Wouldn't it be great if you could spend a good portion of your day doing something you thoroughly enjoy? Wouldn't you agree that the best job in the world would be one you absolutely love? One that made you excited to wake up? Me too. Do you think finding something like that is possible? I do. I don't think it's always easy to find, but I do think it's possible to find.
So how DO you find it? Well, I'd say the first step is to figure out what you're passionate about–not just what you're interested in, but what you're passionate about.
I really hope you'll stick with me today because trust me when I say, if you want to start a blog (as a job or a hobby), you'll be so glad you did.
The quickest way to kill your blog
If you want to kill your blog quick, write about something you're just interested in. It's true. It doesn't matter if you think it'll bring in lots of money, if it's just an interest, there's a good change you'll lose steam and fizzle out.
Ask any blogger and they'll tell you it's not easy to sustain a blog. Coming up with a steady stream of original and compelling content is no small task. It's even more difficult if you don't completely love what you're writing about.
Also, your readers are more likely to pick up on your disinterest and become disinterested themselves. And what's a blog without readers? Besides, if you're hoping your blog will be a ticket out of your current, unexciting job, why trade one boring job for another?
I wouldn't say it's absolutely mandatory, but you will significantly increase your chances of having a successful blog if you blog about what you love.
Interest vs. passion. It's important.
As I see it, there's a distinction between an interest and a passion. I've seen a lot of people start a blog about an interest and their blog doesn't go anywhere. I've done that myself. Many times over.
See, I'm interested in a lot of things. I'm interested in saving money, living debt-free, homeschooling and making recipes containing chocolate and peanut butter. But none of those things I spend my free time pursuing significantly. I don't eat, sleep and breath them (well, except the chocolate peanut butter stuff I eat, oh yes I do). I've started blogs on all those subjects (except the chocolate peanut butter one) and they've all died.
On the other hand, I spent hours and hours and hours and hours learning how to create my own websites before I ever thought about starting a blog on the subject. I was totally fascinated by the process. Every spare moment was spent on the computer trying to figure out how this stuff worked. It was my go-to pastime for many years and still is. When I am researching and learning about it, I am in my element.
See the difference? You like an interest, you live a passion. Focus on the latter if you can.
When was the last time you dreamed?
We're going to figure out what we're really passionate about.
Our goal today is not to come up with our final blogging topic, but to come up with a short list of things we totally enjoy — that when thrown into the blog-topic-picking machine later, will hopefully provide us with a stellar final choice.
The assignment for today is a simple one: dream.
Here are some questions to get your creative juices flowing. You might pull out a piece of paper and jot down some answers. Many of them are the same idea written in different ways. Be free in your brainstorming. In the end, make a list of 3-5 topics you really, really love. Go ahead, dream!
- What enjoyable activity do you get so involved in that you frequently lose track of time?
- If you were given one week to spend any way you liked (and all your responsibilities were taken care of), what would you do?
- If you had to teach a class on any subject, what would it be?
- If you were given a check for $2000 and ordered to use it on something fun for yourself, what would you spend it on?
- If you were guaranteed a handsome salary no matter what, what would be your ultimate dream job?
- What do you do consistently in your free time simply because you enjoy it?
- What do you purposefully make time for not because you have to but because you want to?
- If money was not an issue, what activity would you spend time doing more regularly?
- What do people say you are good at and appreciate about you?
- What makes you over-the-top excited, angry or emotional?
- What kinds of books do you read, TV shows do you watch or blogs/websites do you visit?
- What's your favorite hobby?
- What do you talk to your friends about?
- What do you talk to your friends about that they get tired of hearing?
But what if you already have a blog? Is it time to re-dream?
Do you find yourself:
- Burdened by the thought of posting?
- Posting because you feel like you have to?
- Starting your posts off with, "I'm sorry it's been so long since I posted last…"
- Getting tired of having to come up with new things to write about?
- Saying the same things over and over in different ways?
- Responding to your readers in comments, emails and other social media less and less?
- Getting distracted easily when it's time to write (hello Pinterest and Facebook)?
- Entertaining thoughts of walking away from your blog?
- Thinking about starting a new blog?
Are you burned out? Tell me, what's the worst thing that could happen if you just scrapped it and started over? No one would die, I bet. You might have to put in extra work if you started over, but hey, you're already way ahead of where you started the first time!
Exciting or ho-hum?
I'm all about spending more time doing what we want to do and less time doing what we have to do. We're on the cusp of starting something entirely new here. We might as well make it something we're truly excited about, right? Otherwise we're just adding more ho-hum to our lives and who wants that?
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.
Other posts in this series
- How to Start a Blog or Website: Intro & FAQ
- How to Start a Blog or Website: Cheat Sheet
- How to Find (or Refind) Your Passion
- How to Decide What to Blog About: What Works for Readers?
- How to Decide What to Blog About: What Works for You?
- Understand Branding: 4 Tips
- Understand Keywords: Increase the Odds of Getting Found
- Writing Great Content: 3 Tips
- How to Write a Killer About Page
- 12 Blog Organization Tips
- How to Choose a Domain Name: 12 Tips
- How to Register a Domain Name
- How to Set Up Hosting and WordPress
- How to Change Your Nameservers
- How to Add a New User in WordPress
- How to Optimize Your WordPress Settings
- How to Install a Plugin
- My Favorite Plugins
- How to Get & Optimize a Feedburner Feed
- How to Choose a WordPress Theme
- How to Install a WordPress Theme
- Elegant Themes for WordPress
- How to Install Google Analytics
- How to Use WordPress: Tips & Tricks
- How to Start a Blog or Website: 10 Tips for New Bloggers