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Everyone can start blogging in minutes nowadays. It’s easy to start a blog either through WordPress.com or through self-hosted WordPress sites using services like Bluehost.com, for example. (Other options exist, too.)
But once you are set up, what should you blog about? What’s your blogging niche?
There are plenty of options. Perhaps these ideas can help a new blogger find a niche.
- What do you want to write about? What are you interests? (It seems to be that when people are passionate about what they write about the posts are more engaging.)
- What do you have expertise in? (I might be interested in football, but if I have no clue what I’m talking about a) my posts may lack credibility and b) people will probably not read them.
- How much do you have to say about a specific topic? (For example, I have a young child at home and could probably – if I wanted to – blog about being a dad many days. But, let’s say, I don’t have children and would start a Daddy Blog, I may not have much to say. Yes, quality of content is more important than quantity, but there still needs to be some frequency of updates.)
In addition it’s important to define blogging goals. Why do you blog? Some examples:
- Just for personal expression. (For example, I started ChristophsBlog.com mostly as a form of personal expression. Yes, I do focus around new media, content marketing and community journalism but I started it mostly to express and keep track of thoughts around those professional topics.) If people end up reading it that’s great, but that wasn’t the dominant initial idea.
- When I started Online in Eastern Iowa and then later Eastern Iowa News the goal was different. I created a general news service that covered news that traditional sites weren’t covering and covered some traditional news in a more casual way. (Some reader feedback can be found here.) The goal was to be noticed so the marketing strategy was much different. We handed out cards, wore T-shirts, promoted the service everywhere it made sense and grew the site quickly.
- To start a business? Obviously there are some people out there who make money off blogging. How are you different? How do you differentiate your blog from others? This could be done through the topic, the presentation or the personality (think YouTube vloggers – some of them are banking a lot on personality and then also content.) Personally, I think doing something better than another person isn’t necessarily always enough. It has to be different and engaging, too. And then, of course, there needs to be an audience for the content. If it’s too small you may not be able to make a living. If it’s too big the market might already be crowded.
After you start
Once you get started though, keep in mind that it will take time.
Traffic will be low, it’ll go up, then down, then back up, then stay even and then perhaps go up again!
Yes, we want comments, but there won’t be many – if any – especially when you just got started.
That’s OK. They’ll come. There are many other ways to listen to an audience:
- What are people reading?
- What are people sharing?
- What are people searching for when they get to your blog?
- What do people mention to you when they see you in public?
Finding and developing your blogging niche can be rewarding for you and your audience.