If you’ve ever thrown up your hands in frustrating and said, “I just don’t know what to blog about!” then this post is for you. Deciding on a niche is one of the most paralyzing decisions any new blogger faces. You look at the topic scribbled down on a notepad and envision your future with it – what if you change your mind? What if you can’t come up with enough content? You know there will be ups and downs with this niche, and you’re just not sure if you want to commit to it. It seems so irreversible!
I’m here to say that you have nothing to fear.
This post, at over 5,000 words, is your definitive guide to choosing what to blog about.
- Part 1: The first part of the post will walk you through various questions to help your creative juices flow and discover what to blog about.
- Part 2: The second part of the post will give you a step by step system to refine your blog topic and decide on the right blog niche.
By the end of this article, you will…
- Discover what you should blog about
- Understand the keys to choosing a successful blog topic
- Have a super simple process to follow to refine your blog niche
- Learn about examples of blogs in different categories that make full time incomes
- Know how to move confidently forward and start your blog
- Know what to do when all else fails
*This post contains affiliate links.
How to Discover What You Should Blog About
So you’ve decided you want to blog, but now you’re stuck, what should you blog about? Before we get into the technical step by step process regarding the perfect blog topic, let’s find out what you should blog about.
1. What makes you angry?
The common advice is to follow your passions, but sometimes that can seem so vague. Let’s look at the problem differently. What makes you angry? What gets your blood boiling? What sets your soul on fire?
You’ll be blogging about this topic for a while, and the more passion and fire you have behind it, the further you’ll be able to go.
2. What do you do when your to do list is complete?
When all is right in the world. The laundry is done, the kids are asleep, the kitchen is spotless – what do you do? Do you scrapbook, write letters, read novels, paint or jot down plans in your handy-dandy mom planner?
I often find myself creating photo books on Shutterfly. I’ll spend weeks designing the perfect memory book, editing pictures, writing little cute snippets and reliving the sweet day.
My love for editing pictures has translated wonderfully into my blogging career. Instead of creating Shutterfly books, I create pin images for my blog.
What do you do in your free time that can translate into the online world of blogging?
If you don’t have any free time, check out my handy dandy weekly planner that I use to organize my time!
3. What area of your life do you want to improve?
Why not double dip when you start your blog? If there is an area of your life that you’d like to better – your health, your marriage, your cooking skills – blogging could be the perfect outlet for it!
You can blog about healthy eating and fitness tips for moms – and in the process, improve your own health!
You can research and blog about improving your marriage – and in the process, improve your marriage!
Not only can blogging become a very profitable side hustle with passive income, you can also reap other benefits in the process.Double Dip Blogging: use your blog to help you grow Click To Tweet
4. Where do you want to make a difference?
Your blog does not have to be self centered. You can use it to change the world! If you work with companies like Trades of Hope or Usborne Books – you can grow your income while helping these amazing companies grow too.
You can be a voice in the darkness on a topic that is close to your heart.
Blogging allows you to reach thousands of people instantly. If you’ve ever wanted to change the world – now is the time. Your voice can be heard. Blogging breaks the silence!
5. How much can you teach and share?
If there is a topic that interests you, make a tree chart and see how deep you can go. This will give you loads of confidence that you can write about this topic for years. Below is the breakdown of what Susie from BusyToddler.com blogs about. She has a hyper focused blog on activities for toddlers and little ones. Her blog is beautiful, helps a ton of other moms (including me) and makes a full time income!
If you can’t go a few levels deep and end up with a chart that looks like the one above, think about how you can increase the target audience. Susie can always increase her scope and include baby, preschool and kindergarten activities too. I wouldn’t recommend going too far to end up getting too broad and unfocused – but the chart below can keep you busy blogging on those topics for years! And if you’re talking to moms, most likely they have a baby and a preschooler at the same time (or me at this time, with a baby, toddler and a preschooler) – so it could be nice to have a blog that showcases activities for both kids to do together. Good idea eh? Can you create a blog that has activities for moms of multiples with the same activity and supplies broken down into each age (so baby doesn’t choke and the preschooler doesn’t get bored.)
And even then, within each topic, you can dive deeper into subtopics. Just imagine what a hub of knowledge your blog will become! Your search traffic will soar as Google sees your blog as an authority on “baby and toddler activities.”
