not a technical seamstress, but there are a few things I know well: rayon knits, polyester knits, wearing all knits head-to-toe, and pretty much anything to do with knits! Those are easy posts for me to write, because I’ve got tons of examples to refer to in past projects. If you sew a lot of drapey fabrics, or woven tanks, or children’s shorts, or whatever, then write about that!
Another niche I enjoy exploring is my perspective on new indie patterns as a size 20. I like to show how the patterns I sew look on my figure,
5. Give an opinion
I love an opinionated post! It’s such a fun way to get discussions started. For example, this year I wrote about how I’m putting my money where my mouth is to support brands I believe in, why I think it’s time for a blogging renaissance, and I wrote a couple posts about good news in sewing. The Sewcialists is my favourite venue for this type of post – there’s nothing I enjoy more than getting people to say when they really think!
We all have opinions on different things – which pattern companies are good, which fabrics are best, what styles are hot or not, to sew with a plan or not… whatever you can get worked up about is a perfect topic!
6. Recycle old content!
Umm… you realise this is what I’m doing here, right? Linking to past posts you might enjoy, and using them as a springboard to say something new. If you’ve been blogging as long as me, then you definitely have some great old content that is ready to be featured again. Maybe you update an old tutorial like this, take part in Me-Made May or some other wardrobe challenge, or you write about your TNTs. I don’t think recycling content is a bad thing, as long as you add some extra value each time!
I’d love to hear from you – what kind of posts do you like reading or writing that aren’t just another finished project? Let’s brainstorm and share some ideas! Who do you think is particularly good at this type of post? Please link to them below so we can all go enjoy!
25 thoughts on “Blog topics that aren’t finished projects”
Cool! My blogging is pretty much totally random, but I like to join in on challenges and so on [take a look at my ‘Dress Like Frida’ post, just up. Unfortunately, many challenges seem to be switching to Instagram, which I don’t have, and that makes me sulk.
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I”m guilty of running the Sewcialists challenges on IG – but we always mention that if people want to just email pictures or link to a blog post, that’s great too! Instagram is just so damn easy! 😉
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You have great suggestions! Which might explain why your blog is better than mine. 😉 When I first started blogging I wrote every single day, almost without fail. I just wrote about whatever sewing I had done that day, or thought about doing. Usually I had a little “in progress” photo, but sometimes I skipped even that. Nowadays I tend to post that kind of stuff on Instagram and stick to finished projects and occasional musings (which I should probably do more of), but I’m not too concerned with regularity. The blog is really more for me and serving my purpose, which is recording my projects. There’s definitely some old content with good info though if you can dig it out! 😂
My blog is different but not better! I always look forward to your posts. If you ever do want to bring up some old content, I could imagine you doing an occasional Top 5 roundup posts of the different sorts of things you’ve made! Top 5 costumes, coats, useful tips, knit dresses, cropped cardigans, TNTs, whatever! 😉
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That would be fun! I usually avoid those kind of posts because they can take a lot of time and aren’t as easy to do from my phone at 10:00 at night, but in theory I have more blogging time now so all manner of things become possible… 😂
Interesting! I find posts like that so fast! Existing picture + a few sentences + link, and boom ,done! 🙂
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I suspect I don’t spend nearly as much time on my FO posts as you do (photos and photo editing especially! 😂)
Diary of a Chainstitcher (Fiona in the UK) releases a blog roughly once a month with links to garments she thinks are fabulous and includes links to new pattern releases (Indie); The Fold Line in the UK does that as well and both of these blogs I enjoy reading but Gillian I mean it from the bottom of my heart when I say, “Your blog is the best”. Truly this medium showcases your gifts to magnificence: The writing, photos, topics and the talent to draw people in to participate and want to join the party is unmatched that I’ve seen in a sewing blog. And I am an unabashed, unapologetic sewing blog follower aficionado 🙂 I’m not a bit surprised that you are eliciting questions and comments from others who would like to do what you do. I just would like them to know that it’s no where near as easy as YOU make it look 🙂
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Oh goodness, I’M BLUSHING! Thank you! I will try to accept that praise with grace and not immediately deny it. ❤ I love Fiona's New Release roundups – I can't imagine how much time it takes her, but it's such a useful resource! I admire people who have the focus to do a roundup consistently.
Love this! I’m always hesitant to recycle old content for some reason, which is probably stupid because we have so much of it. You’ve always been amazing at blog topics and I’ll never forget that pencil skirt you sewing dared me to make. HA! I’m so glad to be back in the blog reader world (just signed up for Feedly this weekend!) so I can better stay up to date with your blog, it’s always been one of my faves! Hahaha I have no tips, just random thoughts. ❤
You should totally recycle content! Yours is one of the blogs that I know people go to for technical advice, and that sort of content is always useful! It does feel awkward though, I know.
