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What Should I Blog About – Ask Anne

Freelance writing questions and answersHi Anne:

I found a link to this article on websites on your blog, and your advice is similar to advice I’m hearing elsewhere.

The only real question I have is:  What should I blog about?

I’ve been a full-time general-assignment journalist for more than 13 years, and am now looking for freelance writing work pretty much anywhere I can get it. I don’t want to limit myself, but I’ve read that being a generalist is a bad idea, too. Without a focus, I fear the blog will be “thoughts while shaving,” which won’t pull in readers, either.

I’m guessing you don’t often answer questions like this, but if you have any suggestions at all, I’d be most grateful.

Thanks, and keep up the good work!

Regards,

SM via email

Hi SM,

The first question is: what are you trying to accomplish? If what you want is a site to market yourself and your writing that’s one thing. If you actually want to start a blog and write regular posts and attract readers and make some money from it that’s another thing entirely.

I do suggest using blog software in either case. For example, annewayman.com, which is the site I actually promote my writing services, is now in blog format. For years it had been a static web site developed with html – you can get a peek at what it used to be like on the waybackmachine.


I moved it to a blog format using WordPress and the Thesis Theme because now it’s easy to update. I don’t update it often, but when I do it’s easy breezy. The fact that it’s created on a blog content management system doesn’t show, really, to its audience.

This blog is run on the same platform – WordPress with Thesis. It too is easy to update and change and I use it as a blog with frequent updates. This site also makes me some money as a blog.

The blog software is incidental, or almost incidental, to the purpose of the site.

Now if you want to run a blog with frequent posts, etc. etc. etc., a general blog might work. The domain name, thoughtswhileshaving.com has already been taken, but the concept could be interesting and even could make some money if you spend the time marketing it. The quickest way to come up to speed and be successful is probably through the A-List Blogger Club.

On the other, if you just want to promote yourself and your writing, go for it, using a blog platform.

Do you have a question about freelance writing? Contact me with Q&A in the subject line and I’ll probably answer it.

[sig]

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • I don’t think you have understood the question of the poster. He wanted to know what he should blog about.

    He wants to know whether he should choose a specific niche or not. Well, according to me, he SHOULD choose a specific niche, ‘cos that creates your online authority and establishes you as an expert in that particular field.

    If he was a journalist, bring out a news site on the particular subject he used to cover. Yes, writers are there who write about anything and everything.

    But you need to be focused to captivate a particular target market. 🙂
    Ron’s Web SEO Copywriting Blog recently posted..Future of Google SEOMy Profile

    • Anne

      Well, he did refer to the article I wrote about writer’s needing a promotional website. Maybe I’ll do a post on deciding on a blog topic.

  • Oh my gosh, I thought I was original when I decided that I need to just do my website on a blog since I can’t seem to get my act together and make a “real” website. Glad to hear it works for you. I’ll get started on it!
    Brenna recently posted..What IQ?My Profile

    • Anne

      Brenna, the difference between a blog and a ‘real’ website is fast disappearing, simply because the ‘real’ website is, by comparison, much harder to keep current.

  • There are several free programs on the Internet that help you find out how popular are certain niches. So if you haven’t allready thought about what you would like to write and you do want to earn money from your blog, you can choose a highly sought niche that has no fierce competition!
    Raluca recently posted..Tinnitis Treatment: 7 Types and How to Cure ThemMy Profile

    • Anne

      Raluca, which programs are you thinking of?

  • Another useful thing to do while still pondering on exactly what to do with a blog, is to find some blogs in your general niche area & peruse them regularly – make comments and introduce yourself there. This will not only help you to become better known in that niche (helpful to drive people to your own blog when it arrives), but it will also help you figure out what questions are being asked and what things are being blogged about – it might help you decide where any gaps are in that area, and therefore where to target with your blog.
    Nicky Parry recently posted..Five Great Articles To Help Your ResumeMy Profile

    • Anne

      Yes reading blogs is always helpful. The right blogs that is, the right ones for you.

  • When deciding what to blog about, you should stay away from “general” blogs if you’re interested in making some money. Niche blogs, blogs about specific topics, perform much better for generating income. Pick one of your interests or hobbies. Don’t be afraid to start writing on a topic you still have more to learn about.
    Corey Freeman recently posted..How to Write Insanely Useful Definition PostsMy Profile

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