How do I pick a topic to blog about?
I have always wanted to write a blog, and I see other people writing about all different topics. I want to write something that people will actually read. What are popular topics; family, work, hobbies, inventions? What is a good platform to use? There must be a good program to use to publish.
I would start with what not to do. Don't write a blog revolving around "I." Don't whine, moan, complain about your lousy day. You want to make people interested. The way to do that is to shift the focus to "them." It doesn't really matter what topic you choose as long as you can provide for them something they can remember your blog with. Give them humor; give them information; give them new ideas; how-to's deep thoughts - something that will be memorable for them.
A place to start is to write about what you are passionate about. What is your favorite music? What do you like to do? What are your hobbies? What silly stuff do your kids do that makes you laugh? Whichever you choose, provide them with background information, something interesting about the subject, or something they can remember about your site. Add photos if you want. That is most always a helpful addition.
I knew a person who would go to towns and give talks about how to prevent germs in dentistry. This, to me, would be the last thing I would want to waste an evening on after coming home from work. He packed the house. He took a boring, dry subject (excuse me if you are a dentist), and made it appealing to the audience because he was able to give them good information to take with them. Well . . . and he was funny.
The point is, is to turn the focus to them.
Great question! The very first place to start is to brainstorm all the questions that are being asked from your marketplace/audience and start addressing those. This should provide with you with a plethora of topics to dig into. I know it sounds simple, but it truly is the very best starting point. From there, continue to add to your topic list by paying attention to problems/concerns/interests of your audience and you should keep you topics filled to the brim.
As for platforms, Wordpress/Squarespace/Joomla are some good ones to use.
Best of luck!
These are all good answers. In my experience, I have found bloggers write for two general reasons: They want to share their knowledge as part of a community, or they want to market their skills. It's ideal when you can do both. I used WordPress when I used to blog, and I found it easy to use. (I discontinued my blog when I didn't have time to publish consistently.) I really like the idea of finding a community first, and participating in discussions, before venturing into the blogosphere. Whatever you decide, determine how often you want to publish and set up a subject matter list that covers about six months. Also, don't think your blog has to be all about the writing. Photos and images are powerful communication tools as well!
Wordpress is one of the best open source platforms out there. But I am a bit confused. What is your interest? What do you do best? What do you want to write about? It isn't at all about what others will read it is about what you want to write - remember, there are millions of people on the internet - so why worry about writing the best thing?
Here is an example - my blog (business blog) is about business tips and tricks - yes sometimes i will do a blog on something a bit more personal - but that isn't what my blog is about - I like sharing the information that I feel others would glean a tip or two - I include infographics, I include links, I use alot of pictures - I talk about printing and colors to social media to wordpress - to writing - I share a great site that I find that I feel is helpful to others.
And I write from my heart. This isn't a thesis - so I write how I talk - and it works! Sometimes I am lengthy sometimes I am not - but I have set up my wordpress blog with a 3rd party app - Nextscripts - that will take my blog post and share with the networks that I have synced with my site.
Killing 2 birds with one stone. Write what you know about and write about the things that you discover - great tips, great links - great newsletters - if the purpose of your blog is to monetize it that is cool - but you have to start writing first.
Frankly I just sit and write - I am sporadic as I handle many different irons in the fire - but I am consistently sporadic - yet my internet reputation is really broad.
If you love to cook, if you volunteer for rescue animals, if you help teens, or seniors, if you have great products that you are selling - talk about them - dissect it all -
Hope this helps
Kerry, When I did a stand up comedy course we talked about audiences in the first session. The tutors answer was that no-one targets the 30-40 year old single parent middle income bracket" or anything else. Instead a comic finds their comic personna (maybe very different from the real life personna) and then their audience finds them. Caution: it can take a while to find that comic personna and not everyone manages to do so.
So to blogging, while you can try and target a market I believe it is best to find your blogging voice and then let your audience find you. The key is found in authenticity. If you try and force a blog or write about something you have no real interest in or feelings for it will show.....and why would anyone want to read that.
I started anonymously with an eclectic blog called "Tales of an Active Mind". I wrote about anything that I wanted to. Ideas formed in my mind and I tried to capture them in blogs. Not only did it help me practice writing a blog...which is a different art form, it also helped e find where my voice was.