Welcome back to blog reading! I fell away from it for a while this year, but I’m really enjoying giving it some time and attention again. I think it’s good for the soul to spend long with a person/project/post than just an Instagram double-tap! (Although I love that too!)
I just want to say that generating blog content is not easy! I’ve been blogging in some capacity since 1999, & mostly about sewing since 2013. I’ve mostly stuck to finished project posts, but there are times when something is happening that prevents me from finishing projects (cancer treatment, broken foot), or when the projects I’m finishing aren’t really interesting enough to warrant blog post (curtains–I’m happy to make them, but they don’t make for fascinating blog content!). I just recently started branching out a little, with new pattern round-ups & that sort of thing. I’m doing a series on the Design Your Wardrobe program right now. I have a potentially controversial discussion topic coming up.
I find that writing is a muscle, like sewing, that gets stronger with use. But both are really time-consuming, & especially if your blog isn’t generating much or any renumerative value, it’s easy to start wondering why the hell you’re doing it. It’s also easy to cross th line. I’ve definitely unfollowed blogs that seemed to be posting a lot of content that was pretty value-free–people writing bullshit just for the sake of being able to say they have a new post up. It can be difficult to strike that balance, & readers can generally tell the difference.
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OOoh, a potentially controversial topic? I can’t wait!!!! I wonder what it will be? I’m curious to keep hearing about your Design Your Wardrobe experience – you’ve got quite a unique wardrobe and distinct sense of style, so I’m curious how the guidance works for you!
These are some great suggestions! I think I used to be a lot more creative with my content. Like back in the late 2000s when I started blogging (!), I used to do this “Friday Favorites” thing where I’d link tutorials I’d found and liked, etc. I also used to do a sporadic Wardrobe Refashion Wednesday thing, though I had to stop doing that when life got busier and my sewing slowed down. I used to do a lot of work in progress posts, but Instagram has entirely replaced that, so it’s easy to think I have nothing to write about anymore if it’s not a end of year roundup or a finished product. So this definitely gives me something to think about.
I think it’s impressive that you still blog at all – I’m definitely not trying to pressure anyone in feeling like they have to crank out more content! 😉 On the other hand, I always find it helpful to remember that I can blog even if I don’t have anything new to show. (Seriously, I’ve been sewing like mad all summer long – why don’t I have anything to share? I guess a lot of it was for other people, but still!
I’ve been so busy with work & family in the last couple of years that blogging is hard. As is finding time to sew!
I’ve got a sewing blog post waiting now… but hovering over a ‘publish’ button about where I am a year since my accident. Not sure about sharing as it’s not Sewing related but then does every post really need to be seeing related. Some say YES (with varying degrees of force. And others love something completely different.
No! Share what YOU want. It’s your blog. Personally, I enjoy some personal mixed in.
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Speaking for myself at least, I always want to know how your health is! That was such a huge out-of-the-blue change for you, and of course if we love you then it matters to us! That said, what you share is totally your call to make – only share what feels comfortable!
Thank you… so true, I knew hockey wasn’t the safest sport but never imagined I’d be flown to a specialist neurology ward hundreds of kilometres from home after one hit – after two seasons of so many bruises!
While it’s been a tough road, there’s been days when I’ve been grateful for the things I’ve learnt. So I pressed ‘publish’.
❤ I'm running over to read it right now!!!!
I enjoy reading about how you’ve altered a pattern to suit yourself. That’s inspiring.
I find that sort of thing useful too, especially when it comes from someone with a figure like my own! 😉
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I just finished a series where I talked about my inspiration for a project, researching the project, how I chose a pattern, how I constructed it and finally the ‘big reveal’. It was easier because it was a cosplay project that leant itself to that many blog posts but it was so freeing to have more ‘content’ from a single project, since I had spent so much time working on it.
Ooh, that’s awesome! Digging into something like that makes it a useful resource for other cosplayers!
I am very new to blogging, and I love your suggestions. I guess I have things to look FORWARD to post about later. OR I can plan for my future now! Either way your suggestion did inspire me. My posts up to now have been for my own benefit. But I can see how I can rework this to be a “bigger picture” thing! My passion started with sewing for my grandchildren. But it has branched out to sewing for myself, sewing for other family, and being mindful of sustainability. As I read more blogs, I am becoming more educated on this bigger picture. I feel my blog need more organization and purpose! I like your ideas! I will work on it! thanks!