6. What do you do in real life?
Think about the amazing skills you already have in real life, how can you adapt those to the online world? For example, my husband is in the corporate world and often interviews new employees. He’s become an expert at understanding people and getting the best out of them. He could translate those skills into an amazing podcast.
Courtney, a mom and photographer, takes amazing pictures. She’s translated her photography skills to help others online do the same. And now she makes a full time income from her blog.
Which of your real life skills could you translate to the online world? Are you a great writer? Power point master? Teacher? Photographer? Fitness coach? All of those could translate beautifully into a blog.
7. What type of magazines do you buy?
The magazines that you flip through in the checkout line – what do you like about them? Why do you like them?
Could you create an online version of your favorite magazine with a spin on your take on things? If the magazines are selling and profitable in the checkout line – something similar online would be profitable too.
When blogging you should continue to challenge yourself to think outside the box. I frequently walk through Hobby Lobby and Target just to get ideas for my blog – it may be design ideas or blog post topics. Your ‘shopping trip’ can become market research!
8. What type of life do you want to design for yourself?
You’re at a wonderful time right now. You get the opportunity to decide what type of blog you want to create. You can make it up as you go. You get to decide which topics to include and which not to include. This is YOUR thing. It’s not a job, it’s YOUR home on the internet. How do you want it to look? How do you want to design it? What type of feeling do you want to convey with your writing? Helpful? Funny? Encouraging?
You’re in the drivers seat and you make the rules. Do you want to write short posts daily? Or do you want to write 5,000+ word posts once a month? Do you want to focus heavily on visuals and pictures? Do you want to incorporate lots of video and audio? Or keep it clean and minimal?
This is your time to design the blog you want that will fit in with your lifestyle. Don’t start something that you won’t be able to stick with consistently.
9. What do you want to teach your children?
You’ll be spending a lot of time growing your blog, either during nap times, school times or bed times. Your blog will become a big part of your life as it grows to a full time income. And when your kids grow up, if they’re little right now, one day’ll they’ll want to know what mommy does. Or if they’re older, they may be able to help you with your blog (take pictures, edit videos, proofread posts, etc).
Can you choose a blog topic that will be beneficial to them too? If you’re a food blogger, your kids will learn how to cook at an early age. If you’re an arts and crafts blogger, your kids can live out their creativity with you. If you’re a fitness blogger, your children can build strong confidence by understanding what their bodies are capable of. Or, even more direct, you can blog your journey of being a homeschool mom, and teach your kids while teaching other moms too.
10. What type of legacy do you want to leave?
Like I mentioned in question 8, you’re in control here. You get to decide what you want to blog about. What type of legacy do you want to leave? Your online home could be around for a long time. Thousands of people’s lives could be impacted by your words and advice. When you’re 100 years old and you think back to your wonderful life, what would you have wished you spent years blogging about?
11. What do you want to talk about with your husband?
Having the support of my husband has been a huge benefit to my blogging career. He helps me think through new ideas, brainstorm post topics and even help manage the affiliate program. Having your spouse on board with your new blogging adventure is very helpful.
Even if he doesn’t understand the topic completely (mom fitness, arts and crafts for kids, etc) he can still help with strategy. If you can’t decide what to blog about, run your ideas by your spouse and get his input. You’re a team, and you never know, your blog may take off and completely replace his income!
12. Whose lives do you want to improve?
Let’s switch gears. Instead of focusing on WHAT you want to blog about, let’s focus on WHO you want to serve. What group of people have a soft spot in your heart? Who do you want to help? And how can you do that?
Do you want to inspire those 50 years and older to focus on fitness and build muscles to live a full life?
Do you want to help young teenage girls know their self worth and accomplish their dreams in STEM careers?
Do you want to help postpartum moms who are struggling with depression, blistering nipples, breastfeeding difficulties and little sleep?
Much like question #1, “what makes you angry”, this question is again focused on what gets your blood boiling? What makes your heart ache? Where do you see an injustice and want to help?
Use your God given talents to reach those that are struggling and hurt. Through the amazing reach of the internet, you can touch and change the lives of thousands!
