Isn’t it the most common question of all bloggers, new or not-so-new ones? What to blog about?
Whether you’re starting a new blog or already have a growing one, you know the struggle. What the hell should you write about on your blog or for your new blog post?!
Let’s find out!
I won’t leave anyone behind with this article! It’s divided into two parts. The first one for those starting a new blog and looking for a blog topic, which is always a good reminder for current bloggers. Then we’ll focus on tips for existing blogs, which will also interest new bloggers as you’ll soon be there!
First things first: what do people want?
No matter what topic you choose or chose for your blog, make sure you remember what readers look for in blogs.
- A solution to their problems. This one is essential: how will new readers find you if you don’t answer to their questions & problems?
- Learn new things & get inspired. Once you’ve hooked your readers and they’re part of your email list or social media, that’s when you will get
- Fun & distractions. No one wants to read boring, theoretic blog posts, no matter how great the content is. The key is to find your “writing voice”! And the best way to find it is to force yourself to write consistently.
I believe that it’s by combining those three elements and the right topic to blog about that you attract people to your blog and then keep them around. Also, makes a lot of sense to look at it as a kind of funnel.
1. So you’re starting a new blog? Cool, a Blog About What?
You’ve eventually come around and understood now why you should get into blogging? Good.
Let me just ask you one thing: what do you want with this new blog? What’s your goal?
I don’t mean to be harsh, but blogging is hard. If you’re starting without a vision in mind, you’re setting yourself for failure. Usually, reasons to start a blog can be many:
- Is it a passion of yours? It has to!
- Do you want to strengthen your personal brand? Always a good decision! What’s more, a strong personal brand can help you establish yourself as an authority within your niche.
- Are you looking to build a money-generating blog around it? Way to go, but be warned: it takes a long time, and it shouldn’t be your main goal when starting out! Would you like to sell ebooks, training, do affiliate marketing? Is it feasible?
If you ask me, it has to be a bit of those three elements. If you start a passion blog without any reward, in the end, you’ll soon give up. If you’re only after the money, it will be hard to find the motivation to write even only weekly blog posts. And your personal brand should shine through everything you do, including your side hustles!
Pick a niche they said!
Who hasn’t heard about niches? In simple words, it’s a topic narrow enough around which you will center your business around and blog about consistently.
For instance, while diving might be a topic that’s too broad, free diving or apnea diving is a better niche. You’ll have less trouble reaching the people in your niche, and often they’ll be happy to spend money on their passion. Money begets money.
The thing is, in 2017, it’s harder and harder to find “free” niches. But that’s also great because you can also easily estimate if money is to be made in your niche. In simpler terms, the more blogs/products there is around a niche, the more potential earning there could be for your blog.
But you still need to differentiate yourself, right? Yup.
A great book on the topic is the 22 immutable laws of Marketing. The law of the Category dictates that:
If you can’t be the first in a specific category (read niche), you should set up a new category that you can be the first in.
Are you Passionate enough?
I mean, really passionate?
Passionate enough so that you’d be able to blog about your niche for years to come every week? What about twice per week, once per day? If you couldn’t do it, maybe you should widen your niche a bit.
Turning a new blog with no readers to a bigger one often takes years to happen. Ever heard of “overnight successes, 10 years in the making”?
Take a look at the competition
Even if you’ve created a new category, it’s important to look at what your competition is doing and what they blog about.
We all have blogs we admire and aim to become as successful. While it can be discouraging to analyze them, it’s also really inspiring when it comes to what works.
Remember, as you will try to differentiate yourself, you should have a good idea of what everyone else is doing so that you can do it differently. Are people doing short blog posts, let’s try long ones!
Is everybody writing blog posts, maybe you could try vlogging?
Is there a content gap in your niche? What website would you have loved to have when you discovered your passion? What is missing?
Don’t overthink it, just do it!
While it’s always good to have a strategy in mind and know what’s happening in your space, don’t get too scared that you won’t more on with your project.
Nobody gets it right the first shot. There is no “wrong choice”, and you will always be able to correct course along the way with the feedback you get. You will also see what works best and what doesn’t!
2. If You Already Have a Blog
So you have a blog but struggle with coming up with new blog posts ideas? We’ve all been there!
The important thing here is to remember your strategy as every blog post should be a missing block of a big picture strategy.
For instance, at the moment, every blog post I publish will be re-used in an ebook I will release in the following months. As the plan for the ebook is clearly defined, I know exactly what parts are missing and simply have to blog about one for my week’s blog post.
If you don’t have a strategy, now would be a good time to map one as you surely understand the importance of having one in the long run.
Take advantage from your readership
In a good way of course! Think about it, if you already have a blog you should have a readership.
No matter how small or big it is, those are people who enjoy the blog posts you put out! They’re in fact the perfect people to ask when you’re missing inspiration or need some feedback.
I’ve been using two ways to successfully gather feedback & new blog post ideas from my audience:
They’re perfect for gathering feedback & ideas at a larger scale.
I’m currently running one as a contest (=more participation). If you have not participated yet, I encourage you to do so here!
- Make it part of your drip campaigns
If you have already got started with email marketing, it’s never a bad idea to include either a link to your questionnaire or simply a question at the end of your drip campaigns & newsletters.
Another advantage of this approach is that you’re certain always to have fresh answers coming!
Now time to expand your horizons and look further than your strategy, blog, and audience to find inspiration.
Take a look at where people ask their questions
Remember, blogging is about providing answers to people’s questions first. Without that, there’s nothing.
Now, where do people ask questions? That’s where you have to look as well to find inspiration! Namely, you should search where people in your niche hang out and find out what they’re struggling with:
- Quora and the likes
- Slack channels
What’s more, those channels well used could end up bringing you some quality traffic over the long run!
The grass is always greener on the other side
Have a look at your competition! If you consider a website to be your competition, it’s most probably because there is something they must be doing right.
As I often say:
First copy what works and then differenciate yourself.
Note the two parts of that sentence. If you still consider you’re a beginner in your space, I encourage you to get the basics right and copy what everyone is doing.
At a certain point when you’re more experienced, you’ll have no choice but to differentiate yourself to continue growing!
As we’ve seen here, finding the topic for your new blog and keep blogging about it is something every blogger struggles with at one point or another. The most important thing is to don’t be afraid to get started and stay consistent with your strategy until you’re ready to differentiate yourself! Don’t lose the end goal of your blogs, help people, experiment and have fun.
You will have to, especially since blogs take a few years to take off really!
Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments!