“What should I write about?” It’s a question every blogger’s puzzled over at least once or twice. In today’s landscape, it’s fairly straightforward to start a blog, and many crop up across the web every day. But creating a blog that sticks around and matters? That’s where many bloggers drop off — and where we want to make sure you don’t.
While it might feel easier to lean back and let analysis paralysis take over, remember that successful bloggers got where they are because they took action, were willing to make mistakes along the way, published consistently, and finally found their sweet spot. So read on for inspiration to help you get blogging.
Let your day inspire you
For many bloggers, success is defined as growing an audience of interested readers who don’t make you feel like you’re shouting into the void. You can start by mining your daily tasks and responsibilities for story ideas. People are naturally curious, so posts that give a behind-the-scenes peek at your habits, business practices, morning routine, client process, and business location are a great place to start.
What should I write about? Here are some examples of story ideas gleaned from daily business activities:
- Write a blog-post series about the big steps in your sales process, from planning and inventory to sales and delivery of your product(s) or service(s).
- Give a tour of your office or shop. You can even explain how you organize your supplies (mentioning your favorites), file your papers, and make your space more welcoming and productive.
- Write a post about your favorite organizational tool(s). Is it a day planner, your website’s contact form, or something else?
- Round up your sources of inspiration, whether they be podcasts, books, or magazines. You likely look to others for inspiration all the time, so let your fans know what inspires you.
- Consider writing a post that shares insights on how to become successful in your field, especially if a big part of your daily life involves fielding questions from those looking to do what you do.
Don’t be afraid to go long
Have you ever written a blog post that’s more than 4,000 words? While it may seem like a ton of work (which it certainly can be), the benefits could potentially skyrocket your blog. Think back to when you first started your blog or business. Did you ever lay awake at night, stressing? And did you then turn to long, how-to blog posts to help you figure out the knowledge and tools you needed? Using a long-form blog post, you can now be the solution to someone else’s struggles.
Well-written and helpful long-form blog posts take some time to read, but more time equals more trust. Plus, readers will typically stay on your long-form post 40 percent longer than they would on an average page — and will then look at 25 percent more pages on your website, Kissmetrics explains. Try to write one or two long-form blog posts every few months. They take time, but they can become a pillar for your business’s online presence.
What should I write about? Here are more story idea examples that are best suited for longer posts:
- Write a post about a differing or contrarian belief that you have in your field — a long-form post gives you room to share your reasoning and explain your thought process.
- Share a detailed day-in-the-life post. What does it look like to see you on the clock? What activities take up your time?
- Highlight all the tools you use in your trade. From WordPress.com to that desk chair you’ve finally found that doesn’t hurt your back — list them all with a blurb about each.
But short matters too
Short-form blogs absolutely have a place in the content landscape — just consider Seth Godin. His short, daily blog posts written on whatever topic strikes his fancy are highly shared. Mix up your posting rhythms to see what your audience prefers, and lean on the WordPress.com app to keep up your posting schedule. You can snap images and type quick blog posts into your smartphone, which gives you the power to publish from anywhere.
Shorter posts can be great places to play with counterintuitive ideas, information that inspires, and pithy observations. To make each individual article easier for search engines to find, be sure to it stands out from the get-go! Pair it with a striking image and stay focused on a single idea that’s worth sharing.
What should I write about? Here are more story ideas that are best suited for short posts:
- Snap a photo on your smartphone of something that inspires your work and post it via the WordPress.com app. Ask your audience where they find inspiration.
- Post a quote you love, or find beneficial, and explain what it means to you.
- Share a quick bullet list of things you learned at a recent meetup or conference.
Remember, if you don’t know what your readers will like best, test out ideas until you find one that sticks. You’ll have a much better idea of what works once you’ve started. Find inspiration for your blog in your daily life, and create content that matters.