One of the toughest things for bloggers starting out is staying on topic. The free-form aspect of blogging, of having a public soapbox of sorts is the desire to start talking about just about anything that comes to mind. Actually, I’ll contradict myself here for a minute and say that doing just that is good for bloggers, and should be done before you pick a blogging genre to dive into. Heck, you can find my first three blogging attempts here, here & here.
Once you find a topic or genre you are passionate about, it’s really important to remain true to that area of interest. There is a wide range of things to write about in your genre, so you shouldn’t need to try to combine two disparate topics. Trying to write about bicycling and fudge making for example just wouldn’t make a lot of sense.
It’s also hard to find topic ideas that consistently cover new areas or explore more detail on a regular basis. That is the more difficult part of blogging. Finding the topics that don’t seem to be repeating previous ones or feeling that you’re writing to too low an interest level. It’s easy to second guess yourself and simply not write because of it. That seems to be a common affliction too many bloggers, even one’s that have been blogging for awhile. 😉
A tip to combat that problem is to simply sit down for an hour, even 30 minutes, and brainstorm on things you want to talk about related to you topic. Do it once a month and reduce it to a reasonable number to accomplish in 30 days for your schedule and genre. One of the tools that I’ve recently been introduced to is mind mapping. There are many online and software-based tools to accomplish this, but it can easily be done with pen & paper to great affect for the needs of most bloggers. Starting with a central topic or theme, you can quickly map out interconnected ideas and develop an outline of topics very quickly. Highly recommended.
Since there are many different perspectives on this, I’m interested in yours, what would you add to this?
Photo credit: gaurang