This is part 3 in our continuing series on blogging. First, I shared why writers should blog, and then I gave the four elements of a post. Today’s topic is the one key thing we must do before our first post: develop a blogging theme.
For my first blog Musings, I wrote about anything and everything, whatever came to mind. One day I’d blog about family and the next, politics. Following that might be a post about my yard and then, sports. I wrote about nature and weather, about geeky things and spiritual things; sometimes I’d be funny and other times, serious. Other topics included entertainment, travel, holidays, business, animals, writing, the seasons, and more. I was all over the place, and at one time, my tagline was “the musings of a meandering mind.”
My blog failed to find an audience; even the family eventually gave up. I needed focus. Though my original blog is still there and receives an occasional update, I’ve started two other blogs to address specific topics I’m passionate about.
My primary blog addresses biblical spirituality, where I post multiple times a week. This is my other blog and covers writing; I post each Saturday. For both, their respective themes focus my writing and present readers with consistency.
It took time to find my theme. First, I listed topics I was passionate about and what I enjoyed covering. Then, I eliminated those I didn’t want to regularly write about and those where I didn’t have much to say. Of the five remaining items, I asked, “If I had to pick only one, what would it be?” The answer was biblical spirituality. (Writing was second, so I do this blog for fun and variety.)
If your blog doesn’t have a theme or focus, it will likely flounder as mine did for years, but when you follow a theme, you will build an audience.
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Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.