13. What did you want to be when you were a child?
This is your opportunity to live out your dreams! When you were a little girl – what did you want to be? An actress – grow a YouTube channel along with your blog! A cupcake baker – create the biggest cupcake blog there is! An teacher – then teach online, whiteboard and all! Think about how you can live out your dreams through your blog. You’ll be working on your blog for a long time and I want you to wake up every day excited to write a post, create a freebie or pin image and maybe do a Facebook live.
14. Recall the times you were most happy and fulfilled. Do more of that.
Susie from BusyToddler.com started her blog because she loves making up games with her little ones. Christy blogs about home decor and farmhouse design because she and her husband love fixing up houses. Courtney loves taking pictures, and now runs a photography blog that brings in a full time income. Incorporate what you love into your blog.
I would much rather you blog about a topic that you’re passionate about and stick with it consistently, than find the perfect niche and topic and only blog once in a blue moon. Consistent effort is going to win over inconsistent perfect every time.
15. Act. And refine over time.
You may still have no idea what to blog about. All of the question above could just have confused you even more. If you’re still stuck on finding that perfect idea this is what I would urge you to do. Overthinking what to blog about is not going to help. You need to start taking action.
Follow a step by step process and learn HOW to blog. You’ll learn how to create a website, start a blog as a mom, write a post and promote it. It may not be on the perfect topic, but at least you’re learning and not just sitting on the side lines. Follow the step by step instructions in the Blog by Number course to start building your blogging skills.Take action and refine over time. Click To Tweet
16. Make a list to evaluate what to blog about.
The questions above are there to help you brainstorm ideas what to blog about. Below is a step by step systematic process to evaluate your ideas. You probably have a few topics in mind, so let’s go through them and see how you can niche down and select the best topic to blog about.Genius infographic on what you should blog about Click To Tweet
Refining What to Blog About and Deciding Your Blog Niche
Let’s dive in to the technical side of choosing what to blog about. As soon as you start your blog, people will start asking you what you want to blog about. They may refer to your blog topic as your niche. But what is a blog niche anyways?
It’s always important to start at the basics. A “niche” is the overarching theme of your blog. The topic that almost every piece of content will revolve around in some way or another. The niche can be as broad or narrow as you please, but with all decisions, there are pros and cons to consider. For example, you could blog about motherhood in general, or you could “niche down” to postpartum hair loss for moms of boys.
Why do I need a niche?
In the early days of blogs, having a niche was really not necessary. But as more and more blogs come on the scene, and the attention span of people get shorter, it’s more important than ever to pick a niche to build your brand around.
There are 4 main reasons to select a niche for your blog:
- Improved Reader Experience
- Search Engine Authority
- Your Own Growth and Development
- Becoming Profitable
Let’s quickly go over each one of these reasons.
A Defined Niche Improves Your Reader Experience
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who just couldn’t stay focused on one thought? Throughout the conversation you try to follow the conversation, but you can’t help but get confused over time, even forgetting what you were talking about in the first place! How do you feel at the end of one of these conversations? Probably a bit confused, frazzled, and not very excited for your next conversation with that person!
Remember that your blog is just a series of conversations you get to have with your readers. If you can’t stay focused and on topic, your readers will look to have conversations with someone else who can stay on task!
Of course, all friendships explore other topics here and there, but in general you always know what similarities you share with each of your friends, and the conversations tend to stay around that topic. Same way with blogging. Feel free to experiment here and there, but ultimately it is more respectful to your readers when your articles are able to hone in on a topic and fully develop it in your posts over the coming months and years.
Let’s not forget that in many cases, new readers coming to your blog for the first time will likely sit down and read many articles all at once. If there is no flow from article to article, the user may not become a subscriber and your email list will not grow, cutting your valuable relationship short of its potential.
A Defined Niche Improves Your Search Engine Optimization
Search engines like Google are designed to analyze all the information on the internet in order to provide the most relevant and valuable results to people when they search. When Google indexes your website, it looks to see how all your content relates to itself and to the rest of the information on the internet. It is looking to determine how much of an “authority,” you are on any given topic or keyword.
Think of it this way: imagine you visit 2 friends who have cats…
In the first house, you see the cat – but then you see a bird, 2 dogs, 14 lizards, and 3 turtles. You also only see a single book about cats on a dusty book shelf.
