Click here for Blogging Guide, Part 1: Which Platform is Right…
So you finally did it. You have your own blog. Congrats!
While the blank page can be intimidating, to face a blog post shouldn’t be. You’re responsible for shortish pieces on whatever strikes your fancy and, unlike in a novel – which requires believable dialog, a plot arc and a story – a good blog post needs mostly personality.
Whether you’re sticking to one niche (e.g. the road to publication or writing tips for authors) or a number of subjects, the material you present must reveal you in some way. Without this your text will be bland, making it harder to forge a personal connection with your readers.
Connections, you’re asking? Who needs ‘em?
Everyone. The Internet is a vast world and there are plenty of places for people to turn so here are 10 blog prompts to get you and your followers thinking:
1. Look at what’s trending on Twitter (by hashtag) and write an opinion piece about the topic at hand. Remember to use your researching skills to back up your argument.
2. Come up with a weekly feature. For example, maybe every Wednesday you interview an author about writing or his/her process. Or on Tuesdays you post a photo of your work area and write about your progress. Whatever it is, be consistent.
3. Talk shop, er, books and articles. What have you read recently that you loved or hated? What is your favorite book of all time? Why do you prefer one specific genre over another? Or do you no longer read at all, and why?
4. What challenges or fears have you faced in life and overcome? Inspirational writing is always popular.
5. Make a top 10 list. From nail colors to the best advice on book cover concepts; do your research and show off what you’ve found.
6. Thoughtfully reply to a blog post by someone else in your niche and kick off a back-and-forth conversation about a controversial (or just plain important) topic.
7. Can’t think of anything nice to say? Don’t say anything at all, then. Instead sum up your feelings by posting a meaningful quote by your favorite philosopher, writer, actor, or musician.
8. As writers, we love words, but appreciate the other fine arts, too. Don’t shy away from putting up a video you found on YouTube or a photo of your favorite coffee shop, carnival ride or pet. These small glimpses into your life will be appreciated by your readers.
9. What do you want to accomplish over the next year and how will you get there? Tell your readers so they can root for you. And remember to talk about your progress now and again.
10. Still not inspired? Check out these interactive prompts that will get your mind churning.
Now that you’re raring to blog, remember that it’s only the first part of your online journaling journey. Promoting your work is next, meaning:
- Send an e-mail to friends and family letting them know you’re joining the blogging ranks and ask them to send your URL on to others who may be interested
- Reach out to other bloggers you know, or don’t, and introduce yourself. Perhaps you’ll want to feature one of their posts one day, or vice versa
- Post a link to each of your blog posts on Facebook and on Twitter so your fans and followers can keep up with what you’re up to
- Tag your posts so that they’ll be found by others with similar interests
Once you start blogging you may never want to stop. Soon, conversations with friends, last night’s sunset or your experience at the grocery store will become online fodder for you and your followers. Most importantly, enjoy the journey to finding your cyber-self.
For a great example, check out this Lulu author’s blog about her writing experience: TraceyJaneSmith.com. Have your own to share? Show it off in the comments below!