Your blog is your baby, but if your baby isn’t talking the talk, you could quickly find yourself losing traffic, money and followers. As you have probably heard before, blogging should be about the passion first, and the money second. If you blog about topics you are passionate about, chances are you will have a successful site.
There are some rules, however, to follow when choosing what to write about. Figure out what to include and what to avoid in your next blog post.
Things to Consider
If your blog is about computer networking, writing a post about vintage wines is not going to meet the needs of your readers.
You have to consider who your readers are, why they are coming to your blog and what they are getting out of it in order to make your blog successful. When thinking about topics to write about, consider the following questions:
- Who is your audience? – Get specific here. Write down the gender, general age of the group, common likes and dislikes. Knowing who your audience is will help you post topics that are specifically beneficial to them.
- What is your market? – Do you sell a product or service? Detail how your offering helps solve a problem that your audience or market has. Write down how your product benefits users and why they would need it.
- Who are your competitors? – Don’t put your head in the sand. It is vital to your blog’s well-being to know what your competitors are talking about on their blogs. Make some notes regularly to avoid rehashing the same content.
When Monday morning rolls around and you are sitting there at that blank page it can feel like creative death. In order to get those creative juices flowing, use these ideas to make your brain start doing the task you asked it to do:
- Copy from a favorite author or journalist. Open up your processing software; find an article you admire or a chapter of a book, and start writing. The act of writing can help you get into the groove. Stating for those who don’t know the obvious: don’t use the work as your own. It is just an exercise to open up your mind.
- Do a little research. If you are at a loss for a new topic for your blog, do some Googling to dig up any new information about your niche. Ask yourself questions and take notes while you hunt around.
- Get analytic software. Google analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics/) and Sitemeter (http://www.sitemeter.com/) are just a couple of the many types of analytic software you can use to get ideas for posts. Look at what search terms your readers have entered and what sites they have looked at to provide information to their queries.
10 Blog Topics to Write About
If you can’t come up with specific topics that answer your follower’s questions, use one of these 10 ideas and integrate it with your niche.
- Social media and its impact on your product or service.
- New technology and how it impacts your blog.
- Why you love your blog, product or service.
- Your expertise on your blog’s niche.
- The story how you found your passion to create a blog, product or service.
- Products, services or a series of posts you plan to give your readers.
- Websites or blogs that you follow and why you like them.
- Interview with a professional in your niche.
- Ask a question. Poll your readers and then use the responses to create a blog post.
- 10. Discuss your mistakes. Talk about what you would do better if you had to do it over again.
10 Blog Topics to Avoid
Yes, there are some things you should not talk about. Angering your readers is a good way to lose them. It is okay to have a healthy debate about controversial topics, but you have to think through your argument and consider the possible responses your readers will have. Leave these things off your list when coming up with topic ideas:
- Rambling content – Assuming you can read this, it means you have some understanding of grammar. Edit your work, cut out those run-on sentences and turn those fragments into complete thoughts. Stop using: Amazing! Great! Awesome! – use specific words that describe and convey your emotion. Your readers will have a better understanding of your blog.
- Personal content – Facebook can be for your minute by minute status updates, but people reading your blog do not want to know about your child’s flu symptoms or the last time you vacuumed under the rug. The only personal content you should be talking about, should professionally relate to your blog’s niche.
- Controversial content – As stated previously, tread lightly when discussing controversial issues like abortion, gay rights, stem cell research etc. If you do write about it, make sure you consider different angles and that your topic has something to do with your blog’s niche.
- Offensive language – Just leave it out. It doesn’t look professional. This includes: racial slurs, swear words, slamming public figures and texting language.
- Previously written topics – if you already wrote about, they already read about it, and don’t want to hear the same thing again. Cover a new angle or introduce new information.
- Competitor topics – Your readers may be reading posts on competitor’s sites. Try to avoid writing the exact same information. If they got it there, they don’t read yours.
- How you hate your life – nobody likes a complainer. Put how much you hate Monday’s on your Facebook and leave it off your blog.
- Slamming competitors – This is a bad business practice. You might not like them, but posting how bad, ineffectual or dumb they are is considered bad form in every business area.
- Customer or reader complaints – Avoid writing negatively about your readers.
- Sex related issues – unless your blog is about sex, please leave it out of your posts. As with offensive language, it’s not professional.
Heather Thomas is a blogger at the small business credit card website, CreditDonkey. She blogs about credit options that will make or break a small business.