If you are a passionate and talented writer, starting a blog can be a great way to express yourself, hone your skills, and even make a profit. But, what will you write about? Many would-be bloggers already have at least a general idea of what topic or topics they want their blog to cover. Others start with a drive to create something but no true direction in mind.
Whether you’ve been planning your blog for years or have just jumped in headfirst, honing your topic is the essential first step to building a successful blog.
To get started, consider the following three questions:
- What are your interests?
- What are your goals?
- What do people want to read?
What Are Your Interests?
The most important thing to consider when choosing a blog topic is what you are interested in writing about. While you need not be an expert in a particular field (unless you plan to present yourself as one), you should at least care about the subject you choose to explore on your blog.
Personal interest and enthusiasm will not only make your writing easier, but it will also make it better and more compelling. If you are not passionate about your blog’s topic, your readers won’t be either.
To get started, you can look for inspiration in a number of places;
Your job - Since you’re likely to have a great deal of experience and insight into the topic, writing about your job can be a great way to generate content quickly. Whether you write a comical blog about the mundanities of daily office life or chronical your exciting work as a firefighter, with the right approach just about any job can make for a successful blog topic.
Your hobbies - From coin collecting to cooking to flipping houses, hobbies make for great blog source material. If you’ve chosen to spend your free time on a particular activity, it’s likely you’ve got enough interest and passion to build a successful blog around the topic. Hobby-based blogs are also a great way to spend more time on something you love while connecting with like-minded people who share your passion.
The media you consume - What type of things do you enjoy reading and watching? Many successful blogs are built around enthusiasm for pop culture or other media. Whether you love sci-fi novels, reality TV, or classic movies, literary, entertainment, and fan-based blogs can be both fun to write and highly popular.
Personal experiences - Personal interest blogs are another extremely popular route to take when looking for the perfect topic. This category can include anything from health struggles to a weight-loss journey to world travel. Many readers enjoy connecting with people living through similar experiences to theirs or living vicariously through the exciting experiences of others.
Local - What’s going on in your hometown? There are always people looking for new restaurants to dine at, different experiences to try, or the latest in local happenings. Tapping into your local community or targeting tourists planning to visit your area is a great way to build a successful blog.
Community - Do you consider yourself part of a particular community? This can include a number of things: parents, runners, foodies, Star Wars fans, or just about any other group of like-minded individuals. With a captive audience at your fingertips, blogs that speak to your community have a great chance for success.
What Are Your Blogging Goals?
When deciding what your blog should be about, consider why you’re blogging in the first place. What do you hope to contribute and what do you hope to gain? Many people blog for their own enjoyment, simply looking to share their thoughts with whoever is interested in reading them. If your blog is your own personal passion project, there is more flexibility when it comes to choosing your topic. However, if you’re interested in profiting from your blog, you will need to consider what topic has the best chance of garnering a large audience and a high volume of page views.
What Are Potential Readers Interested In?
While your personal interests are the best place to start, the most successful and profitable blogs also manage to shape their ideas to maximize appeal and readership. To do so you’ll need to consider not only what you like to write, but what other people like to read. No matter how talented you are when it comes to writing, without the right subject and strategy it will be very difficult to attract an audience.
There are a number of factors to consider when gauging reader interest;
Your target demographic - Knowing the type of reader you are trying to attract is key to having a successful blog. The more you understand your potential audience, the more likely you are to create content that resonates with them and keeps them coming back for more.
Popular keyword searches - Researching popular keyword searches can give you valuable insight into what people are looking for online. If you can tailor your blog content around this data, you’re much more likely to attract a large audience.
Popular blog formats - There are numerous blog post formats to choose from. Lists and rankings are often popular, as are image-based blogs. Long, unbroken blocks of text usually aren’t as appealing to readers. Consider the format of popular blogs and decide how you can best apply one or more of these to your own blog.
Find Your Niche
By this point, you should have a general idea of what you hope to write about in your blog. However, there is more work to be done. While you may have successfully selected a topic that interests you, fits your long-term goals, and appeals to a large number of readers, you will now need to think about your competition. If your topic is too broad, you are likely to become lost in a sea of competing content.
Choosing a popular blog topic is important, but it also means you’ll need to find a way to set yourself apart from the crowd. Whether you’re writing about cars or parenting or running a restaurant, there will always be plenty of other people already doing the same. Once you’ve got your broad topic in mind, think about how you can put your own unique spin on it. If you can create your own niche or offer a new perspective, you will be much more likely to attract and keep readers.
Deciding what your blog is about is perhaps the most important decision you will make in the entire blogging process. Taking the time to find something that interests both you and potential readers will give your blog the best chance at success.