In the second house, you see… CATS. 10 cats in the living room, 3 more hanging from the chandeliers. You see cat-printed toilet seat covers. Cat-napkins. One of the cats is actually dressed as a caticorn! And there are cat books, magazines, even encyclopedias lined across the cat-themed sitting room. You get the picture.
When you have a question about how to care for your new cat, which friend are you going to ask? I thought so. Google makes the same decisions with each search.
When you blog about too many random topics, you don’t have the opportunity to truly become an authority in any individual topic, and Google may not rank you when people search for one of your blog posts.
A Defined Niche Accelerates Your Own Learning and Development
Think about a skill that you spent years honing. It could be your career, your experience as a parent, or a hobby. Think back to the first few days of your craft, and compare them to how you were years later.
To become an expert in something, it takes deliberate time, energy, and focus. And just how Google wants to provide the “authority,” to your readers, I know that you truly want to be the authority on your topic too! Even if you are an amateur at best on day one, you will absolutely improve with each related post, video, or freebie created around that niche.
But if you simply blog about whatever you did that day or the random musings in your head, you won’t have the opportunity to peel back the layers of any one topic and truly become world class at it.
“The Riches are in the Niches”
This is a common phrase online, and it is so true. Many of us are attracted to blogging because of its incredible earning potential while doing what we love. But if you never focus in on a topic, it can be hard to reach your profit goals. For your readers to be comfortable purchasing any of your paid offerings, you need to build up trust with them. And if you have successfully focused on a niche and become an expert in it, your readers will be confident of the value they will receive on the other side of the transaction.
OK I get it – But What Makes a Good Blog Idea?
Not all blog topics are created equal! Now that you agree that you need to select a topic, we need to cover what makes a topic a good, meaty topic.
There are many factors that play into the value in a niche, but they break down into Internal and External Factors.
Internal factors include:
Your personal experience with the topic. You never need to be an expert in the topic to start a blog about it, but having some experience is definitely a help. Even with mild experience with the topic, you will learn so much through the act of blogging about it for an extended time.
Your passion for the topic. If you know you hate the topic, you probably shouldn’t blog about it! But if you love a topic or at least show an interest in learning more about it, it could be a good option for your niche. But if you’re not on fire about the topic initially, don’t rule it out automatically. Often times your passion for something grows as you get better at it over time.
Your desire to grow more intimate with that topic. Sometimes you see a trending topic and think you want to jump on it. But before you do, remember that blogging is a long-term game. Think 1-2 years ahead. Do you think you’ll still like to talk about that trendy topic, if it even still exists? I like to encourage people to find topics that have evergreen potential and will still be talked about for years to come.
External factors include:
How much competition exists. This one may be confusing – you WANT there to be competition in this space. If you are the only one talking about the topic, then there probably isn’t a huge readership for you to attract. Additionally, you shouldn’t think of other bloggers in your space as your competition. Instead, think of them as potential collaborators. Someone you can interview, do guest posts with, or just share ideas. Without building a community, blogging can be a lonely game.
How profitable it is. Every niche has different earnings potential. If you are solving a problem for your audience that they desperately need solved, they will probably be willing to pay you for it. But if you are simply entertaining them, it may be more difficult to profit. Think through the topic and how many different products you can recommend as an affiliate, what products you could potentially create, or what services you could offer related to your topic, and keep those in mind when you get to the next step in the process.
For example, if you choose to blog about home decor, you can make money with your blog through the following ways:
- Ads – If this is a popular topic which gets a lot of traffic – and home decor definitely does – then you can monetize through advertisements.
- Products – Are you skilled enough to teach others how to decorate their home?
- Services – Can you do a virtual tour with a client and help them organize their home? Can you offer 1:1 consulting?
- Affiliates – There are thousands of items you can recommend for home decor – win!
- Sponsorship – Can you reach out to big companies (IKEA) and ask them to sponsor a new project?
How to Evaluate Your Blogging Ideas
Here is a super simple framework you can follow to help you narrow down your potential niches and make a smart choice from day one.
Step 1: Get out a blank sheet of paper. Or if you are a techie, whip up a blank Google sheets spreadsheet.
Step 2: Brainstorm all of your interests, experiences, or passions you want to learn more about. Write all of these ideas down on the left hand column of the page. Don’t try to over think things at this point. Whatever comes into your head, put down on the page.
