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Need a blog subject? Start asking questions

By on Apr 18, 2012 in What to Write About | 2 comments

We’re now three weeks into the challenge and ideas should be flying off your fingertips, right? You’ve got tickler files onyour desk and your computer. You’re scouring other people’s blogs for inspiration. And you’re all set with a long list of ideas that will carry you through what’s left of the 90 days and beyond. Or maybe not. The reality is that the theory of how to do this can make it seem simpler than actual doing of it.
You are surrounded with great material. The trick is to see the potential. Having an abundance of subjects comes from developing an inquisitive mindset. It’s a different way of thinking about the things you encounter every day like conversations, news reports, other blogs, television shows, books and even conversations while standing in line. You don’t just passively absorb what’s going on, you think about how it’s all connected and you ask questions in your mind (and sometimes out loud):

 

  • What does this bit of info have to do with that bit of info?
  • Why is this or that happening?
  • Why does it matter?
  • What does this mean?
  • What could it mean?
  • Why is this interesting?
  • Why should someone care?

If it  is of interest to you, then it is probably of interest to your readers. You just need to figure out how to show them. It can help to write for just one reader rather than all of them. Think about just one person you want to reach and what you would tell that person about your current topic. If you’re stuck, the way out is more questions:

  • Why does this interest me?
  • What about it first grabbed my attention?
  • What point do I want to get across?

If you are having trouble getting your piece going, start with a basic lead that you can fix later, something you would say to grab a friend’s attention, something like, “The most amazing thing happened yesterday – I was at the beach in April in a bathing suit…” then keep writing. Don’t go back to erase until you are done. That just slows you down and makes you think too hard about what you are trying to say. Sometimes you won’t know exactly what you want to say until you write it and sometimes you can’t get at it right away.

My challenge to you this week is to come up with at least three blog ideas from totally unconventional sources and write at least one of them. Bonus points if you comment here on where you got your inspiration.

    2 Comments

  1. I’m not involved in your blog challenge because I am paid to blog by my employer (seems like an unfair advantage, ha, ha). But to your point, one unconventional source of inspiration for me was the box that 1-800-Contacts sends its products in. If you’ve ever seen it, there is a photo on the box of a guy and woman who presumably work for 1-800-Contacts, and the box describes their jobs. It literally puts a face onto the unsung workers for the company and lets you get to know them. I wrote about that as a good example of customer relationship building, which at the time was a beat I was covering for a high-tech trade press publisher.

    Scott Wallask

    April 22, 2012

  2. I’m not involved in your blog challenge because I am paid to blog by my employer (seems like an unfair advantage, ha, ha). But to your point, one unconventional source of inspiration for me was the box that 1-800-Contacts sends its products in. If you’ve ever seen it, there is a photo on the box of a guy and woman who presumably work for 1-800-Contacts, and the box describes their jobs. It literally puts a face onto the unsung workers for the company and lets you get to know them. I wrote about that as a good example of customer relationship building, which at the time was a beat I was covering for a high-tech trade press publisher.

    Scott Wallask

    April 22, 2012

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