The success of your blog depends on you sticking to one subject. But when the news demands that you write about it, how can you do so in a manner that doesn’t diffuse your blog’s focus? In today’s post, Beth Bauer (@JourneyofBethB), freelance writer, travel blogger, yoga instructor, and entrepreneur, offers some tips for taking newsworthy topics and molding them into relevant posts for your readers.
As a savvy blogger, you understand the importance of having a blog focused on a particular subject and niche. You take great care to make sure what you write is relevant and specific to your target audience. However, sometimes you still want to write about other topics, especially things that are newsworthy but don’t necessarily fit into your narrow topic area.
COVID-19 and the George Floyd riots are great examples of newsworthy subjects you might want to cover. These events impact all of us, but may not necessarily be related to your blog’s specific topic area.
How do you make the current news relevant to your subject area and market? How can you make a global pandemic pertinent to a pet or travel blog, for instance? How do you write about news-related subjects without losing your blog’s focus—and readers? Let me offer a few strategies…
Find a Common Link
Let’s say you do, indeed, write a blog about pets, but you feel compelled to write about the Coronavirus impact. How do you link the two?
Determine how your blog’s topic and the news collide. Does your dog look scruffy because he hasn’t been to the groomer in two months due to the COVID-19 lockdown? There’s your link!
If you usually blog about travel and can’t travel right now due to the quarantine, you have a connection to the news. How does the situation make you feel? What problems does it bring up for you?
That’s where you start.
Stay Focused on Your Primary Topic
It’s time to start thinking outside the box, or in this case, outside the blog. You can almost always find something to link two topics.
For example, I write for the auto industry. It has been easy to connect the two topics by focusing on how to buy a new car amid social distancing. All it takes is a little creativity.
If the news is relevant to you, it’s probably also relevant to your audience. So write posts about that relevance.
After a significant school shooting happened in the U.S., I kept my travel blog focused on the main topic but wrote about the need for gun control. The title of my article was, “How America’s Gun Problem is Like India’s Garbage Problem.” I discussed common traits between both issues, like how it’s easier to ignore the problem rather than make policy changes and how the problems worsen and get out of control.
Stay focused on your blog’s primary topic, and tie the news to that in whatever way possible.
Expand Your Audience
Sometimes writing about a subject that seems “off-topic” can bring you a whole new audience. My gun control and garbage pollution post had that effect on my blog. Suddenly, it wasn’t just world travelers following my blog; it also was people concerned with real-world problems that also enjoy travel.
That specific topic still remains one of the most-read posts I’ve ever written.
Guest Blogging on Other Topics
If you can’t find a connection between your blog’s topic and the news about which you want to write, consider submitting a guest post to a blog that aligns with the news-related piece. This is a powerful way to drive traffic to your site.
When I first started my travel blog, I wrote an article for Hippie in Heels—a travel-meets-dating blog—about “The Dos and Don’ts of Dating a Foreigner.” Think of it as. It was a significant change from my usual destination type of articles. However, it still remains in my top five most-read posts and has brought me thousands of new readers.
Use Back Links
When you write about a recent news topic and relate it to your specific niche, use backlinks to past posts to increase exposure and keep the subject relevant to your readers.
This is the whole idea of using hyperlinks to other posts on your own site—it increases engagement and builds your audience. As you use the backlinks, you also assure your reader that you have not totally switched gears.
It’s Fun to Write About the News
It’s a good idea to write a bit off-topic once in a while because it builds your writing skills and keeps things fresh. In fact, choosing to write a news-related post is an excellent way to reduce burnout. It’s fun to write about something different once in a while.
You might be surprised to discover that writing about the news on your blog might open doors to unusual new opportunities. For instance, after writing that article about dating as a foreigner, I picked up a regular gig writing for an online dating website!
Writing about current news is not your ticket to writing and submitting irrelevant guest posts to other bloggers or an excuse to stop writing for your blog’s topic or your unique blog audience. It is a chance to develop brilliant blog post ideas that are not directly related to your niche, find a common link, and then write something unique and relevant for your readers—something that gives your blog more depth and variety while remaining on topic. You’ll surely build traffic, backlinks, find a new audience, and recharge your blogging battery as well.
How do you write about the news while keeping your blog on topic? Tell me in a comment—and please share this post with another blogger.
About the Author
Beth Bauer is a freelance writer, travel blogger, yoga instructor, and entrepreneur currently working on her third novel. She has traveled to over 20 countries in just the last two years and enjoys life as a digital nomad. She is originally from the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A., and when she’s home lives on the Long Beach Peninsula with her dog, Ozzie.