At Dinkum, we often ask our clients to write blogs. Blogging is supposed to be pretty free-form and perhaps because of this, people can get stuck at the beginning of the process: what to write about.
If I had to choose the single most common impediment for would-be bloggers, it’s not time but ideas. “I don’t know what to write about!” and “What do I have to say that would be interesting to people?” are pretty common. Other good ones include “Does it need to be long?” or “It should be short and easy to read, right?”
My answer is always “Don’t worry about it! Just write/share/contribute!” If the topic and title are in place, it’s really pretty simple to write a decent blog entry.
I used to have this problem, too. But now I find I have way more topics and potential blogs kicking around my head than time to write them. Here’s the trick. Find a niche (or two) and compare everything you read, learn, hear, or think about to that niche. Here’s an example:
- The other night I was reading the NY Times website. Actually, the word reading is generous. I was browsing for the Phillies score and taking a look for anything interesting before I closed up my laptop for the night.
- I came across this article, about Stephen Wolfram’s experiment in collecting his personal data and analyzing it to learn more about his behavior and patterns.
- I immediately had five blog post ideas. One was my two cents about how interesting his experiment is. A second was about how too much data can sometimes cloud decision making in internet marketing. A third was about a Microsoft study done years ago showing it takes something like 23 minutes to return to serious work after interrupting yourself to check email. The fourth was about personal data on the web and how we’re all leaving tons of personal info around for people to piece into a story (good or bad). And the fifth was about this creepy app (since banned) that illustrates just how much data is already being left public by users.
The key to this process is keeping my niches front and center. As things pique my interest (this article certainly did) I look at how that might relate to my niches (the internet, day-to-day internet marketing, and the various toolsets and challenges in marketing/communication online) and begin translating or adding perspective that will help my potential audience understand those areas better.
In curating the content and ideas through our blog, I’m adding value to our company and sharing what I hope are interesting viewpoints. You never know who might stumble across these entries before heading off to sleep one night!
Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1307507