Blogging For Dummies
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Figuring out what to blog about can be easy or hard: A blog is well suited to sharing information, documenting your life, exploring a hobby, or expressing your passion for a subject. The key is choosing just what to talk about on your blog.

Think about these things when you start a blog:

  • Choose a subject that genuinely interests you. Don’t choose a topic that you think looks good to be interested in or will attract a lot a readers. You’re the one who will have to do the writing for the blog, and it really helps if you’re enthusiastic about your subject. That passion will shine through to your readers and keep them coming back.

  • Decide whether any topics are off limits. Bloggers who keep personal diaries for their friends and families might decide to keep certain subjects out of the public forum of the Internet. For example, do you really want your boyfriend reading a frank account of last night’s make-out session? How about your mom or your boss?

  • Think about your potential readers. Who are they? How can you appeal to them and get them to keep reading your blog? Do you even care about how many readers you have? If you do, what do you have to show or teach or ask them?

For most bloggers, being successful is defined as attracting, keeping, and growing an audience of interested readers. . . preferably an audience that leaves comments and interacts with you and with other readers.

The key here is to find a niche and exploit it fully. Picking a niche and sticking with it can be tough to do. Fortunately, you get a lot of leeway in how you handle a subject, in evolving your own style, and in what you blog about.

Some subject areas have proven to be popular and successful blog subjects already. You can take on the competition and start a blog about

  • Your kids: Baby books might have gone out of style, but that doesn’t mean you can’t document your child’s growth in detail on a blog. Mommyblogging, as it has come to be called, is on the rise in a big way.

  • Your hobby or interest: Blogs are beautifully suited to making connections, so feel free to use yours to become part of a community of folks that share your passion for knitting, sport fishing, geocaching, carpentry, or whatever your interest is.

  • Technology: Many of the original bloggers chose technology as their focus, and what a great decision that was. There’s a huge interest in technology and technology issues today. After all, more and more people have cell phones, personal computers, and MP3 players, and everyone has problems using them!

  • Politics: A number of popular political bloggers have turned their online punditry into thriving careers in traditional media.

  • News of the weird: Some popular blogs make the most of the many strange Web sites by posting links and quick summaries of the site on their blogs. It’s the lazy man’s approach to surfing, and if you’re interested in sharing the quirky oddities you find, you’ll definitely find an audience for them.

  • Specialized news: Offer a service for your busy readers by aggregating all the news on a particular topic, with quick tidbits and links to sources. This can work for both serious and comic topics — think cranial surgery techniques to coverage of the latest teen sensation.

  • A personal diary: If you have enough going on in your life to keep you interested in it, you can stick with the tried and true blog. With a unique voice and great writing, you can attract readers who will to be friends.

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