Blog Topic Framework: Finding Inspiration for Writing Irresistible Blog Posts
I love watching movies about writers. Wonder Boys with Michael Douglas is one of my all time favorites. Adaptation is another good one. I think I love this type of movie because I so relate to the character's struggle to find their voice (or even their subject!) in the book they are writing. What am I saying - this is what EVERY author struggles with at one point or another, right?!?
The same issue can apply within marketing our books. When I talk with authors (or anyone who is interested in starting a blog) I ask them, "What has held you back from actually starting a blog?" The most common answer is that they have no idea what to actually blog about. They are having trouble finding inspiration. I totally get it - I've been there myself!
So what steps can you take to help you find the inspiration you need for writing blog posts? Since there is a different approach to blogging for fiction and non-fiction writers, I've broken them both down. I've also outlined four action steps you can take towards creating content for your blog. That way you can put this into practice right away and see results!
Every non-fiction author's blog is not only essential for connecting with new readers, but it also showcases your knowledge of your subject matter in a deeper way, helping to establish yourself as an expert in your field. When readers see that you know what you're talking about and they walk away with helpful information, they will buy whatever your selling.
- Ask yourself: What problems can I solve for my ideal reader? What questions can I answer? These simple questions can start a healthy flow of ideas and topics for you to cover.
- Think about what you want to teach your ideal reader. When you look at the overall subject of your book, what are the key points you want to drive home? What do you want them to walk away with knowing after having read your book?
- Break down the process. When you consider what your ideal reader wants to learn or take away from your book, break down your ideas into learnable chunks. Use easy to understand, basic language to really teach your reader something.
- Share behind-the-scenes info or insight. You have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share - divulge your processes, tips, tricks, etc.
Take this framework and start brainstorming ideas. Create a list of 20 (or more!) topics that you can blog about and get started!
The best way for fiction authors to gain more readers through their blog is by offering a deeper look into your world. That being said, to have a successful blog you need to write for your readers. Here's what you need to keep in mind:
- Your main objective as a fiction writer is to entertain. Share something funny, informative, insightful, etc. It not only shares a great story but it shows that you can write! It's also a great way to try out new subject matter and story ideas for your next book.
- Write a short story. Do you have an idea that won't make a full book? Share it on your blog! It will help curate a collection of great short stories for a free ebook to help promote your next book.
- Share research, interesting bits of information you gathered along the way, and relationships you made in the process - any insights or details that didn't make the book.
- Give readers a look inside your life - let them look into your world! This establishes a connection with a real person - someone readers can relate to. When readers can relate to you on a personal level, there is a connection. Talk to your readers like they are sitting across the table from you. Have a conversation with them - it limits the distance between writer and reader.
- Encourage engagement! Ask questions and for feedback in the comments section. Keep an eye on the comments and be a part of the conversation. When they see that you read the comments and listen to what they have to say, you will have an avid fan on your hands.
Here's an earlier post of 50 Blog Topics for Fiction Writers with more ideas!
When you think about your blog, don't think of it as just putting words out there into the void. Think of it like you're having someone over to your house for tea to chat about things you're both interested in. It's a way to create deeper connections with your readers. Here are some important guidelines for both fiction and non-fiction writers that are pivotal to your blog's success:
KNOW WHO YOUR IDEAL READER IS
Last week we talked about knowing who your ideal reader is, and I bring it up again because it's really important to have that nailed down. When you know who you are writing for it's that much easier to narrow down topics to blog about that will resonate with your audience.
When you know what words or phrases your readers search for or are interested in, it will introduce you to a wider range of subjects that you can write about and cover in your blog.
KNOW YOUR HOOKS
Think through 5-10 of the main "hooks" your book offers. What themes or topics does your book offer (either fiction or non-fiction) that you can expand on? It's showing the essence of what your book is about as well as your unique writing style.
WHAT DO YOU CARE ABOUT?
When you write about topics, organizations, situations, people, etc., that you care about, it makes you so much more relatable as an author. Share your thoughts and opinions on current issues, trending topics, or other situations that can create a conversation on your blog. Encourage readers to leave their comments to encourage community.
A successful blog is something that takes time to build. But like anything in life, practice makes perfect - and that couldn't be more true about blogging! Be patient with yourself and keep at it.
TAKE ACTION NOW: In the comments below, let us know what steps you are putting into practice to establish your blog. What suggestions are you applying to your blog right now? We'd love to hear!
Photo from Wonder Boys