Choosing a blog topic, or niche, is the first, and most important step to starting a blog. It sounds simple, but you really want to take some time to thoroughly research any topics you are considering.
I'm assuming here that your goal is to create a blog and eventually start making money, either by selling ads, through affiliate marketing, or by selling your own products. If this is the case, then it is crucial that you choose the right blog topic.
4 Questions To Consider Carefully When Choosing a Blog Topic
1) What kind of people will your blog attract, and will these people have the means to buy whatever it is you want to sell?
You really want to make sure that the topic you choose will attract the kind of people who will have the means to purchase whatever it is that you might want to sell.
In other words, “What demographic do you want to target?”
2) Are enough people interested in your topic?
You want pick a topic that is popular. Generally, more people interested in a topic means more opportunity to sell related products.
A blog about classic Hoover vacuum cleaners might be able to attract a very passionate following, but it would probably be a very small, passionate following. On the other hand, you don't want to choose a topic that is too popular either. It's not always the case, but a lot of times, popular topics can be extremely competitive.
So however popular your topic is, you just want to make sure that you can attract an audience of a sufficient size.
3) What is the income potential of your topic?
There are a lot of factors that determine how much money you can make from a blog about a particular topic. Generally speaking though, some blog topics simply have much more income potential than others.
I'll explain how to find earning potential for specific topics toward the end of this post, but for now, you should focus on finding a short list of topics that you either really enjoy, are really good at (and enjoy), or really want to learn about. You can narrow down that list later.
4) Are you passionate about your topic?
While income and traffic potential are extremely important things to consider when choosing a topic / niche, none of it matters if it's not something that you really enjoy.
This is going to be a topic that you are going to have to write about on a regular basis for several years. So choose something you truly have an interest in.
101 Blog Topic Ideas by Category
By this point, you may or may not have an idea of what you want to write about. Either way, it's good to look at some other topic ideas.
If you haven't chosen a topic yet, you might find an idea you like here. If you have chosen a topic, this list might give you ideas for related or complementary topics you hadn't thought of before.
▪ Organizations and Businesses
A blog is a great way to promote your organization or business. If you do a good job, you won't have to find customers anymore. They will find you. Just make sure to include a good “Contact” page and an “About us” page. Make it really easy for people who are searching to find and contact you.
Make a blog for your Business
- Use a Blog as a Resume
An online resume is another great reason to start a blog. I'd say that most, if not all employers are using Google to research potential employees before they ever interview them in person. Having a professional resume blog will definitely impress potential employers and make you stand out from the rest of the field.
- Make a blog for your Church, Club, or Organization
- Make a Blog for your Band
▪ DIY Repairs
- Common Home Repairs
- Computer Repair and Maintenance
DIY type blogs are one of my personal favorites. I use them all the time at work and at home. These types of websites are the reason that some people think I'm really smart, when really, I'm just good at finding sites that teach me how to do things.
▪ Arts and Crafts
- Sewing blogs
- Quilting blogs
- Knitting blogs
- Jewelery Making
▪ Home and Garden
- General Gardening
- Gardening – Specific Plant
- Lawn Care
Affiliate marketing isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think of lawn care and gardening, but if you just do a little searching, you can find an affiliate program for just about any product. Even lawn care products.
You can check any topic you're considering by searching Google for: [Your Topic] affiliate program.
- Home improvement
- Cooking blog
- Beer Brewing
- Auto repair
- Car reviews
- Classic cars
- A popular car model
If you're wondering if your topic has the potential to earn money from pay per click ads (like Google Adsense), a good way to do a quick check is to just search Google for your topic. The number of paid ads shown in the search results is a decent indicator of how much competition there is for purchasing ad space when someone searches for your topic.
The image below shows search results for “Corvette parts”. Ads are highlighted in green
▪ Performance Arts
- Public speaking
- Musical instrument
- Stand up Comedy
- Hotel reviews
- Popular vacation destinations
- International Travel
- Restaurant Reviews
▪ Design and Photography
- Web design (HTML and CSS)
- Video Editing
▪ Software Development
- IPhone (iOS) development
- Android Development
- Microsoft development
- Social Media Marketing
- Celebrity or Celebrities
- Humor – A blog featuring funny articles, photos, or videos.
- Video Games (or one specific game)
- Movies (or one specific movie)
- Popular Television
- Sports team
- A Music group or genre
- A blog about popular books or one specific series of books
- Weight Lifting
▪ Health and Wellness
- A specific illness
- Vitamins & Supplements
- Natural Remedies
- Weight Loss
- Specific Diets
▪ Home and Family life
- Mommy blogs
“Mommy Blogs” and in general, blogs that are about a lot of the personal details of a particular family are some of the most popular blogs today. Success in a niche like this depends a lot on your willingness sacrifice at least some of your privacy.
