This is the most important aspect to starting any blog which is finding a blogging topic. Over the years I have had people come up to me stating they want to start a blog. Now, most of the people wanted to do it for the free tools and other thought it was cool going to media events and still other thought they could make a ton of money.
Everyone has their own ideas of why they want to start a blog, but I think some truly understand what it takes to run a blog. It always amazes me how many people want to review products so they can get free stuff. Time after time, they tell me how cool it would be to get free products. I try to example to them that’s it’s not an easy task. While I loved getting free power tools the first year, it has grown old over the years.
I try to explain that it takes a ton of time to research the tool, take pictures, shoot the videos, edit the videos, write the articles and market it through your social channels. When it comes down to it, the hours you really put into each review can be about 10 hours. If the tool is valued at $100, then you are only making $10/an hour. Free product doesn’t pay the bills. So why it might be cool getting free products, you still have to figure out a way to make money.
Things to Consider Before You Start
Passion & Hobby
Starting a blog can be fun and exciting, while also draining and frustrating. You will spend long hours and a ton of repetitive work, so you better love what you do.
What is your passion? Do you want to turn that into a blog? What is your hobby? Do you want to turn that into a blog? The one thing I can tell you that whatever you pick, you better be willing and prepared for these two things to potential happen. I am not saying they will, but they could.
- Your passion or hobby will no longer be a passion or hobby, not it’s work.
- If your passion or hobby turn to work, you will have to find a new way to unwind.
Now I am not saying this will happen, but for some, it does. I love having a hobby that I can do for fun. It allows me to unwind and reset. While I use to love power tools, they just don’t have the same meaning they use to have.
Can you picture yourself doing this in 2 years from now? How about 10 years for now? The reason I ask is because life has a funny way of resetting us. Have you ever had that new job and love it so much, only to find out a year later, it’s just a job? What about being excited about your new car, only for a month from now, it’s just a car? See things may be fun and exciting now, but there will be a time when it’s just blogging. The luster and excitement went away.
Now I am not saying it will go away because, for me, it hasn’t. Yes, I have my days where it wears me down, but all my blogs are things I enjoy. The day or weeks where I do get worn down, it’s easy to pick myself up because I enjoy the job and enjoy the subject. I use to work construction and I know how hard that was. So sitting behind a screen and using my fingers, well that is pretty easy.
I am not saying all this stuff to distract you from starting a blog because if you have come this far, then you have an interest which is the first step. I always figure it’s easy known everything up front, then it is to get blindsided down the road
Before you just jump in and start a blog you really have to take time and understand why you are getting into blogging. Once you figure out the why then you can move forward with the creation.
I have listed three different blogging areas below. obviolusly there are more and obvioulsy you can mix them together such as reviewing products and mkaing money.
Finding a Blogging Topic for Free Product
If you are just looking to get free products you will be taking a different path. Find a niche you like such as makeup, toys or whatever will get you excited and keep your attention.
If you don’t know much about a category and that are the products you want, you will have to start by doing a ton of research. Make sure you know and understand the category and make yourself an authority in that field. Trust me, you will not be the only authority in the field, but you better understand your category and be knowledgeable. You also better be able to give your audience a reason to come back and visit you and you better give your audience a reason to trust you.
When you create a blog for free products, you will have to learn how to stay true. What I mean by that is you will have to figure out who comes first, you, the readers or the products.
I know everyone says the readers come first, but I have seen a lot of people where this doesn’t happen. A lot of people write for the company and their product meanwhile alienating their audience. To each his own, but I think that is a big mistake. Your audience should always come first.
The one thing I will never understand is when people write for the company. Don’t get me wrong, you can get free products and bash the company, but you have to stay true to your readers. How mad would you be to read a review, then buy a product of that review, only to find out that product was terrible?
There are very few products that are perfect. You have to be open-minded and understand both sides of the product.
Who is the product for? What is its intention and these are only a few of the questions you have to ask when writing about products.
