“ If you keep writing blogs at this rate you will run out of ideas”
I’ve heard that line a few times over the past two years but somehow, someway I have been able to persistently come up with what I believe to be insightful and valuable blog content on a pretty steady basis.
Writing is obviously an intense passion of mine and one that I’ve put countless hours into.
It has helped me establish myself as a reputable professional and draw a great deal of interest to both my brand and my business.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that I am the best technical writer with the best blog ( I’m not!) nor does it mean that every single piece of content I release is a hit, but I think I can afford myself a little bit of credit in terms of acknowledging that I do a decent job of releasing helpful and timely content.
As my writing has gained attention over time, I am often asked about where I find my blog inspiration from.
In other words, how do I come up with the ideas to write on the topics I write about?
I figured I’d answer that exact question with today’s post because with no topic, there is no blog!
Source #1 – My Clients
My client interactions are my single greatest source of blog inspiration. People come to see me primarily because they are confused about food and nutrition and would like my help in demystifying it while also guiding them down a better, healthier path. A big part of why the average client is confused about topics in nutrition is because they have come across, or been fed, misinformation from a variety of sources.
I pay very close attention to what my clients tell me and when I notice trends, I blog about them.
My inspiration for Soy What? stemmed from numerous clients refusal of my recommendations to try tofu and soy milk over fears of the negative health effects of soy. This concerned me deeply as I am a practitioner who very much advocates for restoring the balance between plant and animal-based protein sources.
My inspiration for Why you shouldn’t fear sugar in fruit came about in much the same way. I noticed a trend in my clients where fruit was regularly omitted with the justification inevitably relating to concerns over the damaging effects of sugar.
Source #2 – Traditional & Social Media
Traditional ( ie: TV, movies etc) And Social (ie: Instagram!) media do a very good job of revealing current trends.
It’s very much the idea of “keeping your ears to the street” and staying adrift of current nutrition trends and fads.
A great writer should be able to identify emerging or consistent trends and seize the opportunity to share their thoughts on them.
If a new documentary comes out, or you see people on Instagram consistently using an ingredient or making a questionable claim about food, write about it!
My article on What The Health was one of my most read, if not my most read, of all time. I sat down to watch this cinematic gem without knowing what to expect and quickly realized that I needed to take notes because there was an insane amount of potential there Sure enough, I was write and I was ultimately able to turn those notes into an epic opinion piece on the documentary.
During the period of time where everyone on Instagram and their grandma was touting the benefits of coconut oil, I realized that there was no way this random product was capable of all the things being attributed to it. So I looked into it, and sure enough, it turned into a great topic to write about. What kind of trends like that can you identify on Instagram today?
Source #3 – Friends & Family
Outside of work, the people that we tend to spend the most time with are our friends and family.
Friends and family are, undoubtedly, an amazing source of inspiration.
Not only because you are intimately familiar with their lives and their own challenges with food, but because they probably have a ton of questions for you. These questions or curiosities will more often than not also reflect the questions and curiosities of the general public, thus making for a great topic to blog about!
You should certainly not shy away from telling your loved ones about your writing ambitions either, because just the fact that they know your looking for ideas means they will naturally send them your way.
One of my most novel and fun articles was “born” when one of my followers ( who I consider my friends!) asked me “what do the people who live the longest eat?”… I realized that would be a very cool article and ended up turning into an exploration of the Japanese diet, as the people of Japan have very long lifespans.
Diet or regular soda? This literally is the million dollar question that I’ve been asked a million times and it is an incredibly difficult one to answer, but after every other person I ran into asked me about it, I gave it my best shot.
Source #4 – Self Reflection
I will often sit down and ask myself if there is anything about what I am doing that other people might want to hear about or learn something from?
This question usually brings me to where I am at iwth my private practice, my instagram and my blog.
The three things that set me apart and, to a certain extent, define me.
So it makes sense that I’ve written on all three ( with today’s article covering the blogging part!).
Private practice is a very unique journey and a topic that I’ve found many people enjoy reading about so on my second private practice anniversary I decided to reflect on all the things I’ve learned since I started.
I realize that what I do on Instagram is quite unique so upon hitting 10,000 Instagram followers I decided to reflect on all the benefits being on Instagram has conferred to me and provide some insights into how other aspiring social media gurus can grow their own followings.
Source #5 – Personal Beliefs
Saving the best for last of course.
My beliefs are a big foundation for my writing, as they should be for yours.
As dietitians we all abide by, to varying degrees, sharing information in an evidenced-based manner.
But beyond that, there are specific topic areas that really get us going.
For me, at this point in my life and in my practice, one of my biggest passions is turning people onto a more plant-based lifestyle.
I am not a vegan or vegetarian, but am very steadfast in my belief that we could all benefit from relying a little less on animal protein and it’s safe to say the evidence is on my side.
Today’s article is for anyone who has ever wondered if it’s possible to “run out of ideas” as a nutrition writer.
It simply isn’t.
While ideas are not easy to come by, inspiration is everywhere if you know where to look and are willing to do so.
I’ve been told time and time again that I would run out of topics to talk about, but blogging is an integral part of my professional life and as I sit here at midnight on a Sunday finishing this one up, I know someone, somewhere will find it useful.
Until next time,
Andy De Santis RD MPH