How to decide on what to write? – Choosing a topic

Amarnath Prabhakar September 19, 2008 0

Many a times people who are wanting to blog start blogging with some random topic which cannot be continued because of varied reasons. Now once you are convinced about blogging it becomes essential to identify the topic you want to take up for blogging. Below are a few points that need to be considered before deciding what you want to write.

Topics aplenty – There are plenty of topics available to be considered for blogging. I would like to list a few topics that can be considered, Food and Drink, money, lifestyle, technology, arts, places of interests, movies and music, relationships etc., etc., etc., Although there are these many categories of topics to choose for blogging you should stop, consider a few things before you indulge into blogging.

Does the topic interest you? It’s very simple choosing a topic to blog about but that interest you have in that topic would soon fizzle out if that does not interest you. Do a reality check see what is interesting (in your eyes) and of course check the topic for saleability. Not always do people have to like what you like. While it might be tempting to start blogs based on what other people are interested in or what makes commercial sense there is little logic in starting a blog on a topic that you have no interest in.

Nose dive into YOU What a bizarre thing to say!!! what do I mean by that statement?. I mean that it is always better to start deciding on a topic for a blog by identifying your own interests, passions and energy levels for topics. There are two main reasons for this.
Firstly if you want to grow a popular and well respected blog it can take considerable time and you’ll be needing to take a long term approach to building it up. As a result it’s well worth asking yourself ‘can I see myself still writing on this topic in 12 months time?’ If you can’t I’d suggest finding another topic.
The second reason is that you readers will quickly discern if you are passionate about your topic or not. Blogs that are dry and passionless don’t tend to grow – it makes sense really as no one wants to read something that the author doesn’t really believe in.

Check for topic popularity While the blogger’s interest is important it’s not enough on it’s own to build a popular blog. Another crucial ingredient is that people WANT to read information on the topic you’re writing on. It is always better to fulfil to a demand for a particular topic.
Of course keep in mind that you are writing in a medium with a global audience of many millions and as a result you don’t need a topic that everyone is searching, just one that some people are searching for because even it’s something that even a small percentage of people have an active interest in it can be a lucrative area.

Is the Topic one that is growing or shrinking? Also keep in mind that popular topics change over time. Obviously it’s great to get on a topic before it becomes big rather than when it’s on the decline. This is not easy to do of course but predict the next big thing that people will be searching for and you could be onto a winner.
Get in the habit of being on the lookout for what people are into. Keep an eye on what people are into and what the latest trends are. Do this online but also keep an eye on TV, magazines, the papers and even the conversations you have with friends.

Aware of the competition One of the traps that some bloggers get sucked into when choosing a topic is to go for the most popular topics with no regard for the competition that they might face in those markets. The chances are if you have identified a niche that you think is ‘hot’ at the moment that someone else will have also. It’s demand and supply coming into play again – for any level of demand for information on a topic there will only be a certain number of sources of that information that will be needed on that topic.
The web is becoming a more and more cluttered place and sometimes it feels that there are no niches that are left open to blog about. While this is true in some of the more popular topics – remember that you don’t have to go for the topic that everyone is searching for. In fact sometimes it’s some of the less popular topics that have little or no competition that are the best earners.
I have seen one of the blogger who after years of attempting to do well writing about gadgets swapped to ‘ride on lawn mowers’ (a topic he’d been researching for a purchase he was making). He was amazed to find that after just a couple of months of writing on his new topic that it was doing significantly more traffic (and making quite a bit more) than his gadget websites ever had.
It is always best to become a big fish in a small pond rather than a small fish in a big pond.

What has the competition not looked at? This is a great question that is obviously related to the last one on number of competition. It attempts to find ‘gaps’ that are not yet filled. While your competition might have the advantage of an established audience, you have the advantage of flexibility and can position your blog very quickly to fill a gap in the niche that you might observe – in doing so you create a sub-niche within the larger topic. Example is this very topic, I can write about various ways to earn money blogging at length. The area I am not concentration is the step by step approach towards getting to where I am pointing. Are you technically sound you may want to consider tutorials for the masses.

Can you be sure of unending content flow? One of the key features of successful blogs is that they have the ability to continue to come up with fresh content on their topic for long periods of time. Conversely, one of the things that kills many blogs is that their authors run out of things to say.
Answering the question regarding whether there is enough content can be done on two levels:
1. Do YOU have enough content within YOU as an author? This really comes back to the question we asked above about your passion, interests and energy for the topic (so I’ll leave it at that).
2. Do you have access to enough other sources of content and inspiration? There are many web based tools around these days that can help you in coming up with content. Some places to check out on your topic to see what news is about include Google News, Topix, Yahoo! News, Bloglines, Technorati and Blog Pulse (among others).

Can you achieve some income on the topic? Not everyone will need to ask this question if their intention is not to build a blog that has an entrepreneurial edge to it but as this blog is on the topic of making money from blogs I’ll address it in posts to follow but for the record, if you are interested in earning an income from blogging you will need to also factor in some investigation of whether the topic that you’ve chosen has any obvious potential income streams. There are many advertising programs which are built on keyword monetization.

It is better for us to choose topics which would pay us more examples are as below
1. voip solutions pays $17.46 – Topic is on Voice over Internet Protocol
2. compare home equity loan rates pays $56.87 – Topic on Financial Solutions
3. data recovery denver pays $53.59 – Topic on Technology
4. mesothelioma survivor pays $83.97 – Topic on Medical
5. domain registrars pays $10.06 – Topic on Internet

The list goes on, the above list is for ads on PPC(Pay per click) model there is another model PPM(Pay per Impression), We will discuss that later
You can get an entire list here – http://top-paid-keywords.blogspot.com/

Choose a Niche At this point it’s time to choose a topic for your blog. It’s probably unlikely that you’ll find the perfect topic on all of the fronts above. While it’d be great to find a topic that you’re passionate about that just happens to have massive demand and no competition – but the reality is that most topics topics that you come up with will have at least one weakness to them. Don’t let this get you down – there comes a time when you just need to make a decision and start blogging. The key is being aware of what the weakness is so that you can work to overcome it.

Do your Best!! I do not usually say All the best!!, Doing your best is something you can control. Subscribe to Unoblogger by Email.

Suggested Reading:

What is a Blog?

Are you ready to blog?

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