Take my tool review site for example. We review both professional and DIY tools. Well, these are two completely different markets. If I took a DIY product and review it from a contractor’s standpoint, the review would be awful. Same thing if I took a product intended for the pros and reviewed it from the DIY side, the review would bash the product.
Bottomline is that when you write for products, there is so much more than just talking about the product. You have to be honest, open minded and be real. You have to understand your audience and the companies that make these products. You need to research, be creative and differentiate yourself.
Finding A Blogging Topic to Earn Money
This is where most people want to be with their blogging career however, this one is tricky. When I saw tricky, I am not saying from making money. I am saying from finding a blogging topic, this can be tricky. Most people go online and research to see what blogs are making the most money. Some look for the highest paid ideas and start a blog this way. Here is where you can take a wrong turn.
Now if you are the type that can get excited about anything, well maybe that strategy might be good for you. However, for the rest of us, would really take the time and create a list of your passions and hobbies.
One you have a list, then go online and research different topics. This way you will be able to take something you like and turn it into a money making a machine, plus enjoy what you are doing.
Don’t put money first, put your passion first.
There are a whole bunch of ways to make money online, the path you choose is up to you.
One idea you might want to think about is creating educational tools. If you have a passion and are very knowledgeable in a certain area, you might be able to create materials and sell them. I have a friend who is in the landscape business.
I have a friend who is in the landscape business. In the summer he does hardscape and in the summer he snows plows. He has been doing this for 20 years. A couple years ago he created a bunch of education material, created a website and then started blogging about it. He has been able to generate over 5K/month with this system. It’s amazing what you can do online.
If you created an educational system, be prepared to take a ton of time for research and devolvement before you ever make a penny. The good news it that it makes unique and no one else has a program like that.
Finding a Blogging Topic for Other Reasons
Not everyone wants to blog for free products or to make money. GT Today is a perfect example. We started this website for fun and a way to share with the world. It was also a way we could learn from others. Now if we get free products or make money, that’s awesome and a bonus.
One reason I started this site was what I just mentioned, but also I love writing and I love the idea of creating something from nothing. I love the thrill of trying to increase traffic. I love when I learn something new from other people. For me, GT Today is relaxing and fun. I get some free products through the tool site and I have other work that helps pay the bills.
You will have to decide what your reason is. Yes, it could be something as simple as sharing your knowledge or the idea of being an entrepreneur. I have some friend who blog and their only reason is they want to run their own business. The start up cost is minimal compared to other businesses, you set your own hours and you are your own boss. A blog is really what you make it.
Researching for your blogging topic
You have done the critical work of finding a blogging topic. Now comes the time for the critical research. So where do you go and where do you begin?
There are so many places online you can visit, but the number one thing I would do is interview people. Reach out to other bloggers, let them know you want to start a blog and you had some questions. Most will be nice enough to help out, but here is where you get some of the best knowledge since they have already been there. You might what to find people not in your niche area as they would be more open minded since you are not in competition with them.
I am sure some will talk to you via the phone and others may want to use email, either way, it’s fine. I would sit down and make a list of some questions you have, but two areas I would focus are the following:
- Blogging – Pick their brain about their experiences. It’s great to get a bunch of different views on the blogging world. Everyone has their own pros and cons. Find them out.
- Topics – Tell them what you are getting into, what niche. See if they have ideas or what their thoughts are. Find out what tools they use for research
Obviolusy you want to ask them for more information, but these two main topics can give you a huge boost up front when you need it the mmost.
Once you start writing for your blog, we will get into ways you can find topics and so forth. For not, the most important aspect is gathering data for your blog so you know as much as possible when you make the move to a blogging career.
This is your blog. Have fun with it and design any way you want. Finding a blogging topic can be fun and exciting, but do your research. Understand yourself and your audience. This is a very important step and one you should not skip over. Take a couple of days or weeks so you really are sure what direction you want to head. This is such a big part of the foundation that this should be fully understood before you move forward.