Copyright 2006 Chonticha Marijne
In "1 - Blogging: Let's Get You Started" we ended with the subject of content. Fresh topics are important to keep your blog readership interested, and now we're going to discuss just how you can do that.
What are you going to write about? It should be a topic that you're passionate about or are at the very least interested in. If you've chosen blogging as your new career, then you don't want to torture yourself by writing about something that you have zero interest in, otherwise you might as well return to that mundane job you just quit!
Feelings and emotions show through your writing, so your readers will notice any indifference you may have toward a certain topic that you find boring. Don't forget the advice about writing with a personality. Forced writing will not establish you in the world of blogging at all.
Once you've chosen your main theme -- or if it has chosen you, then that's even better -- start posting to your blog and try to get into the habit of doing that at least once every day. It doesn't always need to be a long post; it could be a comment on something you read in the newspaper today or a segment that you saw on the breakfast news program on TV. Think of yourself as a gigantic container ship, that needs a lot of effort to get moving. At first, you'll budge just a foot or two and later you'll trudge slowly on until you're at full speed. Before you know it, it'll take a lot of effort to stop you!
Nevertheless, regardless of how well you know your topic, you're going to run out of fresh input at some point, so let's look at some content brainstorm ideas.
1) Check out what other bloggers have to say on the current state of affairs in your field of discussion. You can find related blogs by visiting http://blogsearch.google.com/ or http://www.technorati.com. You'll learn from other blogs and you can also comment on what others have to say on your own blog!
2) Once you’ve established contact with other bloggers, you’ll have almost inexhaustible input to keep you going for a while, so there won't be an acute need to search for content to write about. Should you still be stuck, then you can search for news articles related to your niche in you local newspaper or online.
3) By joining a few forums related to your niche -- just choose the ones that are the most focused on your particular area -- you can engage in conversations with others who share your interests. This is a great way to build up a Q&A bank and interesting discussion topics to write about. An added bonus is that your forum posts will quite handily generate traffic for your blog and, hopefully, profits.
Try to maintain your daily posting habit. The major search engines love fresh content and they are more likely to spider your blog frequently, which will also result in getting you extra traffic.
The subject of traffic will be discussed in a future article, so don't worry about that right now. Just keep writing and posting and building up that momentum -- you'll be an established blogger before you know it!