Blogspiration: Finding New Blog Topics

It’s easy to find blogs that are, for all intents and purposes, “dead.” Plenty of people feel inspired to start using a blogging service or a social networking service (especially Twitter), then blow it in the follow-through; the blog gets a handful of posts, then the user loses interest in their blog, quits writing new content, loses or never establishes a reader base, and thus never gets a chance to make money. With no readers to buy potential products and no readers who might click on advertisements, the more likely way for bloggers to make money, the blog does nothing but occupy space, taking up domain names and usernames that other bloggers might have wanted for their own, more serious projects.

As a consequence, it’s obviously quite important for bloggers to do two things: they must both provide a substantial amount of fresh posts and a wide variety of posts to make money. If a blog isn’t updated on a regular basis, unless the writer is someone extremely important (i.e. someone who probably isn’t looking to make their money from the blog, but from something else they do, like perhaps making music or acting or writing things that aren’t blog posts), it will very quickly lose readers, which means less site hits, less traffic, and no chance of profits.

Maintaining a steady supply of ideas for posts can be difficult, but a blog that aims to make money likely has a pre-established focus, such as cooking, music, pets, or something similar. You thus want to diversify your portfolio within the world of your umbrella topic as much as possible. Cover aspects of your topic of focus that put you one foot within the familiar and one foot outside your comfort zone; if you write about cooking, for example, find a trend or a culinary technique that you and your readers might not be intimately knowledgeable about and familiarize yourself – and your audience – in the process. If you have a pre-established audience, you might be able to get sponsor assistance through this coverage, helping both you and your advertiser further each other’s goals.

Your comments section might also help you find inspiration for new posts. If your blog is assaulted with ad hominem attacks, you’re probably not going to get much long-term success out of having a meltdown on your blog, but if you have insightful, engaging regular commenters who ask questions of you – or make you curious about something – address the commenter’s question or comment in its own post and elaborate upon it. It’ll expand your own field of knowledge and expertise, but it does something else: it will quite possibly make that commenter share the piece written at least partially about them with friends and family, which will in turn potentially lead to an even bigger reader base.

However, there’s another approach you can take to the world of professional blogging, especially if you’re pursuing a book deal; many users of the microblogging service Tumblr, among other networks, have made money with one-note-jokes turned into coffee table books, such as Hipster Puppies, This Is Why You’re Fat, and Stuff Hipsters Hate. These blogs essentially post the same kind of content on a semi-regular basis – extensions of the one joke almost always explained in the blog’s title or URL. For these, all you need is a jokey premise that catches on and enough content to sustain it until it produces enough content to merit publishing a book, though obviously book deals don’t magically come to bloggers who decide to use the medium for this.

Both types of blog writing, however, essentially do the same thing to make money; they establish an audience, then use that audience to collect revenue. Audiences are far more prone to read something that continues to appeal to them and gets updated regularly, and thus a happy medium between consistency and diversity without compromising quality or credibility is what’s going to give you results.

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One Response to Blogspiration: Finding New Blog Topics

  1. Crystle says:

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