In the days of content overload, many people wonder whether starting a blog is worthwhile. I believe it is. However, you must be smart about deciding what to blog about.
But before we explore your blogging topic (and the biggest mistake most new bloggers make) let’s talk about social media.
Some people think it’s faster to build an audience with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or other social channel. Who even needs a blog these days?
The problem with social media is you’re not in full control. One quick change at Facebook HQ could destroy the traffic and exposure you’ve been enjoying for years.
It happens all the time.
Starting a blog is different. With your blog, you’re not at the mercy of other organizations.
You create the rules and decide what happens when people visit your site. You can invite them to join your email list. Promote new offers. In fact, you can say or do what you want (providing you don’t break any laws).
Your blog is a far more valuable asset than your social media accounts.
But what about content overload. Millions of new posts are published every day. How can your new blog stand out amid the ocean of other content?
The answer lies in getting supper clear on what to blog about.
Why Do Most New Bloggers Fail?
Most folks make starting a blog more complicated than it needs to be.
When you start a blog, there’re choices to make and endless shiny objects to distract you. Stuff that looks exciting but does little to help you grow your blog or make money (at least in the beginning).
- Should I use this plugin, or that theme?
- Should I guest post or pay for Facebook ads?
- How many keywords should be in each post
- Which is the best tool for analyzing my blog’s SEO power?
These questions are fun to ask, but pointless unless you’ve first answered one important question. Failing to get clear on this question is why most new bloggers fail.
The most important decision you must make is what to blog about.
What To Blog About
It sounds obvious when we say it. But have you really figured it out?
Do you know what topics you want to write about? Who you’re blogging for? Or whether there’s potential to monetize your blog?
One way to answer this question is to first pick a broad topic that’s proven to be profitable. Here’re a few suggestions:
- Blogging/Making Money Online
- Personal finance
- College prep/higher education
- Personal development
Once you’ve picked your main subject area, you need to go deeper. Each of these topics can be broken down into thousands of smaller niches.
You want to find a specific niche you can claim as your own. A sub-topic which allows you to carve out your own corner of internet real estate.
What do your friends and family ask you to help them with? What can you talk or read about all day? What would you write about even if nobody paid you? What unique talents/ experiences/ worldview can you share?
It’s important to find something you’re passionate about. Because without passion, blogging gets old, fast.
You’re going to write a log of words on your topic. Make sure you love your subject and know a fair bit about it.
Though you don’t have to be an expert. You simply need to know more than your audience. For example, do you think your high school science teacher could build a space rocket?
Nope, and they don’t need to. They just need to know more about the subject than you and be able to teach it in a way that’s interesting, useful or entertaining. That’s your role — and goal — as a blogger.
Who Your Blog Is For
It’s not just about your topic though. You also need to get specific about who you’re writing for.
Narrowing down your audience makes it easier to market your blog. Here’s why.
When you know who your readers are, what they care about, and where they hang out. You can write content they read, love, and share. And you can get your blog in front of the right people more quickly.
For example, think about your audience’s:
- Prominent personality traits.
- Secret hopes and dreams.
- Biggest problems or challenges.
- Preferred content type (audio, text, video).
- Preferred social networks.
- Shopping habits.
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s tough to know what to blog about. It’s like making a birthday cake for a stranger. You don’t know how many candles to put on the cake, what kind of theme they like, or if they even eat cake.
And one final word of caution. Don’t try to write for everyone in the hope you’ll attract more readers and make more money. Because you’ll end up baking a cake that’s bland. A cake nobody wants to eat.
How To Know You’ve Picked The Right Niche
So, how do you know you’ve nailed it? Here’s a quick test. You know you have a winning idea when you:
- Can create engaging content that gets likes, shares and comments.
- Enjoy researching and writing about your topic, even if you’re broke.
- Can quickly come up with dozens of new article ideas.
- Discover other bloggers making money in the same niche.
Like most things in life, there’s a hard way or an easy way to approach things.
When it comes to blogging, the hard way is to start a generalist blog that nobody cares about, and write content for “just anyone” who happens to find your blog. Please, don’t make this newbie mistake.
Instead, narrow down your topic and audience. Write about something that excites you and that your readers are interested in. If you haven’t already, ask yourself those two critical questions:
- What am I writing about?
- Who am I writing for?
Do this and everything becomes easier. You cut down the competition. You know what to blog about. You can successfully find ways to market your blog. And most important of all…
… you create a blog you and your readers love.
If you’d like to learn more about starting a blog, check out my book, Make Money From Blogging. It shows you how to create compelling content, market your blog, master SEO, and pick proven monetization strategies.