Writing blogs is something that I always recommend to my mentees. This recommendation is often followed by a question: What to write about? If you want to write technical blogs, you can redirect yourself to this tweet, where I talk about blog ideas for a newbie. What I am going to provide you with in this newsletter issue are ideas and pointers that will lead you onto the journey of becoming a successful blogger.
How does having a blog series help?
Before we get into the ideas, let's quickly re-iterate how it will help you.
Improves writing and communication. This is important everywhere irrespective of your field. In Amazon, senior execs have to write memos. At Microsoft, we write engineering docs to present our ideas. Writing is everywhere, when you grow old in your career it can decide your promotion. And it won't come to you one day magically. Like any other skill, you need to practice it.
Creates your internet presence. You want to talk to an unknown person, open the conversation with, "I have written 30 blogs on self-help, and I want to interview you for my next one." See how your cold emails suddenly get replies. Proof of work is the ultimate leverage to talk to busy people.
Proxy for Commitment. This shows that you're diligent, you can commit to something and stick with it. If you have 50 blogs on business, marketing, sales, anything, I can hire you tomorrow. Yes, I don't care about your degree or MBA. And there are many doors which would open. Understand that a degree or a CGPA is just a proxy of your sincerity. Show your sincerity by writing regularly.
Writing brings clarity. Clarity breeds competence. Competence builds capital.
- Tanay, on Twitter
Ideas, ideas, and ideas
We, humans, love numbers, don't we? 30 under 30, top 10, best 50, youngest 20, and whatnot. You can transform this love for numbers and order into a successful blog series. Write about the top speeches of all time, top books, top movies, top documentaries, etc. This list is actually never-ending, but you get the idea, right? You can start with all-time or universal spheres of work and then drop down to genre-specific lists. Do note that listings would require extensive research before being published, you cannot put any names out there without any basis or supporting arguments. This is why if you are able to develop a series of such blogs, it is a validation of your research skills and competency.
2. Ted Talks
Ted Talks are the new millennial rage. You can simply take up the 20 most viewed Ted Talks on YouTube and create a blog series. A talk would take about 15 minutes to listen to, an hour to research about the speaker and the topic, and another hour to write it down and edit. That's one great blog in less than 3 hours. One can easily finish up 20 in less than a month and a half, even if they write on alternate days.
3. Current affairs
Pick one field of expertise or interest, and find out what people are arguing about, what are the present topics of debate and discussion. What you will write about in your blog is where you stand with respect to the subject of discourse and why. Try to bring timelessness into your arguments, your logic stands even when the issue doesn't. This is going to take time and you will have to wrack your brain. But this will surely help you in developing an outlook of your own and become a person of perspective.
4. Latest Research
Every scientific field has something new happening all the time. And in all honesty, research papers are long, academic, too technical, and hence, boring to read. If you do delve into this, you will have to take time to read and understand the research paper, and then summarize the findings in simple, plain words. You can start by selecting a field of your interest and then writing about the top 10 papers that changed its course. Such blogs are loved by the general public as they do not have to go through the difficult process of reading a research paper and act as proof of work to prospective recruiters at the same time.
No, you do not need to read new stuff. You can simply go back to books that you have already read, list down its summary, your take on the book- what you liked and what you didn't, and how it helped your life. Reading books is still one of the most popular past times, even in this world of technology, and people do love reading book reviews, that is what websites like Goodreads are built for. You can also take a slice of this demand and build a popular, successful blog.
Just like we have book-to-movie adaptations, this is a movie version of all that I talked about in the previous point. Choose your movie genre, it could even be tech, startups, business, law, or hacking. Find the best movies of your choice of genre, watch and review them, and list down your learnings. It may seem high-sounding to you, but writing movie reviews is actually a testament to your power of analysis, and this skill is in high demand today.
7. Podcasts Summary/Transcription
Similar to research papers, podcasts are long and hence, require a time investment, and commitment for one to hear it in full. You can save your readers some time by quickly summarizing and highlighting the key ideas shared in the podcast. This helps you direct the audience of the podcast to your blog, who may even bookmark your blog and use it as a reference to the podcast in the future. And you may score some brownie points from the podcast creators as well!
Quick tips for publishing
I believe I have given you enough ideas to get started. And to help you further, here are a few tips that might help you gain traction:
Use Substack or Tiny Letters to go to your audience's emails directly. Both are free tools.
Use Canva to create posters and publicize your content on social media platforms.
Never forget to tag the related people, book, podcast, author, actor, director, whoever, and whatever you are talking about in your blog on social media. There's a high chance you may get a retweet or some activity from their side, thereby pushing your content to a much larger audience.
And finally, the key is to build a series of blogs. (Just like this series of newsletters!)
This is my 4th newsletter in a row and I really hope you are liking the content that I am putting out. Let's hear your blog ideas in the comments below or on Twitter.
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