How to Let Blog Topics Choose You
Discover your unique and authentic voice as well as connecting with readers who love what you have to say by letting your blog topics choose you. Find powerful blog topics that will grow your blog and keep you excited by the process.
Let your blog topics choose you and you will get blog content that ONLY you can write. You’ll discover your unique and authentic voice as well as connecting with readers who love what you have to say. It takes a leap of faith to write what your creative self wants to write but the results are so worth it. Instead of figuring out how to find blog topics; learn to let your blog topics choose you.
When I started my blog, I had a few categories in mind: entertaining, dating, grand-parenting, and cooking meals to share. And I really tried to write about those things. But a strange thing started happening; other things kept coming to mind to write about.
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Over time, I could see that my original ideas were not getting viewers at all. However, the rogue topics were doing well. As I began to trust the creative process and let the topics choose me; my blog began to take off. Over a few months, my page views increased by over 8000 percent.
The Old Way
When I was trying to choose topics, I would write down my topics or start to write them. But I never seemed to finish very many of them. I still have topic ideas jotted down all over the place. I have a folder of posts that I’ve started but never finished. I haven’t deleted or totally forgotten them but I’m not using them either. New topics keep coming to mind.
Working with Topics
My topics are a pushy, unruly bunch, who come to me and declare their availability, often at inconvenient times. Often, I’ll get an idea while out walking or as I am settling down to sleep. As much as possible, I try to write the post as soon as I get the inspiration.
What I’ve found is if I get a topic inspiration and I don’t follow up with it fairly quickly, it goes cold never to be resuscitated. I get my best writing when I commit to writing about something soon after I’ve got the idea. Sometimes an idea will stick around but the sooner I get started on it the stronger the piece is and the easier it is to write.
My best advice is the second you get a good idea; get to work on it. If you can. If you are like me and your ideas come at inconvenient times, do your best to capture as much of it as you can. If you have time, write as much of the post as quickly as you can. You can clean it up later. But get that idea down! Even if you have to get out of bed.
While it might seem at times like a pain, I think some of my best ideas and writing come like this and the writing is actually easier because it is so insistent. The idea is helping get itself birthed.
What if It’s Just an Idea
Sometimes an idea will be no more than a word or two and I don’t have much to go on. The process is similar. The sooner I can get to it; the better a chance I can develop it. I will sit down and write as much as I can about what I’ve come up with.
I might know what I want to write about, but don’t always know how to write it. Again, it’s good to get started and stick with it until it takes form.
Not All Posts Will Perform the Same
I really like all the posts I’ve written and spend a lot of time trying to make them as readable and informative as possible. And while they are all equal in my mind, not all of them have proved to be popular. I’m realizing that, not only is this okay, it’s just a part of the blogging process.
I have no idea why one post will take off over another. So, lacking the crystal ball to predict what post will go viral, I have to write what I have to write. I try not to pre-judge how a post will do since I just cannot tell ahead of time.
What I will do is take the idea that comes to me and turn it into a blog post topic that makes sense for my blog. Occasionally a blog post will split into two or three. Even though I write fairly long posts, I like them to be centered around one main idea. If a sections grows too big, sometimes it becomes an entire new blog post.
Baby Blog Posts
My 2nd best performing post actually started out life as a section of another post. When I was editing, I realized that there was essentially a second post sitting right there. It didn’t quite fit with the post it was in but it could be another post.
In fact, I liked the idea so much that I cut it out and immediately wrote it and made a graphic for it. (I call this My Blog Post Having a Baby) It almost wrote itself. That post turned out to be my most popular post and brings in the most page views almost every single day. And it came out perfect the first time.
Don’t Confuse Results with Quality
No matter how passionate you are about a post or how great you think it is, you can’t control how well it does. One of my favorite posts is my worst-performing post. An older post, that was so-so, got a second wind and has had thousands of views (9000+ one weekend alone).
And that’s okay. While building a reputation, you will have posts that perform differently from each other. If you allow your creativity to help guide your topic choices, you are going to have some lovely surprises.
When I started my blog, it was totally different. I wanted to write about food and living single in the big city.
A couple of health topics worked themselves into my blog. As I wrote different things, new ideas came to mind. While they didn’t fit with my original intent, they built the foundation for a strong blog that reflected what I really wanted to write about.
The Blog Content that ONLY YOU Can Write
And that’s the key to having a fresh exciting blog. When your writing reflects not only what you are conscious of but also accesses the unconscious part of you, you get really fresh and vibrant content. You get content that ONLY YOU could write. It won’t be a tired replay of what you read other people write.
Even if you write on the same subject as 100 other bloggers, your unique perspective will brand that post as something only you could express.
And that will build your brand, your reputation, your page views, your followers, and eventually your financial success.
Your Topics Can Attract Your Niche Too!
I am a firm believer that what is in you, trying to be written, has a ready audience out there. Yes, have a general idea about your target audience but don’t try to narrow it down too much. I know this is the opposite of what works for some people. But it just didn’t work for me to figure out my niche ahead of time, so I offer it as an alternative to others who are having trouble narrowing their niche.
Write your material as best you can and promote it. However, you don’t have to pin down 100% what your topics have to be or who your target audience is. Creativity is mysterious at times but it’s not just something you do for you. Your creativity can also connect you to the right topics, the right ideas, and the right people.
Working with the Creative Flow
Try not to not judge your creative abilities on the success of one post over another. I truly love all my posts, even the ones that have relatively few shares. I think they are just as good as the ones that get thousands of shares.
But it isn’t a huge deal if one post isn’t a raging success because by keeping the flow of ideas open; you never run out of ideas to write about.
