Over the course of the last few months I have touched on the importance of having and maintaining a blog as a platform for your brilliance and by now you have done one of two things:
- Something but the ideas are starting to dry up.
I remember when I started my blog earlier this year and I was so excited about the possibility of sharing my experience, my thoughts and opinions and great words of wisdom.
Well, that lasted a month.
And then one day I sat in front of the computer and thought, what will I write about today? I didn’t want to write just anything; I didn’t want to be one of those Tweeple (Twitter people) who share their coffee order and call it news. In fact, there is a blog writing book called Nobody Cares What You Had for Lunch that talks about that very same thing…people don’t want to read drivel.
So what do you write about?
Here are five blog topic buckets that may help get you started on those days when your muse takes a holiday:
- Tell a story. I love stories, don’t you? Tell me a story. Last night on the Last Comic Standing, comedy judge Norm Macdonald had a great bit of advice. “For comedy to be good it has to be honest but it doesn’t have to be factual.” The same is true for your blog article. You can tell a true story that happened to someone else and claim it as your own. Blogs are meant to be personal, in fact, the more authentic, the better. So tell a story:
- Share a writing struggle
- Reveal how you develop your characters
- Reminisce about your first book signing
- Film a video of you opening the box from the self-publishing house with copies of your book and then write about the experience.
- Confess the pros and cons of being a writer at home while trying to care for your family and working a full time job.
- Use current events as a platform. You may have noticed that I frequently reference television shows in my blog articles. I do that when the characters experience something relevant to my areas of interest. But I also want to be current. I don’t want to keep asking Who Shot JR when that mystery was solved decades ago. Just yesterday I was in a meeting where I met a woman about to self-publish a non-fiction book on the importance of Civility. We talked a little bit about ways to build a following prior to her book coming out and that led me to a suggestion for her blog.
In light of the current political landscape, recent Republican debate and daily Trump-fails, I suggested that she write opinion pieces on the civility of the different candidates. “Don’t write about their politics, but do write about how they handle themselves. What did they do or say that was civil and how could they have been more civil in their behavior.” For her, the blog topics will be almost never-ending for the next 15 months.
- Book reviews. As writers we are also voracious readers and why not use your blog as an opportunity to taut someone else’s manuscript. When you read a book you enjoy, share your thoughts on the book, the author and offer your recommendations. You may want to add to the article by seeking out other reviews of the same book to include in support or contrast to your opinion. You may also want to contact the author for a quote. Talk about a great way to meet new people and also help each other out by promoting their work. They may be so thrilled that they agree to read and review your book in return.
- Build on someone else’s article. This is a great way to write an article. I look for trending articles on a given topic and find something that interests me. Then I will write an article that includes quotes from their article and expand on the idea. I might even find multiple people talking about the same topic and share their views or a portion of their views in my article. Check out Alltop.com for the latest articles in a variety of topics to help get you started.
- Use a writing prompt. Sometimes all you need is the first sentence and you can take it from Alexandra Franzen wrote a fun article offering 88 fill-in-the-blank prompts to help you write your blog article. Here are a few examples from her article:
- I met my hero, ____________! Here’s what I learned.
- Oops! You screwed up your ____________. ## ways to fix it.
- Read this the next time you’re ready to give up on ____________.
- So, you gave ____________-ing a shot? Didn’t work out? ## things to try next.
- The ____________ guide to ____________-ing.
- The ## best decisions I ever made about ____________.
- The #1 question that every ____________ asks me.
- The downside of ____________-ing — and how to do it differently.
Bottom line: Having and maintaining a blog is one of the best ways to build your audience, make a name for yourself and improve your search engine results. Not knowing what to write about should not be the reason you don’t write. Hee hee. Couldn’t resist all of those negatives. Let’s try it again:
There is always something to write about. So write! J