July 10, 2014

Blog Your Best to Avoid the Mess – A Technique

choosing a niche for blog

It takes more than love blog successfully.

Are you ready to start blogging and have your freelance writing read around the globe?

Do you have tons of ideas that would fit into your blog, but don’t know which to choose?

Or maybe you want to focus on a particular niche?

Have you been blogging for a while, but feel the need to reconsider the purpose and focus of your blog?

Stop! 

And hear me out.

Why? Well, simply because I’ve pondered a lot about these issues recently and I want to share an easy technique that came to me in the process – a sort of revelation. This technique can help organize your thoughts and put them into context — a technique to help you blog your best and avoid the mess.

Should You Write About Your Passion?

Writing about a very specific passion can restrict your creativity. It has its advantages but it also puts you into a position where inspiration gets elbowed aside, if not completely dispersed when it doesn’t fit to your niche blog. That’s not good for the care and nurturing of a creative mind.

Certainly, if you run an online business, most of the articles and stories on the associated blog will probably focus on your business niche and industry. But, you still need flexibility. This technique will allow you to see more clearly about the best direction for your writing, so that you can evolve.

blonde blogger

Focus your blog on topics you know.

My Blog Your Best Technique

1. Write down 15-20 topic ideas (or just the title) you want to write about. Allow spontaneity to flow. You may write down ideas like: how to deal with depression; photos from my trip to Paris; ten great sauces for gnocchi; lessons for copywriters from characters of Mad Men; or blogging for teens.

Choose topics that you already know something about. Topics that relate to your passion, your job, or a combination of the two seem to work best. Write down ideas from a wide variety of topic areas. Take care to focus on subject areas where you have some experience and a good idea about the message you want to convey. The ideas you write down don’t need to relate to one another. Write at least 15 ideas; the more you come up with, the better.

2. After you’ve got your topics down, make sure to add a little space between each one. If you prefer, you can do this in a table format. Make the first column larger than the second one and put your topic there. Then label each topic by category in the second column. For example, “how to deal with depression” may fall into the “psychology” or “body and mind health” category, and so forth. Continue in this way until all the topics have a category label and use identical labels for similar themes.

3. When finished, highlight your labels and observe. Which label appears more often? Do you have a 50-50% situation where you have two predominant subjects or is it 80-20% where one category clearly surmounts the other one? Depending on how many topics you came up with in step one, you may even have three or four topics that come to the forefront.

Choosing the Winning Category

If you didn’t get lucky enough to have that one category that clearly stands out, use this relatively easy solution: 

Evident solutions:

Combine the topics for which you have a majority of labels. Can food go with psychology or food and travel? Some foods affect mood and emotions. Travelers usually experience new dishes and foods along the way.

Easy. Lucky. Go!

Difficult decisions:

What if you had language learning and pottery? Those two categories present quite a challenge if you want to combine them. That really makes you feel frustrated, doesn’t it? What do you do? Go with your gut? Create two separate blogs?

-       If you have the luxury of time and the necessary energy, then by all means, do create two different blogs. Just make certain that effectively combining the two into one blog won’t work.

-       If you have limited time or need to focus your extra energy elsewhere (i.e. family, second job), go with your gut and choose the blog category you feel will work best and that likely has a wider audience. You’ll feel the rewards of a large, engaged audience relatively quickly. This will energize you further and galvanize your efforts.

Share your sparkle: So, are you one of those lucky writers that have one passion, one mission and one target or do you wear many hats? How do you deal with chaos? I am very curious! I would love to hear your views.

 

Image credits: blog dot hubspot dot com, living dot msn dot com

About Magda Papas

Magda Papas worked in the finance industry for 12 years in London and Milan before making a foray into the world of freelance translating. This multi-lingual creative powerhouse can work with the English, Italian, and Greek languages. In addition to translating, she revels in writing. Her core interests include mosaic art, work life balance tips, culture and accessories. She authors Mosaicology blog where you can learn more about the craft of creating mosaic masterpieces and how mosaic art can relate to fashion, travel, history, interiors. Connect with her on Twitter or contact her via email.

Comments

  1. Great technique!

    Another technique is to read ‘popular’ blogs that are in your niche. What are they blogging about? What are the ‘hot’ topics and popular posts? How many categories and tags do they have? Read the comments because you’ll receive great insight into the minds of readers. This information can help you to develop your blog posts, categories, and tags.
    Amandah recently posted..Comment on How to Promote Your Book (Even if You Hate Marketing) by Savvy Writing Careers| Authors and The 50 Shades of Grey Way to Grab Media AttentionMy Profile

  2. Great way to keep ideas for future posts too. I started doing that and got busy with several blogs I do; but the other night I had a blank mind. So having a list is extremely helpful because every once in a while you will get stuck. Some days I can have several ideas all at once too. I don’t stress out anymore about posting daily or weekly, I go with the flow unless its really overdue. Stress will not help creativity flow well.
    Lisa recently posted..7 Awesome Reasons to Use TumblrMy Profile

    • Lisa, I agree wholeheartedly about saying goodbye to posting-related stress. I had to let it go because I had too many other critical deadlines that required my attention and focus. Now, while I certainly try to post at least 3 new stories a week on my websites, I often fall short of that due to direct income producing work (always a good thing. ;-))

      XO

  3. Thank you Amandah and Lisa for your lovely comments and precious feedback.

    I have been blogging about art for a while and now I really want to start a new blog/site – associated with writing and translation which I am also passionate about (and I can generate income from).

    But art is so important to me. This is why I am going to try keep both sites. I am actually very excited because while I am creating the writing blog I have been setting up a little e-store to sell designs and photos on a variety of products and gadgets. Starting a new thing is pushing me to evolve the other blog too!

    I even think I will find a way to blend the two areas in some future posts on my new site.

    A blogger has to do what a blogger needs to do!

    I will keep you posted!
    Magda recently posted..EarthquakeMy Profile

  4. Oh – great ideas! I think I need to spend more time brainstorming, less time head scratching. :-)

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Joanna. Yeah, head scratching usually leaves me with…well…a raw scalp. LOL. I love to get together in G+ hangouts and brainstorm with other entrepreneur in my (or similar) niches. It really gets my creative juices flowing. We should plan one sometime. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I’m glad you like Magda’s ideas. She’s a creative one, that one. ;-)

  5. Hi Joanna! I am so glad you stopped by and found this post interesting! I hope you will be able to do some great brainstorming and come up with lots of new stuff. With time, I am finding out how the writing process ‘brainstorms” you. I am discovering that when you actually sit down and write, you come up with things you had NO IDEA they have been nestling in your brain. :)
    Magda Papas recently posted..Splendid ShellsMy Profile

  6. Great post – it feels we’ve all been there at some point after all! :)
    Foteini recently posted..What makes a weekend great !My Profile

  7. Thanks for your blog,I learned some of the techniques which I can use to improve my blog.I am a first timer blogger,so I really need more time to learned.Sometimes,I cannot make a blog because I running out topic.For that situation,I just relaxed for a while.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment, Mary Anne. I’m so pleased that Magda’s article offered some value to you as a new blogger. Keep coming back. We’ll have more great tips and information each week. ~Samantha

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