Finding A Topic To Write About

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By Mark Winteringham

updated about 1 month ago

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When considering what topic to write about for your article or article series, there are 3 factors that must be true for the process to be enjoyable and successful:

  1. It must be a topic that interests you! Interest in a topic is essential, as it keeps the long and often challenging article writing process exciting. Another benefit is that your enthusiasm and passion will translate through to your writing, almost organically, and leads to an interesting read for your readers.
  2. It must be a topic you have knowledge or experience in. Having a good knowledge base and/or first-person experience of a topic is essential for your writing to be valuable to your readers. The MoT community is smart and won’t be interested in generalisations or surface-level information. They want thought-provoking and practical content that will enhance their knowledge and skillsets.
  3. It must be relevant to testers. Sounds obvious right? But it does need to be said. Your article will be more successful if testers feel it’s of relevance to them. Your topic needs to be current and something that affects testers in the here and now. General topics, such as communication skills, models of learning, teamwork etc. must be focussed on how these topics affect testers, the testing community, and their work.

Topics That We’re Interested In

We regularly share calls for content on The Club in which we share article topics that the community would like to read about. View the Call for Content on The Club page to learn more about what we're currently looking for.

Generating Your Topic Ideas

Now to come up with some topic ideas that are suitable for you. Here is a list of 10 prompts to get the ideas flowing:

  1. Have had a eureka moment recently? Have you overcome any common problems? How did you do it? Will it be useful to others?
  2. Have you been playing with a new tool or a new version of a tool? Have you made some interesting discoveries?
  3. Are you doing something new, where there isn’t much content out there? Can you share your knowledge and help others?
  4. Have you spoken to someone recently who has inspired you? Did this meeting cause you to change your thoughts, opinions or approaches? What sparked the change? What are the benefits of this change?
  5. Have you had an interesting testing related experience lately? Will sharing this experience be useful to others?
  6. Have you read something interesting recently? Do you have your own take on this or can you extend it? Will this be of benefit to others?
  7. Are you a well-established tester? Can you share your wealth of knowledge and experience with newbie testers to help them advance their skill set, knowledge, and careers?
  8. What’s happening on Twitter? Have a look at Twitter hashtags frequently used in your area of expertise. Are there any topic themes or common questions/problems arising? Can you help solve these problems and answer these questions?
  9. What’s happening on our forum ‘The Club’? Are there any topic themes or common questions/problems arising that are of interest to you? Can you help solve these problems and answer these questions?
  10. Have a play with TestSphere cards. Each of the 100 cards is related to a topic on testing, along with three examples of that topic. So try picking three cards at random and see if they inspire you!

Jot down all your topic ideas, yes some of them won’t turn into anything, but at least you’re coming up with ideas. Now pick one idea that you’re most excited about and that you think will be of benefit to the testing community.

Next, you need to narrow down your topic by identifying your topic angle.

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