You’re asking “What should I blog about?”. This guide is for those who know that they want to create a blog but have no idea what to blog about.
In this post, I’ll show you the simple process to come up with a blog topic and a niche to write about.
The most popular topics to blog about
It’s impossible to say if your blog topic ideas will get traction with an audience but it’s a great sign if many successful blogs exist in a specific field.
Another great sign is the existence of niche communities, forums, and Facebook groups where people get together to discuss the specific topic.
Many successful blogs, communities, and people interested in the field are all very positive signs for the potential of a blog.
It proves that there’s a market demand and that people are willing to pay for products and services about this topic.
This means that not only can you build an audience with this niche but you can also make money blogging about that niche. Some of the most popular niche examples are:
- How to make money
- Career advice
- Personal development and self-improvement
- Frugality and budgeting
- Games and entertainment
- Sports and sports clubs
- Minimalism and simpler living
- Health and nutrition
- Losing weight
- Fitness and exercise
- Vegetarianism and veganism
- Environment and eco-tourism
- Learn how to speak a language
- Working from home
- Cars, car maintenance, and driving
- Makeup and beauty
- Fashion and personal style (here’s how to start a fashion blog)
- Pregnancy, parenting and family life
- Interior design and home decor
- Personal finance, investing advice, cryptocurrencies
- Small business advice
- Self-employment and freelancing
- Photography and videography (here’s how to start a vlog)
- Personal branding
- Public speaking
- Location independence
- Food and recipes
- Learn how to play an instrument
- Learn how to play a sport
- DIY projects
- Writing advice
- Learning how to code
- Web development
- Web design
- Mobile application development
Do you have the perfect topic in mind? Great! The process of actually starting your blog is pretty simple.
How to start your amazing blog today
First, you need to figure out which of the many platforms you want to use. Here’s my list of blog sites. There’s are many to choose from.
- I have detailed comparisons on several of them including the choice between WordPress or Wix.
- You may have also heard about Squarespace. Here’s what you should know about Squarespace or WordPress question.
- One of the early platforms is Google’s own Blogspot. See here my comparison of WordPress vs Blogger.
My recommendation is to go with WordPress. Here’s why.
WordPress is an open-source blogging platform, it powers 60+ million blogs and gives you complete control over the look and feel. Using WordPress will save you weeks and weeks of work, and lots of money too.
- You don’t need to build your own software to run your blog. You can just use WordPress.
- You don’t need to get a custom design for your site either. Just get one of the free or premium blog design templates that already exist.
- You also get access to resources such as my articles to help you with all the tips and tricks you may need.
Here’s my complete guide on how to start a blog today.
Finding the perfect topic idea to blog about
The perfect blog topic, your sweet spot, is found by interlinking your passion and personality with the demand from the market.
It’s a topic you love and care about and at the same time, it’s a topic you are really good at. This topic is also something some people are interested in and want to know more about.
This process requires you to take a step back, look at the things that you love and match that inspiration with what the world needs and asks for.
Here’s what Instagram founders said about finding a new idea when they left Facebook:
“We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again. Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do.”
Look for a topic that people want and ask for, then help them do it
Successful blogs are not built on passion and ideas alone. Just because your heart comes alive at a calling doesn’t mean that there is an audience for it.
Don’t start with a solution and then go look for problems to solve. Respond to a market pull instead.
You need to consider the reality in the market, the demand and interest from an audience. Find the right problems to solve. Problems identified by real people.
Look for something real people are already trying to do, then build brilliant solutions that help them do it and solve their problems.
These are topics that are important to them, and real pain points too as people have taken their time to ask questions about them. So how do you find what people want and ask for?
- Use question-answer platforms such as Yahoo Answers, Stack Overflow, and Quora to find questions real people are asking. Look at a site such as AnswerThePublic that aggregates user questions. Product Validator is another great research source
- Use tools that help you discover popular questions and themes people care about such as BloomBerry and AnswerThePublic
- Google is a great inspirational source. Search for keyword phrases and keep an eye on Google’s search results and sections such as “People also ask” and “Searches related to”
- Use a keyword tool such as Google Keyword Planner to help you identify things people search for on Google. The higher the search volume is, the more people are interested
- Check what’s trending in Google’s search or in social media using Google Trends, Twitter trending, Imgur, Reddit, and Pinterest
- Use sites like Buzzsumo to monitor the most shared content topics on the web
- Search social media for people talking about the topic. Pay very careful attention to the things users complain about. Search for phrases like “I wish I could do…” or “I hate…”
- Check out the local trends in Yellow Pages
After doing this research you should have a long list of popular topics that have been identified by others and that there is a market demand for.
Select topics that interest you, that you like and care about
Your blog cannot appeal to everyone. If you attempt to post content about every idea or issue that pops into your head at any given moment, you will lack direction.
You can’t teach everyone about everything, so don’t even bother. It’s much easier to attract visitors if you have a very focused topic.
To choose the perfect topic, you should look inside and see where the raw energy comes from. There’s no point in putting a lot of effort into a blog on a topic that you don’t care about. No matter how popular that topic is.
Success isn’t guaranteed but it’s much more likely when you are emotionally invested in the work you’re doing.
When you talk about things that you love, it makes you enjoy what you do and turns the “work” into play. It gets you over hurdles and fuels you day to day.