Sometimes one post will open the door to another. I was taking a walk when I had the idea for How to Be Satisfied in Life. While writing this post, the post of How to Get Unstuck in Life was generated. Both these ideas came from seemingly out of nowhere. But I had to put them into some kind of form, decide the order to write, post, create their graphics, and promote them.
You will definitely need your thinking, design, and networking skills for this process!
But when you allow creativity and inspiration to guide your topic choice, you’ll eventually get those posts that attract thousands of viewers. It just takes a few of these kinds of posts to get your blog on the map and start your significant growth.
A blogger I know (read how she earns a 10K/month through her blog here), who now gets almost 500K views a month, had ONE post that drove most of her traffic for a long time. One crazy good post is enough to power and propel a blog while you continue to develop your content, strategy, and confidence.
In the beginning, you will be trying out different subjects and topics. As you write, your niche, brand, story, and focus will emerge and develop.
Writing consistently helps your writing progress. Not too many people will be reading your early posts so just write them the best you can. Start with whatever idea you have for your blog. It’s very likely that your original idea will morph into something either different.
You absolutely have to have some kind of focus but don’t absolutely tie yourself to that. Be open to the “crazy” ideas you’ll have. Sometimes these ideas will be where you’ll find your gold.
Inspiration, Motivation, and Discipline
Writing still requires consistency and discipline. While I do let inspiration play a huge part in what I write about; I don’t wait for motivation to do the actual work of writing. Even when I am inspired to write about a certain topic; I still have to make myself sit down and write about it. Sometimes it’s downright difficult to get and stay on the task of fleshing out an idea and writing to its conclusion.
There are two things that do help the writing to be a little easier: writing as soon as I can once I get an idea and working on it daily until it’s done. Usually, I will get it started as soon as possible and get down as much as I can. The next writing session will be to write a full draft. Most of the time I will print it out and do my editing by hand. Then the final session will be to do edits and clean it up. I try not to let it drag out and take the chance of losing it.
Push A Little Past Your Comfort Zone
Writing this way has pushed me out of my comfort zone in a couple of ways. First, I’ve written about things I was never planning to write about. Six months ago, I hadn’t planned on writing about forgiveness, my way of eating, or even about finding my purpose and passion in life. Yet, it’s all out there.
The other way that I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone is by forcing myself to write a full post about whatever topic I go with. I set a goal of at least 1000 words. I usually clock in at 1400 words. What this does is force me to go past the easy writing and to really explore an idea more fully. In almost every post, I make discoveries that help me with my own life. In pushing past the easy quitting point, I discover the meat of a post that makes it exciting to me.
Try It and Share It!
I’d love to see what posts you’ve written where the topic chose you. Feel free to put the link in the comment section and tell me about it.
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Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! My Think Big Life began shortly after I turned 50. Big changes can happen with a small start, an adjustment of thought, or a simple process. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life and weight loss coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 50-minute coaching session.
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Your post was recommended by a blogger in one of my FB groups. Right on the money. I’m a new blogger, trying to play by the suggested rules and I’m struggling to plan ahead. (I’ve always been a last-minute girl) 🙂 Thanks for giving the ok nod – do it my way. Great post!
Thanks Kimberly! I really did find that planning too much didn’t work for me and my topics. I do admire folks that can plan out topics for months…but I find that things I thought would be interesting one month feel stale a month later if I didn’t write about them. Too many bloggers sound like too many other bloggers. Finding your own way and your own voice are critical to standing out in the blogging world!
Hi Sara – Thank you for such a great post! I attempted to make an editorial calendar, but I soon realized that I can’t write about a specific topic just because a calendar tells me it’s time. Instead of choosing the topics, I’ve started letting the topics choose me. As you experienced, my most popular post is one where I felt compelled to write out of nowhere.
Thanks for the well-written and informative post!
Hi Krista. Yes! Those posts that demand to be written are often the best. At the very least, they are fun to write. It’s a cool experience to really feel the creative spirit move through you. Thanks for reading and commenting!
This is great encouragement for a beginner like me, thanks again for sharing. Off to write on a new topic right now ?.
I firmly believe that the more you write–the better you get–and the easier ideas come to you. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Thanks for sharing. I have had this experience with the lists choosing me. It makes the whole blogging experience so much less stressful and the words seem to really just flow through you.
Great ideas! I have tried lots of times to blog consistently and then can’t think of what to write if I choose something specific. When I let my mind wander a bit or try to think outside the box, that’s when they seem to work the best. Thanks for sharing this!
Hi Janet, Thanks for sharing! It’s good to know others are doing this too. 🙂
My ideas come to me at the worst times too! Usually at work when I barely have time to type the idea into my phone. 🙂
Hi Paula–I just started using a dictation app to record my ideas. It types them up and I email them to myself.
This post really resonates with me Sara. It was getting to be back to school time and I was coming up with ideas to blog about-the basic how to organize school supplies etc. Suddenly I had an a ha moment where I realized I didn’t want to write that kind of post. I wanted to write about how stressful school is these days and how to help our kids learn to handle that stress. The resulting very honest and open post “Supplies for a Less Stressful School Year” turned about to be my most popular so far. And I was scared to put it out there! Now I am learning it is so much better to let your blog topics come to you. Thanks for anoth great post!
Daria–I love your post! Thanks for sharing your experience here. It was a little scary to put out there how I really come up with my topics. Thanks for affirming that some of us just have to do it this way at times.
Here’s Daria’s post. It’s got some great ideas for all of us that get stressed. Be sure to check it out. http://www.yourorganizedlife.org/less-stressful-school-year/