Breaking New Ground, or, The So-What Factor

Why blog?

I think I understand the why the blogs of more established personalities thrive—they have people who have a vested interest in keeping up with them. But me? As a college student with no major publication credits to my name or much of anything distinguishing me from the next would-be-writer, who do I write to? My friends? Family? Is this destined to become the online equivalent of a holiday letter? Why am I using so many questions?

I’m going to level with you, dear readers. I’m starting this blog mostly to fulfill a requirement for  a class.

It would be easy to use that as an excuse to play this slow and low, but the way my class and I have been talking about blogging and the importance of platform gives me a feeling down in my gut that this might be something I need to put my entire self forward for.

So, the largest question facing me is simply this: How do I know what I should write about?

I know that I love history and humor and literature; I know there are vast swathes of others who share these interests. I just need to figure out how to share these loves without coming across as either an online diary or a poorly sourced textbook.

Now, a quick Google search found me a bevy of topic generators, as well as a comically large number of blog posts containing lists of topics to choose from. In the interest of transparency, here are a few of the stand-outs.

  • Hubspot’s Topic Generator: This site allows you to enter three key words, preferably nouns, and it will churn out a week’s worth of topics. The topics were solid, even if the titles produced leaned toward being laughably stilted. “10 Signs You Should Invest In History”, I’m looking at you.
  • Portent Title-Maker: Here you trade three key words for one, and Portent adds all sorts of the usual prefixes and suffixes to it. Portent also provides a few angles to consider for each title. The titles provided tend toward the goofy at best and blatant click-bait at worst, so take them with a grain of salt.
  • Content Forest Is similar to the previous two. After providing one key-word, it knocks out 300-some results covering a vast swathe of angles and ancillary topics to explore. For example, I typed in “history”, and was recommended to write about the history of: Quilting, Bleach, Ear Gauging in Tribal Civilizations, The History and Culture of Stretched Ears, The 5 Largest Giants in History, etc. This one seems to cover the greatest range of serious-to-goofy topics, and is my personal favorite that I’ve found.

In the coming weeks, you’ll probably see a few blog posts in the vein of these, although I do hope to avoid sounding too much like a buzzfeed article. I’d love to know what you’d all like to read about, dear readers. A specific area of history? A discipline of writing? A list of ridiculous food-and-literature puns? Drop me a comment and let me know.