What Should I blog About?
I started I Suck At Everything late fall 2020. I tend to start projects on a whim but this blog is a bit of an exception. I’ve always wanted to have my own blog or even a vlog and like many, although I knew it is something I wanted to do, I have no idea what kind of content I wanted to make. Now that my blog is live and out in the Internet ether, I now worry if I can continue adding content. Its not a constant worry but it is occasional.
I offer you tips for about how to gain steam on your blog and how to keep it rockin’ and rollin’.
1. Write An Article About How To Add Content To Your Blog!
Think about it. What do people surf/search on the Internet? What do you surf/search on the Internet? I often search troubleshooting tips (I’m in the information technology business), recipes, and guides. All three of those inquiries have at their root “How To”. Being that the Internet is a vast ocean of information I organically interface with it to ask “why something” or “how to do something”. Sometimes I search music, movies, news, or general “Wikipedia-like” information but I search for “How To” the most.
My first posts were about random activities. They still are, to an extent. I will always write articles about things I do. However, sometimes you can take that “thing” you did and turn it into a “how you did it”. If you document “how you did it” (pictures, steps) then you can write an article on your blog that people can discover. Just like you found me! You are sharing info. People like that. I like that. Be kind and share stuff you know. If you are good at making enchiladas then share your recipe and steps (especially with me, I love a good pan of enchiladas).
If you want your content to be discovered you have to characterize the narrative as something people want to discover. In more ways than not all us of humans are alike. Even though we are propelled toward (or away from) each other by various motivations, we all like tacos, movies, melty cheesy things, and the sunset. Doesn’t matter if you are republican, democrat, tall, short, heavy, thin, weird toes, all of us like to eat a good sandwich.
2. Know Why You are Blog/Vlogging
Knowing why you are sharing content with the world is clutch. Your reasoning will inform what you post and how often you post. I blog because it is fun and I like to share my shenanigans with people. I want to connect with people. I firmly believe that many of us are often flying by the seat of our pants even if it doesn’t look like it from the outside. We see other individuals out and about, compare ourselves, and then assume they “got it together”. Likely, though, they are looking at you the same way.
I write about almost about every project I do, even if I mess it up. People can learn from my mistakes and we all can laugh about it together. But that’s me. I don’t blog for money. My content is all derived out of pocket and is manifest of stuff I’d already be doing whether there is a camera pointed at me or not. Thus, I’m not all that concerned with narrowing my content or ensuring I post consistently. I post when I post.
One day I might make some side hustle money and if so then my reason for blogging won’t change however, the consistency may. If your plan is to make money then consistency is key, coupled with a fair about of patience. Start with a plan to do at least one article a week for the next three months. That is somewhere around twelve articles. Narrow down your shtick.
Example: Gardening blog. You may tell yourself that there are already tons of gardening blogs. How could you possibly be better? More unique? Who would care? Well…
3. You Do You
… You are right. There are tons of gardening blogs our there already. There are going to be more and yours might be one of them. So what. You do you. When I’m scouring the Internet trying to figure out if I can plant avocados in Niceville, Florida (where I currently reside) I don’t read a single article. I’m looking for corroboration! You can definitely grow avocados on the Florida Panhandle, by the way.
Be genuine. You have a voice and unique experiences. To document that I planted a couple of avocado trees isn’t a new idea. To document my personal experience about the effort may have a lot of parity with other people’s experience, especially if they live on the pan handle. But, unless they are camping in my backyard and planting avocado trees without my knowledge (stranger things have happened) then there is an opportunity for media uniqueness (pictures, video) I can impart outside of my personality and writing style.
Who cares what people think anyway? Don’t concern yourself with Internet trolls. They have nothing better to do than to make flaccid attempts at putting people down. Think about it like this, those of us who are not trolls know who the trolls are. When a troll goes about perpetuating their troll-like nonsense the rest of us see it too. A troll does not alter my perception or perspective on an article or piece of media. Trolls do not influence my decision about content.
4. Learn & Take Chances
Don’t be afraid to fail. Not all of us can be Nicola Tesla and go about being a genius at everything. Many of us have to, what I call, go full Edison. It’s the old adage about how Edison had to make thousands of light bulbs until he got it right. That means he failed his way to success (an engineering concept). You are going to fail. Get over that. Actually, you are going to fail a bunch of times. You’re also going to occasionally read something a troll wrote and its going to piss you off and you’ll consider quitting and on and on.
