Above all, the “Passion Blog” should be on a topic or theme about which you are excited to write. When you are choosing the focus of your Passion Blog, think carefully about how you might sustain this blog over ten weeks to meet the course requirement—and maybe beyond! How will you introduce new topics? How will you interest and inform your readers, engaging them in your passion? How will you invite readers to comment? Writing this blog should be a pleasure and a challenge. Don’t be afraid to be quirky or creative.
Here are the features of a successful passion blog.
In addition to perusing some student examples from Penn State RCL for ideas, below are some broad blog genres you might consider as you develop your Passion Blog topic:
Lifestyle Blogs: These kinds of blogs connect people to their interests and help readers live a certain lifestyle, well, better. For example, HungryGirl serves as a resource for dieters and foodies alike, providing low-cal recipes, weight loss tips, and journals about weight loss “journeys,” as it were. Fashion, entrepreneurship, gardening, cooking, homesteading, sustainability, fitness training, interior decorating, frat or sororityliving, and even being a hipster: these ways of life and more are all possibilities. Lifestyle blogs tend to offer timely tips or approach different topics of shared interest for readers. This kind of blog might also offer narratives, reflection, and analysis of the blogger’s own experience or “journey” that would be compelling and relatable to its audience.
Experience and Experiment Blogs: This genre of blog details an experience or project and tends to be adventurous or experimental. For instance, Morgan Spurlock’s Supersize Me and follow-up show ThirtyDays function as video diaries of his various undertakings. The movie Julie and Julia is based on a real-life blogger Julia Powell’s project to cook Julia Child’s recipes for one year. Travel blogs or “bucket list” experiences might also fall into this category. As long as it is safe and appropriate, this kind of project blog (trying a new workout or cuisine each week, reading James Joyce’s Ulysses), could work well for your passion blog.
Entertainment and Criticism Blogs: These blogs provide news, summaries, and, most importantly, analysis of the world of art and entertainment. You might devote your blog to an episodic TV show, literature, art, music, or film. The Entertainment Weekly Website, Salon.com, and Tom & Lorenzo feature incisive entertainment blogs you could check out as you imagine your project. While blogs of all genres should be written in a lively manner, criticism blogs in particular need to be engaging. The blog prose and analysis should be crisp, entertaining, and insightful. You could also produce new work in your Passion Blog– writing original poetry, installments of a short story, or song lyrics– and invite your audience to be the critics.
Sports or Hobby Blogs: A sub-genre of entertainment blogs, sports and hobby blogs are written for like-minded fans seeking additional analysis, news, and speculation. An example of a sports blog site is the Steeler-centric blog BehindtheSteelCurtain or BlackShoeDiaries for Penn State fans. DerbyLife straddles the sport, hobby, and lifestyle categories, offering fascinating insight to the rapidly expanding universe of roller derby.
Policy Blogs: These blogs can advocate from the position of a particular political ideology, such as liberal, conservative, libertarian, etc. The topics of these blogs might be diverse, but feature news items and analysis that would reflect a certain political ideology. Two strong examples of these types of blogs come from Washington, D.C.’s best -known “think tanks,” organizations devoted to researching and advancing policies associated with political ideologies. ThinkProgess is the blogging outfit for the progressive Center for American Progress. The conservative-minded Heritage Foundation’s blog is the The Daily Signal. Wonkette is a gossipier, snarkier take on D.C. news, and Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight offers mind-blowing election forecasting and statistical analysis. You might also advocate, analyze, or report about a single political issue, such as health care reform. Some bloggers serve as watchdogs, such as the contributors to FactCheck.org, an organization that analyzes claims in politics and the media.