How to Start a Blog When You’re Not Sure What to Blog About
“Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI (HubSpot).”
Even if you’ve already started a blog, how do you come up with content that’s worth writing about? You might be asking, “how do I even start blogging when I’m not sure what to blog about?”
You’ve heard it several times, “You need to start blogging!” And, it’s true blogging is one of the best ways businesses can build relationships with their prospects and customers online. So, if you’ve already started a blog then congratulations you’re on the right path!
What this post is going to focus on is those who want to start a blog and those who aren’t sure what direction to take their existing blog.
If you’re familiar with Internet marketing then you know what a lead magnet is. If not then a lead magnet is something of value that you can provide which makes it a “no-brainer” for people to give you their email addresses.
For example, this could be a free report or an audio recording. When starting a blog for the first time you need to approach it the same way you would create a lead magnet. The first step is to do your market research.
Do Your Market Research
The first step is to research your target market and see what they’re already buying. There’s a well known saying that goes, “Starve the ponies, feed the stallions”, which means you want to to fulfill a hungry market.
Do some research and find out what are the common problems people are having in your niche. Then create a content strategy around that, which presents solutions to their problems.
For example, if I were looking to start a blog in the “make money online” niche, I would do some simple searches online to start. I would look on Google search, Quora and Yahoo Answers. Then I would look into “make money online” forums.
With Quora you can post questions and get expert answers, just like Yahoo Answers. Quora allows you to follow topics of your interest like “blogging” or “making money” and those questions can be saved for you.
You can also tell Quora which types of questions you would like to answer so you can get notifications on them.
What you want to find are common problems people are having and seeing what answers are already being provided. Think about why are these recurring problems? Ask a few of your own questions like, “I am thinking of starting a new blog. What is the biggest obstacle to making money online?”
You can do this across other platforms too like LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups (that are active). Create an online survey using Google Forms or Wufoo Forms, then share it across all these platforms.
Once you’ve gathered enough data like common problems and common answers write them down on a spreadsheet.
Think about how and if these are real solutions to the root of people’s problems.
Take this a step further and research your competition. What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? How can you capitalize on both of these things?
The goal is to compile this research into several topics that you’ll be blogging about but make sure they’re related to each other. For example, you don’t want a blog about cars to also have a section on real estate unless it’s a unique way of overlapping the two.
Once you’ve got a few areas of focus you can then start to create a content strategy.
I talk more in-depth about market research in my Secrets to Blogging Success book.
Create A Content Strategy
Think of your blog as an all encompassing book that you’ll continue to work on year after year.
Your content strategy is going to be just like you would make your lead magnet but instead of chapters they would be posts.
You can break them down the same way creating 20 or so chapters which really means posts and hence you’ll have a cohesive amount of information and resources on your website.
From my research on make money blogging I would pull out the following sub-topics:
- How To Build A Following
- How To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing
- A Complete Guide To Content Marketing
- Leverage The Speed Of Paid Traffic
- How To Do SEO (search engine optimization)
- What Is The Average Blogging Income?
These are just a few but you get the point. You can also extend upon these to create more sub-topics. They’re actually some quite good topics, maybe I’ll write about some of them in the future. 🙂
Next you would easily create the categories in WordPress, found on the right hand side when you’re creating a new page or post.
This is how you create a content strategy, by breaking down each each topic that you want to cover.
If you can come up with more then one idea for a lead magnet then you can have more than one series of blog posts.
It doesn’t have to be a series of blog posts either, it can be the navigation of pages on your website.
The way that Quicksprout has grown throughout the years has something to do with all the advanced guides they have created and placed neatly in their sidebar:
They’ve done exactly what I’m saying about publishing lead magnets as a series of blog posts. The chapters are broken down into several pages where you have to navigate from page to page from chapter to chapter.
There’s also quite a bit of formatting that has gone in to each of their guides. It looks like each chapter is one huge infographic, which is not a bad idea.
Taking this route is a really great way to plan for your blog’s success. The best way to achieve success is to model those who are already successful. So, if you want to know how to make your blog popular, frequent popular blogs.
Frequent Popular Blogs
The reason you want to include Google when doing your research is because you want to find the most successful blogs that are already ranking for your niche keywords.
You want to see what they’re writing about, what are their strengths and weaknesses and then build off of that. You want to learn from them and compile research in the same way as mentioned above.
The think about how can you make your blog just as good or better? Use tools like Buzzsumo to do further research and find the blog posts that are getting the most social shares. See why that is.
The way you can find how popular these blogs are is by looking at their Alexa rank and domain authority with the Moz toolbar. These two things will tell how much traffic they’re getting and how many sites are linking to them.
For more on this read my other post on content creation.
The Secret of My Blog’s Success
The number one tip I can give my readers is to be consistent. If you continue blogging and providing value you’ll build a following.
It takes time so be patient. It can take up to two years even if you know the secrets.
How can you be successful with anything? A famous quote by Jim Rohn says, “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.”
If you put in the work and consistently craft post after post and page after page on your blog there’s no doubt you’ll succeed.
By knowing how to craft such a wealth of content you’re already half-way there. So do your market research, create an amazing content strategy, crank out the content and your blog will be successful.
Any comments or thoughts are welcomed below.
“My goal is to find the best way you can achieve your dreams of spending more time doing what you love.”
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