[Blogging For Beginners] How To Choose A Topic For Your Blog

SelectOnce there was a young man. He wanted to be a businessman. So, he asked his parents for some money, bought some land and spent 2 months constructing an office. Then he bought expensive furniture. In 3 months, everything was ready.

On the first day of fourth month, he threw a big party in celebration of starting a business.

On second day, he hired staff to maintain the office.

On third day, he hired an accountant, a clerk and a lawyer to help him with business.

And after all this, he sat down on the chair and started thinking, “What would my business be about?”

Stupid, wasn’t he?

After all, selecting a good field is the first thing to do when starting a business. And things are not that different with blogging. You need a good topic before starting a blog. And by good topic, I do not mean that you should just pick it randomly.

There are lot of things to consider before you start a blog about something:

  1. Audience: Are there people out there who want to read the given topic? This matters most if you want to make money with your blog because with no readers, you can’t make any money! For example, “Blogging Tips For Students” can find many readers but if you start a blog about “Blogging Tips For Third Grade Students”, chances of getting a good readership are thin! Yes, I just made the third grade stuff up because no better idea was coming to mind. But hey, an example is an example. I have every right to make things up! Smile
  2. Knowledge: Writing on a particular topic requires good knowledge about it. You can not go out there and start writing anything up. You can not pretend to be an authority. And knowing alone is not enough. You should have experimented with it before and know a little bit more than general public. You can not start a “Blogging Tips” blog at start when you do not know much about blogging. People know the difference between actual tips and made up stuff and can see through if you are writing just for the sake of it.
  3. Search Engine Traffic: Again, search engine traffic is related to monetizing your blog. This is because search engine visitors are known to generate more revenue than regular visitors. If there are not enough searches for the given topic, it might be a better idea to choose a more generic one.

What If I Start A Blog On Multiple Topics?

That’s another idea that may come to your mind. For example, if you are passionate about Blogging, Technology and SEO, you can start a single blog about these topics. This approach has following pros and cons.

Pros

  1. Efficient Use Of Time And Resources: Efficiency is one big factor for bloggers. While starting multiple blogs can seem like a good idea, it may backfire if you do not have enough time and resources for them. To start  multiple blogs, you will need more time and money. And add the management tasks like keeping plugins and platform up to date, you may end up spending lot of time on these topics, rather that writing content. If you are short on time or money, it is better to invest in one blog with multiple topics. Related PostEfficiency Vs Effectiveness.
  2. Better Search Engine Rankings: Search engines love content. If you produce quality and original content for one blog and properly optimize it, it will get better rankings than 2 or 3 blogs on different topics.
  3. Better Content: With multiple blogs, you will have to be regular with writing for each of them. Let’s say you start 3 blogs about blogging, SEO and technology respectively and write 3 posts per week on each of them. In this scenario, you have to write 9 posts a week, not an easy task. But if you go for 3 posts per week on a single blog, the quality of posts will go up!

Cons

  1. Hard To Make Money: If your blog is not focused on one single niche, it will be hard to make money because advertisers from one niche may not like posts on other niche and targeted ads may display irrelevant ads.
  2. Freedom: Writing on a single topic is not easy. You may suffer burnout. With a blog on multiple topics, you can write about other topic if you want!

How To Pinpoint The Topic

To pinpoint the exact topic, you will have to look around a bit. Not on your desk, inside your head. I have discussed step by step process in Finding The Topic That Will Make You Successful: 4 Steps To Success.

5 Questions To Ask Yourself

Once you have a topic in mind, ask following questions to yourself:

  1. Do I Have Time To Write?
  2. Can I write regularly on this subject?
  3. Is there enough audience in this niche?
  4. Do I know enough about it?
  5. Do I really know or am I just pretending to know?

Over To You

If you are a new blogger:

  1. What other questions do you have?
  2. Are you going to choose a multi topic blog?

If you are an experienced blogger:

  1. What other advice do you have for new bloggers?

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[Image Credit]: Editor B via flickr

About Ishan Sharma

Hi, I am a young Blogger from India. I am very passionate about blogging and also co-founder of Blogging With Success. I write about general blogging tips and WordPress. You can read other posts by me here.If you need help, feel free to contact anytime!

Comments

  1. I like your approach and also like your story. Your story should be telling “At First Chose Your Topic”, yeah?

    I believe, it’s totally impossible if someone plan to blog only for money and chose a topic but have not enough real life experiences. And my recommendation to very new bloggers, “chose a topic from your own interest”.

    And of-course “Professional Blogging” means niche blogging, but a newbie can chose multiple topics for experience purpose only and try to make sure that all are technically relate each other.

  2. Wow, VERY nice blog post Ishan. I love how you opened with that story.

    I’m not a new blogger, but sometimes I ask myself why the heck I ever decided to start an internet marketing blog. There are too many!

    But there’s one simple answer: I love it. And I’m passionate about it. And I work hard to stand out from the crowd.

    If I had one piece of advice for new bloggers, it would be that you MUST be passionate about your topic. You must ask yourself the question, “Would I be willing to write about this even if it meant I would never make a single dollar from this blog?” The answer should be YES. That proves a passionate blogger. And passion is most definitely what sets a mediocre blog apart from an outstanding blog!

  3. Ishan:

    I loved the intro story! Fabulous, and I agree 100% with the fact that you have to REALLY know what you are talking about and not just pretend.

    Great post!
    Lisa

  4. Looking at Google Trends might help you out too. Great article!

  5. Hey ishan,

    Thanks for the awesome article!

    I totally agree with your methods of choosing a topic for your blog. There are always a lot of things to consider. I think the biggest thing is finding out what you have a passion for, then figuring out how express it in words. When you have a passion for something you might go into it not know a lot, but the very fact that your passionate about it will naturally push you to dig deeper.

