Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Goth Blogging 101: Idea Generating

Keeping any kind of blog poses a challenge, but it can be especially difficult if you have a kind of niche. And what a niche Goth is! Fortunately for all of us, so many Goth blogs are springing up all over the place, so that our niche hardly feels limited and empty. Today's post topic comes from one such new blogger:
hello Mary,
firstly i just want to say i love your blog.
i need some help and advice, you see I am goth and an American Muslim, I have made a blog which is goth and Muslim friendly(which is new) but each time I sit to write all my ideas go down the drain.what should i do?please help, i'm a very shy person but i am determined to write.
regards
scary.littleme
Firstly, thank you very much, and welcome to the online Goth blogger community! As I said above, I get really excited about new bloggers coming into the blogosphere. I'm a huge believe in the fact that this subculture will only stay alive so long as we are all actively participating. With every new blogger there's a new perspective and something fascinating to be said about the spooky subculture we love so much. So, again, welcome!

We've all been here.

It's rather funny, actually, that you ask me about the blogging topic I myself struggle with the most. I know there are some bloggers out there who positively overflow with ideas, but I'm not one of them. I like to think that I make up for it in other ways, but it's certainly more effort for me to come up with ideas and inspiration. Luckily, this means I can give some advice for how I've learned to deal with this particular problem.

If you're looking for post inspiration, it can come from pretty much anywhere. So, I recommend keeping some way of jotting things down at all times (that is preferably not your skin and a sharpie.) I carry a notebook, but laptops, hand-held notepads, or even a stack of post-it-notes can be helpful. I had a friend in High School who had a set of bath crayons for writing on the wall because all of her best ideas came in the shower. This way, you're prepared to write an idea down whenever it strikes you. When you write it down, try to write more down than just the main idea if possible. Of course, the main idea will work in a pinch, but if you write down more you have a better chance of capturing the "spark" and enthusiasm about the topic. And, trust me, enthusiasm is important.

Similarly, try not to write anything that you aren't enthusiastic about. If you aren't enthusiastic about your topic, I don't care how many exclamation points you throw in your post, it's not going to be a compelling read. If you want to write about a topic, but for some reason cannot get really enthusiastic about it, let it percolate a bit more and keep jotting down any inspiration as they come to mind. Your post might sit there for a while, but it will be a better post in the end.

Here are some ideas that I've found helpful to jumpstart the idea-generating process:
  • Read other Goth blogs. 
  • Keep your eyes peeled for mentions of Goths or Gothdom in major media.
  • Write what you want to read. If you've been wanting someone to blog about a certain topic but no one has stepped up to the plate, why don't you start? That's how I came up with my posts about Goth dorms, and I've already gotten wonderful feedback from college-bound Goths who were waiting for someone to write about it!
  • Think about something you do everyday that might be old-news to you but new for other people. How do you handle your frizzy hair for a perfect Goth look? How do you decide what to wear? How do you built playlists? How do you handle catcalling on the street? I guarantee, someone wants to know. (Personally, this blogger wants to know about frizzy hair tips. Summer is coming.)
  • Take photographs, even with your phone or a little point and shoot. You don't have to use them for your post, they can just be an idea starter.
  • Think about what you do well. Blog about it.
  • Ask Non-Goths questions. Not every post has to be directed directly at Goths, even if they make up the majority of your audience. Sometimes non-Goths wander in off Google and they might have some questions. If you write it right, it should even be fun for Goths to read.
  • Write a review. Not every post should be a review, and you might want to hold off on them until you've built up a bit of credibility first, but they can be great ways to share your excitement about something. 
  • Read your comments! They can be the start of some very interesting post ideas, especially if someone has questions or ideas different from yours.
  • Look at your tags, and see which tags are lacking in substance. Try to think what other posts you can fit into that tag. 
  • Leave a way for people to contact you on your blog besides the comments. I just instated a new contact form on my E-Mail Me! page, and I have a blog e-mail address for people to contact me through. If possible, use an e-mail address that is different from your "main" address, to avoid the spreading of your personal details online and keep your inboxes mostly on-topic.
  • Share what you've been doing on other websites. Are you on Pinterest making great boards, Twitter being hilarious, Polyvore making fabulous sets? Share it with your blogspot readers!
  • Tell a story. How about your best thrifting experience, how you discovered your favorite song, or the ever popular how did you become a Goth? 
  • Fill out a meme or tag. They might not be the biggest traffic drivers, but they're good for off days, and they might even give you a bigger idea for a longer post. 

So, scary.little me, thank you very much for submitting your question, and I hope I was at least a little bit helpful. To my readers, feel free to check out the brand new (NON-POP UP!) contact form on my E-Mail Me! page and ask me more questions, or just e-mail me at theeverydaygoth@yahoo.com. So, are any of you guys bloggers? What do you do to generate ideas?

6 comments:

  1. I tend to take blog post ideas msotly from the things I do or encounter in everyday life. If my partner and I get into a conversation about fashion it generally leads me to think up ideas about how that cound relate to alternative culture.

    The point about reading other Goth blogs is a must. I try my best to never take ideas from others, though I myself have haad that done to me and I'm always interesting in reading peoples opinionated responces to a particular article if that hold a different perspective. Differing opinions are the best.

    Great post. Very helpful but also thought provoking. :3

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    1. Thanks for the response! I agree, differing opinions and continuing conversations are really great for sparking ideas. :)

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  2. I've got TWO frizzy cowlicks in the front of my hair (which is also very fine), and I was using John Frieda's Frizz-Eaze to keep them down, but although it works it tends to weigh my hair down and make it look wet and limp. I recently found a lovely new shampoo by Clairol in the Herbal Essences line called 'None of Your Frizzness', and it REALLY works, at least for me. No more frizzies, AND my hair looks soft and shiny instead of wet and limp! They've got a matching conditioner, but I haven't tried it as my hair doesn't like conditioners much.

    Hope this helps... Death to Frizzies!!!

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  3. This was very helpful, thank you ^^ I'm always having the greatest difficulty coming up with new things to blog about, so this will definitely be useful. I really like the tip about always being able to write ideas down, because it really is true that inspiration usually comes at times when you can't sit down in front of a computer and start writing immediately.

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  4. I'm a somewhat new blogging, I've had blogs in the past, tumblr, everything else too. This is my first time on blogger. I run a fashion blog/style blog, (pastelpandemic.blogspot.com) and a lifestyle, more personal blog for tips to get through anxiety, teenage life, all those kinds of things. This post is super helpful for someone learning how to create their own content!

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