I'll come clean and say it. My blog has an identity crisis. I've invested a lot of time and money into designing this website, and I'm really proud of it as it showcases my writing - nearly two decades' worth. It has gotten me jobs, and I even became a guest star on an ABC radio show in Australia because of a post!
Still, most of the time, I wondered: what the heck should I blog about?
Jeff Goins' post What you write about doesn't matter as much as you think gave me a clue about why I've been having such a dry run:
Writing isn’t about picking the right topic; it’s about finding the right voice.
This runs contrary to what I'm being taught in the CIM Digital Marketing diploma course I'm studying part-time. Content marketers are taught to write what people want to read. And that's why we write around SEO-friendly keywords that will send traffic our way via search engines.
As I'm trying to stamp my mark as a content marketer in the vast chaotic jungle that is the Internet, I thought I should write about marketing topics. So I wrote about content strategy. Strengths 2.0. Personal branding.
It's logical. Showcase your expertise. Show people how clued in you are about industry trends. Write and they will come, right?
But the posts felt flat. Mechanical.
Worse, I felt uninspired.
And no wonder. I've been so focused on the "write what people want to read" bit that I ignored the "what I want to write about" bit.
There's no "me" in the posts. You could be reading a post written by a Cylon for all you know, and even they would have more soul.
And, I don't really like to write about marketing. Whoops.
What am I passionate about? Writing. Sustainable and minimalist living. Good financial stewardship. Emotional and mental health. Spirituality.
Somehow, I've left my greatest passions out of the website that bears my name.
The Secret to great content strategy?
I think the secret to a great blog is to balance between these two elements:
Tweet this: Write what people want to read, but make sure it's something you want to write about too. @liztai
But most importantly, does your writing connect with a human emotion?
If you can find a theme — not a subject or a context — in your writing that connects with a core human emotion, you will never run out of good things to say.
You can jump genres, even change styles, and readers won’t care, because they’re following you for your voice, not your topic. - Jeff Goins
content with a worldview
Once upon a time, I had a successful blog. It centred around my faith, and readers often commented how they loved my honesty and my frank, unabashed approach to discussing controversial topics. I had "me" all over the blog.
People were reading me because of how I saw the world. They may not gosh darn always agree with me (I once had readers quitting on me in a huff when I wrote about being in despair when George Bush got re-elected), but I had a way of saying things that made them pay attention.
It's time to do that again.
So this blog is going to change direction in a big way. You'll be hearing my voice more. You'll be reading about topics that may squick you (sooner than you think), and you may even get mad at me.
It's time to be unsafe.
How about you? What would you like to write about in your blog?
Photo by Mayur Gala