Have you ever felt lost when deciding what the next topic for your article will be? Are you wondering if it will be a good topic or not?
Hello everyone! Welcome to another article on Victoria's Blogging Tips, a series dedicated to helping new bloggers overcome common challenges in blogging.
In this article, let's discuss the 5 questions you can ask yourself whenever you are deciding on your next article topic.
1. Do I want to read this?
The first thing you should ask yourself when deciding on what to write is if you would want to read such a topic yourself.
As a technical blogger, you should write topics that you and your audience would find helpful. So the first and foremost reader is yourself. If you found such a topic valuable and useful to you, chances are that your audience would find it helpful as well.
2. Is this relevant to my blog?
The next question you can ask is if the topic is relevant to your blog. If your blog is primarily on web development topics, it would be a strange idea to suddenly write about game development.
Your audience would be quite confused, as they are already expecting a variety of web development content from you. If you wish to branch out your topics or pivot into other topics, you can first consider the following:
Know your branding - what is your blog's niche? What is it known for?
Knowledge gap - is the topic you wish to branch out/pivot into very far-off from your current niche? Will your current audience experience any knowledge gaps?
Reason - is there a reason to pivot topics? Will there be resistance from the audience?
Connection - if possible, how can you relate the new topic to your original blog's brand? How can you engage your current audience to be interested in a new topic?
Of course, there is nothing wrong with branching out into new niche topics if you wish. But considering these few points above before doing so will act as a guide to help you in deciding on the new topic.
3. How can I write it differently?
Often, the topic that you thought of writing about is probably a topic that has been written about before. A lot of my readers have asked if it is okay to write about such topics. My answer to that is a 'yes' but you would need to think about how your article can stand out.
Much like scientific articles, technical articles that are about similar topics are often cross-referenced from each other, making them almost clones of each other.
Generally, these articles focus on building upon previously obtained information. The ones that stand out, however, are usually the ones that add some more detail or originality to the content. For example, if your article adds some example codes or dived deeper into the topic, that added value can help make your article stand out.
Hence, if you decide to write on a topic that many have written before, ask yourself: How can I write it differently?
Or better yet, read a few of those articles and ask yourself: How can I make it better? More coherent? Easier to understand and follow?
4. How much time do I need?
As a writer, you need to also consider not just the content of your writing, but also the realistic process to write it. When deciding on an article topic, another question you should ask is: How much time do I need?
Specifically, consider how much research you would need to do and how deep you plan to write about the topic. All these will contribute to how long it will take you to finish writing the article.
And of course, the time you need and the time you are willing to spend on an article depends on each individual. So you would need to be good at understanding your own publishing schedule and priorities to decide if writing on that topic is worth the time and effort.
5. Where should I publish to?
This is another practical question that is essential when considering the topic for your article. Knowing where your target audience can easily find your article for its topic will help improve your article's visibility.
If you're publishing on Medium, for example, there are many established publishers out there that can help you reach your target audience. Better Programming or freeCodeCamp and Hashnode are great choices to start, as they are all-rounded tech publications. These platforms can attract many readers to your blog.
The DevOps Corner is a good one if you're targeting audiences who are interested in DevOps topics. And the list goes on for more specific topics.
Researching where you want to publish is just as essential as deciding on the topic you want to write about. Of course, you can decide where you want to publish later, after you have decided on the topic.
Though there are many things to consider when thinking about what to write next, these are 5 questions that I personally think you can start with, or at least have at the back of your mind.
Thanks for reading! I hope this has been a helpful read! Don't forget to like and share if it is! Feel free to ask questions or comment on what other questions you may be asking yourself when deciding your next topic. Cheers!