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People have only two things to talk about - IPL and the polls. And when something is hot, you should be jumping on it. Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan tells us more...

tech reviews Updated: Apr 21, 2009 16:31 IST

It’s evident. People have only two things to talk about these days — cricket or the upcoming elections. And when something is hot, you should be jumping on it. Need an idea for a new blog? Begin one on one of these topics and I guarantee interest.

But you have to be quick, before the buzz dies down. How exactly do you run a good blog on a hot subject? Ah, that’s where I come in. I may not be an expert in either of those fields, but I do know what you need to catch on to a trend.

Trend spotting
Step one: Do your research. This is imperative. Find out what other bloggers are doing, and where you can fill the niche. I searched for ‘IPL blogs’ and ‘Indian Election blogs’ just to see what other people were up to. The good news? There aren’t that many good blogs about the subjects out there. The bad news? Someone else might be figuring that out right now and jumping in.

Step two: Figure out your loyalties. The great thing about a blog, as opposed to a newspaper or a magazine, is that you can and should have a very definite opinion. Who do you support? Make it apparent. Do some digging into the background of the team or person you’re writing about. By all means write about the others also, but when you add a touch of the personal, people find it easier to relate to you.

Step three: Learn to live-blog; it’s really easy. All you need is access to a television and the Internet at the same time. Covering an election campaign? Write down your impressions of the campaign step by step. Talking about an exciting match? Don’t just sit there —bring the nail biting and the tension to your reader. Live-blogging gives your blog a sense of urgency, like people who are reading it were actually there.

Step four: Learn to sit back and reflect. You can’t always live-blog. Keep your comments about what is going on, short, maybe humourous, but always with your personal touch. Why did you like something? Why did you hate something? People are reading you to get your take on it, so avoid sounding detached or pompous or both.

Step five: Make it pretty. ‘Yes, yes,’ you’re saying, ‘what’s with the constant need for prettiness?’ These are serious subjects, dude. And yes, yes, I say back to you. The more serious your subject, the more attractive your blog should look, just so it’s not all yawn-city. I’m not saying use pink or glitter (unless you think pink and glitter is the best way to go), just make it easy to read. Experiment with the banner on top; add colours to show your affiliation. Put in relevant links. If you want your blog to be the one-stop shop for anyone searching for those terms, you need to make it worth the effort.

Just write
And remember, even if these are short-lived topics, and don’t catch your fancy, there are hundreds of new things happening every day that you can turn into a blog of its own. Two blogs just about a TV show got nominated in the Bloggies for ‘Best Entertainment Weblog’ and ‘Best New Weblog’ (bloggingprojectrunway.blogspot.com and projectrungay.blogspot.com). If they can do it, you can do it. Especially because picking a topic blog, something time based and clearly subject defined means you can kick out two of those very old excuses: “I have no time to blog” and “I have nothing to blog about.” Go for it, you aspiring bloggers! And remember to email me with the results.

Meenakshi writes at www.thecompulsiveconfessor.blogspot.com Send her your queries at meenakshimadhavan@gmail.com