After a couple of years I "came out" so to speak. I still blog (on LinkedIn). It is still quite eclectic, but generally about change,regulation or recruitment, but not always. The system says I have something like 1200 followers now.
I helps brand "Me" that supports my role as a consultant.
My suggestion is to just start writing, don't try too hard and write when it feels right, not when you think you should.
BTW blogging isn't for everyone!!
Why look for the most popular topics? That's a recipe for redundancy. Speaking of recipes, the number one blog subject globally is food and for that reason it is also the most difficult topic to be successful with. I would suggest a niche topic that has very few competitors. Big fish, small pond.
It's a red flag if the topic choice is not obvious to you. Blogging has matured so it's harder now than 10 years ago. Most successful new bloggers typically have so much expertise on their topic the blog is born to release it. They have ample research at hand, many connections in the field and often some "followers" before they even start. I would suggest ignoring topic popularity and ask yourself on what subject you have the most passion, knowledge and connections for compared to other experts in that sector? And what fresh new angle can you bring to the subject?
As for programs - start with a free WordPress.org site and evolve from there.
Google Trends will give you a good idea of what's trending and current, News360.com will allow you to choose topics/categories and then show you trending news articles accordingly.
Start liking things on Facebook, as soon as you like something trending articles will now show up in your feed, links acquired on social media are high quality by Google’s standards because social media sites have high online authority. They offer greater trust and better opportunities than many other link sources.
Use tools like BuzzSummo to identify influential social media users who are relevant to your niche, and find out what they say. Connect with them and persuade them to mention your brand to gain a link—and their followers’ eyeballs.
Start with a list of things you like. A 2015 report says lists are some of the most shared social media content: http://searchengineland.com/youtube-how-to-searches-up-70-yoy-with-over-100m-hours-of-how-to-videos-watched-in-2015-220773
Social media can bring you indirect ROI right on your website because of the social authority that comes with being active and engaging your fans. Start asking questions on social media, run some polls, engage with your current fans/readers and ask them what them want. User generated content is the some of the best content you can get.
Remember the 80-20 rule in everything you do. The importance of not spamming and overselling your business on social media cannot be emphasized enough. Keep your content 80 percent organic and value-oriented, and 20 percent promotional.
Even the best social media managers run out of ideas. Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers wrote this list of social media content ideas in 2014. Almost 2 years later, this list is still worth adding to the social media marketer's toolkit: http://www.forbes.com/sites#/sites/jaysondemers/2014/06/25/100-killer-ideas-for-your-social-media-content/#7952a9b92f3a
Need more tips and tools for blogging/social media/content marketing? Here is a recent list of my favorite tools for creating successful marketing strategies: http://www.techdesignstudios.com/2015/09/my-favorite-online-marketing-tools-september-2015/
Heading into 2016, make sure that your local business takes advantage of 2015 digital marketing trends so that you can reach new customers. Thanks for the good question!
Blogging is all about the content. If you brainstorm what you're passionate about, then the topic will come together. Personally, I like Wordpress, it's easy to use, versatile and you can choose any theme you want (free or paid).
Yes, all of the above. Write about what you're passionate about but also include anything that makes you smile, angry, or whatever. I would consider avoiding religion and politics unless you want to be known in those fields and can take criticism.
First you have to regard yourself in the same manner as a magazine. What type of information do you want to be a resource of? Who do you want to communicate with/educate? What type of mood do you want to carry with that audience?
For example, say you wanted your blog to be a Scientific resource..... you would first need to figure out what area of science you want to speak on. Is it technology and gadgets?.... is it bio-engineering?..... is it animals and bugs?... etc. etc.
Once you have your scientific niche figured out you would have to think about how you want to come off on your audience.... do you want to come off as fun and humorous?..... do you want to come off as serious and professional?..... do you want to come off as one who translates difficult complex things into "simple" lingo people can understand?.....
Then who your targeted audience is would depend on how you go about being "funny" or "professional" and dictate what concepts need to be "translated to lamens terms"...... they dictate which "laymen terms" to use because each generation has a different state of awareness... Are these people already educated on the topic and want to stay current?... are they people interested in it as a hobby?.... are they completely ignorant of it and want to get familiar with it?....
The more you get this defined and actually start studying the people you want to communicate with through your blog the more you're be able to pin point things they would want to know about and enjoy reading.