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Blog TipsWriting Tips

Content is King: How to Determine What To Blog About

By Dec 28, 2016 227 Comments

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We’ve been focusing on writing fundamentals. Things like good grammar, proof reading, and spell checking that you need pay attention to when writing blog posts. All of that is important, but before you can get started or use any of your writing tools, you need to know what to blog about. It’s the most important question in blogging. Today we are going to help you answer that question.

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 relatable 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 my favorite bloggers received the best compliment from her sister. 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. At the very least, you will have memories forever documented on your computer that you might have otherwise forgotten.

Writing activities to give you ideas on what to blog about today.

Writing Activities To Help You 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…goals for the new year, what you love about winter, 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 for your blog.

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.

Good luck! Some of these exercises can easily be turned into a post you can publish. Some of them won’t, but they are still valuable exercises. The most important thing a blogger can do is write.

About Francesca

Francesca has an extensive background in content marketing, public relations, and social outreach. She oversees all Operations at Sway Group, including our robust metrics capabilities. Prior to joining the online world, Francesca oversaw viticulture and oenology at various wineries in both California and Italy, and managed regulatory affairs and facility approvals at the biotech company, Genentech. Francesca has been featured on CBS Sacramento and Food Blogger Pro’s podcast. She has also hosted an AMA webinar and spoken at Social Media World.

227 Comments

  • HD Wale says:

    Hey Francesca,
    Thanks for sharing this informative and useful article with us and I’m totally agree with you, yes! content is king. I you have good quality content on your site that readers love to read then you will surely get more and more social signals then higher search engine rankings next.

    Regards,
    ~ HD Wale

  • Kunaal says:

    I think that so far, I’ve been really lucky to have had my inner voice just waiting to be set free. My style has been relatively consistent, but I tend to write about what strikes me in the moment. As an idea or inspiration hits, I go with it and immediately start jotting down my thoughts or story on whatever is available. Sometimes I need to read my story from the back of a napkin and retype it, but its there and it works.

  • Jamie says:

    My writing voice was one of the easiest things to find. I guess, in a way, I felt as if I was finally releasing myself to the world. (I’m such a shy introvert!)

    But when it comes to writing, I can let it all out. Thoughts, dreams, questions, and everything in between =)

  • Marie says:

    I am still searching for my voice. I was going to make my blog more on the impersonal side but have changed my mind because of your post. I see how being more personal will make a big difference. The being vulnerable part is going to be a bit tough to do.

  • Ruth says:

    I have so many things I want to talk about I feel like my blog is too random. 🙁 I just need to find my niche. These are good tips though!

  • I’ve been thinking about writing more controversial posts but it’s still at the drawing board for me. I think for now I’ll stick to topics which are closer to home and family. I’m still finding my way and sorting out my writing style.

  • Christina says:

    great post. helps me feel better about finding my writing style that is non-academic.

  • Kelly-Ann says:

    Hi there!
    I really love your blog and it’s very helpful. I’m learning a lot from you all and hope to improve my site as well 🙂

    All the best for the New year.

  • Amanda says:

    So glad I came across SITS. This is wonderful advise. Being new to this, it’s nice to have a place to go for encouragement and guide lines to go by. Thanks.

  • Kristen says:

    Details. That’s what I got most out of this post, so thank you for that.

    I’m going to try to have more details and less punctuation going forward

    …hopefully I’ll remember that on my next post…

    best to you.

  • Carri says:

    Great tips! I find I do best when I just sit down and type without thinking. If I think too much, it looks forced. #3 seems to be my preferred writing style. 😀

  • mangiabella says:

    great summarization – authenticity is critical!! have a glorious day sweet bellas

  • Jessica says:

    Great tips, I have been working on my “voice” for a while and will follow these tips to help me get there.

  • Stephanie C says:

    I am obsessing over higher traffic and it is so counter productive. All these methods to draw people in do nothing if your content doesn’t hold up.

    Plus, I put too much pressure on myself. Ahh well, at least people can laugh AT me.

    http://seriouslyreallyseriously.blogspot.com

  • Lourie says:

    I have enjoyed writing ever since I was a kid…a young kid. And I am thoroughly enjoying finding my “voice” in the blogging world.

  • Stephanie says:

    Great advice. Although I feel stumped on how to apply it to my blog.

    I guess you can say I have a business blog. I named it after my business but do blog about a variety of things. However, most of the content is about my designs, inspiration, etc.

    So, there are times where I’m not sure exactly where the blog is going or how I should be directing it. Is it doable to have a business blog but have it successful in both your business and personal writings?

    Can anyone else share their thoughts on this?

  • kelli says:

    I think that so far, I’ve been really lucky to have had my inner voice just waiting to be set free. My style has been relatively consistent, but I tend to write about what strikes me in the moment. As an idea or inspiration hits, I go with it and immediately start jotting down my thoughts or story on whatever is available. Sometimes I need to read my story from the back of a napkin and retype it, but its there and it works.

  • When I quit writing for search engines, and started writing what I wanted to write about, it all came together…

    http://simpleplate.net/2010/11/12-step-program-for-mile-high-meringue/

  • Brittany says:

    I needed to hear this! thanks!

  • love these tips! Can’t wait to try them out!

  • Sili says:

    I’ve started with #3 though I didn’t even realize it today. I don’t know how I feel about it right now or how it will be recieved (actually as I type this I’m thinking of taking it down!).

    I will work on 1 & 2 in the coming days…

  • Well. This was strange. I wrote something, that’s maybe not “taboo”, but a little uncomfortable for me. The strange part is that it seems way more disjointed than my normal “voice”. After three attempts at rewrites, I decided to leave it as maybe this is my authentic voice for this particular topic. Saying Goodbye

  • City Mom says:

    These are fantastic tips! I’m still relatively new to the blogging world so I appreciate all the advice!