How I Decide What To Write About #illumedati


Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays again. Today is kind of a random post about “How I Decide What To Write About”. It’s kind of in the similar sphere of randomness that was a prior post “Writing Style“.

Stock Photo from: Pixabay

First things first:

Blogging is hard.

The most difficult part about blogging is being consistent. Once you’ve set a schedule, you have a responsibility to yourself and to you readers to stick to it. The number of posts you decide to put out is probably not as important as being consistent.

For example, in my blog I write 3 posts a week and I try my best to stick to that schedule. In fact, when I can’t write a blog post for any particular day, I feel bad about it. I realize that some readers only come to my blog for the Medicine Monday posts and some for the Finance Friday posts. I’m not sure if anyone actually comes for the Whatever Wednesday posts. To be honest, the Whatever Wednesdays post are more for me to just decompress whatever has been on my mind lately. Sometimes they may have a medicine or finance tilt, but for the most part, they are just whatever I feel like writing about.

For many of us part-time bloggers (including myself), it would probably be too difficult to juggle a full-time job and write a blog that posts everyday.

If your blog posts once a week, that is completely fine, as long as it up to your quality standards and you try your best to be consistent.


Sensei, how do you write posts 3x/week?

Well, it helps that I’ve segmented my blog into three sections Medicine Mondays, Whatever Wednesdays, and Finance Fridays.

Let me give you a little history of the blog:

When I first started my blog, it kind of failed to launch. I had probably a 2 weeks worth of posts and I just kind of started posting stuff. You’ll notice my writing style has changed so what from the early days of Match 2016. From the beginning, I wanted my blog to be more casual and more of a community than a teacher-student relationship. I don’t pretend to know everything about everything. I’ve just tried my best to share what I know (or at least think I know).

However, that initial launch kind of failed because I couldn’t devote myself to posting on a regular basis despite giving myself a two week buffer. So I restarted again, this time with a 2 month buffer of posts. You would think that two months worth of posts should help me keep up with posting on a regular basis, just adding new posts to the queue.

That works beautifully for some bloggers, or maybe even the majority of them.

It doesn’t work for me.

For some reason, when it comes to writing blog posts, I can only write them when they’re due. ie. I’m a huge procrastinator. Surprisingly, this is not how I was in college or high school. In college or high school, I usually had assignments finished a head of time with plenty of time to spare.

This may stem from my current job schedule. As I’ve alluded to, my job schedule is such that I work 8 days and am off 6 days. However, those 8 days are 10 hour days, so I work 80 hours in 8 days rather than 80 hours/2 weeks (still full-time). This makes my ability to write posts kind of weird. While I could write for the 6 days I’m off work, the opposite of my work schedule, I think my readers would find that kind of weird. So I’ve tried to stick to my MWF schedule.

What usually ends up happening is that if I’m off (or working nights) I write the post the morning I post it.If I’m working days, then I have to try to write it the night before. Is this optimal? Probably not for many, but so far it’s the only thing that has worked for me.

Why can’t you just write a bunch of posts on your off days?

I’ve tried. Trust me I’ve tried. It just doesn’t work for me though.

I can’t write more than one post at a time… at least not efficiently. I wish I could.


Well, how do you decide what to write about?

My good friend and I have come to the conclusion that some of the best ideas come to us when we lay down to go to sleep. Now, they aren’t all good, but at least some of them are. However, when you’re laying in bed trying to sleep and have a great idea, you don’t want to get up and write it down. You’re already comfortable in your bed, you’ll remember it when you wake up… right?

Wrong.

Illustrative:

from http://theoatmeal.com

This happens to me almost every-single-night. Especially since I usually work nights and I get home at ~12 or 1 am and kind of lay in my bed for 30-45 minutes before I can fall asleep. Turning off your brain quickly after working a 10 hour shift is kind of hard.

However, I’ve become a lot better at reaching over to my night stand and typing a short phrase or sentence into the notes on my iPhone to remind me about my ideas the following day. This list of notes continues to get longer, sometimes to related to my blog, sometimes other things. Either way, I have a list of topics from which I pull to write my posts from.

That’s not it though.

It also depends on my mood at the time and comfort with the subject material. I’ve passed up topics multiple times because I haven’t been able to devote the time needed for their research. I am very careful about what I post on my blog because I want it to be as accurate as possible. If it’s just my opinions then it’s not a huge issue. However, when it comes to life decisions, like buying a house, retirement, etc. I try to my due diligence. Am I right all the time? Certainly not, but I try to be.

Then there is the concept of “Right Now” content. Bloggers like to create Evergreen Content, which means creating content that will be useful for as long as possible (ideally, “forever”). For example, my post Talking the Talk is an example of Evergreen Content. I don’t need to make many changes to it, other than to update new contribution limits and things like that. For those interested, it’s kind of similar to the “Evergreen Clause” in Physician Contracts (2 and 3).

However, content that is occurring “right now” probably won’t be Evergreen Content.

An example of that is:

Pokémon Go and Part Two

Is Pokémon Go even relevant anymore? It died out pretty quickly, and even tho there have been updates and I assume Nintento/Niantic are still making money off of it, it’s not really even talked about anymore.

A more recent example is this post:

PLSF and Trump

Trump’s presidency has made some waves because of the changes that will be occurring. The likelihood is that more changes are coming which could affect our taxes amongst other things.

Or this one:

What is truepeoplesearch.com?


Why write about this “right now” content then?

Well, in reality it actually isn’t very efficient to write about things that may not relevant in a year or two (or even a few months).

However, the reason I write about this “right now” content is because I think it’s important for my readers to know about. It may also attract new readers who are searching for answers about a particular topic and then may like the rest of the content on my site.

For this reason, a topic may jump to the top of my “list of possible blog posts” on my iPhone and I may just sit down and write about it.

At the end of the day, I write this blog because I find it interesting and fun. I write about stuff that I would like to know about.


TL;DR

Blogging is Hard.

Being consistent is Hard.

Find whatever schedule works for you and stick to it.

Write down the ideas you have right before you fall asleep.

At the end of the day, I write this blog because I find it interesting and fun. I write about stuff that I would like to know about.

 

Whatever Wednesdays Sensei

-Sensei

Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.

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