Today marks the beginning of our three part writing series, Content is King. For the next few weeks be focusing on different writing topics designed to help each of us become better writers and bloggers, such as how to become a better writer and write concisely, as well as writing fundamentals, like good grammar, proof reading, and spell checking.
To get us started, we’re turning our attention to one the most important aspects of any blog…
What To Blog About
We all have favorite bloggers. Those who grab us, reel us in, and keep us coming back for more. We’ve probably even read blog posts that so well written and relateable that we wish we had written them ourselves.
Ultimately, blogging is not about the blogs you are reading. It is about the one you are writing. It’s about you…what you need to do to write a post that grabs your readers and reels them in and keeps them coming back for more.
But how do you DO that?
The answer is simple.
You give them something they can’t get anywhere else; you give them…you.
Your blog is a compilation of everything you are: your experiences, hopes, dreams, thoughts, values. All of this is wrapped into a neat little package every time you hit publish.
How To Figure Out What To Blog About
In order to figure out what to blog about and find your writing voice, here are a few tips…
Writing Tip #1: Make Your Blog a Reflection of You
When you sit down to write a post, it should be about a topic that is interesting and important to you. Regardless of whether you blog about photography, coupons, fitness, or simply your everyday life, your content needs to stay true to who you are. Avoid focusing on topics simply because they are popular or will help you get search engine traffic. Writing without passion leads to no voice.
One of the best compliments Kat’s sister ever gave her happened after watching a video about her experience with a rescue dog program. Her sister e-mailed a quick “loved the video” message and then said “I felt like I was in the car with you and you were talking right to me!”
This is how you want to be perceived. As yourself. Whether you have two loyal readers or 200,000, you will feel content knowing that you write honestly and from your heart.
Writing Tip #2: Nurture Your Writing Voice
Details are interesting in writing…look for them. Did you eat pizza last night or did you eat three day old pizza that tasted like cheese covered cardboard? Was traffic horrible or did you sit in your car long enough to knit a Chihuahua a new wardrobe?
And the details don’t have to be funny. There can be beautiful instead. Did you see some pretty flowers or were you filled with nostalgia when you found yourself in a field of lilies, your mother’s favorite flower?
Open up. Think about what you’re writing about…does it have a smell, a feeling, a memory attached to it? Words on a page are just words on a page unless you can find a way to breathe life into them. Allow people to relate. Make yourself vulnerable. All of this makes for good reading.
Writing Tip #3: Don’t Get Discouraged
Ultimately, write for yourself! Be sure that your blog is a reflection of who you are and something you can feel proud to put your name on. When all is said and done, at the very least you will have memories forever documented on your computer that you might have otherwise forgotten.
Activities to Help Determine What To Blog About
Reading about how to find your writing voice is important, but what you really need to get started is to write. Here are several optional activities you can work on to help you find your writing voice.
Writing Activity 1:
Write a letter to a friend as if she is sitting beside you. Don’t think about grammar or spelling or punctuation. Just write as if you are having a conversation.
Once done, take a look at what you’ve written. How is it different from your blog posts? Was this type of writing particularly challenging?
Writing Activity 2:
Brainstorm a list of blogging topics. It could be anything…items on your wish list this holiday season, what you love about fall, childhood fears that you’ve taken into your adult life, 50 things on your bucket list, etc.
Write a post on this topic in 10 minutes by setting a timer. Again, don’t worry about editing, just write. You may be surprised to find a writing voice that you didn’t know you had!
Writing Activity 3:
Push yourself in a new direction by writing a post about a topic that you would normally consider “taboo.” Maybe it is edgier, more controversial, or more personal than what you usually focus on.
Write the words that you’ve had bottled up inside and then encourage others to read the post. Discuss what worked about the post, what didn’t, and whether you might incorporate this voice into your blog going forward.