The topic of my first site was about the rock’n’roll band Metallica. I loved them, spent a lot of time listening to their music, figuring out song meanings and going to their concerts.
I curated all the info that I could find about the band and put it all together in a nicely organized site.
The band didn’t even have an active official site in those days, so I was able to create a niche site that other fans and people interested in the band found very attractive.
Fully embrace your passions and obsessions. How you spend your time reveals what your true passions and interests are.
- Write down a list of things that interest you, that you like and care about. Something that engages you emotionally and makes you come alive.
- What gets you up in the morning?
- What do you love to do and what do you dream about?
After doing this exercise you will have focused your long list of popular topics into a handful that you also love and care about.
Identify which popular topics you love you can also be very good at
Teaching sells. Reputations are built by those that teach, share knowledge, experiences, and insights. We live in the information age where people rely on information and use the internet to do research.
If you cover a topic that other people can use to improve their lives and careers, you can become an authority and make a living by teaching those people those skills.
Some blogs are created by experts with valuable skills and assets that differentiate them from others.
People pay attention to those they see as experts. Those that are specialized, have a deep expertise and a fundamental edge in a particular field. In the words of Mark Twain: “Write what you know”.
Look at what you do better than other people, things that don’t challenge you but that others struggle with and teach others how to do it too.
Which of these popular topics that you care about do people around you perceive you to be an expert at?
What do your family and friends ask you for help with? Define the problems you are trying to come up with the solutions for.
But you don’t already have to be the expert and the best in the world on your favorite topics to start a blog. Some successful blogs are created by people who are just starting out sharing their experience in a new field.
They express a unique point of view, share their journey and the lessons learned. There’s always someone that knows less about you on a topic and that can get valuable insights from your guidance.
You can also choose to ride the wave of a growing trend by doing research, learning about the field, experimenting, acquiring skills and taking the visitors on your journey.
New trends are typically less competitive than mainstream trends. Knowing simple things and getting the basics right counts for a lot.
Instead of being a small fish in a big pond, you aim to become a big fish in a small pond. And if the trend really breaks through, the pond will increase and you stand to win big.
After doing this exercise you now have one to three topics that there is a market demand for, that you love and care about, and that you believe you have something good to contribute with.
How to break through and attract an audience in a popular niche?
Sum up what you are about in a brief, one-line tagline. What is your unique selling point? Why should someone listen and trust you and not someone else?
- Are you focused on a particular industry?
- Are you a comedian telling jokes?
- Or are you telling stories?
- Are you an educator teaching people new things?
- Are you curating news?
- Are you reviewing products?
- Are you doing interviews with industry insiders who have amazing stories to tell in captivating ways?
Think about how you can put a personal stamp on your blog and differentiate yourself from everyone else. How can you keep it new, fresh, exciting and authentic?
The world is drowning in an ocean of content. When a field is highly competitive, it can be challenging to get much attention to yourself no matter how good you are.
You need to create brilliant solutions to the problems you have identified and break formulas of what’s already on the market.
The common angle of looking at a topic is no longer of any real interest. You should add an angle on an angle.
- Can you make boring concepts exciting?
- Can you make complicated things simple?
- Can you make intimidating solutions painless?
- Be a faster solution
- Be a cheaper solution
- Be a more transparent solution
- Give your users more choices
- Give your users added comfort
- Give your users greater control over their time
- Will you be visiting every country in the world and sharing it?
- Will you be developing a new start-up idea every month and teaching people how to do it too?
- Will you be building your site in public and broadcasting it on a live stream?
Keep an open mind as you might happen to find that various passions mixed in a personal way can create something unique. There are a gazillion blogs about fashion, but there’s only a handful about fashion and cooking.
Spice things up and develop your own unique concept and a unique selling point that differentiates your topic and makes it more compelling than the other blogs on the market.
Something that grabs the attention of your target audience. Some things people always care about:
Faster solutions to problems.
Greater control over your time.
Deeper human interactions.
Less collateral damage.
Higher social status.
After this exercise you are left with at least one great concept for a topic there is a demand for, a topic that you love and a topic to which you can contribute something different and fresh.
And this brings us to your unique selling proposition or your USP.
Your blog’s unique selling proposition (USP)
The first thing a visitor to your blog should see is a strong headline that explains why he or she should stick around and explore further. This is your unique selling proposition (USP) and it should be in focus and very clear.
Unique selling proposition is a brief description of a few words on what you are offering, what target market you’re addressing and why people should care.
The focus is on the value that this offer will bring to users and what people will miss out on if they don’t explore your blog further.
Don’t assume that visitors understand the value your content can bring them. Tell them clearly what they need to know and tell it to them right away.
Tell them what you do and how you will fill their needs or they will click on the “Back” button and leave.
- Revolut is “Better than your bank account“.
- Buffer is “A better way to manage your social media“.
- Slack is “Where work happens“.
- Coinbase helps you “Buy and sell digital currency“.
- Instacart is “Groceries delivered in as little as 1 hour“.
- X.ai is “AI scheduled meetings for smarter work days“
One formula you can use is this: We do what you are offering for target market so that you can why people should care.
You get the idea. Say what your blog does, who it is for, what people will get and how this is better than competing options.