BBC 2.0: What should you blog about?

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[ Some business and details ]

Welcome back to another action-packed day of our Lemon and Raspberry week-long online workshop: Better Blog Content.

I would really love it if you blogged about this workshop or tweeted about it to your followers and friends if you think that creating Better Blog Content is something they also struggle with.

Reminder: please use this workshop hashtag #LRBBC (for Lemon and Raspberry Better Blog Content) when sharing info and links (and questions) on Twitter.

So far this week, you’ve chosen (or focused on) your blog’s message. Keep that focus.

Also this week, you’ve identified your target audience (with details)!

You’ve identified what problem your blog is helping solve and who it is that needs that help.

Next, you’ve got to come up with topics. Day after day after day for who knows how long of topics to blog about.

The good news is once you get the hang of it the ideas tend to snowball. You’ll get 6 or 8 or 12 ideas all from one source.

The bad news is you’ve got to figure out some way to harness that snowball.

Where do you go to find ideas for blog posts?

Everyone has their own creativity triggers. The trick is to recognize what works best for you. You’ll need to spend some time paying attention to your thought process, recognizing what input (a conversation, an image, etc) leads you to create your best work.

This is what I do …. I live my life. I read, I talk to friends, I watch movies, I go to concerts, I take photos of loved ones, I learn new things.

Any one of those places could be a trove of blog posts, depending on what my blog niche is.

Outside your blog niche

Literally ANYTHING could serve as inspiration for a blog post – depending in your niche.

As you are going about your day, think about what you see, overhear, interact with.

Example: On Those Crazy Schuberts I blog about living in and traveling around Los Angeles. When we first moved here a couple years ago, I did a series of blog posts called “Seen in L.A.” and just listed the interesting (sometimes bizarre) things I saw in the short walk from my car to the office.

Anything about the way you spend your time can inspire a blog post.

If your blog is about handmade children’s aprons, maybe the upcoming holiday season can inspire a post or series of posts. Maybe a recent dinner party you went to (blog a recipe?), maybe even a new kids movie coming out.

Really. Anything.

If you’re paying attention to see it.

Events in your life, friends and family, movies, music, etc.

Inside your blog niche

Think about what other bloggers or vendors in your industry are talking about, blogging about, excited about, etc.

Highlight vendor partners, or a craft show you might be going to. Partner with a ‘competitor’ blog on a contest or series of posts.

Link to an interesting post someone in your niche put on their own blog and comment on how it relates to your blog/company/life/etc.

Your own blog

Your own blog archives and activity is a always a great place to draw inspiration for future blog posts.

Can you revive an old post? Maybe update with new information, or do a 2nd and 3rd post in a series.

Look at your comments as well. Are your readers asking you specific questions that you can enlarge into a full blog post (instead of answering in the comments or emailing the commenter privately)?

Think about even featuring a reader, highlighting a reader or doing a giveaway to honor your readers.

Think about your audience and what problem you are helping them solve.

Homework for today:

Brainstorm.

Brainstorm.

Brainstorm.

Set aside the time to just think and brainstorm and write down ideas.

And finally, if you have specific questions you’d like me to address, please leave them in the comments. I want you to get as much out of this mini online workshop as possible.

If you want to read more about the value and importance of great blog content the L&R BBC Workbook would be perfect!

Download the Table of Contents as a preview

This workbook is FULL of all the things we are going to talk about over the next week, PLUS many many extra chapters, PLUS more resources, PLUS worksheets and homework for each topic. …..  just barely under 100 pages!

MORE RESOURCES:

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  • Kam May 5, 2011 at 7:49 am edit

    I love brainstorming, but sometimes an idea hits when I’m not even thinking about it! I posted a few past posts/articles in a “From the Archives” feature recently and it seemed to help me 1. Update newer readers on some great posts from the past, 2. See how far my writing/photos have come since I first started, and 3. think of new posts to do in the future. Not to mention it helps improve my interlinking without creating duplicate content :)

    You mention the ‘idea snowball’ and trying to harness it, do you have examples/suggestions?

    Reply
  • Amy May 5, 2011 at 7:54 am edit

    Exactly! Great example – you can find inspiration for new posts ANYWHERE – including your past work.

    As far as “harnessing” when all those ideas come flooding in ….
    I just write down as many ideas/text/points/etc as I can … and then worrying about editing and pruning later.

    Which is why I currently have ~675 draft posts for Lemon and Raspberry (true story!)

    For those of you who don’t have the Workbook, there’s a whole chapter in there re: planning your blog posts!

    Reply
  • Kendra May 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm edit

    I think sometimes it’s harder for someone writing a personal/lifestyle blog to come up with things. Or maybe it’s just me? lol I’m not offering a product, I’m not selling anything (at least not right now), so on my main blog I sometimes find it hard to figure out what to blog about in that sense. I think I need to sit down with a notebook and do lots of brainstorming about what I want to blog about, what I want to share and who my audience is. I think I’ll take myself on a coffee date this weekend and re-read through everything you’re sharing this week :)

    Reply
  • Amy May 7, 2011 at 8:56 am edit

    Kendra,
    Even with a personal/lifestyle blog I think you should still focus on a handful of topics.

    Even though YOU might be interested in world economics and screen printing and dog grooming, doesn’t mean you should necessarily include such a wide range of topics on your blog.

    It just may be hard to really connect with a large audience without focus.

    Let’s say for example you like to cook, so you decide one thing that you will blog about will be food …. That can include recipes, reviews of dishes/appliances you use to cook, reviews of cookbooks, stores you buy food from, trips to farmers markets, specific ingredients you love, specific food brands your family always gets, even local restaurants you frequent.
    If you decide that fashion/style is going to be one of the topics you focus on, you’ve got outfit posts, shopping posts, how to find a ___ that fits your style, how to find a ___ that fits your body …. on and on and on …

    It took me a LOOOOOOONG time to focus my personal blog : ThoseCrazySchuberts.com …. I think a good brainstorming session would at least show you which direction you probably are already leaning …

    good luck!
    xo

    Reply
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