With your list of passions in hand from Step 1, How to Find Your Passion, now it's time to zoom in on a blog topic.
Tip: Your blog's general topic is often called a niche. While not required, a niche provides focus and direction, making your blog's purpose easily understood and defined, not only by you, but by your visitors as well.
Here are 8 tips to remember when choosing a blog topic or niche:
1. Be helpful
You are much more likely to attract (and keep) readers if your blog provides information your readers can use. Unless you have a particularly gripping or fascinating personal life, I recommend saving updates about your family's daily life for a personal blog.
That's not to say you shouldn't talk about your family on your money-making blog — not at all. But for example, if your family owns a farm where you raise llamas, blog about your family by all means, but talk about how you raise llamas and not just that you raise llamas. Think about what someone might be looking for and solve a problem for your readers.
2. Find a niche that's not too broad but not too specific
If your blog's topic is too broad, it's hard to compete with and stand out from all the other blogs in your niche. Being known (and therefore having lots of readers) is key to generating income, and it's hard to be known with a blog that gets lost in the crowd.
If your topic is too narrow, there is probably only a tiny handful of readers interested in your topic and a small readership usually equals limited income potential.
So, for example, instead of the broad category of fishing, or the narrow category of fly fishing on the Washington River, you might pursue fly fishing.
3. Do you have plenty to blog about?
Choose a topic that you can write about regularly and indefinitely. In other words, don't choose something so narrow that you run out of writing fodder after only a few weeks or months.
A good way to test this is to brainstorm possible posts or subtopics pertaining to your main blog topic. If you can easily come up with a long list, it's probably a good sign you'll have enough to write about. If, however, you can't think of many, you might need to refine your choice.
4. Give yourself some credit
If you aren't sure you have much to offer, I love what Sonia Simone said, "Even if you're only pretty good, but not a ninja, you're still a ninja to someone."
Find that thing about which you have a decent amount of know-how and go with it. Chances are there are others who will appreciate what you have to say.
5. What kind of site do you wish you could find?
Sometimes a good way to determine a viable blog niche is to ask yourself what you've found to be lacking online. After all, if you're looking for it, someone else might be looking for it too.
Back in 2004, I was a struggling pastor's wife. I knew I couldn't be the only pastor's wife having a difficult time, so I searched online for others with whom I could relate. The only pastors' wives sites I found, however, were written by women who seemed to relish their roles as pastors' wives.
So, I started blogging about my challenging experience as a pastor's wife. When other pastors' wives started expressing their appreciation for my story I realized I had unwittingly found my blog niche.
6. Be flexible and unique
Once you choose a niche, don't feel like you're committed to it for life. Blogging is very fluid and changes constantly. Being flexible and taking advantage of ways to be different will serve you well.
For example, in How to Find your Passion, Pamela said she likes cooking, most things related to raising kids and frugal living. So Pamela, what about a cooking blog with an emphasis on well-balanced, kid-friendly meals and ways to incorporate kids in meal preparation? You could also branch out from there to talk about parenting in general as well as some good frugal living tips thrown in.
7. Be you
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to find a blog you love…and then try to create its clone. One of the greatest things about blogs is that they afford us the opportunity to get to know the individual behind the blog.
Blogging is part of social media because it's just that: social. Let your personality come through. If you're goofy, be goofy. If you're feisty, be feisty. If you're contemplative, be contemplative. Your readers will be drawn to what you have to say, but they will also be drawn to who you are. BE YOU.
8. Resist paralysis of analysis
Many people get stuck at this point in the process (i.e. choosing a blog topic or niche). While a well-chosen niche is a benefit, one wonderful thing about the internet is how forgiving it is. Don't be afraid to dive in and figure it out as you go. Better to do that than to do nothing at all. Just go for it!
So, what will you blog about?