Today, I’m going to show you exactly how to choose a topic for your blog. For this guide, I’m going to assume you want to eventually make money off of your blog. If you just want to blog for fun, blog about what you’re passionate about!
OK, moving on.
First things first: Don’t (just) Follow Your Passion.
This is one of the biggest obstacles when you choose a topic to blog about. If you just choose what you’re interested in without analyzing what people actually want, you’re going to have a hard time growing a successful blog. If you just want to start a blog and write things you enjoy (even if there are few to no other people interested), that’s great – but I’d strongly advise against it if you’re trying to grow an audience.
To begin, make a list of skills and interests you have that are valuable. Make a list of what people ask you about. If you enjoy podcasting and people ask you about it, that could be a very profitable blog topic.
…But Don’t Do Something You Don’t Like
Then again, you can’t (and probably don’t want to) simply think like a robot.
Blogging about light bulb repair may be a very profitable topic, but if you hate it, you won’t have the energy to put in the effort and time you’ll need to grow your blog. Plus, you’ll hate it (obviously).
When you choose a topic for your blog, the best way to find one is to combine your skills and interests with actual market demand.
Let’s say you’re interested in acoustic guitar. Before you dive headfirst into creating a blog, you need to make sure there’s a strong demand for it.
A simple way to test whether your niche is big enough when you choose a topic to blog about is to go to Google Keyword Planner and enter in broad keywords for your topic.
If your general topic gets at least 100,000 searches per month, it’s probably a strong niche.
For example, If I were passionate about music, acoustic guitar more specifically, I could go to Google’s Keyword Planner to see if this was a popular topic:
In this case, “acoustic guitar” gets nearly 700,000 searches per month. This might sound intimidating but remember – you’re not going to be blogging about the broad topic “acoustic guitar”. When your choose a topic for your blog, you’re choosing a niche within this main topic to write about. Maybe something like finger-style guitar for beginners.
Now that you have a topic that you’re interested in with a strong niche, make sure you have the skills to actually carry out your plan. You do not need to be an expert in this topic. This is a really common mistake entrepreneurs make when trying to choose a topic to blog about.
They say, “I’m not a world leading expert, so there’s no way I can write about it.” As long as you’re transparent about the fact that you’re not an expert, it’s completely fine to write about your interest. In fact, a lot of your readers will appreciate hearing from someone just a bit farther along than them. Bryan Harris from Videofruit calls this the “Learn Out Loud” method. In other words, when you choose a topic for your blog, don’t let the fact that you’re not an expert stop you.
Just read a couple books!
Just reading a half dozen books on the topic you’re interested in puts you miles ahead of your average reader. As long as you’re a step ahead, you can provide real value to your readers. If you know 10 guitar chords and your readers know 5, you can provide value to your readers. They’ll be happy to read what you write. As long as readers are enjoying your content, and preferably learning something new, it’s completely unnecessary to have a PhD in a certain subject when trying to choose a topic for your blog.
Once you have chosen a topic for your blog, and confirmed that it is a marketable topic with a large number of people interested, you should have a pretty good idea of a great topic to write about on a consistent schedule.
After you’ve decided and you’re ready to start getting subscribers, check out this article Zach wrote on getting your first 100 subscribers.
Let me know what kind of blog you’re thinking about starting, or have already started. If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to reach out – I’d love to hear from you!