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Help! I want to start a blog but I can’t figure out what I should blog about!

How do I choose what I should blog about?

I haven’t set up my own blog yet, I’m stuck on a decision I have to make before I can really begin. How do I figure out what topic I should blog about? There seem to be blogs on pretty much every topic imaginable, so I know I could write about any topic, but how do I figure out what kinds of topics people would be interested in reading about? -Christopher

This is such a great question, Christopher, and one that many people have. Here’s my encouragement to you and anyone else who is considering starting a blog and wondering what topic would be good for them to choose as their focus:

Take out a sheet of paper or open up a blank page on your computer screen and answer these questions. There are no right or wrong answers. Just write exactly what comes to mind in answer to these — anything and everything you think of.

  • What do you love?
  • What are your interests?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What words come to mind to describe you?
  • What unique life perspective do you have?
  • What could you talk about for hours and not get tired of?

After you’ve done this exercise, then wait a few days and take out another sheet of people or start a new page on your computer and ask a few close friends and/or family members to go through the questions with you giving their answers and input.

At the end of all of this, you should see some themes emerging and this should give you some direction for where to go with your blog.

How to Choose What Topic to Blog About

One important note: I believe that the most successful bloggers are people who solve a problem, provide hope, and/or meet a need. When you are considering what you should focus on when you blog, make sure that you are seeking to do at least one of these things through your writing. If not, I encourage you to go back to the drawing board.

Here are a few things to consider:

1. You don’t have to pick just one topic.

While there is definitely a place for a very niche blog, I think it’s much easier to choose a focus for your blog that encompasses at least a few different topics.

This not only makes your blog more appealing to a wider audience, but it also provides you with more blogging options and it makes it less likely for you to run out of post ideas within a few months!

2. The best way to learn is to just start writing.

I’m a big fan of just jumping in and learning as you go. Yes, it’s good to have an idea in mind of where you’re headed for the first few months. And no, I don’t recommend publicly announcing your blog when you haven’t even written one post. However, don’t sit around and spend hours agonizing over a topic; just jump in and start writing posts.

Here’s the thing: it’s hard to really know what works best until you just get out there and try it. I would have never guessed that I would love writing on some of the topics I’m passionate about today. And I certainly would have never guessed that so many people would have been so wildly interested in certain topics. Had I sat and planned and brainstormed and mapped out and goal-set and analyzed and never just DONE SOMETHING, I wouldn’t have figured out what I loved to write about or what the market wanted.

So truly, just go for it. Start writing posts. Try different kinds of styles of posts. Experiment with different topic angles. Keep learning, keep tweaking, keep observing what’s hitting a nerve and what’s not. And then keep doing what works and let go of the things that don’t work.

How to Choose a Topic to Blog About

3. It’s perfectly acceptable to change your focus down the road.

When I started my first blog, I would have never dreamed that I would someday be writing about intentional finance, intentional family, and intentional business. At the time, we were just trying to make ends meet financially, I had just had my first child, and I was trying to figure out how I could make enough money from home to keep our family afloat financially while allowing me to still be a stay-at-home mom.

I was not in a position to be blogging about intentional finances, family, or business because I had little to no life experience in those areas. In the beginning, I tried out a LOT of different topics. In fact, my blog was so eclectic that I really couldn’t tell you what the focus of it was.

I had a lot of learning to do and a lot of life to live. But honing and sharpening my writing and thinking skills by blogging about whatever I was passionate about that day was one of the best exercises for a budding blogger. Not only did I quickly discover how little I knew, I also discovered there were a lot of topics I shouldn’t be blogging on — because I had no life experience to bring to the table.

As I continued to experiment, I slowly learned things that worked, learned areas I was qualified to write on, and developed a better understanding of what kind of blogging focus was a good fit for me. It took me a few years, though, and lots of writing and trial and error to find that happy medium.

Pick some topics you think will be a good fit for you, jump out there and start writing about them, and keep learning and tweaking as you go. I’m cheering for your success!

What advice do the rest of you have for Christopher? If you’re a blogger, how did you choose the focus of your blog? I’d love to hear!

How-to-Make-Money-Blogging-FB-2

Thinking Of Starting a Blog?

Over the years, I’ve received many requests from folks asking for help and information on how to start a blog and how to make money blogging. I’ve written about this in past years, but I wanted to let you know that I recently put together a comprehensive page on How to Make Money Blogging with updated information and links. I encourage you to check it out here if you’re interested in how to make money blogging.

photo credit; photo credit; photo credit

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18 Comments

  • Julie says:

    Hi Christopher, welcome to the blogosphere! Please do start that blog. Writing is a wonderful outlet and can be a huge blessing to those reading your posts. One thing I would suggest is to use your name as your URL, if possible. Not only will people begin to recognize you as your brand, but it will also free you up for changing topics or writing off topic once you decide on your niche. If you name your blog after, say, sports or a “do it yourself” theme and later decide you’d rather write about sailing, you’ll have to create an entirely new blog. Best wishes, stay the course, and enjoy your new opportunity!

  • Ashley P says:

    I found it easiest to write about something I always talk about anyway: media!

    I’m a total cinema geek and I love talking to friends at work about the latest movie, TV show, or CD. I guess being a communications major in college had something to do with that.

