How to come up with topics for your blog

How?

The truth is, I don’t know.

So I googled the words how, blog, topics.

Some excellent blogs about blogging came up. Some of them talked about how to find popular topics to make money. Some talked about how to find subjects to write about. Some were descriptive, some were prescriptive, some suggested how to find the perfect match between you and a topic while some were trying to encourage you to just get going. Some provided actual titles like essay questions. I was impressed.

But I guess I was looking for something a bit different.

I was looking for the more mundane stuff.

Let’s say you’ve found the perfect match. Or the suitable match. How do you keep the conversation going?

In other words, you’ve decided to blog. You’ve even posted a few. How do you keep going at it day after day, week after week?

Here are a few things that worked for me.

The blog subject: Choose a topic that you really care about. It has to be a topic that you’ve liked/ been concerned about for a while so that you know that your interest will not wane in a few weeks. Otherwise, keep the topic fairly broad and let the blog take shape. That way, you and your blog will find yourselves grow together without the blog feeling too restrictive.

The post topics: If you’ve chosen a topic you care about, potentially any everyday experience or nugget of information can turn into a post. Nothing is too small to turn into a piece. Keep a journal, jot down points, make a mental note–whatever works.

The ideas, events, things etcetera: I think different people think differently. Some of us mull over an idea we care about in our minds and then talk about concrete things we’ve encountered as examples. Some of us note down the concrete experiences first and string them together later when the idea emerges. Either way, those notes, written or mental help.

The development: Not all ideas will develop immediately. Don’t worry. An idea might stay put in your notebook for weeks before developing or it might end up combining itself with a different post in an unexpected way. It’s important to lead to some larger concerns from your immediate concrete experiences or ideas so people have a reason to read unless you’re writing a private blog.

The planning: Find a balance between impulsiveness and planning in a way that works for you. If you are the sort of person who can plan your topics a week in advance, do it. If planning kills inspiration, choose a time frame that suits you so that you don’t blame yourself either for your impulsiveness or lack of it later after you’ve hit the publish button.

Reading: Read blogs. Read all kinds of blogs regardless of subject matter or similarity to your own style. Read popular blogs but also read blogs that may not be so popular at the present moment. There’s lots to learn from people. It’s a treasure house out there.

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31 thoughts on “How to come up with topics for your blog”

  1. I love reading your blog. It’s so interesting. It doesn’t read like a normal blog. It reads more like a story. I like that.

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  2. I love this advice. I often find it hard to come up with topics. I often fall into the trap of thinking “this isn’t interesting or good or funny or (whatever) enough to write about”. And then I end up writing nothing at all or letting life carry me away with its hustle and bustle. I hate doing that to myself. >.O

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  3. I don’t plan, an instant poster, the wackier the better. I suppose I am fishing for comments which my followers and I love because that is where the fun lies. The banter and flirting. I had a blog experiment post with nothing in the post and got 97 comments. You have a great blog and I am following. Ralph 😀

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  4. Reading anything helps me, besides things that happen in life. Marie Claire always seems to have an article on a topic that I can write my own opinion on-

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  5. I love reading other blogs… but there seems to be no real formula for the writers like me who happen to blog. The planning… It’s so important. I spread myself too thinly sometimes. Working on that for 2013. I have little notes jotted down all over my desk. those do usually end up Well braided. Nice advice, thank you for summing it up!

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  6. I’m reading today because I’m germinating an idea that I just can’t complete in one day, and nothing on my list of to write abouts is motivating me to write at this instant. I’m loving the experience of going through the blogs I follow on my reader list, and clicking on old favorites, and spending a while with them, not just read one- click like, move to the next blog.

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  7. I just love reading blogs – there’s so much to learn. Different people do think differently and I find the responses to my posts interesting because other bloggers can come up with ideas I’ve never thought of 😉 In my most recent post I talked about character development and there were so many wonderful ideas regarding the different ways writers develop their characters that I’ve decided to do a follow-up post on it! 😀

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  8. Thank you for the advice, and for the like! I never really thought about how to blog, per se. I also never really thought about planning. I tend to try to work off the cuff whenever I have an idea in mind. Thank you, once again for your insights!

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  9. Suggestion: have a place where you can jot down and “park” the ideas that pop into your head. I use Scrivener, but you could use Evernote, Word, a notebook, etc.

    Whenever I get an idea for a post (even if I wake up in the middle of the night), I quickly enter it into Scriv as a new, individual note. I include all the bits of initial brainstorming (freeflow, point-form, no attempt to make sense of it). Then I let it sit. I revisit my list of ideas frequently, mull them over, delete some, add more thoughts to others. When I’m ready, I pick one, develop it, and post it, then I move it from “In the Queue” to “Posted”.

    I probably have about 30 ideas “In the Queue”, in various stages of completion. All related to my central theme, but otherwise they’re random. One of the benefits of having them all right there where you can see them is that you may start to notice patterns, or you may see an idea that doesn’t fit with your central theme.

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  10. Here’s an idea… Take a walk. Look outward. Describe what you see. Allow your mind to ramble and see things afresh. When a surprising new notion pops into your mind, take a note. Sit down later, reflect and elaborate. Just like the elements in life, blogging material is limitless.

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  11. Finding a topic for one’s blog doesn’t seem to be a problem for you! lol But seriously, some great advice for those who want to make a serious go at blogging, whether for profit, or to flex their potential journalistic sensibilities.

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  12. Another excellent idea generator is to take two seemingly random ideas and work out how they fit, or mesh together. The resulting creative sparks can be illuminating.
    Great post! Especially the bit about ideas needing to gestate inside of you for a time. A timely reminder for me! Thanks.

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  13. Thank you for a thought-provoking post. I reblogged this on http://www.tammyjrizzo.com, and commented that “this is something I was struggling with when I first started my blog. Now, I have come to the conclusion that this blog will focus most on writing, with a side helping of stuff I find interesting and share-worthy. So, I’ve found a topic for my blog. But how do I find topics for my blog posts? That’s so very hard to do – I’m still working on that one.”

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  14. You’ve provided some great tips here. I like the one about keeping it broad and letting the blog take shape. Sometimes it’s hard to determine the focus when you’re just starting out. I also do the last one – reading blogs. I have ‘met’ so many diverse people and never imagined that I’d read everything from writing blogs, to spiritual blogs, to cartoons, to cooking blogs. Love it 🙂

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  15. Great points highlighted, but I have somewhat different and difficult experience writing tech-stuffs, check for incompleteness, correctness, structure of the post, references, defence of an argument, codes and explanations.

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  16. I really agree with the bit about letting the blog take shape. When I started, I was all over the map, and I’m sure the few people who visited recognized that. Over time, I gravitated toward the things that matter most to me (burning bridges, self-determination, and the relentless pursuit of leisure!). Gradually, I’m getting more traffic from like-minded people.

    Good post, as always.

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