How to find the right topic for your blog

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‘I can’t find a good topic’ is arguably the most popular excuse most people use to avoid starting a blog. You’re concerned you may not find a topic that visitors will find interesting enough to remain loyal and build you the large following you need to become a successful blogger. Rest easy. This lesson exposes the secrets behind a successful blog topic and a proven method to help you find it!

 

Before we get down to the basics, you need to know that you already have everything it takes to build a successful blog. It’s all inside you somewhere and all that’s left is finding a way to bring it out. Our preferred method requires you to look inwardly and do a lot of soul-searching. It’s very likely (more than 95 percent of the time) that your eventual blog topic will turn out to be a hobby, a problem you’ve solved before, or a fear you currently have… and these are the very things we always take for granted!

 

Let’s go through a simple 2-step process that would get us the idea for the successful blog we’ve always wanted.

 

Step 1: Brainstorm possible blog topics and ideas

Sometimes, brilliant ideas can come to us out of thin air. While this is an awesome way to get a great idea for your blog, it takes time (if it ever happens) and there are no assurances. Life is too short to wait for an amazing blog topic to fall out of the skies. Most of our best ideas are within us; many of us just don’t know it!

 

One of the best ways to brainstorm great ideas and topics for your blog is what we like to call a ‘Five by Five’ model. This means that you will need to grab yourself a clean sheet of paper and list five items each under your Passions, Fears, Problems, Experiences, Knowledge/Skills.

 

Passions are things you love to do and find a lot of pleasure in. Your passions are likely to manifest themselves in your hobbies, tastes, associations and general behavior. It could be as complex as 18th century art, as ordinary as gossip, or as relaxing as football and comedy.

 

Fears are of course things we fear (doh!). These are usually the unpleasant things we do not like or want to happen to us. They may be fed by your childhood fears (like fear of the dark) or may have happened or are already happening to people around us (e.g old age, death, car accidents, hell fire, disease etc).

 

Problems are challenges, obstacles and difficulties we have had or notice in our life, the life of others or in the larger society. You shouldn’t search too far for these. Life is often a steady stream of problems that need to be solved!

 

Experiences are those good, bad or ugly events in our past or present that have taught us some hard and inspiring lessons. Our experiences are usually very unique and personal stories. No two people, no matter how identical, have gone through the same experiences.

 

Knowledge and Skills are things we learnt and know how to do by virtue of our formal and informal education, training, reading, practice and research. We need to point out here that you don’t need to be an expert on the subject. Knowing enough to share is just great!

 

To drive this home, let’s look at a sample of my personal 5 by 5 results. I expect yours doesn’t look very similar. I’ve been around a lot (giggles).

 25 ways to find a good blog topic

 

Step 2: Analyse your results

Now that we have a list of potential topics for our blog, it’s time to analyse them to find the ones that will be the most rewarding. We don’t want to spend our time building a blog with an unpopular topic that may attract very few visitors and make no money.

 

Before we dig into analyzing all our 25 topics (from the 5 by 5 Brainstorming exercise) to choose the one best suited for our blog, there are a couple of things we need to know…

 

Keywords are the key!

The most important part of your analysis and research for a blog topic is the KEYWORD. A keyword (or key phrase) is the term we type into any of the search engines when we’re looking for something.

Search engines

 

For example, if you’re interested in finding out about making money online, would you search for ‘How to make money online’ or ‘online business ideas’? While both of these will get you to the information you want, it’s likely that MORE PEOPLE in the world search for this kind of information using one of these keywords more than the other. Your goal is to find the most popular keywords people use to search for information about your topic.

 

This video is one of the best introductions to Keyword Research I have ever seen. You should take the time to watch it. Your understanding of the basics at this point is VERY VERY important! And if, for any reason, you are unable to watch the video, you could read the detailed transcripts HERE.

 

 

Tip: Just in case you tried and tried but couldn’t find any great keywords, you should try out this Random Niche Generator web resource. It’s a great tool that suggests a lot of random keywords you could consider and use. I have tried it before and it gave me ideas that took my mind in totally unexpected directions where I eventually found great keywords. Don’t take our word for it though… take it for a test drive! And when you find what you want, move on to Step 2 to analyse your results!

 

Tools of the trade…

Another very important thing you should know about are the available tools to help you with your research. You will agree that every form of research is painstaking and involves a lot of effort. However, working with the right tools can bring a lot of fun and quick results to your research efforts. Without these tools, anyone doing the kind of research we’re about to do would spend days, if not weeks, on the task. These tools get us results in minutes!

 

Two of the best tools in the world for the kind of research we are about to do are Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool and Market Samurai (free version). The best part is, both tools can be used for free!

 

The Google Adwords Keyword Tool is a great resource and is very easy to use. All you need is to set up an Adwords account using your Google email address (if you have one). However, for the purpose of this tutorial, we shall be using Market Samurai. Let me explain why…

 

From our own experience and evidence available on the internet, most successful and professional bloggers use Market Samurai because its features are just awesome and it produces fantastic results! It totally simplifies the keyword research and analysis process and saves you a lot of pain. This tool allows you to do a lot of analysis in one place that would have taken a lot of looking through hundreds of webpages. Call me biased, but I think this tool totally rocks.

 

However, if you don’t have the money for the paid version, you should stick to the free version which still has loads of great features you can use. And once you’ve decided to make blogging your full-time business, we advise that you invest in this tool. It’s one of the greatest investments you’ll ever make.

