There are thousands of possible topics to blog about, but this presents a problem for many people. Do you have so many ideas for a blog that you are having trouble settling on one? Or are you not coming up with any ideas that make you feel enthusiastic about starting a blog? If either of these situations apply to you, the following tips will help you choose the best kind of blog.
What kind of blog do you have (or want to build)?
Before you choose a topic, you should get clear on what you hope to accomplish from your blog. Here are a few examples of the type of blogs people often create these days.
This can be like an online diary. The great thing about this type of blog is that it doesn’t need a specific subject, other than what you’re thinking on any particular day.
Another good thing about personal blogs is that they are often more interesting to read than business blogs, if only because the writer is just being him or herself and not trying to market anything.
If this is the kind of blog you want, you probably aren’t stuck as this is the easiest kind of blog to start and create. I’m only mentioning it because it’s one possibility. Additionally, you can combine some of the traits of personal blogs with other kinds of blogs.
For example, some successful marketers manage to create a blog that has a friendly, personal tone even though they may be selling as well.
Niche or Microblogs
This is a blog dedicated to a very specific topic. It’s usually created to generate income. While the term “niche” is often used interchangeably with “topic” or “subject”, a niche is actually more of a sub-topic. For example, “weight loss” is not really a niche, but a specific diet such as the Paleo or Atkins diet would be.
This is a good type of blog to set up if you’re an expert in a particular field, or if you are willing to do plenty of research to become knowledgeable about it. As we’ll be discussing later on, however, it’s not usually wise to pick a topic simply because you think it will be profitable if you have no knowledge or interest in it.
Some people set up multiple niche sites or microblogs. Even if this is your goal, it’s best to start off with one and build it up before you start creating another one. From my experience, it’s better to have one great site than a large number of mediocre ones.
This is a fairly new term used to describe video blogs. You don’t need any special technology to set up a video blog these days. It’s simple for anyone to create videos, either with a webcam or using a video creation software or service.
You can also embed other people’s videos in your own blog. This is permissible, as long as the video’s creator hasn’t disabled the embed function on YouTube. If you want to optimize your posts, however, you should do more than simply post other people’s videos. You should also make some original comments, so that the search engines recognize your posts as unique content.
An authority site can be a blog or a traditional website. This type of site can be on a specific niche, or it can be on a broader topic such as self-improvement, fitness, making money online, etc.
This is another term that’s used rather loosely now. You should understand that it’s not easy to create an authority site. True examples of authority sites are sites with high page rank (usually at least 6), that get thousands of visitors per day. It usually takes quite a bit of time to build up your site to this level.
What this means is that it’s fine to have the goal of making your blog into a huge authority site, but don’t think that it’s something you can accomplish in a few weeks. If you do have the ambition to build this type of site, you must choose a subject that’s popular.
Getting ideas for your blog
If you are looking for ideas or inspiration for your blog, you can try some of the following methods.
Your interests, experience and background
This makes things easier, as you are already familiar with the topic. You will still have to do research to keep up with the latest news and trends, but you will at least be very familiar with the fundamentals.
Being interested or knowledgeable about something is nice, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good topic to blog about. You could have a fun but obscure hobby.
If you want to create a personal blog about this, that is fine. It might, however, be difficult to monetize such a site. Ideally, you want to find something that both you and the rest of the world (or at least a significant number of your visitors) are interested in.
Take a look at what’s selling well on Amazon.com and eBay.com. Browse print books and Kindle, and see what kind of books are bestsellers. This can help you pinpoint a topic. Again, don’t pick something just because it’s popular but this can be one reason to pick it.
Other places to search for popular topics include Google Trends, print magazines, current news stories on or offline, and financial news (which can give you the big picture regarding which industries and types of products are selling).
Research your industry
If you have a blog connected to a particular product or industry, you should stay as well informed as possible about what’s going on in this field. While this is a good idea for anyone, having a blog can give you some extra motivation to do this.
Your readers will be interested in many developments related to your field, so you should be a source of information for them. Today, you can find new ideas, theories and developments in almost every field. These are published on the internet all the time, so it’s a good idea to get Google News alerts sent to your inbox.
Aside from this, you should subscribe to any informative journals, newsletters or magazines (online or print) that keeps you up to date about the latest findings in your field or industry.
Tips for blog posts
Let’s assume that you already have chosen the topic for your blog and have it all set up. You still need a steady source of ideas for blog posts. Some of the above suggestions (such as keeping up with news in your field) are relevant here. There are some other possibilities as well.
Reviews of books, videos or products
Give readers your opinion about popular products, books, videos or other websites related to your subject. This is a chance for you to be a little opinionated or controversial. Tell people why you like or don’t like something!
Quick tutorials or solutions
Address a common problem that your readers are likely to face and talk about the best solutions. You can do this in a blog post or video.
Interview experts in your field
If you can get interviews with well known people in your field, this can attract lots of traffic to your blog. This isn’t necessarily difficult. Interviews can be done via Skype or even email. If the person is very busy, you could simply send him or her a list of questions. If the interview is long enough, you could split it up into two or more blog posts.
These are popular with just about every type of audience. You can create lists for the best of, the worst of, the strangest and so on. People like lists because they can be read quickly. This is the type of post that is likely to get shared.
On my own website, you can see many such posts. The following are some good examples:
An image can be the basis for a blog post. You should write some commentary around it, but an image will catch your readers’ eyes. You can have short blog posts centered around pictures and longer ones that use images to break up the text.
I already mentioned the concept of “vlogs” – video blogs. Even if your blog isn’t a vlog, however, you can put some videos in every so often. These can be your videos or relevant ones you find elsewhere. You can find a lot of good videos on a variety of topics on YouTube and DailyMotion.
News stories or interesting links
This is what is sometimes called the curation model. You place a link, usually from a well known site, into your blog post and add some commentary. Some sites are based entirely on this practice, while others use it occasionally.
You should take plenty of time to decide what type of blog you want to build, and what topics to write. On the other hand, once your blog is set up, you don’t have to make each blog post an ordeal. You can draw from the above suggestions when trying to come up with ideas for blogging.
It’s important to be consistent about posting to your blog. Every post doesn’t have to be earth-shattering. If you’re having trouble thinking of something, just find a relevant image, video or news story and create a post around that.
If you choose a topic that interests you, and that is fairly popular, you should never run out of things to blog about!