How to Brainstorm a Theme Month

In my past experiences writing blogs, I’ve only ever done one theme month. It was February 2013 and for twenty-eight days I wrote about love: dating advice, Disney analysis, anecdotes, what to wear, etc. By the last day I was sick of love, tired of writing about it, and definitely not looking for it. So it makes sense that a few months later I met The Captain. Theme months are a fun way to create a special topic for your blog, appeal to a niche within your niche, and can make it easier to think up and create content. However, before you tackle the daunting task of writing to one tune for a month it’s best to brainstorm.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What kind of theme do you want to write to? If you already have a cooking/baking blog then what kind of theme can you find within that to pursue? Perhaps it’s a type of food that you enjoy making like Mexican, or trying out nothing but cake recipes for a month, or cooking your way through The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. Concentrating on a specific area within your niche will help you focus, but also give you the freedom to explore topics within that area.
  2. How often do you want to blog? Some people write every day, every other day, twice a week, or once every other week. I’d say to get the full benefit and enjoyment out of a theme month you should do at least five posts related to the theme. If you already have a posting schedule but want to expand then add a day. Always make sure to plan around any existing schedules such as school or work, but take the time to enjoy what you’re writing about.
  3. What month is your theme going to take place in? Some themes lend themselves more easily to specific months, but others can be more difficult. It’s easy and fun to focus on scary movies in October or love in February, but where would Indian food or linguistics go? In the end, it’s your decision on what you have time for and when you feel like writing to that theme, but you’ll probably get greater reader traffic if your theme ties into the month in which it takes place in some way. People want to read about scary movies close to Halloween—not so much in March.
  4. What kind of content are you going to create? Obviously, if your theme is food there’s going to be mostly cooking involved, but what else could be done? The possibilities are endless! Rate your favorite cooking shows or try hosting your own version with friends and provide coverage. Try local restaurants you’ve never been to and review them. Buy the craziest thing you can find at Whole Foods. The only real limit is your imagination. If your blog already has a popular format (i.e. reviews) then stick to it as much as you want, but don’t be afraid to try something new.
  5. What do you want to write about? Similar to #4, if you know what kind of content you want to create then you have to find your inspiration. If you’re going to review nothing but romantic comedies then you should pick out what movies you want to write about and figure out how to work them into your schedule ahead of time. This will save you a lot stress during the actual month because you won’t be panicking about not having anything to write about. After picking your month, schedule out your posts as much as possible (leave some room for procrastination or surprises), post the calendar somewhere you’ll see, and stick to it. Knowing that you need to do something ahead of time so that you can write about on that date will help you stay organized, focused, and less stressed than otherwise.
  6. Remember that’s it’s all in good fun. You’re writing a theme month on your blog because it’s what you want to do. You have the freedom to quit if things get too complicated, and you only have to commit as much as you want to. The point of the theme month is to give you a chance to reach either a different or wider audience, to explore new areas within your niche, to grow and learn new things, and to explore the possibilities of blogging. If a theme month doesn’t do that for you then write what you want. It’s as simple as that.

Choosing to do a theme month can be a rather big commitment, but it doesn’t have to be terrifying. If you plan ahead of time and organize your thinking as you go, along with new ideas you have along the way, then most of the work will be in the follow through of your content. Go read that book, watch that movie, walk that hike, eat that food, try that new thing. Even if you don’t end up writing about it, you’ll still get the experience. And sometimes that’s better than whatever does make it onto the blog.

Happy brainstorming!