Blogging Can Be A Lot Like Riding a Bike

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Sometimes blogging is just like walking your dog

New to blogging? Read this post, which includes tips on how to write for your audience.

I live in the U.S. and on Labor Day my husband and I went for a bike ride.

Now, I hadn’t ridden my bike in a year so I wondered whether I would topple over as I took off.

I didn’t!

When we ride our bikes, we take the same 17-mile path every time. While the path may be the same, the environment changes, so it’s never boring.

Sometimes we see egrets and during the winter the creek can crest and spill over. Then there’s the pesky squirrel that loves to take a sprint in front of us.

So every time we ride, we notice something new.

Don’t you find blogging to be similar?

You can take a break from it and when you return, the steps are familiar. However, each time you write a new post you cover new territory, have new insights, and share new facts.

And each time you approach a new blog post, you need to explore topics that your audience wants to or needs to learn about.

Are you answering your audience’s questions or helping your audience learn something new or interesting? Or, are you simply writing an article that meets your needs, which can be as simple as “getting something out there” because someone said blogging is good for SEO.

You wouldn’t do that, would you?

In you are still new to blogging I recommend you read this post by HubSpot, which provides an useful formula to follow. Even if you’re not new to blogging, you may find their suggestions helpful.

Now let’s talk about your audience.

Frances Caballo - Blogging Just for WritersHow to Write Blog Posts Your Audience Craves

Unlike HubSpot’s template, there isn’t a formula for knowing how to reach your audience with your blog. It takes work, patience, experimentation, and perseverance. However, I can suggest these tips:

  1. One way to find your audience is to read blogs written by authorities in your niche. But don’t just read them; leave comments as well. As you build a relationship with these experts, pitch a guest post to them. The more often you write guest posts, the quicker your blog email list will grow and the faster you’ll expand your audience.
  2. Use Survey Monkey to ask your readers what they most want to learn from you through your blog.
  3. Then there’s the issue of length. Some say blog posts should be brief; others say they should be at least 1,200 – 1,800 words. Seth Godin, a master blogger and marketer, doesn’t abide by any of these rules. What I’ve learned is that there isn’t a correct answer. Write posts that most appeal to your readers in topic and length. You’ll know that you’re reaching your audience by the comments your readers leave,  the social media shares you receive, and the blog subscriptions that grow.
  4. Use visuals. Our brains can process visuals much faster than text and images provide a break in the blocks of text, which is a welcome relief for our eyes.
  5. Think about expanding into podcasts and videos. People love to listen to podcasts while they travel to work. Then publish the text of your podcast as a blog post. For video interviews, you can embed the html code from YouTube to your blog and provide a summary of the interview’s content.
  6. Each time you write a post ask yourself, “Will this post serve or help my audience?” Think of just one member of your audience and write a post for that person. Imagine what that person tells you that he or she needs to learn and write a post as your response.

Consistent blogging isn’t easy. You need to commit to the task, stick to your posting schedule, and stretch the boundaries of your skills. Read posts on the blogosphere, continually further your education, and strive to learn as much as you can about your audience so you can better meet its needs.

Blogging Topics for Authors

To help new and veteran bloggers who are Indie marketers and struggling what to do with a blog, I created this list of potential blog topics for you. It’s not exhaustive by any means, but it’s designed to at least get you started.

Blogging Topics for Nonfiction Writers

  1. If you wrote a book about how to become a better leader/entrepreneur/business owner, write a series of blog posts that outline the success of a variety of well-known business leaders from Steve Jobs to Richard Branson. Analyze their success, trying to find common threads.
  2. Contact successful business people –in your community and elsewhere– and ask them if you can interview them about steps that led to their success.
  3. Is your book about surviving cancer or living with diabetes or another chronic condition? Keep up with advances in treatment and profile people who are living well despite their diagnoses.
  4. Regardless of your niche – be it grammar or engineering – continue your education in your field, keeping up with the latest advancements. Then write about changes in your niche so that your readership can keep up with the latest trends as well. Include interviews and analyses. Write a post that lists other blogs writing about a new development or write a glossary of terms that your readers need to be familiar with.
  5. Make lists of your favorite nonfiction blogs in your niche and influencers you follow on Twitter.
  6. Write about your favorite books in your niche written by other authors.

