How Writing Prompts Can Help Your Blog

When you start a writing blog, there’s only a couple ways to start interacting with other writers and readers:

  1. Depend on people you already know to follow links to your blog
  2. Start using your blog to interact with other bloggers

If you’ve got #1 set because you’re a Twitter star, congrats!  That’s awesome!

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Most of us, however, have to (or want to) deal with #2, and a great way to do that is through the use of prompts.

Why Prompts?

“Aren’t prompts just limiting my creativity?” you may say.

To you, my fine friend, I must admit that it’s possible!  Sometimes I answer a prompt and feel like the sliver of garbage I spewed out would have been better left with my other thoughts that go completely forgotten.  You may, as well, be a person who isn’t blogging for interaction and, instead, want to just have a place to send your mom when you come up with something.

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Ah, mom.

But prompts can give you an in on something it’s hard to find otherwise – other great blogs.  Just reading some of the responses to the prompt – usually in the comments – can lead you to other blogs to follow.  You can comment on these blogs and start talking with people.  Most of the blogs I follow were found by sifting through prompts and finding some of the authors I enjoyed reading most.

As well, you can respond to the prompt.  If you leave a comment along with all the others, a permanent link to your blog will show up on another page – a page that probably has more viewers than a fresh, new blog does!  Other people may take a liking to your work if they click on it, and they may leave comments for you.

A lot of the prompt-followers are some of the most die-hard bloggers, and that’s something you’ll want in your back pocket to encourage you during the hard times when the blog isn’t growing and giving your brain those sweet, sweet dopamine hits.

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Select Prompts

Unfortunately, I cannot cover all the bases – if I could, I would probably be a computer!*  Anyway, here are some blogs that post prompts and a brief description of how those work.

Coming Soon – I’m going to split these up by type!  Better organization will be better for you!

Aether Prompts

An weekly image prompt with a real (real!?) prize for the best speculative fiction story at the end of the year. These stories should be short enough to fit on the image prompt – I suggest looking at past entries and winners!

Carrot Ranch

99 words – no more no less – for this amazing Thursday flash fiction prompt based off a word or small group of words.  This blog gives you everything: a large community with a tight-knit feel, a round-up based on a submission form, and even a yearly competition.

Crimson’s Creative Challenge

A smaller writing challenge blog that’s just starting out (as of January 2019), join this if you want to grow with the site.  It’ll probably do great, since it’s attracting several microinfluencers.

Daily Inklings

If you were to look at these prompts as a Wheel-of-Fortune category, you’d get something like ‘common phrases’ or ‘weird things.’  These prompts can be any form of writing – it just asks for a blog post, not necessarily a story or a poem.

Dutch Goes the Photo

A word-theme every Monday inspires photographers to take a photo and, it seems, write about what they captured.  Unlike most of these posts, you must provide your own photography along with your blog post.  Thanks to Marsha Writes for pointing out this challenge.

dVerse Poets

A set of poetry prompts that comes out on a well-defined schedule.  Tons of people join in, so it’s a great place for poets to go for extra challenges.

Fandango’s One Word Challenge and Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge

#FOWC, well established, is a moderately popular challenge.  This one gives you a word that must be used in the post.  No word limits on this one!  Curation is done through tags.

Similarly, the Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC) has no word limits, but there is a photo to spur your creativity.  Thanks to MyForeverBlog for pointing this one out!

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (Legacy)

Ending in January 2019, this epic, long-lived photo challenge series still exists in the form of a flash-fiction archive.  Even though it’s over, you can still comb it for inspiration.

Friday Fictioneers

Limit your tales to 100 words as you respond to a photo prompt.  Uses an In-Linkz linkup to quickly show you who else has posted that week.

Kira’s Sunday Scribbles

A picture drawn by Kira for your inspiration!  Give a story or poem based off the art given.

Linda G. Hill Prompts

Linda G. Hill has the weekly Stream of Consciousness Saturday and One-Liner Wednesday.  There is the monthly Coloring challenge, and Just-Jot-It Januaries happen throughout the month of January each year.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

A different kind of prompt with different rules appear nearly every day on this site!  If you don’t know what kind of prompt you want to do, this is a good place to play around.

Putting My Feet in the Dirt

Putting My Feet in the Dirt gives a new prompt for every day by posting a monthly plan on the first of the month.  At the end of the month, Michelle Cook organizes your posts for a round-up.

Reena’s Exploration Challenge

A phrase or word prompt that has no word count or format rules.  Currently a smaller set of regular respondents – join this if you want to get into a tight community, and follow Reena regardless because of her raw talent!

Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge

A Monday prompt for Haikus!  A rather popular prompt to follow, this one will get you started well on poetry prompting.

