If there’s one question all bloggers ask eventually, it is: “BUT WHAT DO I WRITE ABOUT #HELP.”
But take heart, dear fiend of the interwebs! We all go through this. Some of us stare at our blank blog screen and have mini crises at least once a week. Maybe 9 times a week. Maybe we just have an ongoing crisis. Because it’s HARD to come up with interesting, new, fresh content all the time. And as someone who’s blogged for nearly 5 years, believe me. I knooooooow the pain.
Especially if you keep accidentally these sorts of things:
“But hasn’t this already been discussed?”
“But does my opinion on this matter if someone else summed it up more succinctly?”
“What if I write so confusingly no one knows what the flip flapping avocado cracking I’m on about?”
“I am an avocado???”
And it’s okay. Believe me. It’s okay. You are not a bad blogger. You are allowed to have those thoughts. And I will answer ALL those questions systematically and with great confidence because I know everything. *
- BECAUSE YOUR PERSPECTIVE IS IMPORTANT. And it’ll be different! Even if you just word your opinion differently…it’s your post. It’s your perspective. You don’t need permission to use your voice, just go get ’em, Adam.
- BLOGGING IS A CONSTANTLY TURNING AUDIENCE. I just go back to my posts from last year, sneak a peek at the comments, and realise at least 50% of my commenters are different now. There are ALWAYS new people coming and going who haven’t read the old discussions before! Your discussion will be new to someone. Even if it’s just that stray speckled alien reading your post in their lunch break.
- PRACTISE MAKES PERFECT. The most annoying line ever, but unfortunately a true one. Your 1st discussion might be rambly. Your 2nd discussion might end in a puddle of confused thoughts. Your 13th discussion might end up with you arguing with yourself. You know what? YOU’LL GET BETTER. And my #1 trick with making discussions less confusing is (a) different sized fonts and bolded texts, (b) lots of graphics or photos or gifs to break up the text, (c) lists !! and (d) a recap at the end, (e) and bribe people with cake to stay and read it. **
- YOU ARE AN AVOCADO. Sorry, but like I’m also here to give you reality checks too, you freak.
* HAHAHHAHHH AHH AHHAHAHHHAHA HAH HA.
** Speaking of which…how do you feel about coconut cake.
So now that we’ve established you should 100% be blogging your opinions…the next question is obviously:
“but what do i blog about, cait?????”
What do you discuss? How do you think up topics??? How do you be an avocado but yet wear red and not look like a christmas parcel???
These are all good questions and I am here to give you a list of suggestions on how to think up discussion topics for your book blog. Which a few people have actually asked me about in the past so: LOOK, YOU!! I WROTE A POST FOR YOU!!! DON’T YOU LOVE ME SO MUCH NOW.
- GOOGLE IT. You think I’m joking, but I’m not!! And perhaps you have been googling it right now and that’s how you’ve stumbled across me. But I’m not listing prompts today. I’m dusting off your adventurer hat and renaming you Indiana Jones and telling you to go be a dashing treasure hunter. But seriously: google for topic prompts. (You can also use pinterest for this.) Also try:
- TWIST INSTAGRAM CHALLENGE PROMPTS TO BE BOOK DISCUSSIONS. This can go for any type of prompt! A twitter tag, or a tumblr tag, or a #bookstagram tag. For instance, I’m participating in a instagram photo challenge called #BookishTravels17 hosted by @novelheartbeat and @darkfaerietales_ and it would be SO AWESOME to do a post listing different books for different countries or settings!
- NOTE: Credit people, okay?!? I would credit this tag and these creators if I did this post! But if the post was more broad, like in another challenge I’m doing there’s a prompt called “underrated books”…I could do a post and not have to link to them because EVERYONE blogs about underrated books. No biggie.
- DO SOME OLD TOP TEN TUESDAY LISTS. Because they’re here for us to use! And so what that it’s not Tuesday or they did that prompt back in 2011 before you were even born??? DO IT ANYWAY.
- Also let these prompts inspire discussions! For instance, this Tuesday the prompt was “small books” but I didn’t want to take photos of small books, so I did a discussion on big vs small books and made a quiz to go with it for something different.
- AND you can also join in other helpful memes that’ll give you ideas on what to post about! Here’s a Master List of Book Blogging Memes from GirlXoXo.com.
- LET WHATEVER BOOK YOU’RE READING INSPIRE A DISCUSSION. This is my favourite because it’s a great way to discuss something that might be a little different to the usual. Basically just pick out a topic or a theme or a style of the book you’re reading and twist it into a discussion. FOR INSTANCE:
- I just finished reading (AND FLAILING WILDLY OVER) the Reckless series by Cornelia Funke. I could do a discussion about translated books, since this was German! I could do a list of other retellings I like. I could do a post on what I want to see in a retelling. I could do a post on what myths/folklores don’t get retold enough!
- I’m eagerly awaiting the arrive of my audible preorder of Strange the Dreamer. Soooooo…I could do a discussion on what makes you preorder a book?!? What do you do while waiting for a highly anticipated book??
- I recently read Frostblood which was full of overused tropes. I could discuss tropes I like vs ones I don’t like!
- I read Lucky Few which I LOVED TO DEATH but then…the ending really disappointed me. A post on what makes a good ending? A discussion on which part of the book matters most: beginning, middle, ending?
- I just started reading The Silent Invasion which had an AWFUL first chapter. I could discuss what hooks me into a book and what turns me off. Or I could discuss when I know if a book will be good/bad. I could list my favourite/hated first sentences. I could discuss what makes me put down a book.
See?!?! There are literally endless discussions if you’re reading something!
- BE INSPIRED BY WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE BLOGOSPHERE. For this you need to be fairly active on some sort of social media, like instagram or twitter. But there are always people discussing things, and while those topics might seem a little beaten to death like someone trying to put avocado on a sandwich with a steam roller — you can always find twists. FOR INSTANCE:
- I got up the courage (!! a !! rare !! occurrence !!) to tweet an author I admired and she tweeted me back how much she loved my review. SO PAUSE TO FLAIL. But also, there’s a discussion topic: pros vs cons of interacting with authors online. Or what do you expect from an author online. Or do you think authors are under more pressure with how much more online they are these days.
- I constantly see book-to-movie adaptations being announced. Do you like them or hate them? Best vs worst adaptions? 10 Things Book Adaptions Are Getting Wrong?
- I just saw someone tweet a cover release / excerpt of their upcoming book. (Congrats to them!) Discussion ideas: do you like reading excerpts without having the whole book available?
While looking for topic inspiration, make sure you don’t steal!
It’s always disappointing to be an artist and find someone copying your post or doing a discussion exactly like yours a few days afterwards. Sometimes these things happen on accident, so don’t jump to conclusions! But do YOUR best to (A) always give credit where credit is due, and (B) if in doubt, ask, and (C) be a treasure hunter not a pirate!
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Suuuuure everything’s been done before — BUT NOT BY YOU. SO GO FOR IT, YOU INTELLIGENT CREATURE OF THE DARKNESS. I believe in your ability to contribute to the conversation.
Oh. And spoiler alert: if you are an avocado and wear red YOU WILL LOOK LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE, I’M SORRY, ALLEN. IT’S JUST THE WAY IT IS. TRY TO BE TRUE TO YOURSELF ANYWAY.