Choosing a blog topic is not easy for many people. Everyone who has ever aspired to write a blog has doubted their ideas. In this post, I’ll discuss a method to select what your blog will be about overall. Then I’ll dive into choosing blog topics. Let’s get started.
CHOOSING A NICHE TO WRITE ABOUT ON YOUR BLOG
You’re probably reading this post because you can’t decide what you could write about week after week. Let’s go through a seven-step process to select a niche that you will focus on with your blog. Get out a pen and paper. Or some digital app to write in.
Step 1: Write down your top 20 interests. The things you love. They don’t just have to be hobbies or related to business. You can write down people, pets, places, foods, activities, sports.
Step 2: Now I want you to write down your top 20 skills. They don’t necessarily have to be marketable skills. If you’re a champion limbo dancer, write that down.
Step 3: Identify and remove the bottom ten items from your interests list. You can do it! Just go through them and decide which ones you care about less than the other ten.
Step 4: Repeat that process for your skills list.
Note: I know you’re wondering “Why did he have me write 20 items for each if I only needed 10?” Writing 20 items made you think much harder. You can write longer lists to benefit even further if you want to invest more time into this exercise. You may be surprised when the items you remove include some of the first half that you thought of, not the last half.
Step 5: Now’s the fun part. Go through each item on your interests list and see if you possess a skill (or skills) directly related to it. Maybe you wrote down “Cake” as something you love. You think that cake is the best dessert on the planet. And perhaps you wrote “Baking” on your skills list. Do you see how the skill is directly related to the interest? Remove interests without related skills and vice-versa. It’s an even greater win if you match an interest to more than one skill or match a skill with more than one interest.
Step 6: You should now have a list of items you love and a list of skills pertaining to those interests. We have one last thing to do: Identify an audience. Some experts recommend you do that first, but that would result in writing about something that you’re not passionate about or a topic where you have no skills to offer. So we’re identifying audiences last. Start with the interest that is paired with the most skills and write down the kinds of people who are interested in that topic.
Step 7: Now you have to make a decision. In most cases, after this exercise, you’ll have a clear winner. You have one interest with multiple skills and a good idea of the audience. If not, try brainstorming ideas for each interest-skills-audience grouping. If a winner is not obvious after that, set a five-minute timer and commit to making a decision before the timer is up. If you still can’t decide, flip a coin or put the ideas in a hat. The truth is that you could start a blog about any of these groupings. These are your passions. You have something to offer in each area. And you know who you’ll be writing to. Just decide on one and get started. Once you’ve built a successful blog in that niche, you can always start another!
WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT ON YOUR FIRST BLOG POST
First thing’s first: There is NO REASON to dread writing your first post. If you’re like most bloggers just starting out, you have almost no audience yet. That doesn’t mean you can be careless, but don’t feel like your first post is going to make or break you. Create a quality post and then move on to the next.
Most blog readers are coming to you because you’re a real person. If they just wanted to know about cameras or boats, whatever your niche is, they would simply visit nikon.com or searay.com. They want content from an individual, not a corporation. So take a moment to introduce yourself. Write about who you are and why you started your blog. Discuss your strengths in your category. Write about what value you’ll bring and how you plan to help your readers. This will break the ice. Writing a whole post about yourself is probably not a good idea to start. A paragraph or two would be ideal. Insert a picture or two of yourself as well.
So what will the rest of your post be about? It needs to be content with high value. There are a few ways to find out what people in your niche want to know.
DECIDE ON WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT WITH GOOGLE
First, go to Google. This is going to be an easy, yet valuable step.
Let’s say you want to start a blog about weight training. You have been training for years and often provide advice to your peers. Type “weight training” into Google’s search bar and notice that a list of items appear beneath what you are typing. These choices are common searches.
Just from this information, you can probably see some ideas for blog posts. Run with one of them.
Many people search the internet by using short keywords like our example above, but with the advent of Siri and Alexa, questions are becoming more popular, so do not forget to try those as well.
Using our example of weight training, you could find more ideas using a question similar to the one shown here.
DECIDE WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT WITH SOME COMMON POSTS
I’ve listed ten ideas for your first posts below. If you write all of these and still need more, ask your audience. Building an audience is essential to a successful blog. They ask questions and make comments that you can answer by writing new posts. The chances are pretty good that if one reader asks a question of you, many other readers are wondering the same thing.
- Review a product or service in your niche.
- Create a how-to guide.
- Share a recent experience and what you learned from it.
- Create a top ten list.
- Write about one thing you wish you had known when you got started in your niche.
- Visit another blog you read that’s in your niche. Look through their archives. Write a better article about a topic they chose.
- Ask someone you know in real life to ask a question about your niche. Write a post to answer their question.
- Write about your goals in your niche.
- Write about your typical day.
- Write about some recent success you had.
This information should help you get started. That’s the most important part of starting a blog, publishing a post. All the planning, preparation, and research mean nothing if you don’t start posting. So get started!
Here are a couple of links to some blog topic ideas I found while browsing the web. Don’t let these lists overwhelm you. Just pick a topic and start writing today!
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