    Just my 2 cents!

    Thanks again!

    God bless,
    William Veasley

    • Hi William,
      Thanks for adding about passion. Passion is definitely one of the most important, wait, it is THE most important thing one needs.
      Thanks for commenting.

  6. Hi Ishan,

    You’re totally right here, first you need to check is there audience ready to read your blog.

    You need be complete knowledge about that topic so that if anybody ask something you can reply him immediately and make your impression there.

    Search engine result is also a very crucial factor but I think few blogger don’t consider this point (like me). But now I’ll do…. ;)

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  7. Hi Ishan,

    Very nice topic! When it comes to blogging, relationships, money, health are among the top fields that people like to read and SEO loves. After all, most people want to improve their relationships, make more money and improve their health.

    Having a specific business plan is needed for success and having a vision as well. Otherwise, you would be walking not knowing where you are going. Thanks for sharing

    • HI Dia,
      Thanks for commenting. A specific plan is definitely needed for starters as well as experienced bloggers.

  8. Hi there. Always enjoy reading your blog. It’s very helpful. I’ve got a couple of questions for you.
    1. If one has a blog with a title that can cover many related topics, how’s the best way to do things? Say I want to talk about curtains (in a baby nursery, of course). Should I just ignore the name of the blog, which is Baby Nursery Decoration, and concentrate on keywords for the curtain conten, starting with the title for that specific postt?
    And then, next time I might talk about wall art. So far I’m not selling anything, but would like to, my own or as an affilliate.

    2. If the above domain is dot com, but starts with eBaby, does that e hold it back in seo?

    3. What if I have a second domain set up and ready to go, with no strange letters or marks? But it ends in dot biz. (BabyRoomIdeas.biz) Would that website work better than the eBaby, do you think, to cover multiple topics?

    I’ve been studying about affilliate marketing and all that jazz and have become totally confused about single websites for each topic vs. clumping related topics under one website. I’ll appreciate your wisdom on this matter. Thanks a lot.

    • Hi Dorothy,
      Here are my answers:
      1. Yes. You can focus on the topic of that post. One better approach is writing multiple posts. For example, you will surely have more ideas about curtains, right? Then make a series(you may or may not tell people about it) and then list all the posts on a single page. This helps with SEO. See our Make Money Blogging page for example: http://bloggingwithsuccess.net/make-money-blogging
      2. I think no. e should not have problems.
      3. Well, if you are covering same topics, why not go with existing domain. Since it is older, it will have SEO benefit. Do not waste time on new blog unless you want to separate the topics.
      After everything else, bottom line is that only 30-40% weight is given to on-site SEO. If you keep getting good backlinks(off-page optimization) to your domain, then you can easily rank well.
      Hope that helps. Just reply or mail me if you need more help.
      Thanks.

      • Thanks, Ishan. When you say to run a series, I understand that concept. But when you say to put them on the “same page,” you lost me. Do you mean write several blog posts on variations of one subject? On WPDirect a page shows up at the top, like Contact Us, About, Etc. Thanks again.

        • I guess what I’m saying is I’ve got a lot of topics about baby room decoration. It seems as if I’d have to narrow down to only about three topics for the pages that are listed above like your Make Money Blogging page.

          Here’s a thought. First write a blog post on a topic. At the same time, add a ‘page’ with further information on the same topic in case they want to know more. Hey…could you also offer something pertinent for them to buy on that page? (I feel as though I should offer you a cup of coffee or tea while we chat. Sorry for taking up so much space/time here, but it’s so nice to talk to someone who knows about these things.)

          • Well, you can list all or some posts related to topic on the page. For example, go to CopyBlogger and notice their main menu bar. You can create pages like that which list important posts on each topic. If you want to display all posts on a topic, add category links in menu bar.
            However, page works better. Yes, you can offer a related product on that page. No need to narrow down to 3 topics. 4-6 pages can be added if you make names short.
            Regarding time, no problem with that. I have loads of spare time these days. And besides, you can’t offer me tea/coffee as I don’t drink both! :)

  9. Ishan, good post, buddy. Niche, niche, niche. And yes, it’s okay to write about other things that interest you from time to time. But keep your overall topics boiled down to your target demographic. I like what Gary Vaynerchuck says (WineLibrary.com), to write about topics you could write hundreds of posts about because it makes you that passionate.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Bryan,
      Thanks for the kind words. Yep, writing a post or two about cats won’t hurt but if it is on niche, better!
      Thanks for commenting.

  10. I think a lot of people are going to find this helpful, and not just beginners either.

    Putting loads of niches into one blog is a big killer. I found this out the hard way. :)

    • Hi Dean,
      Thanks for the kind words. Yes, it can be harder but more fun for beginners. I have a friend who took this approach and who was able to do much with his blog.
      Thanks for commenting..

  11. Hey Ishan – another great article that I wish I would have had 6 months earlier. Oh well, because I no matter what, the topic of my blog would have been what it is not matter what – I think. My other option was fitness, which is something that I will certain jump into as well. It’s a passion of mine, something that I practice every single day.

    Thank you for the great tips!

    • Hi JK,
      Guess I am a little late on schedule! :) But it’s great you chose right topic. You just mentioned you practice fitness everyday, then it will be easier for you to blog daily.
      Just hold back a bit, make Hustler’s Notebook known and then use it to launch the new blog. Helps a lot!
      Thanks for commenting.

  12. From where did you come up with that story? :D

    Still waiting for your comment on the tribe post ;)

    • Hi Tyrsina,
      Well, I was thinking of something stupid and this came to my mind.
      Thanks for commenting.