Beth recently wrote in with this great question:
“Hi Crystal. I would like to get out of debt so that we can better save and maybe travel. My problem is that I’m stuck on what to write. I sit down and nothing comes to mind. How do I find what to write about? Thanks for challenging me to put this in writing. -Beth”
Beth: I want you to know that you’re not alone! I think everyone has times when they struggle with knowing what they should blog about — whether that’s just on a particular day, during a certain season, or as they start the process of setting up their blog and begin to think of planning posts to write.
Maybe you are starting a blog but you’re not sure what the topic should be, or you have your blog set up but you can’t figure out what to write about, or you’ve been blogging for a long time and you don’t love what you’re currently blogging about. Please know this: all writers have times when they struggle to figure out what to write about.
When you’re not sure what to write about, here are 10 questions to ask yourself:
1. What do you love?
If you want to blog for the long haul, you need to love your topic. Otherwise, you’ll burn out pretty quickly! What do you truly and deeply love? What are you passionate about?
I absolutely love tea. I love trying different kinds of tea, drinking tea, learning how to make different kinds of tea, looking at different tea pots and tea paraphernalia, and visiting tea rooms. I could blog about tea and probably never get bored by it… but I have other things I love more (hello, saving money on groceries and making money from blogging!)
2. What do you know?
What subjects do you know a lot about? Maybe it’s something you’ve studied in-depth, have a degree in, have taken a lot of courses or classes or training in, or it’s something you’ve walked through or lived out and have a lot of experience with.
For example, my son has asthma and he’s had it since the time he was really little. We’ve spent countless hours in doctor’s offices and allergist’s offices and at the emergency room.
We’ve tried natural remedies and pretty invasive remedies. We’ve tried diets and supplements and essential oils.
Because my son’s life and health is something that is incredibly important to me, this is a topic I know a lot about and have helped a lot of other parents with — just because of our own personal experience. (It’s not a topic that I love, though, so that’s why I don’t blog about it.)
3. What do your friends ask you for advice and input on?
What do your friends come to you for? When’s the last time a friend came to you and said, “Hey — could you give me some advice on this?”
Think about what they ask you about and reflect on that.
For example, a lot of people ask me about how to cut their grocery bill, how to save money, what books I read, time management tips, and how to make money online. By paying attention to what people ask for my advice on most often, it gives me inspiration for the topics I should write on.
4. What could you never get tired of talking about?
What could you talk and talk and talk and talk about and never get sick of it? What do you wear people out with because you talk about it SO much? What makes you come alive when you talk about it?
If you ask me how to cut your grocery bill, I’ll talk about it for hours. You might even get bored from listening to me talk about it. Because I LOVE it!
(Just the other night with some friends, I realized I was giving a dissertation to them about how to cut your grocery bill, because I just got so excited and kept going on and on!)
5. What do you study/read about in your free time?
What do you love learning about? What are you constantly researching and getting excited about studying? What topics to you read books about?
For instance, my husband LOVES studying about Crossfit, fitness, muscle building, and all the best ways to work out. I’m constantly telling him he needs to become a personal trainer or do something fitness-related, because he’s SO passionate about it!
6. What topics do you follow online?
Think about the bloggers you follow, the people you follow on Instagram, and maybe even the hashtags you follow.
Write those down. It might be a little window into what you’re passionate about or interested in.
7. What unique life experience do you have?
I was homeschooled my whole life, grew up in a rural area, and have a large family. So I have some unique life experience in those areas and it gives me a unique perspective that others might not have.
Think about what life experience you have that is different from other people! It will make your blog interesting and people will be intrigued to read about your story.
8. What do you daydream about?
What do you find yourself drifting off in thought about? What consumes your mind when you’re falling asleep? Pay attention to what you’re thinking about and daydreaming about!
I often find myself thinking about travel, books I want to write, places I want to visit, and ways to make money. These are all things I dream about, create goals to work toward, and write about on my blog!
9. What do you do in your free time?
In your free time — when you don’t have anything pressing to get done or accomplish — what do you want to invest your time in?
For me, I love to go to the grocery store and find great deals! It excites me, so I love blogging about it and sharing my deal finds with others! (And yes, you might totally think that is weird!)
10. What do your friends think you should blog about?
Take the nine questions above and go through them with people who know you well. Ask them what their answers would be to these questions for you.
So many times, someone else who knows you well and has your best interests in mind will be able to point out your strengths and talents easier than you can yourself.
A final note of encouragement
I recommend jotting these questions down on a piece of paper and writing your answers down. And be sure to write the first thing that comes to your mind.
Once you’ve done this, be sure to not get hung up on trying to pick the perfect topic before you start your blog. Just go start your blog and learn as you go. Don’t wait around and wait for it to be perfect before you get started. (Because here’s a secret: it will never be perfect!)
Just start writing and figure out what gives you life! You can continue to ask yourself these questions and learn, change, and grow over time.
My hope is that these questions will get you a little bit closer to finding that sweet spot where your passion and profession intersect, and thriving from doing what you were created to do!
What advice would you give Beth? Tell us in the comments!