So you want to start a blog?
Once you finally decide to start one, you’re then faced with the question… so… what should you write about?
There are so many topics out there that you can cover. You also don’t want to make the mistake of writing about something, only to find that you’re not really interested in it.
When you get started, it can be scary and anxiety-inducing. You’re putting your words out there for everyone to see. You could be judged, or worse, ignored.
With this article, I want to share a few easy ways to get started and how to decide what to blog about.
By the end of reading it, you’ll feel much more confident about launching your blog!
1. Carefully examine your passions
The hardest part about blogging isn’t writing ONE article. It’s writing articles over the course of several months (if not years).
Many bloggers give up soon after they start because:
- They get bored
- They don’t have much to say
- It’s too hard to come up with new topic ideas
Those bloggers that “stick with it” have one thing in common. They love their topic. They are passionate about helping their audience.
I’ve been able to continue to write a blog for 5+ years because I’m crazy about the industry. I’m a complete nerd when it comes to the topic of my blog (which is crowdfunding).
The more passionate that you are about a niche, the more likely that you will be to persist through the thick and thin. Examine your passions!
2. Look at your skillsets and knowledge
Everyone knows something better than everyone else. We are all experts in our own way.
There are also various “stages” of experts. Just because someone has been figure skating for 10 years doesn’t mean they are the right teacher for a beginner.
In fact, the best teachers can readily adopt the mindset of a beginner. This might be because they only just figured out how to stand up on two skates. Now, they can teach another beginner how to do that.
Take a good hard look at the jobs you’ve performed throughout your career. What have you been good at. Ask yourself:
- What technical skills have I acquired?
- What soft skills am I good at?
- What programs, tools, or software can I use?
- What can I DO?
You don’t have to confine your answers to the professional sphere of your life. You could go into other areas like hobbies and lifestyles as well.
Once you answer these questions, you can start to examine your knowledge-base. Ask yourself:
- What do I know that would be valuable to others?
- What could I teach someone else how to do?
- How has my knowledge grown over time?
Most people play down the amount that they actually know. Quite frankly, just knowing the english language is VALUABLE.
As you can more clarity about your skillset and knowledge, you’ll be able to more easily determine what to blog about.
3. Write down other blogs you like
In my book, Blogging for Beginners, I reveal how to tap into existing profitable niches that will make you money in the long run.
If other people are already writing about a topic, it’s likely that there is a group of readers that are eagerly interested in reading articles on it!
Don’t view competition as bad. It’s a sign that there is demand for quality education on the topic. You just have to provide your own unique perspective in your articles.
Start writing down other blogs that you like that are already writing about your topic. Make a list in excel of all of these different websites.
Pay attention to which topics they cover (and don’t cover). How do they approach it? Where are they lacking?
You can fill a “gap” in the marketplace by paying attention to what readers are saying is missing in the current information. You could learn this through comments, Facebook groups, discussion boards, or even reviews of books on Amazon.
A few years ago, I started a blog about podcasting, because there wasn’t very much information out there for people launching a new podcast. Readers started to discover my work and the resources that I recommended. This led to me writing a book on the topic!
Every blogger out there is a human being, just like you. They are trying to meet their reader’s demands to the best of their ability, but they aren’t perfect.
Write down other blogs that you like, examine them, and study them. You are bound to find an angle that someone hasn’t yet thought of.
4. Think about how you’ll earn income
We all need money to live. We have bills to pay, families to support, and vacations that we want to take.
In a perfect world, you’d be able to be an artist or a writer who doesn’t care what your audience thinks. You’d be able to retreat into the woods by Walden Pond like Henry David Thoreau and write to your heart’s content.
Your work would be valuable because of the beauty of your words and simply because they first formed as profound thoughts in your head.
This is not how the world works. In the real world, you need to write articles that people like so that you can generate an income.
You also need readers who actually have money to spend, so that they can hire you, buy your products, or buy products that you recommend.
There are many different income streams for bloggers. Here are some of them.
5. Just start writing!
You’ve been putting this off for so long. It’s time to just start writing.
As you write, you’ll come to gain more clarity with regards to what you actually wanna say. Your thinking will become clearer.
The reason that I love writing is that, as I chisel away at a topic, I discover new realizations that I hadn’t considered previously.
I’m faced with the challenge of conveying information effectively to another human being. I have to put myself in their shoes and consider their frame of mind.
By eliminating distractions like social media, TV, and anything that catches your eye, you’ll start to think more deeply about your writing topic.
