Many of us have set up our blog, but don’t necessarily know where to begin, or what to write about. The beauty of a blog is that nothing is written in stone. You can modify the content in your blog and change the topics you discuss at any point. However, this can make it difficult to get started.
Thinking about your audience is critical when deciding on content for your blog. People read blogs for a variety of reasons—for information, inspiration, news, fashion, ideas and culture, just to name a few. The best way to know if a blog topic you’re considering is worth writing about is to ask yourself these questions—“Would I want to read this blog? What does this blog accomplish?” Think hard about what you would like to achieve.
If this is a business blog, consider who you are trying to reach, and what is important to that audience. Make a list of topics that will pull in your perspective readers.
If you’re creating a personal blog, a good way to narrow down the content for your blog is to choose a genre. Think about your favorite hobbies and activities—maybe you enjoy cooking, photography or horseback riding—it’s easier to write about topics you have personal experience with and already know. Once you have a genre, your content has a jumping off point.
If you already know what your blog is about, or want to have a blog open to all topics, then you’re ready to move onto the next step—individual posts.
Focus on your writing style to help better understand what content may be best suited for your blog:
Create a content calendar to help you stay focused and organized as your blogging progresses. Some days you may have many ideas for blog posts, and other days you may draw a blank. This is when your content calendar comes in handy. Begin by filling in all holidays and important dates that you would like to include on your blog. Then, include topics you are passionate about. Keep in mind that the calendar is a resource, but it’s important to be flexible; sometimes the best ideas are spontaneous.
At this point, now that you have some topics on the board, you can think about how frequently to post. While there is no perfect formula for how regularly you should blog, Successful Blogging recommends updating your blog at least once a week. It’s important to note that blogging too infrequently will make it difficult to gain loyal followers. People are looking for current content, so the more up-to-date your blog is, the more readers will be drawn to it.
No matter what your blog goals are, engaging your audience and peers is how you are going to achieve them. Don’t be afraid to call on resources if you have writer’s block. There are a plethora of websites available with ideas about blog content.
Crowdsourcing is another great way to create an open, interactive relationship with your audience, which will keep them coming back to your blog. You can ask friends, family, coworkers, other bloggers and your readers what topics they would like to read about. Another great way to crowdsource content is by looking at the comments section of your blog to see what people are discussing—what excites them, angers them or confuses them? These are topics you can expand on in your blog posts. This can give you a strong foundation for what people are interested in knowing more about.
So how do you get started or push your content to new heights? Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. In January of this year, HubSpot hosted a 30-Day Blog Challenge, asking companies to start blogging, blog more frequently or blog at a higher quality. According to HubSpot, “Customers who write just three to four blog posts per month get 20 more monthly lead submissions, 800 more monthly site visits, 60 more Twitter followers, and 50 more Facebook likes than customers who only write two blog posts per month.”
You don’t have to be a company or wait for a nationwide competition—you can create your own personal challenge. Commit to writing one blog a day for 30 days to exercise your blogging muscles.
When blogging, the possibilities are endless—use these resources to help you get started, and help other bloggers by leaving your own nuggets of wisdom in the comments below!