So you have a blog? Fantastic.
I’ve got one too.
So does that guy over there.
And that one.
The harsh reality is that everyone has a bloomin’ blog these days. Which makes it doubly hard for us proper bloggers. *winky face*
How do we get to stand head and shoulders above the rest? It’s easy – write good stuff.
Now that may seem more straightforward than reality, and yes that’s true. But the bottom line is if you write good stuff, people will read it. There are of course other elements. You need to tell people about it, you can’t just expect hundreds of thousands of people will roll up to your blog without an announcement. Unfortunately the world doesn’t work like that. Yes, I know, word of mouth is powerful. But you need to tell people first.
So that’s where social media comes into it. But before we get snarled up down that tangled road, there’s no good using social media if you haven’t got good content – if anything it will do more harm than good…
So back to writing good stuff.
The first thing your visit will see is your title. It’s what hook, line and sinkers them to read on. And without a good title, you can probably say goodbye to your web traffic.
But before we look at the title, we’ve got to nail the topic. What’s the difference? Well a topic is a broad category like ‘writing tips’ and a title is a more niche aspect of that topic. You need to get the topic right before you can anything else.
Let’s use my blog as an example: I talk about writing, books, marketing and sometimes a bit of travel.
The next step is to brain storm. Brainstorm as many topics as you like. Some people like to do this by hand, some people like to write lists, it doesn’t really matter but write out as many ideas as you can. Here are a few of mine:
- Facebook Page likes
- Inspirational places
- Writing with emotion
- Successful characters
These topics are fairly refined. I may have started out with the idea of social media:
This small brainstorm has generated 18 focused topics based upon one pillar of the blog. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll use them all, you’ve got to turn these into viable titles that are interesting.
But at the same time, you’re not limited to one title per topic. Let’s take the ‘How not to’ topic under Facebook:
- 3 Things You Shouldn’t Do on Facebook
- 8 Things You Definitely Don’t Want to Share on Facebook
- 7 Facebook Fails for Authors
- Make Sure You Avoid These Common Facebook Mistakes
They all cover the same topic but they look at different angles.
My super-secret of blog topics: If you’ve had a post that’s done reasonably well, take a look back at it and write something that’s similar (i.e. covers the same topic) but introduces a new angle, or a new approach.
Blogging is all about repurposing content. Whether that’s your own or somebody else’s. There is no such thing as a new idea, but we’re simply using other people’s ideas to fuel our own and it’s time to utilise that.
That’s all from me on blog topics – remember to brainstorm as much as possible and try a new approach. If you’re wanting to play around the titles and discover which one’s work best, then head over to Coschedule’s Headline Analyser for a breakdown on what works and what doesn’t.