Common question: “What should I write about?”
Common answer: “I don’t know. I guess whatever.”
Grammar problems within our minds aside, the answer to this ubiquitous question about content choice is incredibly…under-answered.
You want to be able to deliver interesting and compelling content for your blog or publication on a regular basis, but eventually, you hit a snag. You run out of things to say and give up, mostly because you don’t want to deliver anything short of your best work.
It’s a nice sentiment, but it’s also misguided. There is always something of value to say. You’re just not asking the right questions.
In the past, I’ve suggested the use of content machines for keeping you refreshed on news stories and big ideas that you can write about. Additionally, I’ve pretty much shouted from the rooftops about the value of reading, especially fiction, when it comes to becoming an active and consistent writer.
Well, I’m taking it a step forward. If you want to always have something interesting or compelling to write about, do this:
Find out what people are asking (in relation to your niche).
Answer the question.
Of course, you may need to include research and planning in between those steps, but if you’re searching for the right questions online, then queries related to your expertise will become apparent.
For example, my niche is public relations. It’s what I went to school for, and it’s my career. Whenever I want to write about public relations, I do something very simple: I google it.
I look for what people are talking about and asking. This way, I know that what I’m writing about is something that people have taken the time to search for the answer to.
It’s gloriously simple.
Some of the most popular articles I’ve written have been asked of me. People have come to me and requested for me to create something, and I’ve done it.
In contrast, some of the most ignored posts I’ve ever written were chosen on a whim. They may have been well-researched and written well, but no one cared. And why should they?
“But Jon! Why are you writing this post if it’s answering a question….oh wait! I just realized that you started the post with a question that a lot of people are asking! You’re a humble genius!”
I’m neither humble or a genius, but I do know that crafting articles that are both compelling and irresistible come from a creative take on the question you know the answer to. Do whatever it takes to become an authority on these questions so that you can find success.
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