- Kids activities
- A blog about your personal family life
- Blog about having twins
▪ Emergency preparedness
- Food storage
- Survival skils
- Hunting and Fishing
- Makeup tips
- Hair styles
- Beauty product reviews
- Beauty careers (Esthetics, Cosmetology, etc)
▪ Finance and Savings
- Financial advice
▪ Controversial Topics
Blogs about politics tend to be very controversial, and that is exactly what brings them so much attention. If you're interested in politics, and have strong opinions, this might be a good option for you.
- Home schooling
You might think that a blog about biology would be pretty difficult to monetize. I thought the same thing up until a month or so ago when learned about a teacher turned blogger who built a very successful biology blog. If you check out his site (here), you will see that he focuses almost solely on targeting students. He has done a great job at promoting the blog, and makes money by selling ad space and also by selling his own study guides.
- Science news
- Alternative Energy
- RC car blog
- Model building
- Coin Collecting
- Metal Detecting
- Stamp Collecting
- Gun Collecting
- Specific device category (like smart phones or Tablets)
- Blog about a specific brand (Like Apple or Microsoft)
- New product reviews
- Blog about a specific product (like the new Apple Watch)
- Industry news
▪ One Time Events
- Wedding announcement Blog
- Bar or Bat Mitzvah announcement
- Quinceañera or Sweet 16 announcement
- Holiday party anouncement
I don't typically recommend using free blogs for important websites, but I think it's ok for a one time event.
If for some reason you really want to get a custom domain name (like SusanAndJackWedding.com), then you'd want to go with a paid hosting plan. Just go with a really inexpensive plan.
If you haven't previously been a GoDaddy customer before, check the link on the hosting comparison page (here) to get 1 full year of hosting (including the domain) for just $12. After the first year, the price increases to about $40 per year, so make sure to cancel before the year is up if you don't want to be charged again.
How to Find More Potential Blog Topics
One of my favorite methods for finding both ideas for blog topics and blog posts, is to use Google's predictive search feature (Google suggest). It's what happens when you start to type a word and before you finish, you've got a list of possible search phrases that may or may not match what you are typing.
In the above example, I typed in “how to”, and as you can see, Google gives me suggestions based on what others have searched for.
In the second screenshot above, I typed in “how to g”, and you can see Google gives me another list, but this time the 3rd words start with G. Evidently, there is some interest in the second suggestion, but you should probably steer clear of that one :)
If you wanted to, you could go through the whole alphabet like (“how to a”, “how to b”, “how to c”…), and come up with tons of good blog topics.
I enjoy using Google Suggest manually, but there is a free tool that you can use to greatly speed up the process. Just go to keywordtool.io, and to replicate the example above, search for “how to” (without quotes), and you'll get a nice long list of potential blog topics.
Tools to Check Blog a Topic's Traffic, Competition, and Earning Potential
Google Keyword Planner
Google keyword planner is a tool for researching traffic, competition, and cost (potential earnings) for keywords and topics. It's free, and you just need a Google account to use it.
I touched on this earlier, but a quick and easy way to get a general idea of the popularity, competition, and traffic for a blog topic is to just use Google. Once you have the serch result page up, read sections 1-3 below.
To get an idea of how much completion there is for your topic, you'll want to look at 2 things in the google search results for your topic:
- Number of results returned
This is just above the first search result, and looks like this: “About 79,700,000 results (0.46 seconds)”. More results usually means more competition.
- Websites returned in the top 10 positions
To gauge competition, you should also look at the top 10 results when you search for your topic. Are they all related to your specific topic? Are they competing against each other? Generally, the more competing / similar sites you see, the higher the level of competition is.
Finally, take a look at some of the top sites. Are they impressive? How big are they (how many pages)? Do you feel like your site could be better?
2) Earnings Potential
This is a little more difficult to gauge, but what you're looking for is how many paid ads are showing. Typically, more ads means more money to be made. Here's the diagram again to show where the ads are.
3) Traffic estimate
This is probably the most difficult number to get, but you can get a rough idea by looking again at #1 and #2 above, but mostly #1. Generally, if you see some competition in the search results, then there's likely a decent amount of interest and traffic.
There are several paid tools that will give you lots of information about keywords/ topics, but one that allows you several free searches per day is called SEMRush. Out of all the methods I've discussed here, this is probably the easiest to use. The only downside is that they limit your use. See the screenshot below, and try the tool yourself here.
Choosing a topic isn't easy, but if you thoroughly research your topic choices before making a decision, you'll have a much better chance at having a successful blog.
What are your thoughts? Have you chosen a blog topic that didn't work out? I know I have.If you have any experiences that would help others, please share them in the comments.