Think Globally, Blog Locally

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 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!

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  1. That would be great if WordPress hadn’t changed everything to come up in Reader which is a serious step backwards. I did look up local stuff before, but Reader is such a pain for looking up Topics.

    Oh, and another point on that one. Using the same featured blog week in week out hardly shows initiative or interest on the part of WP. Since I started googling my city I have never seen a different featured blog.


      1. Thank you for the email link, I have yet to send it. I don’t think I expressed myself clearly.

        Putting topics in reader is a regressive step. Having the same featured blog on topics is poor too.


    1. I agree with you, roughseasinthemed. I used to enjoy browsing topics, but now that “topics” is in “reader,” the browsing process is cumbersome and much less user friendly. I also think that it is a regressive step, and several other bloggers have made similar comments. I do hope that WP reverts this.
      Regarding your suggestion to “blog locally,” Erica, I have done this in my own blog, with good result. The local businesses appreciate it, as do my local followers, and it makes me feel a bit like a journalist!


  2. I’d not though of focusing on the local scene on my blog, but that is an excellent idea. You have quite a few interesting tips in this post. Thank you. 🙂


  3. HSBC Bank has a slogan in Chinese called 「環球金融、地方智慧」, literally meaning ‘Global Finance; Local Wisdom’, also known as ‘The World’s Local Bank’ in English.

    Today’s topic reminds me of this smart slogan.


  4. It might be idea for future development. Though some areas are just plain Boring…I shall certainly look into local events happenings meeting etc see if much comes to the surface.


  5. I appreciate your thoughts – especially since I publish a local blog. I would like to thank you for the “Google” link – never knew that it existed; can’t find the link for “Google blog search” on the main Google page. Where is it? In any event, thanks.


  6. What you said is fine and factual.Am missing out on Local subjects,topics and blog.I will follow your advice.


    1. I do something similar, wanderfool. The subheading of my website is “…revealing the brilliance of everyday life.” I’ll come for a visit to your blog.