Note: We use the paid version of Market Samurai for our research and have been doing so for sometime now. However, the links here are not Affiliate links and Smallstarter.com does not earn any commissions whatsoever (not yet though). The good guys at Noble Samurai say we need to have a Paypal account to earn any commissions. But we don’t have one… Yikes!

 

Now that you know how important keywords are to our analysis and the tools we should use to make this job much easier, let’s get down to our research!

There are four GOLDEN RULES our keyword research must focus on if we want to build a successful blog. These Golden Rules mean that the keywords in the topics we’re targeting must be: Highly Relevant, have Good Traffic, have an Acceptable Competition and be of High Commercial Value. Now, let’s find out what each of these terms really mean.

 

GOLDEN RULE #1: Relevancy

Relevancy means that the content of our blog must be strongly related to the keywords people use to find information about our topic on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.

 

Let’s say Mr. John Doe searches for ‘African fashion tips’ on Google and your blog is one of the first ones that come up in the search results. However, what you’ve written on your blog has little or nothing to do with African fashion. We can be sure Mr. Doe will be off the blog in less than a second because it doesn’t have the information he wants. And it may only be a matter of time before Google finds out and gets you off the search results for that keyword because your blog content does not deliver what it promises. It’s that simple!

So, it’s not really about getting a lot of traffic to your blog. It’s really about attracting TARGETED TRAFFIC. You’ll learn a whole lot more about Highly Relevant keywords in this video.

 

Hint: This would be a good time to quickly install a free version of Market Samurai. It shouldn’t take up to 2 minutes (depending on your internet connection). You’ll need it to get along with this video lesson. And if, for any reason, you are unable to watch the video, you could read the detailed transcripts HERE.
 

 

GOLDEN RULE #2: Good Traffic

Let’s just say you’re thinking of using your experience of how you got out of debt as a topic for a blog that would help people who are going through the same problem. The Golden Rule of ‘Good Traffic’ reminds you to choose the keyword that MOST people who have debt problems are likely to type into Google when they’re looking for solid information and advice on ‘getting out of debt’.

 

The mistake most people make is to assume and predict the search keywords people would use. Most bloggers just snap up a random keyword and their blogs may never be found in Google’s search results (Oops! I’m sorry Yahoo and Bing if we’re using Google too much as an example). *Grin*

 

As you will see in this next tutorial video, up to 90 percent of keywords involving the topic you have chosen have low traffic. Watch and find out the tricks Market Samurai uses to fish out the high traffic keywords.

 

Hint: This video lesson requires that you install a free version of Market Samurai. It shouldn’t take up to 2 minutes (depending on your internet connection). And if, for any reason, you are unable to watch the video, you could read the detailed transcripts HERE.
 

 

GOLDEN RULE #3: Acceptable Competition

To put it simply, a lot of people commit blog suicide without even knowing it. What’s the point in starting a blog around a topic that has a lot of competition around it. Imagine starting an ‘international news website’ from scratch without considering the impact of CNN.com, BBC.co.uk, Reuters and many more players who have been in the game for decades. You may never see any success playing against these guys!

 

Going against this golden rule is probably the single reason why most blogs and websites never make it online. Most of them have been strangled by the competition and don’t even know it. This rule allows you to assess and size up your competition before you focus on a topic or keyword around any topic. It gives you the opportunity to choose your battles carefully. Remember what they say about looking before you leap?

This video tutorial shows you how you can use Market Samurai to see what kinds of websites and blogs you could be competing against on certain keywords, their strengths and weaknesses. And then, only then will you decide to get into the ring!

 

If, for any reason, you are unable to watch the video, you could read the detailed transcripts HERE.

 

 

GOLDEN RULE #4: High Commercial Value

Unless you intend to start a blog and not make any money from it, the last three golden rules will help you start a very popular blog with a substantial following. However, if you intend to make money through your blog, it’s important that the keywords around the topic you choose for your blog have a high enough commercial value.

 

This video reveals the tricks of finding the real dollar value of keywords you choose. This allows you to sensibly estimate the kind of income you will be making from your blog if you choose to go with a certain topic or keyword. This is such a great way to measure your financial expectations!

 

If, for any reason, you are unable to watch the video, you could read the detailed transcripts HERE.

 

 

Putting it all together…

Now that we’ve seen how each of the golden rules can influence the success or failure of your blog, let’s see how all of them come together in helping you find a great topic or keyword. The case study in the video below takes us through the entire process from choosing relevant keywords up to high commercial value. This case study video should help you put together all the things you’ve learnt about Keyword research today.

 

If, for any reason, you are unable to watch the video, you could read the detailed transcripts HERE.

 

Wow! Good job. You made it to this point. We’re hoping you have now found a great topic (and keywords) that you can write a lot about and respects all four Golden rules. And if you haven’t, keep trying out more keywords.

 

Some people find a great keyword the very first time they go through this process. For some others it might take a while. If you belong to the second group, make sure you return to Step 1 and start away… nobody said this would be easy. Either way, using Market Samurai takes out a lot of pain and brings in a lot of fun in finding the right topic (and keywords) for your blog.

 

No matter what happens, keep on trying. It’s much better to take the time to do a proper topic research than get frustrated several months (or years) down the line.

 

Other helpful tutorials to help your keyword research:

How to Avoid Targeting the Wrong Keywords
Finding Long Tail Keywords
Understanding Match Type Data
How to Signup for a Google Adwords Account
How to add your Google Adwords account details into Market Samurai
How to Use Preset Filters

 

If you found the information here valuable, we will really appreciate that you Like Us and share this tutorial with your friends via Email, Facebook and Twitter.

 

 Next Lesson>> Lesson 2 | Should you Build, Buy or get a Free blog?