December 11, 2006

10 Ideas for Blog Posts

I'm sick of your excuses. Here's some fuel to get started on your blog post when you claim to be out of ideas. These ten ideas are ideally suited towards the personal blogger but I hope some apply across the blogger-spectrum. Although I do not hold myself out as the expert, I've found these kinds of posts elicit the most reader feedback and bring added traffic to a website. With all that being said, here they are...

Rant Letters to Companies/Celebrities
Do you just abhor Whoppie Goldberg's dreadlocks? Did you have a particularly bad experience with your cream hair removal product? Write them a letter and vent, vent, vent! I've seen tons of these and they are categorically hilarious! You can just write the letter to get it off your chest with no intention of actually sending it or better yet, actually send the letter and post any feedback you receive on your blog. Your honesty is refreshing and many people will connect with your experience. It's cathartic for everyone and can provide some hilarious insights into your personality.

A Debate
Analyze both sides of a controversial issue without taking a stance either way. Then leave it to your readers to go wild one way or the other while you sit back and watch what you have created. Don't feel bad about baiting your readers a little to elicit a stronger response. Here are some sample topics:
Private versus Public Schools
Arranged marriages
Current politics (get ready for some rabid comments)
Twizzlers versus Red Vines
Who has more fun, Christians or Jews?

Contests
It can be something simple like asking for the best written haiku about Cracker Jacks or more complex like the first person to accomplish stealing your identity and ruining your credit. Just make sure it's easy to participate, the rules are simple and the winner is recognized. A prize is nice, but simple exposure on your blog for a while also gives that warm fuzzy that some might mistake for a $100 gift card to Target. Plus people who participate will want to return to your blog to view contest results so make sure to have the contest run at least a week while your participants check out all the other darling things your blog has to offer.

Insider Information/Confessions
There is something unique about you. Trust me. Let people in and see, "The Fabulous Life of..." A lot of people blogsurf for sheer voyeuristic pleasure and the more you can distinguish yourself from the other guy, the better. How do you really feel about being a Trophy Wife? What's the worst thing you've ever done to a friend? Have you ever broken the law? While this may not sound exciting to you, many readers crave true honesty. You don't have to totally compromise your privacy, but see if you can push yourself slightly beyond your normal limits and make yourself a tad uncomfortable with your divulgence. But be careful not to overdo it and totally creep everyone out.

A "How-To" on One of Your Specialties
How to Lessen Colic in Infants
How to Design a Great Website
How to Make your Boyfriend Propose
How to Make it Big in your Yodeling Career
You get the point. How did you get to be the fabulous person that you are? Teach us, oh wise one. Plus, these kinds of posts are very popular in web searches and will most likely increase your traffic. Everyone is good at something!

History Lesson/Research Project
Dig around and find some interesting information about a holiday, event or person. These kinds of posts take a little bit of homework but the final product is actually USEFUL! Who doesn't want to read about how curling was invented or how Madison Square Garden got its name when it's neither in Madison, square or a garden? Make sure to add some of your personal touches to the post otherwise your readers will be left snoozing but it's okay to educate the masses every once and a while. They might even thank you for it.

Product/Entertainment Review
Were you the first one in line to see The Cable Guy but didn't send out a warning to your friends the instant you ran screaming from the theatre? Well shame on you. As consumers, it's our responsibility to pass on the good news along with the bad about all the products out there. Did a certain hair dye leave you bald? Did you find a rat in your chalupa at Taco Bell? We need to know these things. Make sure to let people in on the good stuff to. Is there a fantastic online sale going on somewhere? Did the new James Bond movie save your marriage? Pass along your advice and reviews and save us from making the same mistakes you have.

Tributes
Whether it's to a great rock band or a recently deceased friend, tributes can be a powerful tool. Be careful not to get too carried away in your ruminations, however, and lose your credibility as a spokesperson. The tribute could be to your beloved, beat up car, your zebra striped iPod or your tax guy, but make it genuine and avoid trite phrases that make it just another online oozefest. Remember to keep it real and recognize both the good and the bad to lend some credibility. "Even though my iPod sends electrical shocks into my ears whenever I put on the headphones, it's totally worth it to hear all my favorite Neil Diamond tunes on Shuffle!"

"Dear Abby" Letters
Don't know what to do about your neighbor's loud music? Can't decide between spending your last $5 in the bank on toilet paper or deodorant? Put the dilemma to your readers for them to figure out. Be sure to follow up with a post on the outcome and which advice you found useful. This is different from the Debate category because it is some personal issue you or someone you know is experiencing and will take action on in the future. This kind of post gets readers emotionally involved so make sure to have that follow-up post to put their worries to rest.

A "Top 10" Compilation
As seen here. It could be your favorite books, your worst movies, the ugliest movie stars, or nastiest foods you've ever eaten. People flock to authority so make it count. These kinds of posts are also very searchable and will increase your webtraffic if you title it correctly so that anyone looking for "meanest pets" will be able to find your post and read all about your deranged hamster. Just pretend to be the expert and some poor suckers may actually believe you are.


Good luck! I'd love to see your posts if this got you started on something. Now for heaven's sake, get writing!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Adrienne said...

Hee hee... I once penned a scathing blog post to the band Cake telling them that if they made me sit through an hour long set change and then only played for 45 minutes ever again I'd cut the brake lines on their tour bus.

Which... come on, Cake, that's ridiculous.

Sarah said...

Woah - Cake did a similar thing to me once too!! I went to this STUPID festival and hung around ALL DAY just to see them play and 1/2 way into their second song someone threw a shoe on the stage so they all just immediately stopped playing and left. I was LIVID!!! Race you to the brake lines...

Let's have a link to the post!

Anonymous said...

Need to try one of theses when I cant think of anything. By the way send me one of those gerbils someone shot my dog and I need a vengefull animal to retailate.

Adrienne said...

As you wish:

Damn you, Cake!

Man, it's a shame I like them so much, because the lead singer is friggin' annoying. Like, hi, I'm not paying you to philosophize, I'm paying you to play fraggin' Comfort Eagle and whack that clackity thing you always play.

Janell said...

While I haven't run out of things to write about yet, I definetly will keep your list in mind! Thanks!