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What should I Write about? What do you want to Read?

- July 2, 2016

write and read What should I write about? You can’t answer that question any better than I can.

What do you want to read? It’s obvious you want to read what interests you.

While I can’t get the answers to either question, I can get the answers to a related question: What should I NOT write about?

A wise man (R.I.P. and no, not my father) once told me I should avoid politics and religion and just about anything controversial. That was back when I was running a pre-Internet BBS. It seems I don’t learn all my lessons well.

I shouldn’t Write about anything Related to Politics and Religion

If you want to read about politics, it’s a good bet you’ll visit politically oriented websites. Likewise, if you want to read anything about religion, you’ll probably visit a religious website.

Anything I write about politics is going to sound like a rant. You don’t want to read how I feel about any particular elected official. Smarter people than me have already publicized their opinions.

You don’t care what I think about your favorite or not-so-favorite political candidate. Again, smarter people than me have already investigated that person’s worthiness for public office.

I don’t hold a place in any religious organization (and I never will). You don’t want to read what I think about any specific religion or its leaders. There are plenty of other people who’ve already done a good job of picking them apart.

I should avoid Sensitive Categories

Google’s sensitive category list includes politics and religion. It also includes subjects that probably shouldn’t be considered sensitive:

For the most part, I’ve avoided all but the two I mentioned. If I’ve written about any of the others, it’s either in passing or anecdotal. If not, I went too far with them.




Removing and Redirecting

I’m in the process of removing and redirecting articles I probably shouldn’t have written in the first place. It’s not that it was the wrong thing to do. It’s that no one reads them.

I’ve used various statistical plugins and services over the years and it’s pretty easy for me to spot an article that hasn’t been read in one, two or three months and I probably have a hundred or more like that – at last count it was around 150.

This website is about my self-expression, so anything’s fair game. I can attack any subject and learn from it. If it doesn’t draw any interest, then I know I shouldn’t write about that subject again.

As a writer, I’m supposed to write what you want to read. It doesn’t do much good to write something only I will read. As an author, it’s my job to do it well.

Only by testing the waters, so to speak, can I know what it is you want to read about. I have a few articles which rank at the top of Google search results for specific queries, so I must be doing something right.

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Ricardo (2016)

Question: What I just read, "What should I Write about?" There is no way you would know that I actually read it, but it would be helpful to you if there were a tool or mechanism for you to know that I even opened it? Is there such a tool?

RT Cunningham (2016)

Other than viewing the queries that connect to pages through a statistics tool, no. The biggest problem is sorting humans from bots.

Ricardo (2016)

What is a "pingback"?

RT Cunningham (2016)

It's a WordPress thing. If I publish a post which includes another WordPress site URL, the other site will receive a "ping" (which is a snippet around the URL posted).

Scott (2016)

personally I enjoy reading about the area you live in and specifically differences between the culture there and the culture in the United States

RT Cunningham (2016)

Cultural differences are hard to write about but it's something I'll try to work on.

Andre (2016)

I would like to read more about the area you live in. Housing options through different price categories, amenities that your area offers, hospitals that accept Tricare, info about the new highway to Angeles, and why your city is better than others for expats.

Another topic would be to identify differences for expats now that the new president is coming into power.

RT Cunningham (2016)

Much of that would require driving around and I don't like sitting in a car any longer than I have to. Nevertheless, I'll see what I can do with all of that. Thanks for the ideas, Andre!

Byron Watts (2016)

I suggest....do your best to keep your focus positive. Any time an article sounds like whining (to me) I instantly begin to lose interest. We all know it's easier to focus on how we wish things to be, but taking time to admire the beauty and wonder of who we are, where we are and the amazing adventure we are on is a breath of fresh air.

We can always turn on the news to hear the negatives on on almost everything.

RT Cunningham (2016)

Exactly. And when I reread something I wrote and it sounds negative, I take steps to correct it.

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