Maybe you’re considering starting off your own blog, or you’ve already become a proud blog owner (big congrats!) but there’s an issue that invariably trumps up in your head, leaving you unsettled.
You keep asking yourself, “What should I write about on my blog?”
When this question remains unanswered, it’s easy to lose faith in achieving the vision you initially had when you first considered starting a blog, and now that you probably have one.
You see yourself, a newbie desirous blogger, standing before the towering presence of this question as it assumes the role of an intimidating gate keeper preventing you from entering the enchanting land of never-ending awesome ideas you could write about on your blog.
It’s crippling, yeah?
Starting my blog was a huge achievement for me. I was all fired up! But I soon found myself stopped dead in my tracks as I kept asking myself same question, over and over again (most times, I absent-mindedly pondered it in my head, making me appear crazy to others. Ouch!).
But, I knew I wasn’t going crazy. I just needed an answer that works. Again, it was a question aspiring writers and bloggers kept pelting at me.
Fortunately, I finally learnt the ropes and figured what works. And as is typically of me, I want to share it with you. So if you find yourself in the same rut as I was, here’s saying cheers to your victory.
Write What Offers Value
Though your blog may be named after you and have your picture adorning every page (mine is just below this blogpost), here’s the truth you should know: your blog is not about you, it’s about your readers.
When you finish writing your amazing post and finally hit the publish button, it ceases to be a personal work of art and becomes a commodity for public consumption. No one consumes what’s lacking in value (or, do you?). When you see a new movie trailer (say, Justice League), you’re moved with excitement to invade the cinema and see it.
This is exactly how you want your readers to feel when they type in your blog URL in their browser and hit enter. A hunger for value acquisition.
To pick up what’s valuable to your readers, you’ve got to be observant. Within the scope of your niche, what are they talking about? When they spend (or, waste) time on social media tweeting, trolling and liking, what forms the core of their conversations?
If you must stumble upon that great idea for your next blogpost, you must not be casual in picking up the traces in those conversations. It is within them that you can discover what’s truly of value to your reader. Then you can set down to work – to write that content that will inevitably appeal to them.
The aftermath of this is that you create an unforgettable feeling in them, after they’ve read your article. Have you forgotten how you felt after watching Smallville? I bet not.
Feeling is the secret.
And here’s Maya Angelou’s two cents on this: I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Value laden content gives your audience the right feeling.
Write What Spurs Creativity in Others
When I was a kid, I always felt challenged whenever my friends said I couldn’t do a particular thing. “Double dare me!” I’d scream in their faces (you’re probably thinking I was a courageous dude, yeah? Think on!).
The point is that, at such moments even though I was scared to my pants to do whatever it was they challenged me to do, I noticed my fighting spirit (another name I call creativity), rev up and swoop in to the rescue.
What can you challenge your readers to do that will get their creativity juices flowing?
Say your niche is fiction writing, can you get them to write one fiction per month (a little incentive for them may suffice)? What about a tech niche, can you challenge them to tweak and root their newly bought android smartphone? And oh, it may be food and cooking that’s your niche – have them get their hands oily and spicy cooking a new recipe or an old one in a new way.
People love it when they’re challenged to do what they know deep down they can do but are prolly feeling too lazy to do.
You can comfortably find new ideas to write on when you assume the role of a guide in helping your readers achieve the challenges you’ve set before them. Provide tips on plot or character development in fiction writing, roll out a list of steps they can take to configure their smartphones, etc.
Teach them to do conventional things in different ways.
Write What Solves Problems
Become a resource.
In life, problems will never end. That’s sad, yeah? I believe it is. So why not be the one that brings happiness to a sad face, through the answers you provide to the numerous problems that plague us?
When I wrote and self-published my first eBook, Conquering Your Illusions: a path to self-discovery, I realized that some of my readers wanted to know how I solved the problem of designing a 3D book cover for the digital image. So I sat and wrote a guide on it.
Problem solved. They were happy.
Become the “go-to” guy in your niche for solutions to certain problems affecting your readers. Here’s the logic: since there are numerous problems, there are possibly numerous answers as well. If you can settle down to find these answers, you’ll have several ideas on what to write about on your blog. Voila!
The comment section of popular blogs is an amazing place to check the pulse of readers and note where their pulse rate may be faulty (that’s where they are asking questions on).
You can then run off (like crazy old Archimedes, proclaiming “Eureka, Eureka!”) and do your background study, then write a solution to the problem.
To be a credible resource, you should stay current and gnaw at the latest updates and happenings in your niche. Also, share relevant tips and reach out to others who are doing what you’re doing (which I hope is value creation).
In my case, I found out that list posts are an effective way of presenting your solutions to your readers’ problems in a simple but yet powerful way. The information is cut down to sizeable bits that can be ingested without the fear of your readers ending up with information constipation.
You should adopt this method too. Why? Well, because I said so.
Write What Makes You Happy
The whole goal in life’s rat race is to be happy (and of course, to stay happy). If you’re lost on what to write about on your blog, this is an easy place to start from.
You can start with “I’m happy today because…” then go all out to tell your readers how you forgot to prepare lunch for junior because you were engrossed in your short story writing. Now junior’s back from school and is wailing in the most petulant manner, and mama’s blankly disappointed in you. But that in all, you were able to complete your short story and that’s why you’re happy (even though junior and mama aren’t).
Relate your daily activities with your niche. That should give you something to write about. Where you courageous in today’s mountain climbing session? Did you see a charitable man help a homeless person? How about bumping into that long lost friend of yours that gave you her lunch when mum was too busy to prepare yours for school?