    What do you usually find yourself in conversations about? It’s a great place to start!

  • Alexa says:

    As someone who has started dozens of blogs as “side projects” only to get bored with them after a week or so I strongly encourage you to blog about something you’re truly interested in or a current problem you have.

    I started my current blog a couple years ago when I became a single mom. It was a good way for me to try and work through some of the problems I was going through and connect with like minded people. I also have always loved personal finance so it was easy to marry the two topics.

    Just be true to yourself. Blog what you’re truly interested in. And if it doesn’t work out you can always change your mind. Most of my blog friends started two or three blogs before they found any success. It’s a whole lot of trial and error but luckily it’s a fun process 🙂 Your first blog will most likely teach you what not to do!

  • I wish I would have thought longer about my blog name. I am trying to get more into money saving ideas and now my blog name seems off. I totally agree with the comment that using your name would work well.

    • I was going to suggest too that you put some thought into your blog name. I’m like Julie and wish that I would have given more thought to my blog name, although at the time I didn’t realize how important that is!

      If you don’t want to use your name as your blog name, then I’d suggest going with a name conveys what you blog about but also isn’t too narrow that you can blog about other things later if you decide you want to. In other words, make it broad enough that you can easily add other topics of interest if that makes sense.

      And if you are getting started blogging, I highly recommend Amy Lynn Andrews site for lots of helpful tips and info. She’s a wealth of info! http://amylynnandrews.com/how-to-blog/

      • Jacque says:

        Hi Lydia,

        You are absolutely right about the choice of a blog. It is likely the most important choice right after deciding what you want to write about.

        By the way, I love your blog name , it tells me exactly what I will find when I get to your blog.

        Another great place for blogging information is http://boostblogtraffic.com/ Jon Morrow has some great courses for people just getting going or those that want to increase the traffic to their site.

        Hugs,
        Jacque
        http://www.yourdivinedivorce.com

  • Ann says:

    There are so many well established blogs that you must do this because you want to write, whether anyone reads it or not. Breaking into the “big” leagues, especially if you’re blogging to make money, will be a tough row to hoe when there are so many more well established bloggers. So unless your passionate about writing, find another way.

  • Need A Nap2 says:

    I would decide whether you want to be anonymous or not, then build your blog name and persona around that. 🙂

  • Kate says:

    I love that you’re so open about sharing your journey and experience! Thank you for that Crystal! I know there are lots of people out there who like to pretend they were an overnight success and just leave people feeling hopeless and discourage! But you always do such a good job or encouraging and supporting others, that is so awesome!
    Thank you for that Crystal!
    Kate

  • Ronni says:

    I agree with what Ann said – unless you meet some kind of new, specific, niche market, you probably aren’t going to break into the big leagues and make money blogging. Or maybe you might eventually, but that you should first write and find a readership.

    As someone else mentioned above, I’ve started several blogs on and off over the years, but never really figured out what I wanted to write about until my latest (and most real) blog I’ve started this year, called The Screenwriter’s Wife. It took awhile for me to figure out what was most important in my life that I found myself wanting to talk about, but I figured out that what I really, really wanted people to know about me was what my life was like living in Los Angeles and trying to find my place here, while my husband pursues a dream of writing. It’s something that I feel like my family and people from back at home have asked us about often, but no one really knows the true stories to what it’s really like. So I kind of just settled into my blog. And because it’s still just about my life, I’m not limited in my topics (though I do try to stick to topics that pertain to making life survive as a wife to a screenwriter).

    I don’t know if that helped any! But yes, writing a blog is great as has been a much needed outlet for me. I chose a theme just by figuring out what defined my life the most and what I thought might somehow be helpful to any others in my position. Oh, and you probably also should come to terms with how public of a life you want to portray on your blog. I mean, once you publish using your real name, anyone can search online and find it – so make sure it’s something that you don’t mind family/friends/coworkers/bosses knowing about you! 🙂

  • Quinn says:

    Im not a blogger, but michaelhyatt.com seems like a great resource for other bloggers.

  • Julie C says:

    I have a personal blog and I blog for the enjoyment of it. It helps me to focus on the little moments of the day that I might miss otherwise and I love sharing and connecting with people that share my interests. I think the advice in this post is excellent… write about what you love, keep writing, and don’t worry about making money at it – at least not at first!

    Wishing you well, Christopher! (and Crystal, you are an inspiration!)

  • Crystal, I love your advice to just start writing! That is great encouragement knowing there is room for finding our way! I am in that stage now … finding my way!

  • Aisha says:

    Is the Elite blog course only recommended for those who have a blog already established? Or is it also for those looking to start a blog?

    • I’d recommend it first and foremost for those who already have a blog established. However, if you want to hit the ground running and learn lots of successful practices for growing your blog from the get-go, it’s definitely worth checking out.

  • If you don’t want to use your name as your blog name, then I’d suggest going with a name conveys what you blog about but also isn’t too narrow that you can blog about other things later if you decide you want to. In other words, make it broad enough that you can easily add other topics of interest if that makes sense.

  • Cindy says:

    I started a blog 5 years ago and only had a couple of followers and that was fine. I kind of want to just continue that blog with a fast forward five years. Does that make any sense?

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