Picking your topic
Before you start writing even a single blog post you need to read this section very carefully. Starting a Blog is essentially 80% Research and 20% actual work.
Before you jump into writing your blog buying a domain or hosting ensure that you spend some time researching your topic.
The reason most blogs fail it’s because they skip this step.
If you fail to plan you are essentially planning to fail. Plan out your blog before you get started. The very first step is to pick a topic to blog about.
A topic for your blog is the central theme of the blog.
For example you could be blogging about “Budgeting for Moms”, “Parenting Tips”, “ Car Design and Upkeep”.
The topic is also known as a niche. Here are some thoughts into picking a topic for yourself.
When I started Blogging I thought I was passionate about everything. I had many topics that interested me. You might be like that and that is quite okay.
Before we tackle how to narrow down your topic let me address why it is important to narrow down to one or a few topics for your blog.
People, in general, will listen to someone who seems to be an expert in a particular field.
If someone were thinking of buying baby soaps and baby creams, they want to connect with a parent who seems to know a lot about baby items. If your website or blog is all about baby items, baby care, then you are seen as an expert.
This is how I grew my Blog from 0 visitors to 100 visitors ( and growing) per day.
You can find the entire start a blog series as a guide – Start a Blog Guide. The entire series is also available as an eBook – Make Money from Blogging: How to Start a Blog working with Brands even if you are a Newbie
It doesn’t matter if you are an expert in the real sense, what we are trying to do is address common issues a baby could have and come across as someone who knows what they are doing and saying.
Let us take an example.
You found out that you had the perfect remedy for baby nappy rash. You figured out that the soaps and detergents are loaded with chemicals that were causing a lot of harm.
Asking other parents, researching online you figured that washing with a natural organic detergent has helped address these issues, coupled with a baby cream.
You write a blog post about the problem, what all you tried to address that problem and the solution which works for you and your baby.
This post will be much appreciated by other mothers and they will stick around and read other posts on your blog because you are genuine.
They will also buy some products you recommend because they have started trusting you. You get a commission on each product which they purchase, hence a win-win for all.
Hence it makes total sense to narrow down on a topic and not confuse people on what they might find on your blog.
After all, if a person is interested in Computers and the latest technology, they will be turned away if you include articles on parenting and cooking.
That being said when you are starting out, it is very tough to narrow down. I had many topics I liked, so I started a mega blog writing about everything I was interested in from parenting, kids, technology, travel.
Over time you will notice that you could write for hours and days and years on certain topics.
The other topics say parenting bore you after a few weeks. Discard these topics and start focusing on the topics you like.
So if you decided you love writing about beauty products and about technology, it makes sense to stick to these topics. You could think of creating a new Blog just on Beauty and one for technology to simplify things for you.
Once you have a single topic it becomes very easy to channel the blog. The title of the Blog, the content, the message of the entire blog will be one.
This is very helpful if you want to look like an authority on your topic.
- Narrow down 5 Topics which interest you.
- Check if there are products which you can recommend on these topics in amazon, clickbank, Flipkart.
- Search the topic in Google and check if there are any Google advertisements showing up for this Topic.
- Shortlist your topics to one topic based on the following criteria.
- You love this topic
- There is money in this topic [ Video 1 – what blog topics make money ]
- You can write on this topic for years to come.
- There is competition for this topic. Competition means there is money in this niche. [ Video 2 ]
- Find 50 Blog post ideas for each topic. If you are unable to come up with 50 ideas, that means this is a dead niche or that you are really not interested in that topic. So go find another one.
Here is another article that shows how I pick blog topic ideas.
Blog Topic Ideas ( video included) – How to Decide a Blog Topic if I am a Beginner to Blogging
Are there big sites doing well?
Are there small sites doing well?
Is it a passion, lifestyle or problem niche?
Are there physical products to sell or recommend?
Are there informational products to sell or recommend?
Do people seem to be making money with ad revenue?
Is it easy to find keywords?
Do keywords seem to be a low competition?
Are there niche sites ranking well?
Fill this in:
- Blog Topic 1
- Blog post Ideas ( 1 – 50) for Topic 1
- Blog Topic 2
- Blog Post Ideas ( 1 – 50 ) for Topic 2
- Blog Topic 3
- Blog Post Ideas ( 1 – 50 ) for Topic 3
- Blog Topic 4
- Blog Post Ideas ( 1 – 50 ) for Topic 4
- Blog Topic 5
- Blog Post Ideas ( 1 – 50) for Topic 5
Once you have chosen a topic for your blog, it is time to get started with setting up your Blog.
Two types of websites
Broadly there are two types of websites you could potentially create. This segregation is from my experience and from what I have generally seen on the internet.
My website indianmomvlogs.com is an authority website ( primarily). An authority website can also be thought of as a large content driven website. Such websites have a lot of content and their main product is information.
