Coming up with a blog topic probably isn’t that difficult since it’s almost entirely dictated by what you already know and are already familiar with. Your topic should be an area in which you have a certain level of notoriety and expertise. Thus identifying and choosing an appropriate topic is generally a pretty straightforward process.
What isn’t so straightforward is how that topic is shaped and presented as your blog grows and evolves over time.
That process is more than just the topic you choose and write about. In addition to simple subject matter, the topic of your blog moves forward on what one could describe as a three-lane highway.
Each lane represents a category of how your blog’s topic is delivered.
- Format —
- Presentation —
- Type of Information —
What this boils down to is that in addition to having a particular topic, your blog will also have a distinct and particular flavor which should set it apart from the other blogs in your niche. A topic in and of itself probably isn’t enough to do that, since there are so many blogs for just about every subject.
Through a combination of these three lanes your blog has the potential to stand out and make itself unique even in the wake of a familiar blogging topic like fitness or finances.
Let’s look a little closer at the three lanes and see if we can’t put some skin on each one.
It might be tough to distinguish between format and presentation, but recognize that format shouldn’t be confused with the layout of your page of the styling of it. Format is simply the tendencies you have when arranging paragraphs, using bullets and constructing sentences.
While it sounds trivial, the way you approach this will become familiar to your readers and become somewhat of a trademark of your blog and writing style.
It might take some time to standardize, but you’ll find yourself gravitating to a certain writing format even if you aren’t doing so intentionally. Try and identify how long your paragraphs typically are, when and why you use bullets and how your format the arranging of your information and your sentences.
You might present information in long or short posts, with a lot of photos and videos, or perhaps none at all. How you chose to use the various types of media you have at your disposal will determine this aspects of your information delivery. For example, photography blogs are often exclusively comprised of photos, with little or no text.
While the presentation will be somewhat determined by your topic, it can still take a variety of different forms regardless of what the subject matter might be.
If you use photos a lot, make that a staple of your blog and use it as a centerpiece to give your site more of a unique flavor. Same goes for text and video. Your blog’s unique character will be shaped by how often you use these things and how consistent you are in that process.
Type of Information —
A blog’s chief assignment is to deliver some type of information to the reader. Once a topic is chosen, that information will probably do one or a few of the following things:
- Entertain —
- Provide solutions —
- Provide instruction —
- Offer alternatives —
- Offer another (or new) perspective —
Now it might sound like your blog should do all these things, and certainly it can, but these are all different types of information that can be potentially delivered by your writing. If you write for the same blog topic long enough, you’ll start to realize that you do some of these things well and others, not so well.
Essentially, you’ll bend towards a few and have a harder time delivering the others. For example, you might have a blog about fitness, but you’ll specifically be really excellent at providing alternative body weight exercises, or offering different perspectives on exercise philosophy. That gives people a lot more to go on than, “I have an exercise blog.”
Evolving Over Time
Developing your blog’s format, presentation and type of information takes time and while you can plan for some of it initially, a lot of it will evolve over time, and you’ll end up with a lot of old posts that you can’t believe would have ever passed in your own mind as decent material.
To be honest, that’s part of the process. You want your blog to evolve and improve as you standardize your own writing style and tendencies.
Don’t worry too much about planning these three lanes out. Just be aware that these are the primary variables you’ll be faced with when it comes to delivering information for the topic of your site. Try to identify how you process the information in your own mind and what kind of articles and posts seems to flow better for you and likewise which ones become more popular with your readers.
Once you narrow your topic and your niche, you’ll start to really engage your audience and make a name for yourself as a reliable online commentator.