What should one write about on a blog when they start blogging? That is one of the many questions that I get asked very frequently by aspiring bloggers. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact anyone who wants to maintain a blog. I think strongly believe that it helps setting the much needed direction and ensuring that you have something of interest for a particular interest group. Many who start blogging, just do so for the “doing’s sake” and there isn’t really a purpose; the only purpose that exists, is perhaps “how to make money by blogging?” Your blog will barely go beyond a few posts, eventually being left to fade away into nothing.
So what are the tips when it comes to selecting a topic or a category for your blog?
There is no strict formula or code that may answers the question. Each answer will vary based on who you ask that and the respective experience of the blogger. From my experience, following are a few tips that I can share with anyone who plans to write a blog and has been asking “How to select the topic for their blog?”
Write About What Interests You:
Any topic that doesn’t interest you is definitely one that you should never write about, even if you are paid. Why? Because:
- You won’t enjoy it.
- Your blog will be lifeless
- Your tone will be inconsistent
- You will most definitely not be interested in generating dialogues or conversations, both on your blog and across social channels.
Compare that to a topic of your interest. I wrote about startups even when I barely made a penny for one simple reason; Startups intrigued me and their stories inspired me. I also tried my luck by writing on Formula 1, but it didn’t really work out as it wasn’t something I was passionate about.
See If People Share Your Interest As Well:
Very important. There is no point in writing on a topic that barely has readers. So make sure that you know how to find if there are even people out there keen to read what you write about. This doesn’t involve mastering any tool, learning to code, have a great theme designed or even having a friendly URL. People seek information and they tend to overlook aesthetics as long as they information they interested in or searching for is there. So how to find people sharing your interests online?
- Write down the one topic that broadly defines your interest, let’s say; “Digital Media”
- Plot the related words or sub topic that you think are closely related to it (especially those that you are good at). That’s a Mind Map you will create. It can be done the traditional way; with a pen and paper or using the numerous tools out there like; MindMeister, Coggle, XMind to name a few.
- Expand further and associate keywords that are connected to each branch of the mind map you have created.
- Build correlation between each branch of the mind map and see where you can make connections to each, eliminate any topic that you have no experience or expertise on.
- Narrow down your topics to those that you are not just passionate about, but also have some level of expertise (remember creating dialogues?).
- Build combinations of the topic(s) and subtopics to see the extent of content you can roll out over time.
- Identify the methods of content:
Successful Blog = Interest + Knowledge + Consistency
I can’t elaborate further. Don’t just choose a topic you are interested in, select one that you have knowledge about and can write about it consistently. Find your muse, stay updated about your topic of interest, be focused and offer value constantly to your readers.
What Are People Searching For?
That in no way means you write for Search Engines, especially Google. Simply because the way Google now ranks websites or blogs is based totally on the content’s originality; meaning you can’t cheat it by stuffing your content with keywords to get better ranking. You might actually be penalized. I say it, because I have experienced it (yes, I have tried everything).
Some of the tools that you should use are:
Google Keyword Planner (Research)
No rocket science when it comes to using this and it’s free. The Keyword Planner will help you identify the monthly average searches against any keyword or phrase. What’s great is that you can narrow down searches per country to see if people in your region are using the keyword in their search. I will say again, this isn’t to encourage any malpractice, but only to let you know if your topic of interest is something others are also interested in or looking for.
Google Trends (Research)
Google Trends is a public web facility based on Google Search. It shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages. While understanding the data from Google Trends may not be very easy, it does help users check what the search trends are like over any region, language or time range. The tool will help you identify and see how your topic of interest is doing when it comes to searches
Google Analytics (Performance)
What good is content if people aren’t reading it? Google Analytics helps you keep a check on not just the performance of the website but tracking the performance of your content. You should be well versed if understanding the Analytics dashboard to measure performance of your content. Some key indicators are:
- Bounce Rate
- Time on Site
- Sources of Traffic
All the above will help you analyze how your content is performing and make tweaks accordingly. For example, if I have published 100 articles on Digital Media and my blog’s Bounce Rate is 75%+, I know for sure that all visitors aren’t really finding the content on my site to be of great use or worth reading. This also translates to lesser Pageviews and time on site. We will explore and talk about key metrics in Analytics separately in another blog post.
Is Your Content “Social Enough”?
Again, it’s one way of measuring success. If your content is being shared on Social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or it is being linked by other blogs, you know that it’s worth people spending time on.
Remember, people only share:
- Whatever adds to their information; facts, how to’s, tips, reviews, personal stories.
- Emotional (stories, funny videos, etc.).
- Breaking News
That’ not all. There are many more tips for selecting a particular topic(s) for your blog and many will vary based on whether your blog is personal or for an organization. What’s mentioned above is primarily the very basic things that you should do or be aware of when planning to start one or make an existing one better.
If you have any other tips that have helped you, please do share with us by dropping a tweet to smohkim or emailing at smohkim at gmail dot com.
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all images have been taken from via Google. Couldn’t trace the exact sources. Will be happy to link to the sources if provided.