My very first blog was called Memoirs of a Millennial (cute right?) Over the first year that I had the blog I learned a lot about web hosting options, domains, writing for the web and using WordPress… but one of the most important lessons I learned was how to (and how not to) choose a blog topic.
Choose a blog topic that you REALLY enjoy writing about
It may seem obvious, but at the end of the day your topic has to be something you can write about consistently (for years.) I’ll be the first to acknowledge that well-known bloggers tend to cover a variety of topics on their sites. However, they didn’t become well-known bloggers by writing about whatever they wanted. Most started a focused blog or site, and consistently cranked out high quality content supporting that site’s topic. Now that they’ve built a following, they’ve earned more freedom to branch out… and their audience stays with them.
Choose a blog topic that will keep you interested
So you found a blog topic that you like and enjoy writing about, which is great! Next, make sure to ask yourself how long you can write about it. Being a millennial, I am interested in my generation’s stereotypes, wants, needs, accomplishments and passions. But at the end of the day, I’m not a specialist on generation differences and classifications: while I can make a witty observation or write a personal essay giving one millennial’s view, I am not interested in studying (or writing or constantly reading) generational research. After a year of commenting primarily on millennials in the workplace, the topic simply wasn’t interesting me as much as it once did… and posts became harder to write regularly.
While there is something to be said for being unique, the focus on originality shouldn’t hold you back
I tend to have this discussion with people who have thought about starting a blog, but haven’t yet. Their argument is always something along the lines of: “if the market is so crowded and there are so many blogs, I have to find a very unique or obscure blog topic, or at least a very original angle that no one else has thought of, prior to starting a blog.” I’ve gone both directions with blogs in the past: from a very concentrated, niche blog topic that I have chosen because it is trendy and unique, to a personal website with no focused blog topic whatsoever. Part of finding a middle ground you can work with is experience: if you start writing about a blog topic you love that you are interested in, you can work out your own angle as you go while gaining valuable practice that you are NOT getting while trying to explain to me your reasoning for not starting a blog.
Practice Makes Perfect
When starting a blog (as with most things in life) you may fail before you succeed…. but that isn’t a reason to talk yourself out of ever trying. In the world of blogging there is always more to learn: even if you have decided on the most perfect, unique, trendy, interesting blog topic in the internet universe, you still need to learn about web hosting, blogging platforms, SEO, domains (and maybe even learn some code.) I don’t list these aspects of blogging to overwhelm you, but in fact quite the opposite: if you aren’t 100% sure about your blog topic just yet but know the general direction you want to head, start writing some content and work on other aspects of blogging that you need to learn. That practice will be invaluable when you do decide on the perfect blog topic for you.