Over time, you’ll push past the fear and anxiety that comes with not knowing what to say. This will help you get to the good stuff.
6. Consider your own questions
Great articles are based off of questions. The article cuts to the core of what the reader wants to know.
When you’re curious about a topic and have many questions, you can actually spend time answering these questions in the form of individual blog posts!
If you already “know everything” about a topic, you’re gonna quickly become bored. It’s going to feel like a chore to have to communicate all your knowledge to the reader.
However, if you have curiosity and questions (along with some knowledge), then it’le be a heck of a lot more fun to write blog posts and answer those questions.
Thinking back to 2nd grade, I remember that my teacher told me “If you have a question, someone else probably has the same one, so speak up!”
By answering your own questions about a topic, you’re actually answering other people’s as well. It’s extremely likely that other people are wondering the same things.
7. Imagine what your reader looks like
You should never be writing to “a crowd of people.” This is a recipe for disaster.
Instead, you should be writing for ONE person. This is your reader avatar. Ask yourself a few questions about this ideal reader:
- What do they look like?
- What are they interested in?
- How old are they?
- Where did they go to school?
- What type of job do they have?
- What are their dreams, hopes, and passions?
When a beginner gets started writing blog posts, they are usually focused on their own thoughts and feelings. Shift the mindset from YOU onto the READER.
The second that you do that, you’ll start to generate some writing ideas. Not only that, but you might realize your entire approach to a blog post was completely wrong.
If you can’t figure out what you should blog about, think back to your reader. After all, all of this content is for THEM. It’s not about the writing. It’s about them. They are the people you care about helping.
8. Study different types of blog articles
Not every blog post is created the same. This article that you’re reading right now is very different from some of my other ones.
Some blog posts are mainly image-based. Others include videos. Some are just lists.
You don’t always have to have TONS of things to say about a topic to be helpful. You could quite simply link people up to key resources that are going to help them with problems.
I talk about this a lot in Blogging for Beginners. There are proven techniques that go into writing killer blog posts. You just have to copy what works and apply it to your own blog.
Learning a bit about the various types of blog articles will also lead to inspiration. It will give you blog post ideas that you never considered before. This is an essential step towards becoming a full-time blogger. You gotta learn your craft.
9. Get an outside opinion
Some of my readers are very stubborn. They don’t want any help when it comes to setting up, launching, and getting attention to their blog.
I completely understand that. I actually felt very defensive when it came to my work. I didn’t want anyone telling me that I wasn’t a good writer or that I needed to improve in some way.
I put so much energy, time, and passion into my blog that I hated any form of criticism. As I’ve gotten older (and wiser), I’ve been able to listen the opinions of others and take their feedback on my work.
It’s a tremendous help to get other people’s opinions on your blog, writing, and overall strategy when it comes to blogging. This is a service that I (and other bloggers) often times offer. I’m happy to take a look at your work as a hired consultant or coach.
Having someone else’s honest opinion is going to make it easier to churn out more blog posts, because you won’t be constantly questioning and doubting yourself. You’ll just be focused on producing great work.
10. The secret to blogging profits
When I was in high school, I learned about one kid a few grades below me who was taking college-level math courses. The first time I saw him, I stared dumfounded with awe.
Throughout my middle school and high school years, my parents and teachers led me to believe that intelligence was the most valuable quality. Intelligence led to good grades, which got you into a good college, and eventually a high paying job.
To them, your grades were an indication of how intelligent you are, and therefore, how successful you would be in endeavors throughout your life.
Now, let me ask you a question.
Are the most successful people the most intelligent? Hell no!
Often times, business owners have employees that are 10x smarter than they are. Sometimes, you’ll hear about business tycoons doing really stupid things.
It certainly helps, but intelligence does not lead to success in blogging or in business.
There is only one thing that causes that… action!
The people who are willing to take action on a continual basis and face challenges are the ones who see results in every area of life.
The secret to seeing profits with blogging is to simply get started, keep learning, and keep blogging.
That’s why, if you haven’t started your blog yet, I urge you to today. I have a comprehensive step-by-step blog post on how to do that.
Just follow the simple steps that I’ve outlined and you’re golden!
I hope you’ve found this article to be helpful and you feel better about launching a blog. Blogging has transformed my life. It’s given me a career that lets me travel. It’s allowed me to earn enough passive income to support myself. It’s even given me the admiration of my fellow colleagues. I wish the same for you.