Six Sentence Story

A Thursday prompt word sparks a story measured in sentences – not words or characters – which gives this prompt a rather interesting feel.

Speculative Writing Challenge

A monthly challenge, this photo is intended to make you give a bit more effort than the usual flash-fiction prompts.  It’s really new, so I don’t know how well it’s going to be kept up, but I like the idea of a longer prompt with monthly regularity.

Sunday Photo Fiction

A 200-word-or-less story based on a provided photo.  Popular around the town!

Tanka Tuesday

A form poetry prompt every Tuesday, this prompt is great for beginning poets.  The community is friendly, and it’s big enough that someone is sure to stumble upon your stuff too!  Excellent instructions are provided, especially since the prompt has gotten popular enough to require a submission form.

Teensy Writing Contest

A seasonal contest wherein authors write something aimed at children.  There tends to be prizes!  Thanks to Chelsea Owens for pointing this one out.

Terrible Poetry Contest

No, it’s not just about writing poetry poorly – it’s also about writing a poem with a terrible subject, like crappy bosses or other poopy things.  A weekly contest on Saturdays, the participants and winners are announced on Fridays.

Three Line Challenge

A 100-word flash challenge that must be completed in three lines – no more no less!  This is a photo challenge that posts on Thursdays.

Three Things Challenge (3TC)

A daily prompt that I see come on my feed quite often. The Haunted Wordsmith provides three words that may not seem related for you to weave into a quick tale.

Time to Write

Rachel Poli’s popular, and you’ll get prompts with a lot of variety from her site.  It’s a little more difficult to see comments and get involved, but they’re great prompts nonetheless.

Tuesday Photo Challenge

A VERY popular prompt set, this would be a great place to jump in to generate hoopla quickly.  Run by a photographer, you’re sure to get great prompts.

Twittering Tales

A picture prompt that requires a response so short that it’s Tweetable!  A really popular prompt, and one you can use to expand your presence on Twitter as well as WordPress.

Wacky Weekend Challenge  (On Hiatus)

Sometimes not quite on schedule, this challenge is run by the popular and awesome Dark Netizen.  When the bugs are worked out, it’s going to be a good prompt to follow along with!

Weekend Writing Prompt

Sammi Cox’s Saturday prompt is great because the word length always changes.  The community is still growing, but the prompts are solid.

Weekly Smile

A weekly challenge posted on Thursdays by Trent on Trent’s World.  Response posts must be dedicated to things that make you smile.  Well curated, and VERY positive. Thanks to Marsha Writes for pointing out this challenge.

What Do You See? 

A weekly photo prompt where you can write anything you want (within reason, of course!) in response.  Curation is done through pingbacks/comments.

What Pegman Saw

Unlike any other prompt I’ve come across!  This one chooses a location on Google Maps and encourages you to take tours and write about the place.

Word of the Day Challenge

A daily prompt that gives a single word as a thought provoker.  Also posts the Kira’s Sunday Scribbles (mentioned above).

Write Now

Though not yet very well followed (at least not on WP), the posters are regular and happen to sport a very nice-looking site.  The prompts come in the form of phrases.

#writephoto

A popular Thursday photo prompt with excellent curation.  A ton of people participate, so you’ll be seen out and about on this fantastic blog.

(5) Word Weekly Writing Challenge 

Challenge responses must contain all FIVE words given in the prompt, but you aren’t limited to poetry, prose, or (unless self-imposed) word count.  Prompts are posted on Mondays.

Photo Challenges

Marsha from Marsha Writes has a blog post detailing a lot of photo contests.  In these contests, themes or ideas can inspire photographers to show off their skills with a camera.  While most of my post was about writing challenges, a couple photography/writing challenges popped in.

See you around!

So come along, choose a prompt – or two! – and join in.  If you join one of the prompts I participate in, you’ll probably see my little icon slithering around the comments on your site!

*HRR is, sadly, not a computer as of January 2019.  It’s not out of the realm of possibility that this fateful transformation has occurred prior to your current reading.

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72 thoughts on “How Writing Prompts Can Help Your Blog

  1. What a great list, and I’m so happy to be included, though new to the prompt-offering community. I’ve seen a lot of these around and wish I could participate in them all. I agree that it’s a fun way to meet other bloggers, specifically writing bloggers. We find fans, become fans, and who knows, connect with future beta-readers, readers, and reviewers. All good stuff! I’m saving this post for later use. It’s a wonderful resource. 🙂 Happy Writing!

  2. Yay! I’m mentioned!!! And I’ve always wanted to enter some of those others you mentioned.

    (I need to make an editorial note, though. It IS about writing poetry terribly. Didn’t you read my How-To article? 😀 )

      1. The first time I ran the contest, everyone wrote such lovely poems. The topics were a bit bad, and that was all. I realized I needed to clarify what I was looking for.

