So you after reading the introduction on starting a blog for fun or profit you have decided you want to go for it and start your own blog. Great! But what should you write about?
This is one of the most important questions you will face when deciding to start a blog. You want to write about a topic in which you are knowledgeable, and more importantly, that you are passionate about. But before we go further, you need to ask another important question to help you define your blog.
What is your blog’s purpose?
Before putting pen to paper, you need to ask yourself what the purpose of your blog will be. We asked similar questions in the first part of the series, and you may have already answered this question. Once you know your blog’s purpose, you need to narrow your focus until you can answer this question with a one sentence answer. There is no right or wrong answer – your blog is what you want it to be.
You will need more than just a purpose, you will also need knowledge and passion.
Two key elements of blogging: Knowledge and Passion
Without knowledge and passion, your blog is doomed to fail. These two elements feed off each other and it will give you the energy you need to continue writing, even when you hit a down period and don’t feel as though you have anything to contribute.
The knowledge test. Let’s try a quick test – grab a sheet of paper and and start writing down article ideas; a title or rough sentence is all you need. If you can’t come up with 30 article ideas in about 5 minutes, it might be best to think about a different topic.
The passion test. Ask yourself a few questions about your topic idea – Do you think about this topic every day? multiple times per day? Can you talk about it for hours? Do you actively search out new information on your topic or actively bring it up in conversations? All of these answers should be yes.
How many topics should you write about?
Give your blog one main theme. People will usually expect to read related topics on the same site, so it is usually best to focus on one topic or a set of related topics. On Cash Money Life I focus on “personal finance and career” topics. These aren’t the same topic, but they are related closely enough that it makes sense to combine the topics. It wouldn’t make sense for me to write about personal finance today, then fishing tomorrow, then ballroom dancing on Friday, then… catch my point?
It will be infinitely easier to grow you blog in terms of subscribers and traffic if readers know what to expect.
But I pass the knowledge and passion test on multiple topics!
So you are a Renaissance man, eh? Schooled in math, science, engineering, economics, politics, art, music, and travel? Why not write about all of these topics and place them all on the same site?
Because readers won’t know what to expect on any given day – which will turn off many people. If you want to write about all these topics you have two choices to consider – creating separate sites for each topic, or use a subdomain for each additional topic.
An example of a subdomain: I enjoy finding deals, ways to save money, and ways to make free money, but I couldn’t fit them all in on Cash Money Life without adding a lot of extra posts. That would eventually dilute the personal finance articles I write so I added a subdomain to take care of this.
Using multiple subdomains: You aren’t limited to just one subdomain. You can make as many as you want. Check out Curious Cat and how he uses subdomains to cover 3 diverse topics.
- Curious Cat Investing and Economics Blog
- Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog
- Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog
If you notice, each of these “sites” has a different feel to let the reader know the topic has changed. By doing using subdomains, he is able to maintain his site’s brand while branching out into the topics that interest him. And he does this without confusing his readers.
So which topic should you write about?
Only you can answer that question. My advice is to brainstorm, take the passion and knowledge tests, then start off with the topic that interest you the most. It may be tempting to try and start 5 blogs at once because you have the passion for those topics, but you will be more successful if you focus on one blog to begin with. The learning curve and time commitment are much larger than most people realize.
What about money? Ah, you noticed I didn’t bring up money yet! That’s because money shouldn’t factor into why you want to start a blog. If you have the knowledge and the passion, it will show and you will eventually get readers and traffic. And with those two elements, you can start thinking about making money with your blog. And we will cover that topic in a later article.
Use online tools to help you build upon growth
Using online tools such as Google Analytics is just one way to track your traffic statistics. Once you get your site up and running, you will notice that certain articles are bringing in more traffic than others. A good way to increase your traffic more quickly is to leverage your growth by increasing your content by writing on similar topics. One way to track and manage these efforts is with RavenTools, which is an online tool that can help you manage your online marketing campaigns – from a blog to a full-blown online store. You can also use this service to manage SEO campaigns, online marketing campaigns, social media accounts, research keywords, and more. Click here for a Manage your website SEO and Social Media – Free 30 Day Trial.
Next up is where and how to set up a blog.