I was asked the other day
I cannot figure out what I want my site to be about because everything I think of has already been done so many times.
Have you had great ideas for Web pages? What do you write about? Are there topics that haven't been widely covered?
Use the Yellow Pages
- The Yellow pages is a great source of ideas -- just page through them, looking at the adds and asking "what if...?" You'll find all sorts of things that could be discussed, from apple orchard visits - apple picking - cider making (if you're doing a new England travel site) to, I dunno. Read the yellow pages!
They're also a good font of inspiration for fiction writing.
Write what you love.
- Three basic rules for web pages, especially blog style:
1.) Enjoy writing and crafting words into text.
2.) Write about a subject you love, or at the least, are excited about.
3.) Write about some activity you persue regularly, such as your job or hobby.
As to the first rule, if you don't enjoy writing, if outlining, crafting sentences and paragraphs and articles from your raw thoughts is painful you won't continue. Some of us are really good at crafting conversations but not at writing on the same topics.
The second and third rules address the common problem of "running out of material." If you choose a topic that you have only a casual or thin interest in, it is not likely you will be motivated to keep the site up to date and it will become stale. if the site is related to your job or your hobby you are more likely to evolve fresh material and to be motivated to write.
Don't worry about other sites, use the medium to put your own spin on your favorite subject.
What I found last weekend
Since I came to know Robert Luketic, the director of the film "Five Killers" with Ashton Kutcher and Tom Selleck, which is currently being shot in Atlanta, I started the website http://www.ic5k.com, which stands for "I see Five Killers". It is collecting all the tweets (from twitter) and all uploaded photos from the set and publishes it all in condensed format on the website. I have also added a forum.
So, I am not exactly writing it myself, but collecting data.
On the other hand: If I had to come up with something for my website, I would write about something I really know. My girlfriend loves websites with content about babies (we have a six month old son). I love websites about PHP and webdesign, since that is what I do most. Or aviation, since this is my hobby. Write about something you thoroughly know, and people will appreciate your writing.
Time and progress
- I think that whatever your occupation is (not only writing, but design, art, programming, etc.), when you get started you will always begin by walking in others' footsteps, and find yourself in a "cloud" of people doing similar things to what you do. The more time you spend on your occupation, the more likely you are to get to the edge of that "cloud", and the higher your chance gets to hit a missed spot, or to break out of the "cloud" and find a completely new path. Or at least to get to a poorly treaded one. I think it all happens with time and constant progress.