You must have come across such websites. They could be a doctors website, a programming website. Most of the content is well researched fact based content. This content might include research and can include insights from known people in that field.
Google loves such websites and ranks these websites higher and treats that as a trusted resource. If a person is searching for relief from a health issue, Google will rank doctors websites or medical sites over a general bloggers website.
Such websites take time and lots of energy to setup and build. Most of these need you to work on them constantly. To be perceived as an authority you need to stay focused, research your niche and be on top of whatever is new in your industry.
The advantages of Authority websites are
- No need to stock products – your product is your information
- You can be the solo staff if you want to
- Can start for less – you just need a domain name, hosting and your expertise
- Can make it a passive income stream – You can start recommending products, sell your services, sell digital products
- Diversification of Traffic sources – You can initially rely on Organic traffic. This is traffic from Google and other search engines. Once you come up with a strategy to make money you can start diversifying. You can focus on Social media, Paid advertisements
- Monetisation – You can start making money from your blog selling Affiliate products, Ads shown on your website, selling products and services
Authority websites can be tough to sustain long term. These websites need to be continuously maintained at least in the initial stages.
I have noticed that there are authority bloggers who even after 5 to 10 years into blogging, still blog daily.
They want to maintain their authority. They are treated as industry leaders, like a politician or a celebrity. So, they need to maintain that appearance. They need to keep the content fresh. Needless to say, unless you have support, you will get tired of all this …
The other type of websites are the affiliate websites.
An affiliate is a sales person. An affiliate sells other people’s products and is paid a commision.
How does an affiliate website work?
Let us look at the key points here
- Select a product you would like to promote
- Write a review about that product on your website
- When you link out to the product apply a unique tracking code provided by the product owner ( or merchant like Amazon)
- When someone clicks through your unique url and purchases your website, you get a commision
- Commissions are usually held for 30 to 90 days , before you receive a payout
What I like about affiliate websites is that usually people just visit your website, read your review and leave. They are not necessarily interested in connecting with you. They probably don’t care if you blog often or not. They are just concerned about their product. They just want information pertaining to that product.
If they are satisfied they might click through to the recommended product. Let’s assume they do not like the product after they read your review, but they find that you suggested another product. They might read that review and find the second product a better fit for their needs.
Are you able to understand the difference in this kind of website?
Usually an affiliate website has got nothing to do on how great you are. It does not depend on your qualifications. If you are a doctor and you are recommending a product like say a dermaroller, well yes, your recommendation has weightage.
In general what people are looking for is an honest opinion about the product. They want to understand if this product will meet their needs.
If it does not, they want to find other products that do.
You and me as a blogger just provide guidance and assist them in making the right choice.
So what kind of website you make is all about you. Do you want to brand yourself? Do you want to be the industry leader in your niche? Then build an authority website.
If you are not really interested in branding yourself. You just want to make money doing what you love, blogging. Affiliate sites are best.
For my websites I try to mix in authority with affiliate. If you show yourself as a person who can be trusted, people will generally follow your advice. It’s all based on trust.
I like to build a trust and then try to make a sale.
Structure and Plan for your website
This is how I plan my websites. This should give you a fair idea about how to structure your website.
These are the general steps you should be following. How you do it and when can vary based on your lifestyle. If you are a new mom, or working full time, you will have just a few minutes to spare.
A student or a freelancer, might have a bit more time on their hands. So when you do these tasks will depend on you.The important thing is to try to do as much as you can.
- Research topics to write about
- Write a Blog post
- Create graphics for blog posts and for social media websites
- Share blog post on Social media
- Look at Google Analytics once a week to check the progress
- If you find keywords in analytics which you hadn’t noticed before, add them to the list of topics to write on
We will go in depth to all this later on.
Lifestyle Topics to Blog About
I have been asked what to of about and how to get traffic to the blog. I have a post with trending blog post topics for Lifestyle Blogs.
I will be updating the page with new topics as I find new ones. I am trying to add blog post ideas with low competition.
How to use the Lifestyle Blog Post Ideas
- Go and look at the Lifestyle Blog Post Ideas listed.
- Find post ideas you are interested in.
- Group these into Topics
- You can create a category for each major topic ( if it has many ideas)
- Write the post
- Share on Google Search Console
- Share on Social Media
- PRO Tip Link each blog post to its major category. This will ensure the category ranks.
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This post first appeared on indianmomvlogs.com
This is a part of #startablog series … Happy Blogging!
There are many more strategies and step by step tips I would like to share with you. Connect with me on my various groups and channels. Subscribe to my newsletter at indianmomvlogs.com to get updates.
- Bloggers Group
- Join my Pinterest Group , where you can share your blog posts on the group board .
- YouTube channel
In this series of #startaBlog I will be showing you how to start a Blog and Make Money with it.