I’m talking about the topic you end up becoming known for, the topic that becomes synonymous with your name, the topic that causes people to say, “Oh, you’re interested in [your awesome topic]? You should read [your name]’s blog!”
Once you find it, you feel like you knew that you were meant to blog about it all along, that it was right in front of your nose, and inside your heart, but you just didn’t see it was there.
But before you find it, everything just seems so HARD.
(At least that’s how it’s been for me.)
I refer to this blog as my blog soul-mate. I wrote 5 other blogs before this one. But none of them stuck. And even this one took awhile to truly become something I love, look forward to writing, and am super proud of.
The other blogs I wrote seemed like more of a burden. Our relationships just fizzled out after awhile. (It wasn’t them, it was me.)
Kind of like the guys I dated before I met my husband. Things with them were never quite right.
But with him, I could feel the difference from the beginning.
Even though finding your blog soul-mate (or your human one) is hard (okay, really, really, really hard), I do think there are ways to ease the process.
1. Be super self-reflective.
One way to find your big blogging topic is to get to know yourself really well.
Here are a few questions for you to think about:
What do I absolutely love doing?
What do people frequently ask me to help them with?
What am I really proud of accomplishing?
What do I know a ton about and never get tired of discussing?
What is a new hobby or passion that I can help other people learn along with me?
How do I see the world differently from other people?
You can also:
- Take personality tests
- Ask people close to you what they think you’re really good at
- Think about your past and what’s been a common thread throughout your life
I’ve always loved writing and teaching. People often ask me for feedback on their writing. And I am passionate about entrepreneurship. So once I started writing about blogging, it just made sense.
If you can do some deep thinking before you start blogging, you might just discover you already know the BIG THING you want to blog about.
Many women have lists of all of the traits they’re looking for in a man. One of my friends read me her list awhile back. It included “driven” “laid back” “adventurous” “sexy” and about 16 other traits.
Have you ever heard of a woman who has a list of traits that she would like to bring into her relationships? To me, that seems way more empowering than the other list.
2. Try out lots of different ideas and see what works.
I think it’s natural to start out blogging about whatever interests you.
My first blog posts were about parking karma, morning practice, Jews on Christmas – really, whatever I felt like writing about that day.
It wasn’t until a month of writing every day that I began to narrow my topic.
Writing about all different topics does a few things:
- It helps you practice the discipline of blogging regularly – which is just as important as your subject matter.
- It gives you a sense of what you enjoy writing about and what you don’t.
- It helps you collect data on what other people really want to read about.
Let me tell you a little story:
My husband and I went on a date in June of 2007. Even though we really liked each other, it seemed like it wouldn’t work out. (I could get into the details, but you have to know me a little better for that…)
So I joined JDate and proceeded to date about 15 other guys.
One of them didn’t read any books. Ever.
Another one kissed me and never called me.
Another one told me I was “cute” for having an opinion.
After getting frustrated and discouraged, I realized that Daniel was a way better fit than anyone else I had dated. So we decided to try again. And here we are, 7 years later.
Sometimes, you just have to try a bunch of things that don’t work to figure out the one that does.
3. Choose one idea, and write about it in depth.
Choosing one idea to write about, even if it doesn’t end up being the “idea of your dreams,” is really helpful.
You get practice going deep into a topic. You really get to know that topic. And you learn more about yourself and what you enjoy writing about.
Before this blog, I wrote a blog called 101 Conversations. It was about building business relationships.
I got SO MUCH from writing that blog. I learned about building relationships, and I met some of my best business buddies, and I learned how HARD it is for me to base a blog on interviewing people.
For awhile, I thought that blog was my soul-mate, but it turned out to be a really great experience that ended after 9 months. But am I sad I wrote it? Heck, no.
What I am saying is, at some point, you have to have a more serious relationship with an idea. Even if it doesn’t work out, it’s all part of your journey to find your BIG TOPIC.
The same goes for romantic relationships.
4. When you find your BIG IDEA, really commit.
Just because you find an idea that works really well for you, it doesn’t mean it won’t be hard.
Sometimes, you won’t want to write about it. You’ll find yourself lusting after other ideas, just wishing you could write about them. (And, to be honest, you can. In moderation. After all, you’re not really married to your big idea.)
But when that big idea comes around (and you’ll know it’s the right one, because you’ll be so crazy enthusiastic about it that you’ll want to work on your blog all the time), stick with it.
Explore it from different angles. Ask people on Facebook and Twitter (and even, gasp, real life) what they care about that has to do with your big idea.
When you find yourself losing steam and wanting to wander off to other topics, thinking I’ve written everything there is to write about this, come back to your soul-mate topic. I promise there’s more to write about.
At my bridal shower, my friend Robyn said that when you first get married, it’s like one person is speaking Chinese and the other English. You don’t understand each other. But then, little by little, you develop a shared language.
And when you write about a topic for long enough, you’ll start to approach it in a way that no one else can. You’ll develop your own blogging language.
I don’t believe we have just one soul-mate, either in love or in blogging. I think there are lots of soul-mates out there for everyone. But all you need is one.
You’ll know it’s the right one when it makes you feel more fully yourself.
Now go out there and find it (him/her). (Or if you’ve already found it, give it a hug and appreciate the heck out of it.)