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Blogging fear: Topics worth reading

April 20, 2015

introspection

Illustration: Gisela Giardino (CC)

I asked for your biggest fears in blogging, and y’all came through.

This week’s fear: “My biggest personal fear is not having anything to say worth saying. [Our school] is trying to step up its blog presence on our web, so everyone in the PR department is assigned a week to do a blog post. I want what I write to always be relevant and not just to meet a deadline – of course. It is not a ‘personal’ blog. It has to relate somehow to the college. Some weeks it’s tough to come up with something you want to write about.

“How do you keep fresh and cultivate good topics that someone actually wants to read?”

— Cathy

Romance dies as newness wears off. A new love seems more exciting than an inhabited relationship, when flaws are more familiar than attributes. Passion fades.

This truth applies to our jobs and our companies. I love what I do, but I have worked at companies where that love was beaten down day after day.

You might love your job and your company. Finding things to write about should be very easy. The toughest blogging challenge would be what to blog about first.

You might hate your job and your company. No matter how hard you try, you won’t come up with good topics in which you can pour your heart and soul. Look for a better job elsewhere if you can’t change your situation.

You might be stuck in the middle: Your job and your company aren’t perfect; you love some things and would change other aspects. How do you find great blog topics worth writing and reading?

1. Dig deep. Determine what parts of your job still get you fired up. Talking with customers? Brainstorming? Solving problems? Long-term analysis? Use your favorite things to create interesting posts.

I love speaking, brainstorming and solving problems, so I write many posts about these aspects of communications. I hate bureaucracy, excuses and intangible results, so I avoid these blog topics at all costs.

2. Ask your readers. I ask people all the time about potential topics. They might be readers, customers, audience members, peers, experts, colleagues or hecklers. Why waste time guessing when you can ask people directly?

I’ve conducted surveys in person, on paper and online to gather data. I’ve asked the same question to people for weeks on end. I have a burning curiosity to know what others want to learn. Foster your curiosity.

3. Steal ideas. Look at blogs about other colleges and universities. Lurk in LinkedIn and Facebook groups about schools aimed at students, parents and faculty. See what people are talking about regularly.

When I’m really stuck for a topic, I do research, or more accurately, reconnaissance. This tactic has yet to fail me, because I can quickly ascertain the most pressing questions to answer.

Rekindle your romance with your work. Doing so will help your voice flourish and your blog ring true.

That will definitely be worth reading.

Tell me about your biggest fear in blogging,
and I might answer it in a future post.

More in our Blogging Fears series.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Arlee Bird permalink
    April 20, 2015 11:29 am

    Excellent tips. Another recommendation is to look at your conversations with peers and associates. If you can come up with things to say in a conversation with them maybe there is a way to mine those conversations for blog ideas. Even if they are about the latest movie you’ve seen, a restaurant where you ate, or some other life thing you can try to make relevant connections between those topics and topics that meaningful to whatever or whoever you are blogging for. Creative connecting makes for interesting analogies and stories to which readers can relate.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    • April 20, 2015 5:31 pm

      Thanks, Lee — great suggestion!

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  1. The 2015 index to posts | Birmingham Blogging Academy

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