Step 3: Make 4 more columns to the right of your list of ideas. Name these columns Passion, Skill, Profitable, and Total.
Step 4: Take the first idea in the list, and evaluate it against these 3 categories. I recommend you rate yourself on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest score. For example, if your example is “vegan cat food,” you would ask yourself the following questions:
- How interested or passionate am I about vegan cat food? A TON, so I give myself a 5 and I could learn more about vegan cat food all day long.
- How much experience or skill do I already have in the topic? None yet, I just got my first cat yesterday, so I’ll give myself a 1.
- How many ways could I possibly monetize a vegan cat food blog? Well, I can recommend the best brands, I could create an ebook for new cat owners on the benefits of a vegan diet, I could even create a mastermind group for fellow cat lovers! A lot of ways to go, so I’ll give it a 4.
Step 5: Add the scores up and put it in the Total Column. In our example we have 5 + 1 + 4 = 10 out of a possible 15 points. Not bad!
Step 6: Repeat these steps for every idea you brainstormed in the beginning. I urge you not to try to overthink any of these steps. Use your intuition and trust your gut when doing the initial evaluation.
When you are done with this step, you will have a list of possible ideas, each one scored out against your skill, passions, and profit potential – Great job!
For example, above are a few of my passions; organization, baby food, fitness, pregnancy, kids activities and hopefully one day, a RV lifestyle.
You may wonder how I came up with the profitability scoring. Here’s my thought process: In the organization niche there are numerous products I can recommend through affiliate marketing. Bonus, what’s in vogue is always changing, it may be farmhouse decor now, and then retro 70s furniture next month!
Both baby food and kids activities can both be very profitable through ebooks, online courses and affiliates – but because I’m not super skilled in those topics I won’t be able to create those educational products anytime soon.
Mom fitness on the other hand, well that’s something I’m hyper interested in. And even though I’m not an expert now, after a few years of building my mommy muscles, I’ll know a thing or two and be able to teach others. Health and beauty is always a fantastic niche for monetization – people will pay to look better. Do you realize how this niche won’t only help you build a blog, but also improve other parts of your life.
When considering what to blog about – think about the impact it will have on the rest of your life. Can you “double dip” and blog about something that will not only be profitable, but will also help your children, your family, or your health? For example, if you’re thinking about homeschooling your children, you can start a homeschool blog alongside your new adventure!
Now, take the top 3-5 of your scored out ideas. These are your finalists that we will do a little bit more research with.
I’d recommend you use an entire sheet of paper for each niche for the next step, because you will be coming back to this for a long time for future content ideas.
How to do Market Research for Your Blogging Idea
On your blank sheet, make 4 columns and label them
Next, go to Google and type in “blog:”+your topic idea. For this example, I would type in
blog:vegan cat food
This will try to pull only the blogs who are already focusing on your potential idea. Again, don’t worry about the competition, it is a very good thing – if people are writing about it, you can be fairly sure that other people are reading it!
Spend a maximum of 10 minutes browsing the top 5-10 results on the page and do a few things on your paper:
- Write down the URL of the website under the “places” column. You may want to come back to reach out and collaborate with this person later (think: back links increase search engine rankings)
- If you can find the name of the owner of the website, put that info down under People. Blogging is all about relationship building!
- Try to summarize what the general focus of the blog is and put it under “topics” – this is not to copy other people’s work, but simply to understand what area of the market is already being served by this website and to help you see where you can be unique and different.
- Look at some of the comments on their most popular posts. If you see comments that ask profound questions that haven’t been answered yet, jot that question word for word down under “Questions.” You could be the person to answer that question with an amazing blog post!
Once you have done this for each of your finalists, you should have a good feel for what is already in the space, and whether you would like to go into it as well.
But always remember that you can’t compare your day 1 with their day 100 – simply identifying what area you want to dedicate to is the goal here.
Over time you will develop your own unique style and stand out in the space as well!
But what if I just can’t decide what to blog about?
The steps above are a solid way to determine a blogging niche, but sometimes we still have doubts in the back of our mind.
It’s ok! Absolutely nothing to be concerned about. There is a simpler method to select your blog niche in case you just can’t commit after going through the exercise above.
