I know quite a few writers whose abandoned personal blogs are languishing in some dark corner of the Internet. These writers launched their blogs with joy and enthusiasm, but their momentum fizzled because they found it too hard to keep coming up with inspiring topics. Don’t let this happen to you. Here are some great ways to choose a topic that will resonate with your audience.
- Pick something you’re passionate about. When you care about your topic, you’ll write about it in a more powerful, emotionally expressive way.
- Pick something your readers are passionate about. What does your audience care about? It’s important to know so you can engage them. And don’t be afraid to go negative (e.g. Ten “Healthy” Foods You Should Always Avoid). The human negativity bias is legit.
- Get inspired by research. Some of the best articles I’ve written germinated when I grew curious about a subject and decided to explore it.
- Get inspired by other writers. No, I don’t mean you should plagiarize or blatantly copy ideas. But you can take a look at what your competition is writing about and put your own spin on these subjects. What new information or ideas can you bring to the table?
Keep a log of every topic idea that comes your way. You never know when you’re going to be stumped by the question “What should I write?”
You’ve got a topic. Awesome! Now, what’s your angle? Avoid a broad approach—get specific. You’ll get overwhelmed if you pick a huge subject like organic vegetable gardening and try to cover it all. Instead, go with “10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Start an Organic Vegetable Garden.”
Think about the best approach to your topic. If you want to explain how to do something, a step-by-step how-to article could work well. Want to write about your favorite autobiographies or offer your best tips for throwing a memorable dinner party? Consider a listicle. There’s nothing wrong with a straight-up essay, either, as long as it’s well-organized.
Speaking of which . . .