Okay, so I’m going to talk about content today. When you first start blogging, it seems like the whole world is at your feet and you will never run out of things to talk about. Fast forward a couple years, and it seems like you can’t think of anything to write about. In an attempt to not use memes and features as a crutch, you should have a back-up of ideas that you can use to promote some thoughtful posts. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Write an honest post. Some of the best posts I’ve written have just been about things that were really on my mind. Even if they are scary. These can be personal, or just things that you want to talk about. I’ve talked about good guys in YA literature, love triangles,and my love for Harry Potter. All of these things prompt thought from readers.
- Revisit an old topic or blog post. If you posted something that got a lot of comments, pageviews, or prompted a good discussion and it’s been awhile, talk about it again. Post something a little different, or just update the post with new information.
- Make a web of your content. Try to avoid making your blog just like a stream of consciousness. Interconnect your blog posts together by linking to other posts that you’ve done in the past when appropriate, or linking to other’s work. This creates a continuity that will make readers stay on your blog, and give you lots of ideas for new posts.
- Writing a post that fills a need. Back when Pottermore first came out, I wrote a post on how to get a beta invite, and an earlier post on my predictions on what Pottermore was. Those two posts combined have got almost 10,000 pageviews, and Yahoo even linked up to one of them. I’ve also done posts on some technical blogging related things that have got a bunch of pageviews. But, your post doesn’t have to be technical, just latch onto an idea that’s hot and put a new spin on it.
- Don’t over think it. This one kind of ties in to the being honest thing. Sometimes your half-formed ideas are going to generate a lot more interest than your well-researched ones. Why is that? Because readers like to be a part of the discussion. If you’ve said all there is to say, why should they comment?
- Do an interview, or be interviewed. But, not in the way you think. Don’t ask a blogger or author what their favorite ice cream is, or what kind of bacteria they’d be. Ask questions that readers want to know. I think that this is why Blogger Confidential has done so well. The questions are tough. Sometimes they are uncomfortable to answer. So, do an interview, but really think about the questions. Take the time to do some research, and you’ll come out with questions and an interview that really makes an impact.
- Write about what you talk about. If you’ve just had a discussion with your friends on twitter, or gchat, or even on the phone, write about it. If it’s a topic that is important enough for you to discuss it with your friends, it’s probably important enough to write about. I did this just recently when I talked about my stats. I’d been talking about it for weeks and by that time had so many thoughts and ideas swirling in my mind that it came out in a post.
- Write about someone else. When I first started blogging, J. Kaye had a great feature where she talked about new blogs that she discovered. I kind of miss that feature, and with that we’d do more discovering and talking about our discoveries. Plus, I believe that any karma you give out comes back to you 10-fold.