Friday, January 2, 2009

Blogging - Select Your Topic

Selecting the right topic for your blog is important yet it can be the first stumbling block to your online success. Often the first reaction is that you cannot even think of a topic quickly followed by a second reaction which is you cannot limit the number of topics that are suddenly flooding your mind. I confess that I ran into the latter when trying to come up with a topic for the blog which will be created here. Lets address each issue.

How do I find topics?
If this is your first blog top of mind is familiarity with the topic that you will be blogging on. The obvious choices that immediately spring to mind are things you like to do, what hobbies do you have, what sports do you play or like to watch. When you read, what do you reach for? What movies do you like to see? Is there something you are really passionate about? A friend of mine is a horticulturalist specializing in container gardening. Someone else I know is a master knitter, spins her own yarn and comes up with the most gorgeous wool knits. These topics are about passion. What are you passionate about?

Still having problems coming up with topics? I find that one of the best sources for getting topic ideas is through Amazon. Go to their categories directory.

Take your time navigating through all the categories. Because I like to read, I automatically gravitate towards the books and magazines and then go into sub categories. Lets take gardening as an example.

1. click on magazines
2. scroll down the categories to Home & Garden - click
3. scroll down the categories to Gardening & Horticulture - click

Now you've got lots of sub-categories. You can choose to specialize in shade gardening or Japanese gardens or herbs. The possibilities are endless.

While you are going through this exercise pay attention to the titles of books that are relevant to your topic and the magazines that are published on your topic. Amazon will be one of the sources of income on your blog. So, if you choose an obscure topic and there are few if any books and/or magazines on this topic, go back to square one. You must be able to monetize your topic easily. Later on when you become a whiz blogger you can go back to the obscure.

Narrowing down your topic selection
The floodgates have suddenly opened. No sooner do you think of one topic than another appears, followed by yet another seemingly better one. Don't worry about the best blog topic ever. This will not be your last blog, this is your practicum and while I wish each and every one of you to make heaps of money with this venture, the reality is that in all probablity this will not be your most profitable blog so edit, edit, edit your ideas ruthlessly otherwise you will never get started.

While it is probably better to select topics that you know something about, don't discount those that you have always had an interest in but on which you are not terribly knowledgeable about. One way to become knowledgeable about something is to write about it. I like Mike Litman's approach: "You don't have to get it right, you just have to get it going"

- explore topic options
- select five topics

That will do till the next posting.

Happy Blogging.

If you have questions you can either post them on the comments section here or by contacting me directly through this blog.

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