Niche Selection Option #2: Refine Over Time
As much as we try to make the perfect plan in the beginning, there are simply things we won’t learn until we actually start blogging.
Will I actually enjoy writing about this topic?
Will people actually enjoy reading about this topic?
And those are just some things you need to learn about your niche! There are a ton of exciting skills you get to learn about blogging in general, and each skill takes time to learn.
That is a lot to learn! It can be overwhelming for new bloggers, but it absolutely doesn’t have to be.
If you are starting to feel a bit nervous and overwhelmed, take a deep breath and smile. It’s all going to be OK. Here’s what you do:
A great place to start is to buy the domain name that is your own name. For example, SuziWhitford.com or MomLifeHappyLife.com . This allows you to blog about whatever you want, you are never locked into a single topic.
The focus in the beginning should be to take it slow and focus on learning the skills of blogging. At the same time, you are learning what you enjoy, and what others respond well to.
It won’t be perfect, but no amount of planning will make you a perfect blogger on day 1. Celebrate that fact. Think about all the big bloggers you look up to and know that they started exactly where you are.
Only through consistent effort and a positive mindset will your blog grow into a professional authority in your space. And it absolutely can when you put the work in!
If it’s just too much to know exactly what you want to blog about, then start broad. By taking those first steps and starting your blog you’ll learn super valuable skills that will put you light years ahead of those that just.never.start.
A broad topic blog will help you learn the following skills, so you can refine over time.
- How to structure a write a good blog post
- How to create a pin image
- How to do a Facebook live
- How to pin to Pinterest
- How to make a good Youtube video
- How to build an email list
- How to create a freebie and a sign up form
- How to start with affiliate marketing
If you always sit on the sidelines praying to find the perfect thing to blog about, then you’ll miss out on starting the process and learning valuable skills.
Can Broad Blog Sites Still Make Money?
Absolutely they can, but this shouldn’t be your focus in the beginning. Let’s say you buy your domain name and start blogging about Mom Health.
You bounce around between posts on exercise, meditation, dieting, and self care.
Over time you start to get a small readership and start seeing the comments come in.
You start to realize that the majority of the comments are on your self care articles. Your exercise and meditation posts tend to fall flat.
This is incredibly valuable information to have! You can begin to niche down over time and focus your future content on Self Care for Stay at Home Moms.
Once you have niched down and you are starting to build a loyal following, you can start to find amazing ways to monetize the blog.
Examples of different types of blogs
Below is a list of various types of blogs and a rough estimate of how much they make per month. I want this to put you at ease, that yes, finding a perfect blog topic is the best idea, but starting a broad blog and refining over time works too.
The MOST IMPORTANT thing is to chose something that you can stick with for a long time. It doesn’t matter if you pick the perfect thing to blog about – but you never actually start your blog. Imperfect action is 100 times more powerful than no action.
Examples of Curation Blogs:
whatmomslove.com – $8,000 per month
buzzfeed.com – $1,000,000+ per month
chasingfoxes.com – $19,000 per month
Examples of Teaching Blogs:
startamomblog.com – $30,000 per month
backlinko.com – $100,000+ per month
Examples of Lifestyle Blogs:
lovinglivinglancaster.com – $3,000 per month
mystayathomeadventures.com – full time income
sixthbloom.com – full time income
Examples of Niche Blogs:
theharperhouse.com – $6,000 per month (home decor)
arabahjoy.com – $6,000 per month (Christian blog)
easylivingtoday.com – $20,000 per month (mom fitness)
Examples of Guest Blogs:
Total Per Month: $1,000,000+
Here is more help if you need it to choose your blog name and niche.
Are you ready to be a blogger?
We have covered a ton of ground in this post. You’ve learned:
- What is a blog niche and why you need one
- The benefits of broad vs small niches
- How to brainstorm and evaluate potential niche ideas
- How to do market research and select a niche to pursue
- How to start with a broad niche and refine over time
If you start with a broad domain name, you don’t have to worry about making the wrong niche idea. Just follow your passion and build up the foundational blogging skills you will need to be a long term success.
While you are building skills, your topic will shine through in your writing, and you will breathe a sigh of relief and pursue that topic confidently.
Now that you know what to blog about, you can discover what to name your blog here!
Question for you: What niche are you thinking of starting? Leave in the comments below!
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