People often use the phrase, “Write what you know.” While I think writing what you know is an excellent rule to break, especially when writing fiction, it can be a useful framework for coming up with blog post ideas. Local, community-based blogs are one of my favorite trends to develop from online publishing. It’s a concept than can be easily incorporated into your own site, and also provides both excellent fodder for post topics and real life community-building.
For blogs that are entirely dedicated to local and community blogging, the idea is to generally serve as a resource for readers who live in or near your town. One of my favorite local blogs, which was also featured on the PollDaddy blog, is Baristanet, a local news blog for the northern New Jersey area. When it comes to local news, I tend to refer to blogs like Baristanet more often than picking up the local paper. Why? It’s easy to access from the comfort of my home, I can browse archives, and can communicate with other community members.
You can incorporate this local flair into your site by keeping an eye out for community events. Whether you use your own local blog, the community paper, or bulletin boards to find out what’s happening in your town, think of local art shows, craft fairs, and sports events as potential posting ideas. Personally, I love attending local art shows with the intention of posting a review on my blog within the next day or two. These types of events can be a fun writing exercise as well, since they provide the opportunity for more in-depth research. In fact, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can even interview people for your post or take your own photographs to accompany your story. Tagging your posts with the event title, your town, and your regional area helps you to tap into a local readership, as well.
To find local stories and inspiration, try using the Google Blog Search or the WordPress.com topic pages to see posts tagged with your city. You may be even surprised by how many other local bloggers there are in your area!