You’re excited and ready to go! You’re ready to start, at least you thought you were. If you’re here you’ve most likely fallen under some common symptoms:
1. You’re looking to start blogging but haven’t quite figured out your game plan.
2. You have started writing, but have turned in to some sort of jack of all trades and master of none.
3. Your lacking and losing motivation quickly! You’ve let your thoughts brew into a steamy day dream far far away.
4. You just don’t have the time or forget about it 30 days a month.
Confusion is perhaps the best word to describe the bewilderment and lack of clarity people go through when they decide to blog. It can be hard to pick a blog niche. It can be even harder to stay the course and keep yourself motivated. But, the worst part is having to let go of something you love.
Fortunately, we have organized 11 steps that will help you breath in new life. Lets go superstar!
1. Clarify Your Reasons for Blogging
Creating an alternate revenue stream, raising awareness about a cause, boosting clientele, or owning a piece of internet real estate – these are some of the reasons why people blog. What is your reason to pick a blog niche? Without an overarching vision to motivate and guide you, deciding on a niche becomes near impossible. So, think about what you want to achieve through blogging. When you can express your reason in a sentence or two, move to the next step.
2. Compile Topics You Can Blog About
Think about things you can do better than an average person can. Dismiss all your filters. Don’t exclude any possibilites. As the thoughts arrive, write each one in your “secret” notebook. Revisit the notes every day and keep expanding them. They may help you pick a blog niche if you haven’t already decided.
3. List Topics You Want to Blog About
In addition to topics about which you can write about, there are topics about which you want to write about. The only problem is your knowledge about the topics is at best average. Don’t discard these possibilities. If your inclination is strong enough, you can become an expert on any topic. So, make sure you capture these topics in your notebook too.
4. Identify Your Target Audience
“My blog caters to emotional needs of single mothers in America who are in their 30s.” A target audience statement like this one is overkill. Remember, you are still in the brainstorming phase. Don’t narrow your options this early. Instead, define your target audience in two or three words. For example, single moms, two-income families, high school teachers, mid-level executives.
5. Investigate How Your Audience is Mining the Net
Now, ask yourself, “How would prospective readers find my content?” For each topic you unearthed, find the keywords that would lead the target audience to your blog. You can use a free tool like Google Keyword Planner or Google AdWords to do this.
6. Explore Existing Content
Once you have a list of keywords for SEO, search the net for existing content related to those keywords. Some of the keywords may have websites with high authority capturing the majority of your target audience. At the same time, you will find keywords for which the existing content is disorganized, irrelevant, outdated, and incomplete. Since you are just starting to blog, it makes sense to pursue these keywords because they are less competitive.
7. Look for Ways to Contribute
Here’s where you go into the specifics of how you can help your target audience to either solve a problem or capitalize on an opportunity. Review the top ten sites for each keyword and see what’s missing. See how you can fill the blanks to offer complete solutions. Write all these ideas in your notebook and they should help you pick a blog niche.
8. Contemplate On Long-Term Outlook
By now, you should have narrowed down on some topics for your blogging niche. But, before you start writing your first post, you need to think about long-term sustainability. You may have to blog consistently for two to three years to achieve your overarching vision. So, think about which topics and associated keywords are compelling enough to keep you going? Answering this question will allow you to create a final list of prospective niches.
9. Validate Your Findings
In this step, you test whether your assumptions are valid or invalid. The best way to do this is via guest posts. Look for blogs that are similar to the one you have in mind and request them for a chance to write a guest post. It may take a while until you get a positive response. But, when blogs publish your guest posts, you will have undeniable proof of concept.
10. Create a Written Plan to Grow Your Blog
After having done so much, if you still have more than one niche you want to pursue, you can fine-tune your focus further by creating a blog development plan. You may see that one niche offers some advantages over the other. For example, topic A might scale better than topic B.
This final step will help you get started on your blogging career.
11. Bonus Step
Are you still stuck? Time to get surfing. Web surfing that is! Go to your favorite website or a site that is blogging about something similar to what you want to do. Note down whatever it is that attracts you and is appealing about the website. Why are people going their? What ever it is I’m sure you can do it better.
Don’t worry if your topic has already been covered. If everyone had different topics then Google wouldn’t have to rank a million pages writing about the exact same thing.
Move Confidently from Confusion to Clarity
Using the 10 steps, you can sort through the clutter and pick a blog niche that’s perfect for you. Although the process requires time and effort, you can rely on it because it works. Don’t get down on yourself if you’re not seeing traffic. It can actually take quite along time to see rankings in search engines. But once you do its a going to be a great feeling to see so many people are relying on on your information, and are eagerly waiting to see what you have to say next! So, what are you waiting for? Don’t work, Inspire!