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MY BLOGS: Picking A Topic

Updated on July 1, 2013

http://alveryscottkent.tumblr.com/

Picking A Topic

"I want to write a blog about <insert any topic>!"

Its possibly the easiest decision you will make today. After all, you're bound to pick a topic that gets you excited, that you love to explore and talk about, and that you know that you will never grow tired of. You probably even know the first thing you are going to post. And that may be fine for Day 1, Day 2 and maybe even Day 3. But as Week 2 comes around, and Month 2, will you still be excited about the topic? WIll you be racking your brain, desperately trying to figure out what to post, or be toying with the idea of walking away completely?

In the business world, goals follow a set of guidelines known as SMART -- they should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. With a little bit of adaptation, these same principles can help define a good topic for a blog.

For the purposes of this article, I am going to use my "On the Edge of Darkness" blog as an example.

Adapting SMART goals to a Blog Topic

IS YOUR TOPIC...
HOW CAN YOU TELL?
FOR EXAMPLE
Specific?
Can you define your blog topic in one or two words?
For my "On The Edge Of Darkness" blog, I can define the topic in two words: the unusual. If anyone asks me what blog is about, I have a two second reply. This helps keep me focused and from wandering too far off topic.
Measureable?
Can you set parameters that would clearly indicate if a topic should be included?
For my use of "the unusual", I have categories for "ghost photos", "ufo photos", "unusual gravestones", "phobias", "sideshow performers" and more. These categories help set the tone. If an idea comes to me that doesn't seem to fit with my established categoies, I know that it may not be a relevant piece for my blog.
Appreciable? (in business this one is "Attainable", but in regard to a blog topic, I will change it to "appreciable")
Are you the only person who would appreciate this topic?
I know that there is a lot of interest in the paranormal, and creepy stuff, and other wierd sh--, so I feel good that my topic is appreciable by a large portion of the population. But what if it were based on an inside joke between me and my best friend, or I had taken a normal topic and twisted it to such a degree that it was almost unrecognizeable? The fewer people who can appreciate my topic, the fewer readers and followers I'm going to have.
Realistic?
Is there enough content out there that I can realistically add quality posts on a regular basis without repeating myself?
By having enough parameters in the "measurement" category above, I have been able to easily find topics to post. In fact, I typically have a queue of 2-3 days worth already written and will post on their own based on a speicific schedule. If I get to the point where I start having trouble finding new items to post, I can create new "measurement" categories or reduce the frequency of my updates (currently twice per day)
Time-sensitive?
Are there current events on this topic that occasionally move it to the forefront of everyone's minds from time to time?
I scour the news sites every day and occasionally I see an article on some new suspected paranormal activity or urban legend that getting some attention. As I see these, I try to post them to my blog, thereby keeping the content current with the news of the day whenever possible.

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