How to Start a WordPress Blog: Part 5 – Choosing Topics
You have made it to Part 5 of our six-part series on how to start a successful WordPress blog! If you happened to miss our previous articles, please check them out below:
Now that you’re ready to start posting, you’re probably contemplating the topics you’d like to write about. So, today, we’d like to say a word or two about Choosing Topics.
First, we suggest that you start a document in regards to possible blog topics. Here, you can list out the initial ideas you have. A messy brain dump is just fine.
Reveal Your Secrets.
There are a million and one blog posts out there, many of them relating to your industry. (Well, likely so.) In order to stand out from the pack and really connect with your audience, you need to be willing to reveal what you’ve learned and willing to pass along tricks of the trade.
What problems have you come across as a designer, freelancer or business owner and in what unique way have you resolved those matters? What questions did you once have as a young professional that you have answered with experience? What tools have you found to be most helpful in your daily life and work? What methods do you use to hire, maintain a happy staff? What does your personal workflow look like?
Here at Go Media, we are constantly getting emails asking us how we price our work. We could keep this information to ourselves, but we’re happy to help our fellow creatives. So, we post this information on our blog regularly and answer questions as they come up. The more open we are, the more readers respond to us. Win, win.
Follow the news and industry-related blogs.
Bookmark Google News (here, search keywords related to your industry) and your favorite industry-related blogs. Take a quick glance at these each morning and/or when you need a little inspiration. When you find a story that fits, address how this bit of news or event affects you or your own customers/clients. Use it as a jumping off point for something that you can relate back to your work and experiences.
Similarly, did you learn about a new product or book in your research? Timely product and book reviews also make great blog posts.
Everyone needs a little inspiration in their life, so use your blog to boost your readers up with imagery, a story of success or by sharing tips and tricks about what keeps you motivated/creative on a daily basis. Some of our poster inspiration blog posts are among our top blog posts of all time.
Create a tutorial or guide.
Tutorials are huge for Go Media, as many of our readers are designers or illustrators. However, tutorials or educational guides can be helpful for those of any industry. Take your reader through your process step-by-step so that they leave your post with some real, tangible knowledge they can apply to their next project. These posts often take a bit longer to put together, but are well worth it in the end.
Use material you already have.
Did you give a talk at a seminar or write an email to a client or customer containing some great insights recently? This is great material to turn into a blog post and you can do so relatively easily.
Promote and attend events.
Promote local events. This benefits you both. Link to local organizations, post it on your FB & IG page – and then maybe send a quick, casual email to their PR rep or director, linking to the blog. Let them know you promoted their event, mention you linked to them and ask if they wouldn’t mind linking back to you. These kind of organic backlinks are great for your SEO! And speaking of events, if you are attending one or if you did attend one, consider writing about your experience.
Strike up some controversy.
Controversial blog posts usually strike up a great bit of conversation among readers, so if you’re up for putting your unfiltered views out there, it may just benefit your blog. Consider expressing your feelings about a tweet, blog post or news article you’ve read recently, or airing a frustration you’ve felt about your industry. React to a brand refresh and note how you would have done things differently. Just be mindful of what reactions you may stir up. If you’re okay with that, go for it.
Run a contest or giveaway.
Get your readers engaged by running a contest or giveaway. We have had success using WooBox in the past, however, you can always run your own pretty simply on your blog.
Promote what you do.
Use your blog to promote your work in an inventive way. If you’ve just launched a new portfolio item, avoid simply posting images for the sake of doing so. Try using a case study to talk about how you went about the project from start to finish, or interview the client about the experience and the impact you had on their brand.
Write a roundup.
There are many different types of roundup/list posts you can create as related to your industry. Some list posts we have created include Go Media staff’s favorite blogs, TED talks, design resources, female creatives, design/developer tools, Instagram profiles, creative quotes, design podcasts and more.
If all fails, just ask!
If you’re looking for some additional topics, it’s okay to ask your readers what they’d like to see on your blog. You can address them with a survey or ask them to comment with future blog ideas in your comments section. We also get inspiration for future blog posts by paying close attention to the questions that customers and clients are constantly asking us via email, phone and chat.
Good luck everyone and stay tuned for the last post in this series, coming up next week.