Figuring out what to blog about / picking a good topic for your blog can be challenging.
Most people find it difficult.
First, there’s the challenge of simply coming up with new stuff that you want to write about, which isn’t always the most straightforward thing in itself. But then there’s also something else lurking in the dark … self-doubt.
I’m not a writer… Why would anyone listen to me… I’m no expert… There are more qualified people writing about this already… I don’t know what to blog about…
This is chapter 1 of a bigger guide on how to start a successful blog.
All Chapters (Click to Access)
Well, first off, do you need to be a great writer to start a blog?
The answer is no.
People read blogs for a number of reasons, and while being a skilled writer can help, it’s no requirement.
Albeit some bloggers do indeed get read because of their unique writing style, it’s only a fraction of the market. We just hear about those bloggers more often.
But the iceberg of blogging is much more massive than that. There are people of all different paths of life there and with varying degrees of writing skill.
To an extent, writing skill doesn’t matter in blogging.
If you can talk, you can blog.
Also, you don’t need to be THE expert in the field (of your topic matter). It helps, but, again, it’s not a requirement. Think cooking blogs. You don’t need to be Gordon Ramsay to run a successful one. What you do need most of all is some tasty recipes that people enjoy and are able to replicate.
Now, with that said, let me share with you the most important rule of picking a topic for your blog…
Here’s what to blog about:
Let me say this another way, you won’t “carve out” a fresh new niche all for yourself. Looking for an untapped, completely original topic is a dead end, contrary to popular belief.
It really is simple once you get down to the basic math:
If there’s no one already interested in the topic that you want to blog about, you’ll have no audience, 0.
But there’s also the other side of the coin:
If there is an audience, but you don’t feel confident at all blogging for that audience, you will fail anyway.
Therefore, the first order of business:
Challenge #1: How to pick a blog topic that’s right for you personally
The key rule when figuring out what to blog about is to focus on something that you are interested in. And “interested” is the keyword here.
You don’t need to be an expert, you don’t need to have any special skill regarding the topic, and you don’t need to be extremely passionate about it from day one.
What you do need is an honest interest in something. That interest is going to fuel you through the initial months as you write your first posts and get more and more educated about your field.
So do some brainstorming and come up with a list of topics that are interesting to you and that you’d like to learn more about. The author’s own curiosity is often enough to carry a blog through its first months of existence.
The benefits of picking a blog topic that fits you:
You can make a name for yourself in a field that you care about. Connect with likeminded people. Learn or improve your skills. Potentially make money and start a career. It’s going to be easier to create content regularly.
However, be specific here. Don’t make your topic something like “cooking” or “cars” or anything similarly broad. The more niche, the better. Although it seems counterintuitive (“broader means more readers, right?”), starting in a narrow niche is often better. Narrow niches give you specialization and possibly instant audience from day one. Which brings me to:
Challenge #2: How to find out if there’s audience for your future blog
Picking something that you’re comfortable blogging about is just one side of the coin. The other is making sure that there’s going to be people interested in reading it.
This is where some good ‘ol market research comes into the picture. In simple terms, this is where you need to check what else is out there on the web on the topic you’ve chosen.
Wondering what to blog about? First, focus on the following:
- Are there any blogs in the niche that already cater to similar audiences?
- Are any of those blogs popular enough – with more than 10,000 subscribers?
- Are there any popular Facebook pages on this or similar topics?
- Can you point out at least a handful of influencers in the niche?
- Does anyone advertise in Google when you search for the niche’s main buyer keywords?
- Are there any books on Amazon that cover the topic in some capacity and have more than a dozen reviews?
- Are there any people asking questions about it on Quora?
If that’s a “yes” on all of the above then you’ve probably found yourself a good blog topic. But if at least one of them is a “no” then it’s back to the drawing board.
“Why?” Well, it’s a counterintuitive thing, but in the blogging space, the more blogs there are on a given topic, the easier it is to start another one.
The existence of other blogs is only proof that there are people passionate about the topic. Don’t be the sole blogger writing about underwater basketball or something.
One thing you’ll probably find out is that even though there’s a seemingly infinite number of possible blog topics, it turns out that only a handful of them make sense and are actually of interest to online audiences.
Here’s what to blog about – some popular categories of topics:
This is based on data from Google plus factoring in various research done by third parties. You can do a similar experiment, just google something like:
This about sums up our take on picking a good blog topic. I hope you’ll find these strategies helpful!
What’s next? Time to choose the right blogging platform for your needs.