I recently got into a little discussion with Chris Brogan on his post about his idea to sell ideas for blogging. It seems odd to me that there are people who want to write a blog but have no topic and will pay someone to give them an idea.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Chris Brogan – I subscribe to his e-newsletter, read his blog, follow him on Twitter and I highlighted him in a previous post here on Social Kitty. I also hope he makes a ton of money from people who can’t think up a topic for themselves. But I can’t resist a good debate so here is what appeared in the comments section under his post Blog Topics Rides Again on July 16, 2012:
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sgregory57 • 2 days ago
Just MHO: if you have to ask someone else “what should I blog about” then you shouldn’t be blogging.
Chris Brogan MOD • 2 days ago • parent
Some folks feel that way. In 2011, 624 people felt differently.
sgregory57 • a day ago • parent
Hope my comment is not considered an affront. I am interested in human behaviour and wonder what motivates those 624 people. They are the ones that want to blog but have no topic, yes? Doesn’t that seem odd to you?
Chris Brogan MOD • 15 hours ago • parent
Athletes have a coach.
Chefs look for recipes.
Masters students go for PhD.
There are lots of cases where people look for inspiration externally to spark internally.
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After his last comment, I was going to reply again. But I thought if I keep on debating this on his blog, people might mistakenly think I just want an argument and enjoy being belligerent. (Opinionated, who me?) Really, I just like to analyze human beings to bits and pieces so I apologize to anyone who thinks I have gone too far. So here is my next comment, but I will not post it on Chris’ site since it has turned into a post of its own:
Yes of course you are right Chris, we all need inspiration. But an athlete, a chef and a Masters or Ph.D. student would clearly all have a topic in the first place, even if a little inspiration was needed.
Asking someone what to write about (and actually paying them for ideas)? Well I don’t know but to me that just seems backwards. IMHO a writer has a burning desire to record their thoughts, ideas or stories. It could be typed or written in a personal file or journal or diary. I think you do it for yourself first. A blog just takes it that step further into sharing with the world if desired.
I think that writing comes from somewhere inside. To me it is about an uncontrollable urge to discuss, debate, record, offer or analyze something you are passionate about. It comes from a desire to share something which is maybe entertaining, informative, educational or helpful to others. It may be a desire to share your history or simple stories of the past. It may simply be about how cute your cat or dog is. I think it comes from a natural tendency to explore and discover the world, relationships, nature, the cosmos, business, how things are made, human behaviour, cute things that kids say . . . whatever. The list could go on forever. It really doesn’t matter what the topic is. And there are people who want to blog but have no topic? I think they should look at their life experience and draw from it. And if they have very limited life experience, not to worry – it will come. Maybe they should just blog later in life.
If you let them, your ideas will spring forth and will not be controlled – they will have a life of their own and your blog is just the instrument that puts it out there for the rest of the world. If others find it valuable, then that is the icing on the cake. But then icing a cake would be a topic for the chef mentioned above!