You can always map these experiences to your writing. Find a way to do so. Even if it means digging a tunnel (like Nike says, just do it!).
Happiness is infectious. Go all out to infect your audience with yours. They’ll thank you, and come back to thank you again because you’ve become their new found love.
To do this effectively, you must allow yourself to be vulnerable. Reach deep to those emotions and jack them up to the surface, weaving them into your writing. That shows you’re a real person, not some idealist from planet Mars.
There’s a whole lot to talk about when you’re happy. Talk (or in this case, write) about them. And stay happy that you did.
Write What Brings You Fulfilment
How do you feel when some says that to you? Awesome, right? That’s the feeling of fulfilment. We’re all connected to each other in some way. When you put yourself to work doing purposeful work, it’s most certain than not, you’ll have someone (or many people) reach out to you to thank you for writing that article that changed their life.
I’ve received some of those, and I assure you, it’s a pill that takes you to heaven and back.
Let’s say you want to blog about self-development and productivity, when you churn out an article that helps someone going through depression, personal development slug or career crisis to get liberated and start experiencing the good life, fulfilment comes calling.
What this does for you as a writer is that it pushes you out of your comfort zone. Outside your palace and into the streets is where you meet people who will eventually say “Thank you” to you. This is because out there, you can figure out how you can help them and then get to work doing so.
Again, being able to write your opinion on some issues helps you appreciate who you are the more. A sort of importance and relevance is conjured into your life. You hold your head high and walk tall – you’ve just written a sterling piece reviewing the president’s last night broadcast.
See? Even a review of the president’s speech (if your niche is politics); review of movies; songs or a scientific discovery can form ideas for what you can write about on your blog. Everything you need is within reach; you just need to see them and use them.
When you start writing, ensure it’s something that will leave you fulfilled when it’s done and published.
Write What Emphasises Your Expertise
We all know on or two things that others don’t know. Sometimes, we can fall into the trap of thinking what we know is just too insignificant and that everyone else already knows it.
That’s a misconception.
See, there are certain things you know in your niche of choice, that others are still struggling to wrap their hands around. They don’t know it, it’s a puzzle to them and they will be glad if you can take the driver’s seat and get them to their destination where they are no longer confused about such things.
It’s called expertise. You’re good at it, why not share? Definitely you won’t run out of ideas when talking about things at your fingertips. Does your old professor at school get tired of talking about how his experiment provided a breakthrough in the world of science? No, that’s his expertise.
Find yours. And keep writing about it.
Pride yourself as a prolific writer of fiction? Write fictions and share. Also teach others how your fiction ends up being the number one bestseller (always in New York Times).
Is your expertise in graphics design, public speaking, entrepreneurship or babysitting? Bring it to bare through your writings. Emphasise it.
To strengthen you expertise stand, research on new innovations and offer detailed insightful information on them, create reports or infographics and publish for your audience to chew on. Often than not, this will get the readers engaged and set the discussions afoot and consequently spiral into new ideas you can expand on in future posts.
Write What Puts Money in Your Pocket
Do you have a service you’d want people to patronise?
Writing about it can be a sure way to win over new customers. You can formulate ideas revolving around why your service is unique and worth their pay. With a little bit of creativity and copywriting skill, you’re sure to persuade them to exchange cash for your service.
There are tons of ideas you can leverage to ensure you keep your customers within reach and coming back for more because the money is in repeat sales.
How about a product? An eBook, an industry report or analysis, etc.
You can write about how they stand to benefit from the wisdom and knowledge you have deposited in the product. With adept writing and social proof, conversion is a high possibility.
Afterwards, you can walk around jingling the new coins in your pocket. You’re richer!
Write What You Are Learning
Life is a journey, and we’re always learning and discovering new things. Even unlearning old habits. It gets exciting when you are able to share these experiences with others. Welcome them into your world and have them dine at your table of decision making, challenges and triumphs (or failures).
This approach proves truly helpful if you’re not confident you know so much about something to write on it. Here you’re shedding off the overwhelming skin of being an authority in that niche. You are just being you.
How can you go about this?
Get books and read up articles written by people you consider as experts in your niche. Study what they do and how they do it. See how you can form links that connect to your own life and unique experiences. Share what you’ve learnt from them, how it’s helping you get better and much more.
Plato talked so much about Socrates’ work.
The more you write about what you’re learning, the better you get at it. You can talk about why you came up with the decision to learn that particular thing, what challenges you’ve encountered, the progress you’ve made so far and failures (if any).
And since learning is a lifelong process, you’ll never run dry of what to write about.
Write What You Hope to Achieve.
We all have dreams and aspirations.
Cool. Since you do, usher others into your world of visions and let them marvel at how big and audacious it is. They’d possibly ask, “Have you gone nuts?”
Well, yeah. Someone once said, if your dreams aren’t big enough, you aren’t dreaming.
A blogger whose niche is mountain climbing, can wow his readers with a detailed writing on how he hopes to climb Mount Everest. Sure enough, writing about Mount Everest alone will give you a wellspring of ideas for a couple of fresh blogposts you can proudly put up on your blog.
The core of whatever you put up on your blog should be to create value and make impact. It should add value to your readers and help solve their problems.
If it’s not doing any of those, scrap it. But if it is, thumbs up! You are officially a genius.
Now it’s your turn to let me know what your yardsticks are in coming up with posts for your blog. Leave your comments below. Thanks for doing that. You’re awesome.
Writing Coach. Award-winning Writer. Author of Conquering Your Illusions: a path to self-discovery. Connect with me on Facebook and Twiter