Do all that you can to continue your learning curve so that you can simultaneously help your readers with their continued education in your niche.

blogging topics

Blogging Topics for Fiction Writers

If you write fiction, you will have fun exploring potential topics. Write about:

  1. The character you killed. Explain why you removed him/her from the story.
  2. The genesis of the story. How did you come up with your idea for your novel, novella, or short story?
  3. How you determined your characters’ names.
  4. Your protagonist’s favorite meal, food, or flowers.
  5. Your first public reading. Were you nervous? Was it well attended?
  6. An alternative ending to the story that you considered. Ask for feedback from your readers.
  7. An obstacle you encountered while writing the book or story. How did you overcome it? How did the obstacle affect the story itself?
  8. The parents of your characters if they didn’t figure in the story.
  9. An illness one of the characters suffered from. Why did you assign that condition to that character?
  10. A scene that you removed from the story. Explain why you deleted it.
  11. Why you chose a particular socio-economic class for your characters?
  12. Your writing process. What time of day do you write and what’s your routine?
  13. How old you were when you first began to write and what that felt like.
  14. Your favorite authors and why you love their books.
  15. Which author you would most like to emulate.
  16. Who has been your major supporter as a writer?
  17. How your love of reading grew into a love of writing if that’s the case.
  18. Other genres you dabble in, such as poetry. Don’t hesitate to publish some of your poems as part of a blog post.
  19. If you wrote a political novel and you have traveled to the country or area where your story takes place, share some of your photographs you took and write about your visit there. What did you learn during your trip and how did you apply that knowledge to your story?
  20. Write about your publishing process. Did you look for an agent? Did you create your cover? Was the self-publishing process arduous or did you have help? Do you have suggestions for your readers who might also be writers wanting to publish someday?
  21. Books by some of your colleagues.
  22. Your struggle with writing sometimes.
  23. Write about your favorite author and include quotes by that author.

blogging topics

Blogging Topics for Poets

Here are some ideas for poets who blog.

  1. Which poet(s) influenced you the most in your writing and why?
  2. Discuss your imagery. Help your readers (like me) to understand references that might otherwise be obscure.
  3. Are you participating in a Slam? Use a Camcorder to videotape it and use the video as your post.
  4. Host a contest by giving your readers a challenge. Give them four words to use in a poem and ask them to submit their entries. Judge their poems and award prizes.
  5.  Describe your experience at a poetry reading. In fact, you might also want to create a recording of it and include it on your blog, so your readers can hear your voice.
  6. Did Billy Collins recently visit your town? Write about your experience hearing him in person. What was he like? How did the crowd respond to him? Write about your experience hearing other poets as well.
  7.  Write about your writing process. Do you write every morning? What’s your routine like?
  8. If you meditate, write about how mindfulness enhances your poetry.
  9. Write about the story behind the poem.
  10. If you also write short stories or novels, explain how poetry enhances your prose.
  11. How do the outdoors inspire your poetry?

Blogging Topics for KidLit Authors 

If you’re an author who writes for the younger audience, here are some topics for you.

  1. Explain why you became a picture book, middle-grade, or young adult author.
  2. What was your experience as a reader when you read books intended for the age you write for now?
  3. Which authors in your genre do you love to read, and why?
  4. Discuss the importance of reading at any age.
  5. Take pictures of your audience at a recent reading and describe how it felt to read some of your stories to the kids.
  6. Write about new advances in how we teach kids to read.
  7. If you write picture books, explain to parents recent studies that back the importance of reading to their kids starting at a very early age.
  8. If you write for the young adult market, describe what you were like when you were in high school.
  9. Write about what inspires you most in life.
  10. Explain the importance of volunteering in the community and include information about a volunteer post you recently held. Include photos of your volunteering.

Please continue this list of blog topics for writers in the comments below.

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Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

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