  3. Thanks for compiling that list.

    My blog has really taken off since I began writing story prompts. I now have more people following, reading, and liking my posts which is great. I’ve found I quite enjoy coming up with a narrative based on a word prompt. Sometimes I wish I had a few more words to play with. The Sammi Cox ones can be challenging especially if you only have around 17 words to write a story with. I might try a few of the others you suggested.

    I think the prompts are quite good writing exercises and are helping to improve my narrative style, and they’re also a lot of fun and introduced me to quite a few other writers. I would certainly recommend them for any blogger starting out as it would be a good way to build an audience and meet other writers.

    1. I fiddled with doing my own thing for a long time, and I don’t know why I decided to start answering a prompt. After I did, I realized why people do them – not only was I compelled to read more prompt responses and find out how other people did it, I found my own blog started getting reads. I may eventually cut down on some prompts, but for now it’s both a great way to practice writing in a concise manner AND find other blogs.

      I haven’t done all of these yet – and I’m sure there are more out there – but all of them have participants.

  4. This is a great resource! I’ve never participated, mostly due to lack of time, but perhaps it’s time to spread my wings a bit. I certainly could use more friends and fans among fellow writers. The question is where to start?? The photo prompts really interest me the most.

    1. I participate in a few of these, and others I’ve done a couple times.

      If you want to start doing prompts, I’d choose one popular one (you can tell which ones those are by how many entries they have) and one that’s a little on the sly. See how you like each one and their feel. If you don’t like either, you can easily quit.

      Also, read some of the entries, look at some of those comments. That’s how I decided to start my first prompt (Carrot Ranch).

      If you’re interested in the photos, I’d try Sunday Photo Fiction or #writephoto first.

  5. Pingback: Labor and Leisure – #Nonet – Let Me Tell You the Story of…

  6. Thanks for the mention of the writephoto challenge…and for not only beating me to a post I keep meaning to write, but for doing it far more comprehensively than I could have managed 🙂

    1. I still want to be even more comprehensive – if you know of any more prompts, I’ll keep a running tally! Sometimes a community is right for someone but not for others, so having options laid out plainly can be helpful.

  7. This is a great list. I’m always looking for inspiration. Thanks also for mentioning my challenge, twittering Tales. Challenges drop every Tuesday completer with a roundup of the previous week’s challenge results (including a link to each author’page). I think challenges are a great way to expand your connection to other bloggers.

    1. Definitely! If you’re new, they can get you immersed in the community quickly. If you’re not new, you can use a new challenge to expand your repertoire or find new blogs to follow! Thanks for curating the Twittering Tales!

  8. Pingback: How Writing Prompts Can Help Your Blog | Ann Writes Inspiration

    1. The Carrot Ranch is, indeed, one of my favorites. Now that my usual FFfAW has come to a conclusion, I’m looking to sample a few more of these prompts and see where they take me!

      Keep the funny coming to the Ranch, Robert! We can all use a chuckle now and again.

  9. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    Shared by Colleen Chesebro this post by H.R.R. Gorman shares the benefits of rising to the various challenges on WordPress that are also included. I would add that if you are an author who would like to encourage readers to come to your blog, this is a great way to do that too. As well as being fun. I am managing one or two a week and it is also a great way to develop other forms of writing.. #recommended

  10. You are so right here! I have build much of my blog and following through some of these very prompts.
    The beauty is you can do as many or as few as you want!
    I know I have at least one every day that I would take part in weekly and the interaction really built up!

  11. Great list. I following participate in a couple of these writing prompts. They do help in many ways. I’m always looking for ways to keep creative, so your post was perfect.

    If you don’t do a prompt, give it a try. You might like it., and some are super challenging.

      1. I participate in the photo challenge shared the hosting by four bloggers. This week is Amy https://theshowersofblessings.com/2019/02/04/lens-artists-photo-challenge-31-landscape/

        Lens-Artists Photo Challenge shared the hosting by:

        Amy- The World is a Book https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com

        Tina Schell – Travels and Trifles https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/

        Anne-Christine – LEYA https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/

        Patti Moed P.A. Moed https://pilotfishblog.com/

  12. Pingback: 5 Easy Ways to Get the Most out of Blog Writing Prompts – Let Me Tell You the Story of…

  13. Followed you here from your comment on one of my posts, you are so correct; what a way to receive followers also ideas born from the prompts.
    I have learned much I was unaware of all the different bloggers offering prompts.
    Thank you so much for all these opportunities, now to sharpen my imagination and see what I can come up with.

  14. Pingback: Chemistry and Peace – Let Me Tell You the Story of…

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