Identify an Audience and a Posting Schedule to Generate Blog Post Ideas

05 Jan

I often hear bloggers say that they “write for themselves” and they “only write when they feel inspired.” That’s fine if you don’t care about growing your audience. If you do care about growing your audience then “writing for yourself” only when you’re “inspired” won’t work .

If you truly want to grow your audience then you need to commit to writing on a regular schedule and writing for a target audience (BTW, if you’re reading this you’re in my target audience). A funny thing happens when you commit to publishing on a regular schedule for a target audience, “inspiration” arrives much more often than it does when you aren’t committed to publishing on a regular schedule for a target audience. This happens because when we know that people are expecting something from us, we’ll work hard to meet that expectation. Some days when you sit down to write, you won’t feel inspired by anything other than meeting a deadline, but that’s still inspiration.

Another neat thing happens when you’re committed to a blogging schedule, everything becomes a potential blog post. The picture in this post, taken on a road trip in 2012, was the inspiration for a post about Google Earth that I published on Free Technology for Teachers.

Writing for a target audience helps in the ideas department too. When you’re writing for a target audience, you already have some direction for your next blog post. Think about your audience and what they want to hear from you. And don’t overlook turning an email response into a blog post. When you find yourself responding to an email from a reader, think about whether or not other readers could benefit from your response. If they can, use that email as the basis for your next blog post.

Commit to a publishing schedule, write often, and inspiration will show up more often than not.

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  • rinoblast05

    Richard, I have a question regarding blog names and copyright laws. As an example, if I created a blog with a title/domain like “Backwardsdesignresources.com” am I at risk of violating any copyright laws (since I am not the educator who came up with the idea/wrote books/assumably owns some copyright of backwards design)? Two of your blogs use names that reference some else’s copyrighted creations (iPad and Android), but I was wondering if there is a difference between using the name of a device/software and using someone’s idea.

    • richardbyrne

      Domain names are tricky area when it comes to copyright and trademarks. Google and Apple have rules set forth for the use of the many trademarked terms they own. Those terms can be found buried in various places on their respective sites. The short version is, you can’t make it appear that you’re an official representative or endorsed by either company. The best example of this can be found in the blogs Google Maps Mania and The Google Earth blog.

      If there’s a term that is widely used in a niche and it’s available as a domain name, grab it if you want it. I own 50-60 domains some of which I bought just because I thought they had good names that someone would want to buy later. This is why you’ll often hear people give the advice to buy your name, your company’s name as a domain before someone else does and tries to hold it hostage for a high price. In fact, that’s exactly what happened to my friend Jeff Bradbury with the domain name TeacherCast. He could buy .net but someone else beat him to .com and won’t sell it.

      • rinoblast05

        Thanks for the advice. I think I’ve come up with a catchy name that meets the niche I am looking at and also sidesteps any copyright problems. In other news, there also is a hilarious episode of FX’s “The League” that deals with domain squatting…