Choosing the right blog topic is the first, very important step in every blogger’s career. It’s as much important as choosing the right tools to do the job and learning the right language. It will determine your path in the future, and you want to go into right direction, don’t you? Let me share some of my thought about choosing the right subject when starting a blog – I had few failures before which taught me something ( I hope).
My first blog was intended as my personal for-fun blog. I’ve just installed WordPress on my domain (which I happened to have for some reasons I don’t remember right now) and started writing about ANYTHING I found interesting. The resulting blog was not bad in terms of number of visits (there was big range of different articles), but had very high bounce rate and lot’s of one-time readers (someone just clicked the search result in Google, read my entry and never came back).
So first lesson is to choose a topic and specialization instead of writing about diverse range of subjects – this will help you get regular readers. It will also help to better position blog in Google search results, as Google rates sites on frequency of keywords related to search – so if search phrase is “How to blog” and your blog has a lot of blog-related words in articles, then it’s gonna have good Google score for this query, right? Of course this is just tip of the iceberg – there are hundreds of factors that Google takes in account, and the funny thing is that nobody knows what they are, but this is topic for another article.
How to choose the right topic for your blog?
The best idea is to write about something you truly love and are very passionate about it. Don’t write about something because you think it’s gonna bring you money, but you don’t really care about it, or you don’t have knowledge about it. Don’t try to follow the crowd – or you will end up with the crowd. Let me explain on an example – in 2011 I had this brilliant idea that I will start a website about Poland – I thought it is a right time – just before EURO 2012 Football Championships. I quickly assembled WordPress blog, got my blog template from ThemeForest and started writing about travel destinations and attractions in Poland. My wife was helping me but soon we realized that it is not that easy. And don’t think that we are not into travelling or we don’t like Poland – we do, we travel a lot, we love hiking. But writing about historical sites is somewhat different – the results were really boring. And i mean REALLY BORING. So the blog is not updated for some time – right now even thought about writing new article fills me with disgust. Another thing is that despite Poland is big country, google’s search volume is not the biggest one – most people search about hotels in Warsaw and hotels in Krakow, which makes positioning rather hard. You cannot position article about Dragon’s Den in Krakow if people don’t search for dragon in krakow, right? This leads to another tip:
Your subject should be popular on the internet – which means that people are searching not only for terms strictly related to it. Let me explain on an example – we have a blog about “learning web design”. Search terms are “web design learn”, “learn web development”, “building web pages” etc. They are all strictly related, but I also can write about “learn wordpress”, “how to install wordpress theme”, “setup websites”, “html beginners” and others, which gives me big opportunities for nice, high SEO ranked articles.
What if you are into some very narrow subject like let’s say “trimming cat’s paws”? You still can write about but I wouldn’t make it my blog’s topic – I would rather try to make blog about cats or cats’ health in general, write some stub articles about cat diet, tails and fur, and then jump on your favourite subject, writing 20 articles about their paws. This way people searching for general information about cats have bigger chance to find your site, especially if you craft your generic articles.
When selecting blog topic, you should choose something you are experienced in. The reason is that it makes writing articles so much easier – you don’t have do almost any research except for the search phrases, once you start writing it just flows from your head onto the screen. Really cool feeling and great pleasure. Also, by being experienced you may actually help people who are less experienced – and this is what makes you blog popular. Let’s face it, who cares about others nowadays, unless they have something to offer you? Advice, training, knowledge. That’s what matters. So be useful to others and your blog will grow.
What if you don’t have any interests at all? Should you quit the idea of blogging? I think not – you should give it a try. Take a pen and piece of paper and write down all the things you like to do, and you like to do things for sure – even if it’s just watching telly, you can do reviews of tv shows; if you like hanging out with your buddies, you can do reviews of local clubs and restaurants; if you like shopping, you may share your tips about what to buy and when… Possibilities are endless, but you have to start doing it… And even if you fail and give up, your blog will be still there, people will read it and you will be able to come back one day (unless you stop paying for your ISP and domain of course)! So start writing and see what happens – it may be that your tiny idea will grow into big business that will change your life, or maybe it’s gonna change someone’s else life or it may fail miserably even if you thought you have it covered (which is quite funny itself and can teach you a lesson). You risk very little and can achieve a lot. All you need it to try.
What are you waiting for?