After the first post or two, many wordpress.com blog users who worked so hard to get an invite to wordpress.com for their own free blog, have no idea what to do with it. Some do, and plow into it with enthusiasm, but I’m seeing a lot of posts from new users who 1) don’t know what to do with their wordpress.com blog or 2) think they have to write about WordPress and wordpress.com.
Let’s kill the second myth right off the top. Even though it says “wordpress” in the domain name, your wordpress.com blog can be about anything you want. You are under no obligation to write about WordPress. A few of the first users have already destroyed the myth and showed off screen shots of the new Administration Panels and talked about the new features, so the blush is off the rose of wordpress.com. If you are an expert, helping through long time volunteering and development, then talking about WordPress on your wordpress.com is just one more extension of your already active involvement. If you aren’t, and just a fan, then have a few posts about WordPress, but then what? What do you blog about?
Now, I want to talk to the folks who worked hard to get the invite to have their own free wordpress.com blog only to arrive and not know what to do with it after they’ve just shouted to the world “Weeee! I got a wordpress.com blog!”
What are you going to do with your wordpress.com blog?
Sure, WordPress and the changes in wordpress.com are being written about. Ryan Boren, one of the lead developers of WordPress, shares the status and activity of the development of the new version of WordPress, as does Andy Skelton, another newer developer. And you can keep track of more WordPress and WordPressMU developments from Matt and Donncha. And yes, since writing about WordPress has been a passion of mine lately, you can find plenty here on this blog.
WordPress isn’t the only topic found on wordpress.com blogs.
Some people had a plan even before they got their free invite, determined to share their specific interests with the world. Space Photos is jtintle’s wordpress.com blog and features feeds of images from and about space for space and NASA fans. Fredoland covers news about Flocks, a new form of Internet browser making a lot of buzz on the net. Ubuntu covers the news, excitement and technology of Ubuntu, helping users to switch from Windows to a free/open-source operating system. Mike Fertig’s Because the World is Round is a writer and editor who shares odd bits of information on his blog about the odd and unusual information he discovers. Princess is a mother’s story of life with and as a toddler. Lectori Salutem by Wybe covers Internet and software technolgies in English and Italian. Unweak covers geek worlds of technology, games, and open source. A writer, photographer, and traveler, Jacob Appelbaum’s wordpress.com blog is his journal of his work and time in ground zero of Hurricane Katrina, giving people an inside, first hand accounting of life on the ground after the disaster.
Even the University of Montana’s Art Department has their own Art Department Newsline blog on wordpress.com to update students, faculty and staff within the Art Department of activites and information they need to know.
Some wordpress.com blogs follow much of the same unfocused focus of personal life and stream of conciousness blogging like Alice Hates Wonderland (French), Rishma, Derek’s derkilicious, and Becky Works, but even their talk-about-everything subject matter has a collective point – this interests me, so it probably should be of interest to you.
What to Blog About on wordpress.com
As you can see, any subject is wide open to blog about on wordpress.com. So how do you decide what to blog about?
1.Begin with a topic you are familiar with. If it is web page design, computer gadgets, travel, parenting, accounting, nursing, or riding a bicycle, pick a subject you are interested in and willing to write, research, and write more about. Experts in the writing industry say “Write about what you know” and that isn’t a joke. Write about what you know.
2.Narrow the focus of the topic. If you want to write about parenting, do you want to share your day-to-day struggles and the challenges of being a parent? Or research and information about decisions parents need to make like choosing a school, day care or doctor? Or maybe you do home schooling and you want to share techniques and tips. Pick a focused “subtopic” on the topic you choose and narrow your focus. You can expand later, but get started with the narrow focus first.
3.Research. Find other blogs and sites with information on your topic. If they have feeds, set up a category for those feeds in your feed reader so you can keep them together. If they don’t, bookmark them in your favorites list. Read past articles and information and see if there is anything there you can share with your readers. The more you research and learn about what you will be writing about the more stories, ideas, and content you can add to your site. Make lists!
4.If you are interested in this subject, what is it about it that fascinates you? What aspects do you want to know more about? What are the questions others interested in this topic have? What does your audience want to know? If you want to know, they will want to know. Ask the questions and come up with the answers in your blog.
5.Make sure you will still be interested in this topic six months from now. Your blog may grow and change topics and subjects, but pick something that you will still have enthusiasm for six months from now. Few blogs last longer than 3 – 6 months. Make sure you are blogging about something you care about and want to know more about, as well as something you are expert enough in to share with others. Keep the enthusiasm going.