Is Blogging for You?
If you have enjoyed adding daily snippets to your Facebook page and clicking through to friends’ blogs, you might have already asked yourself if blogging is for you. It is quite possible that you could find considerable enjoyment in starting and maintaining your own blog.
And no, blogging is not a thing of the past. You would be amazed at just how many people are making a substantial income blogging for fun and profit. Many are blogging for a living.
Blogging for Seniors
I was surprised myself to see how many retirees or ‘after-workers’ have decided to vent their entrepreneurial spirit and venture into the world of blogging in order to make an online income.
But I am getting ahead of myself now. You can blog just for fun, you don’t have to make money with it unless that idea is something that interests you. Perhaps making a side income is something you can aspire towards further down the track, once you start getting some traffic.
So is blogging for you? Is blogging worth it?
So if blogging is for you, what should you blog about?
Once you have chosen a path of blogging, what to write about usually surfaces as a primary concern.
The topics of course are endless but you do want people to read what you write so it would be good if your topic could have reasonable reading appeal.
Popular Blog Niche Ideas for You
Let’s look at broad categories first. This is not an exhaustive list but can provide you with a starting point.
First and foremost, you need to have a real interest in the niche area that you choose. Ideally, you would also have a level of expertise and/or experience in the area so that you can offer real value to your audience.
Some niche areas to consider include:
- Finance & Investments
- Making Money Online
- Health & Fitness
- DIY Projects
You can find some excellent niche ideas at fatstacksblog.com as well as an analysis of the potential of each blogging idea.
Choosing Your Own Niche
Even if you have in mind the broad topic that interests you, there are often particular slants that a niche might focus on.
You don’t want your blog to be too broad or to have too much competition in the search engine results.
For example, many blogs, that have been created by retirees, focus on financial advice. Others focus on lifestyle after work or hobbies or goal setting. And yet again others focus on making a second living after work.
So how do you narrow down your selected niche area in order to zero in on a more specialised sub-topic, one that has a more laser-like focus?
Narrowing Down Your Niche
There are a number of approaches you can take but the following is one that has worked for me. And sometimes I surprise myself with the focus that “bubbles to the top” when I analyse which blog articles have interested me the most.
An Excel spreadsheet is ideal for recording the results of your research here.
Niche Selection Steps
You can repeat these steps a few times if needed until you are quite happy with your chosen sub-niche.
- Choose a broad niche area from the Popular Blog list above or one of our own choosing.
- Do a Google search for blogs in that broad niche.
- List 7-10 blogs that focus on this niche area. I suggest listing them across the sheet, similar to Row 3 in the above screenshot. Replace “Blog 1” with the name of the first blog you are exploring, “Blog 2” with the second blog you have found etc.
- Bring up the first blog you listed and do a superficial scan, looking for articles that catch your interest. You might come up with 3 or 4 articles.
- List each article topic (briefly) in the column beneath that blog name and then decide the sub-theme that the article comes under in Column B. (See example below.) For example the topic might best be described as belonging to the sub-theme of Tips or Books or Gifts.
- Repeat from step 4 until you have researched all of the blogs you selected, listing
- Articles of interest
- The sub-theme each article belongs to
- Finally, after having scanned all 7-10 blogs, total the number of articles you listed for each sub-theme. Perhaps there were 5 articles that could be classified under the gifts sub-theme or 3 articles that belonged to the books sub-theme.
Analysing Your Niche Selection Results
The highest number of articles can now indicate the sub-theme that caught your attention the most, which in turn indicates:
- What you are most interested in within this broad niche.
- Which kind of topics you might like to write about within this niche.
- The specific sub-niche you would like to target in your blog.
By the way,, studying other blogs like this provides you with a brilliant opportunity to collect design ideas for implementation in your own website. This can give you layout ideas and style improvements that you can aspire to.
Example of Narrowing Down a Niche
To better understand this approach, you can see from the spreadsheet below just how I used it to explore the broad niche of Food. I was looking for ideas that would be of real interest to me as well as sub topics that I would be keen to explore, research and write about.
The topic of Food is a very broad niche.
When you first think about the food niche, so many possibilities come to mind.
Do you simply create recipes and write about them?
Would it be better to write about your experience of trying out different recipes, complemented by photos?
Should you zero in on a particular way of eating? Disclaimers would be important here.
Keep in mind that writing about recipes or diets or nutrition would require extensive referencing and credit being given where credit is due, as would most topics.
You might be interested in all of these ideas but there is always a danger of being overwhelmed by ideas and thus not knowing where to start or which audience to target.
Sub Topics of Interest
Looking for sub topics that interest you, within a broad niche, can result in the preferred focus becoming much clearer.
If this happened to be a niche that you wanted to target, what would someone be searching for in order for them to find your blog?
What problems could you help solve?
Which food sub-topics interest you enough that you would want to spend time writing about them?
What could your blog offer that others within the same niche don’t offer?
As mentioned above, I prefer to use a spreadsheet for this exercise because of its layout with columns and rows. Plus I can enter a very simple formula to total the articles that I list for each sub-topic as I go.
Here is what I came up with, after looking at just 7 blogs:
You can of course manually total the articles listed for each sub-theme but if you are keen to include an Excel formula, here it is:
In Cell B4 you could type:
Then simply copy the formula all the way down to B16.
Once I had completed this exercise, it started to become obvious that some themes appealed to me much more than others. As you can see from the spreadsheet, I particularly liked the “How To” articles.
I personally have no interest in creating videos about cooking or food in general so those articles did not win my attention.
It would also appear that telling others how to start their own food blog has not rated highly for me. However, it might simply mean that the 7 blogs I researched didn’t cover this topic to any great extent.
You can use this approach on any broad niche idea to weed out a more focused topic.
If Food Blogging is for You …
The narrowing-down technique above started off looking at the Food niche. This was a topic area chosen randomly.
However, if the Food Niche just happens to be the blog niche that you are interested in, you might find the following useful:
How to Start a Food Blog by Kate at CookieAndKate.com
How to Monetize Your Food Blog – Free eBook courtesy of PinchOfYum
Regardless of how you come up with your specialised blog niche area, I’m sure you will enjoy the process. It can be a lot of fun and in turn help you create a blog that is well worth reading, a blog that can help a lot of like-minded people with ideas, problem solutions, entertaining reading, interconnections and much much more.
In addition to having a lot of fun, you could make money blogging for yourself. You would be your “own boss”, working your “own hours”. How great is that.
Gifts for Bloggers & Retired Entrepreneurs
Blogging for passive income appeals to a wide spectrum of entrepreneurial-spirited people. So there is a good chance that someone within your circle of friends is an ardent blogger. In that case, some of these gift ideas could come in very handy:
i'm coffee lover T-Shirt $17.45 by The_Trend_Store
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