Blogger: Rachel Kent
I don’t know about you, but I usually struggle with finding a blog topic. I am lucky to one of 5 bloggers on the Books & Such page. I know most of you run your own blogs and you need to post multiple times each week. I’ve found a few methods that help me to come up with topics and maybe these will help you, too.
1) Watch on loops and in groups, like ACFW or your critique group, for common questions or concerns that other writers are having. Use these topics and questions to spark a post.
2) Get personal. Connect something in your life to publishing or to your books. I did this recently with my house hunt. (We are still looking for the right one to buy, but have sold our place and are moved out.) A lot of readers would love to hear little details about their favorite authors so even if the personal story you are sharing doesn’t have much application to your story, it might still be a good idea to share it. (Just be careful to be safe with the details you are putting online.)
3) Read magazines to find articles about current events and respond to them in a way that connects to what you write about. Talk about the current event based on your worldview. That will usually overlap with your writing voice and style.
4) Think about what you do daily. Is there anything there that other people will connect with and enjoy reading about? What makes you interesting? As writers you are sure to have specific routines that you follow that other writers could be interested in. If you are a parent and a writer other writer parents might be interested to hear how you manage your days, etc.
5) Think about having a guest blogger, a contest, or blog a book review. You don’t want to have these too often because you want your blog to really be your own, but they are always good fillers for those days where you are swamped and can’t think of anything to write about.
What are some methods you use to find blog topics? I look forward to hearing your ideas because I need all the help I can get! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
I found a topic without trying
to; actually, it found me.
It’s all about the art of dying
with brutal honesty.
I have to look beyond the pain
and take the road to hell,
then let God lead me out again
with a story – His – to tell.
At times I look into the sky
and it all seems so bloody grim
but I need not know the reason why
I’m on this path with Him.
I can just write out my heart,
and at His feet take Mary’s part.
I was struggling to find blog topics until I found a way to make the task more organic with what I already do. My day starts with scripture, and I create a meme for social media from that reading. On my author page I write a story every day (more like a devo) to personalize the verse. The best of those I put on my Looking Up! blog. Starting with scripture has worked for me as opposed to starting with nothing.
Thanks for these tips. I started a blog recently to help develop my author platform and looking for good post ideas and ways to generate them.
I build a week’s worth of short posts around a single topic. It’s often driven by a current event, change of season or holiday. Otherwise, I keep a list of generic topics, sometimes just a single word (this week’s posts are wrapped around “abundance”). A series may be all plotted out, only to be pushed back by some unexpected event or inspiration. When my well is dry, I look to my list. Thanks be to God, there’s always something that calls to me there–sometimes it’s in final form, sometimes it’s the initial nugget. Most mornings, I prayerfully visualize myself putting the website at Jesus’ feet. It’s amazing how many good ideas grow out of that prayer space.
Great idea, Shirlee! I love how you approach blogging. 🙂
I think, in part, finding topics to blog about should revolve around your focus for blogging. I am the first to admit my focus is faith and relationships with God and people.
My posts are often the result of Scriptures I’ve read in my quiet times (i.e. the post I put up today), or things God begins talking to me about when I’m reading a devotional. I’ve learned that if my mind starts puzzling on something I’m reading to pause and write out my thoughts. Sometimes it turns into a blog. Sometimes it doesn’t.
Holidays also help with blog topics. Writing about a Valentine’s Day memory or about the true meaning of love or something relating to Valentine’s Day can offer a post. And just think about how many holidays there are in the year. If you write one post for each holiday, that covers a lot of posts in the year. 🙂
I’m usually shorter on time than I am on topics. I like Shirlee’s idea of building posts around a topic. I do my best to think of reader benefit–what will the reader gain by taking the time to read my posts?
For book bloggers, there are many weekly memes to participate in. These are a way to share your love of books or what you’re reading while you also build traffic. You have to make time to comment on the blogs of others, though, so be sure to do that. There is a list of some memes at https://bookshelffantasies.com/book-blog-meme-directory/
If your book is set in a certain area, you could write posts about different landmarks, what your setting is famous for, or bookstores you frequent in that area. If your books feature animals, you can share neat animals facts about critters from your books. If you write in a certain genre, featuring interviews or posts by other authors in that genre can help solidify your inclusion in that group.
I could go on and on because I love blogging, but you get the gist. Think of what your reader can gain and you’ll be moving in the right direction.
Kristen Joy Wilks
Oh, Rachel. I would love to hear more details about the contract negotiation part of being an agent. What does that look like? What tricky clauses should writers look out for? What does an agent negotiate for when they don’t have a lot of negotiation power because the author is new but of course they don’t want to just sign the boiler plate contract? These things fascinate me and I would love a peek behind the curtain!
Every now and then I reblog an article. One of the aims of my blog is to shine a light on articles I believe are worth taking the time to read, and if I come across one that meets that criteria, I reblog it. I don’t want to do this too often, because I want the blog to be mainly my writing. The authors of the articles are glad I passed it along, because they get more readers. I reblogged an article recently, and believe that it’s one reason my blog picked up two more followers.