Syntagma Digital
Editor, John Evans

Well, What Should You Blog About?

Duncan has a post over at Blog Herald discussing the problems of finding something to blog about.

Coincidentally, Darren also has a series of 20 or so posts on Bloggers’ Block, or … finding something to blog about.

If you are a serious ~ what I like to call Tertiary ~ blogger, a good place to start is Memeorandum, which lists the most relevant discussions going on in real time for tech and U.S. politics. After following the links in the discussion of your particular topic area, you’d have to be a numbskull not to be drawn into the fray.

In terms of blog niches, though, the main thing is to make a start, perhaps on one of the free blog services, like Blogger. This will allow you to see how the topic runs, assess your own continuing interest, calculate your traffic and/or income potential, before finding a domain name and going it alone.

My own Windows Vista Weblog started in this way. Now part of b5media, with a Page Rank of 7, it began as a free Blogspot effort in July. Traffic was brisk and expanding when it moved to Duncan’s Weblog Empire, growing traffic steadily as it went.

When Weblog Empire became the cornerstone of b5, WVW moved in too. After three months it has built traffic topping 100,000 page views a month, and will continue to grow as Vista becomes hotter and hotter in the run-up to launch next year.

But if you’re going to write more than one blog, you should try to vary the subject matter … for fairly obvious reasons. With four Microsoft blogs to write, by early afternoon I’m all Microsofted-out, so it’s a great relief to switch to Paranormal Watch or our large collection of Royal Anecdotes. Similarly, Spiritual Nirvana acts as a sweet balm to the spirit after tracking stories of exploding Xboxes and internecine battles at Redmond.

Everyone will have their own interests, of course, some of which can be sustained, others which can’t. One tip is to set up some daily Google Alerts in your topic areas. I have them for all my blog topics and they are invaluable. If a headline catches my interest, I click on it, skim down the article and add it to my Favourites list for the blog concerned. Technorati Watchlists are another rich source of useful material. Having followed up all the leads in the Alerts, tech.memeorandum, Technorati and Bloglines, I’m then ready to start writing posts.

If you can’t find anything to blog about after all that, you should maybe consider that blogging isn’t for you. Somehow though, if you’ve got to the end of this post, I don’t think that will be the case.

11 Responses to “Well, What Should You Blog About?”

  1. Google Alerts, now this sounds like a goodidea. I get headlines and such from certain sources in my RSS reader, but I guess I can indeed add this to the list, especially when it comes to writing about the current news.

    And now I can go back to my crazy idea of setting up new blogs as well. It’ll only take me more time every day, but well, when we like it and have matter to blog about, what else is to be done… 😉

  2. Yes, Google Alerts are great for specific keywords and phrases, especially niche ones, like Royalty, paranormal and so on.

    So, you’re setting up more blogs too, Yzabel? Are you starting a network? What’s it about? :-)

  3. I hear ya about having a variety of topics to write about. I am up to 6 blogs now (4 single author, 2 multi-author) and go down the varied list when I’m writing. Otherwise, my brain shuts down.

  4. No plans for a network at the moment, since I don’t want to chew more than I can swallow, but I wanted to do something related to vector art, since it’s an aspect of digital art I like a lot. I’ve had a few other ideas as well, although these would be topics really for my pleasure rather than for me to get any hope of gathering a wide audience. As I’m sure I couldn’t take on everything all at once, I do them one by one. This should work… I hope!

  5. Lei, that’s the way to go. Too much on the same subject just spreads your effectiveness.

    BTW, as you do genetics, have you considered one on the bird flu virus, which is a hot topic in the news right now and probably will be for a few years to come?

  6. Very wise, Yzabel. Vector art sounds fascinating. Let me know when you get it going.

    Incidentally, congratulations on writing 50,000 words of your novel. I hope you get it published. :-)

  7. I’m still setting up (it went faster than I had thought… after commenting here I all of a sudden felt like getting the ball going * whistles innocently *) but the whole thing should get more content soon enough. There’s a week-end ahead, and I’m done with my 50k of words now, so I can breath (thank you, by the way. I hope it’ll be at least worth trying to get it published). :)

  8. Of course! All that work for nothing doesn’t bear thinking about. If all else fails, you can always get it published free by

  9. I’ve considered LuLu as an option, indeed. I don’t want to take this road yet, because, let’s face it, it may wield a more important weight for me, being a foreign author, if I can get published in the USA (or the UK – I wrote my novel in English, that’s why) the traditional way. Therefore, I want to try this first. If this doesn’t work, though, POD would be a good option. I trust myself to at least be able to proof-read and paginate a novel properly, so that it doesn’t look like the first piece of crap right out of Word’s basic layout. If I couldn’t, I’d wonder what the hell I’ve learnt in graphic-design school! :)

    Anyway, regarding the blog, I’ve started posting in it, and worked on adapting a template to it this morning. It’s not completely finished, of course, and it’ll take time for more content to be added, but if you’re interested in checking it, it’s at http:/// (couldn’t buy the two other domain names, they were too expensive for me * sobs *).

  10. Interesting blog. I posted the first comment on it. I really like the illustrations too. Should be a good niche topic. :-)

  11. To be honest, I’m yet to find another blog on this topic, which made me want to get the ball rolling even more. The only one I know of is VectorTown, and its approach is more on the “community” side of things (too bad they don’t have more content on it yet). So yes, probably it can be a good niche. At least I know I’m doing something for it now :)

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