One thing that I hear often in conversation about social media is that users don’t feel like they have anything to say. “I don’t want to tweet about my cat, or my lunch,” they lament, “and I’m not an expert at anything.”
Following that logic–why bother saying anything, ever? All of the words have already been said. Why do great books and movies keep being produced? How is it that the most irritatingly mundane things still manage to go viral?
Part of the beauty (and yes, quite often, the pain) of social media is that every can be an expert in at least one thing: themselves. Your experiences, tone, approach, and philosophy, hasn’t been covered before in just the same way that you would. Your perspectives on life are different, so why should your contributions in the social sphere matter less? Not to go all special snowflake on you, but let’s get real. Your individual story is one of your biggest assets. Writing for a branded/institutional account? You can take a similar approach, but with a few tweaks.
What’s even better is the fact that there’s a pretty solid chance that, once you start to share it a little bit, there’s someone out there that it’ll resonate with. With a bit (read: a lot) of planning, it’ll probably resonate with a lot of someones. You’re not the only one out there with opinions or ideas for posts, but you’re the only one who has your unique life experiences to help shape the way you write about them. If nothing else, this makes your opinions completely valid and legitimate; even if you don’t quite feel it.
(Friend, meet the imposter syndrome. Yes; it’s a thing.)
So. With that– what should you write about, after all? I’ve included a few tips below that I’ve found helpful in the past:
- Write what you know. It’s a solid way to boost your repertoire, audience, and confidence. Not interested in that? Alternately, consider flipping the approach: research something you’re more interested in, and write about your learnings from the perspective of a complete beginner. Nothing says interesting quite like an Idaho potato farmer learning how to play the cello (also: a solid opportunity to integrate audio and video!).
- What topics do you find yourself drawn to? Have you recently been unavoidably sucked into a compelling conversation? Assess your consumption of books, movies, magazines. Is there a common thread? Look through your browsing history, if need be. What trends do you find? Take a hint and write about it. If it’s too long, break it up into a series. (And blammo! Now you have a bunch of posts lined up.)
- Finally, I’ve found that the most interesting posts are written by people who actually do things. If you’re looking for great content, get yourself away from the computer screen. Put living your life first, and share about it second.
In short – the best advice that I can give is just to get started with it. Obsessing over how qualified you are to publish to the interwebs is a surefire way to clothesline your goals. Just get out there and publish something, already. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have a plan (you totally should, and I’ll write about it next week), but stop nitpicking. The only way to improve at something is to actually start doing it.
So really – what are you waiting for?