Stop it. Have the courage to get out there and try something new. Go learn something and document your progress. I love a good success story. Remember when I said that people compare themselves to others? When we see people try and fail and fail and fail and then eventually succeed, we tend to think, “Hey, I might be able to do that!” Or we get a kick out of the failures and rejoice at the success.
Seeing a pattern here? Go search “How to” and learn it. Document it. Make articles about it. Thereafter, share the hell out of it on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, Mix, any and every site where your content makes sense. One of the reasons we’re creating content is to share it. So share it!
Some of the most fun I have with the content I make is when I collaborate with friends and family. My YouTube Channel is full of collaboration. A few days before I wrote this article I collaborated with my friend Leland Jones on my YouTube intro video.
When you have a project in mind invite your friends or family in on the fun. Make sure they have stake in the game. When I asked Lee to help with my YouTube intro I did it with an open mind to all of his ideas (which he has many) and his approach to film and how it fit my style/brand of smartphone buffoonery. He’s a pro. I’m a complete novice. So I listen and, you guessed it, learned from him. That day I learned a ton about transitions. If you watch the video above you’ll notice that the camera pulls away from the can of Polar to reveal me walking toward the camera. All Lee’s idea.
When you decide to plant them avocados, invite your significant other (if you have one), a friend (if any are interested), and if you can’t get anyone on board consider joining or starting a Meetup. Somebody will plant them with you. Shoot, I will. Hit me up!
Also, when you learn something from someone else make sure you give them props. Reference them. Celebrate them on your blog. They deserve it. Also, copy write laws are a thing.
6. Keep It Simple
First, I recognize I’ve provided you a short list “How to” list. Also, I’ve confirmed knowledge you already suspected and encouraged you to do things you already planned to do. I’m saying to you: be genuine, frame your content so that it can be discovered, know why you are creating and sharing content, and collaborate with friends and family. I say it for good reason.
Keep it simple. Don’t try to eat the elephant all at once. Pace yourself. Focus on getting organized and establishing a battle rhythm. I was surprised how well my general approach to life (keep it simple) applied to creating content. Keeping things simple helped me create quality content (well, quality is relative) quicker and more often. Simple is less stressful. Think about it. If you were to guess, do you think people are more apt to consume 20 complex articles in a row or 20 simple articles? I’m not saying complex information isn’t enjoyable. I’m saying that if I want to learn or spend time on the Internet I’d like the information or media to be presented simply (I’m a simple person).
Everybody understands simple. Don’t make blogging difficult for yourself. Keep it simple!
7. YOur Skill tree
I was surprised that the more I content I create the more ideas I have. I keep a list of content ideas that I’m worried is like my “Books to Read” and “Movies to Watch” lists–super long and I’ll never get to read/watch them all! Starting simple will eventually be the fuel to your continued success. When you start simple you are practicing your art on the bunny-slope. You are in the wading pool. You are hiking a flat trail. You are learning. Understanding. Unlocking new abilities on your skill tree!
8. It’s All Worth It
Blogging takes time and effort (duh). It’s a lot of time. It’s worth it. I revel in immense satisfaction when I complete an article and click the publish button. The content is out there!
Here’s the deal: it gets easier. Just like anything else, the more you write, take pictures, and record and edit video the better you will get. I’ve always been quick to write a few paragraphs but now I am faster at editing film and creating simple images.
Moreover, as you continue to create content you’ll be able to refer to past articles. This is one way to keep your audience engaged. You always reference who you’ve learned from, where you get your information, and past articles you’ve written. Read any news article from a reputable publication and you will notice an extra layer of richness is added when you combine the written word with media and references. The content is much more substantial. It has more prestige.
This is not a Top 10. Sorry not sorry. There are a ton of different articles out there that will assert advice about how to blog. I encourage you to read at least 10 of them. Scroll down past the first few results on your Google, DuckDuckGo, B ing, or whatever your search engine of choice is and give someone who isn’t at the top a moment of your time. Click over a couple pages. Eventually you might be writing an article like this. You’ll want those new bloggers to consider your experience and advice. Hopefully they enjoy the way you package your content.
Keep it simple. I can’t stress it enough. Invite your friends and family to share in your passion. Be genuine. Take risks. And, please, go learn something.