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Do you know why people decide to read certain blogs and not others? According to marketing pro Eric Pangburn, there are hundreds of millions of blogs out there. What makes some successful and other not?
One major factor is the topic. Not the topic of the individual posts but the topic of the blog overall. Let’s take a look at how you can pick a topic that will consistently draw in readers:
What Type of Blog is Best?
As discussed in 47 Different Ways of Using WordPress, blogs are one of the most common and popular types of content online. But not all blogs are created equally.
Blogs have two general categories:
1. Personal Blogs
This is a blog where the focus is on the author’s life and personality. They can cover a variety of different topics including the author’s life, opinions on current events, photos, travel and more.
Successful personal blogs are usually well-written and entertaining. Readers identify personally with the author. Wait But Why is a popular example.
2. Niche Blogs
These are more about a specific topic or industry. Readers are more interested in the information presented than the personality of the author. Newsarama is a popular comic book and pop culture blog.
With niche blogs, you don’t want to stray too far from the central theme. Otherwise, readers will be confused about what the blog is all about.
Do I Need to Create a New Blog for Every Topic I Want to Write About?
If you’re not interested in writing solely about one specific topic, you should create a personal blog. This lets you write about basically any topic you want, as long as you’re involved in some way. You can write about your life, your opinion on current events and more.
Managing several blogs at once is almost never a good idea. You’ll likely run into time, organization and motivation problems.
Can I Turn My Blog Posts into a Book?
Yes, but it’s not always easy. Your best bet is to take your most popular blog posts and turn them into a self-published book. Amazon is usually the best way to self-publish.
You probably won’t have much luck with traditional publishers. Most of them will be reluctant to publish content which is already available online for free.
Know Your Audience
No blog has an audience of “everybody.” You want to identify which specific groups of people are the most likely to be interested in your content. This involves creating a Customer Profile.
A Customer Profile, also known as a Buyer Persona, is a fictional customer you create and then design all your marketing towards. The Whole Brain Group has identified the three criteria you need to know:
- Demographics – age, gender, income level, profession and so on
- Psychographics – personality, preferences, etc.
- Behavior – hobbies, media consumption, and other likes and dislikes
Once you’ve established the types of people you think will be interested in reading your blog, you need to find out where they are and specific topics they want to write about.
How to Choose a Blog Topic Which Will Last
Will you have enough material to go the distance with your blog? Don’t think two weeks ahead. Plan for six months, one year, two years and even five years from now.
Is your topic going to be interesting and relevant for a long time in the future? Blog success doesn’t happen overnight. You’ll need to build up a large volume of material.
Don’t pick any topic which is terribly time sensitive. You’ll want your archive of older posts to be interesting to future readers. This doesn’t mean you can’t write about current events, but always keep evergreen content in mind.
Before you begin, brainstorm at least 25 ideas for blog posts. If this becomes very difficult or impossible, you probably want to widen your focus.
What Makes Your Blog Unique?
Most likely, you’re not going to choose a topic that’s 100% original – even if you’re writing a personal blog!
There are many ways your blog can stand out. Some ideas here include:
- A unique POV. You’re funnier, more opinionated or otherwise stand out from the crowd.
- Videos, pictures and other media. You appeal to people who don’t want to read a ton of text.
- Lots of research. You go the extra mile to bring information about your subject.
Marketing Artfully has more info in their video How to Pick Blog Topics and What to Write About:
Is Your Blog Topic Popular?
Search for your topic on Google. Do you have a sense this is a popular topic online or does nobody seem interested?
Take some popular keywords and check their popularity, too. One great tool I use for this is Long Tail Pro. This is a keyword research tool.
With Long Tail Pro, you can identify long-tail keywords. These are keywords up to six words long. They’re very specific search terms. By playing around with Long Tail Pro, you can identify the most popular keywords related to your blog. This gives you a good idea of what people want to read.
Long Tail Pro has a unique Keyword Competition Feature. This analyzes the top 10 search results for each keyword and gives you the following data:
You can really hone in specific topics which are both popular and under-served. This will help make your blog appealing to a lot of readers.
Use Long Tail Pro to check the difficult score of any relevant keywords. A score under 30 means there’s low difficult. You’ll be able to show for the topic in the search results.
At the end of the day, only you know how to pick a blog topic which is right for you. You’ll want something which interests, excites and engages you. This is a topic which you might be writing about for years.
By using the tips above, you’ll find the perfect blog for you. Here’s to years of happy blogging!