Thursday, April 12, 2007

Step 4, What Topic Should I Blog About to make Money?

This post will answer questions like: What topic should I choose for my blog so that it makes money? Can I blog about any topic and still make money? What are some of the hot topics that others are blogging about and making money from? Can I change my blog topic? Can my personal blog make money? This post will not answer questions like: Is "Presidential cheating" a good topic? What about "chips, whips, grass snips and cheese nips?" My friend blogs about barbituates, is that OK?

There are many things to consider when you are deciding on a blog topic. The GOOD news about blogging is that you can start 55 blogs today, all with different topics, and wake up in the morning decide you don't like any of them, kill them all, and start 55 more with different topics. Blogs are FREE on Blogger.com and only cost your time. I really want you to start just 1 blog and do that one as well as possible and learn what I show you in BlogSimply! first. Once you know what you're doing and you have your blogging down to a process where it only takes you 1-2 hours per day for 1 blog you might choose to start a couple more. It's difficult to stay on top of more than 1 or 2 blogs with constant daily posting of new articles. Right now I'm working on 3, but I have about 9 that have been back-burnered. They are still pulling traffic from Google searches, but I know that my BEST efforts are better spent on the 3 I'm working on now. Writing 3 blogs everyday is manageable for me. Choosing your first blog's topic:
  • Choose something you are PASSIONATE about. Something that will wake you up and crank you into gear to start thinking about blogging every morning.
  • Choose a topic that you are either an expert at, a pseudo-expert, or a wanna-be expert. If you're passionate about the subject of your blog you can learn about it as you go.
  • Your topic must have a high number of searches in the search engines. There are two tools I use to decide if my topic is popular with people using the search engines: Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool (since 1998 I believe), and, Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
  • Your topic SHOULD have a high level of competition among advertisers that want to show their products on a blog with your topic. For this, again I use Google's Adword Keyword tool as it is quite easy to understand.
  • You should not choose a topic that is too general, a sub-level topic would be much better. Example, you wouldn't want to choose "Travel" as the focus of your blog but, "Hawaii" or "Oahu, Hawaii" or "Maui" would work much better.
  • Choose a topic that still contains many sub-topics under it that you can write about. I think about Dmoz.org, Googles directory of web content. It's arranged in levels something like: United States|Hawaii|Oahu - Maui - Kauai - Hawaii - Molokai - Lanai - Kahoolawe and then each island is broken down into topics below it: Cities - Business - Travel - etc... If you choose a niche that has nothing under it to write about - or little - you'll have a rough time coming up with content for a post every day!
  • Choose a topic that doesn't already have a lot of competition. Mobile phones; PDAs; Blogging... are all good examples of topics that have VERY high competition. Unless you are going to try to carve a piece of that pie for yourself - but, recognize it's a long and quite vertical battle.
Most of those are understandable. Below is more about using Google Adwords Keyword tool. I'll review Overture's Search Term Suggestion tool in another post. Google Adwords has a brilliant tool that helps their advertisers choose keywords that apply to the products they want to sell. BUT, we're going to use it to find good blog topics that might be candidates for making us money. Example... I want to look at the topic, "blogging for money". I go to Google's Keyword Tool > You will see: Results are tailored to English, United States (EDIT) You can click "Edit" to change where the results are pulled from. I typically choose USA, English because I'm most concerned about how many people are searching in America. If your blog topic relates to some other group of people substantially you can change this setting as you wish. Next look at the box below it that says, "Enter one keyword or phrase per line" where you are to type keywords about the topic you are thinking about focusing your blog on. you can enter as many as you like, but if at first you just choose one or two keywords or phrases then you'll be better off. I enter, "blogging for money". Leave the rest of the settings at their default setting. The drop down menu should say "Keyword Search Volume". Click the "Get more keywords" button. This tool will spit back a list of keywords related to the one(s) you entered and tell you a little bit about how many people are searching on the term and what the advertiser competition is for each term. The graphs have a blue bar that move from left to right to indicate how many searches were done on that keyword phrase. If there is just a tiny amount of blue, and much more white - few searches have been done. If there is a LOT of blue versus white -then many searches were done. You can order the column by clicking the top of it. Mine says "April search volume" You'll then see the top terms arranged in order from most searched upon down the line to least searched upon keywords (terms). This is the way you will go about choosing the exact topic area that has 2 things: 1. A high number of searches 2. A high level of advertiser competition. Now, in choosing your own blogging topic it's the same process. Put your idea for a blogging topic into the keyword section and let Google find related keywords. You will also see the exact phrase that you entered appear in a column below. Are many people searching on your phrase? What about Advertiser competition? High advertiser competition is GOOD because you want to receive bigger money for the ads on your site. That's a too-simple way to describe it - more coming later as I do a whole section on Google Adwords, Adsense, and the rest of it! So, you'll try all your blog topic ideas in that search and find some topics that might do well based on a high popularity of searches and advertiser competition.
Go ahead, put some cuss words
in there too and see what pops up...
you know you want to!

Next, go to Google.com . Enter your proposed topic into the search box in quotes. Mine would be, "blogging for money". Run that search and see in the upper right hand corner - how many pages of competition came up with that phrase on web pages indexed by Google? If the number is like 700 million like it was when I chose "travel" you will probably want to choose another blog topic for money. If it is only a few hundred or up to 50,000 or so you may have struck GOLD. IMMEDIATELY EMAIL ME THE TOPIC and I'll let you know... heh. If it is between 50,000 - 300,000 or so it is very do-able. If it's higher than 500,000 it will be a long-haul, but still do-able after a year, 18 months, or 2 years of solid effort. Those are my guesses. They are educated guesses because I've been doing search engine optimization and optimizing sites for keywords since 1998. But they're just guesses as that's all I can do to see the future. Remind me someday to tell you how a Thai guy in a Buddhist temple here in Thailand met me for the first time and said 3 words that almost made me fall over! Use my guesses as God's word, they aren't far off. Heh. If you have a specific question about your topic and whether you think it will work - just leave me a comment in the COMMENTS section below and I'll answer as soon as possible. Can I blog about ANY topic and still make money? You can. You can also pierce your ear with a nail, run a rope through it around your left leg and do a backflip off a tall building and land on concrete. Just because you CAN doesn't mean you should. You CAN blog about termite bellybuttons but your chances of making money from a blog like that are scant to none. Termites don't even HAVE bellybuttons, but that doesn't mean SOMEONE couldn't make that blog work. It would just be like spending 5 Thai baht on a Buddhist fortune machine at the temple - sometimes you score, but more often than not - you're wasting your time.
Can my personal blog make money? Here's an example of a personal blog that consists entirely of a girl griping about life. It's funny, but that's all there is, just griping, Kentuckygurl Blog > She HAS traffic. If she chose to put ads on her site she COULD make money. So, the answer to this question is, "Yes, you can make money with your personal blog." - but should you try?
Can I change my blog topic mid-stream and still make money?

Probably, but why WOULD you? Just start another blog unless your new topic is very closely related to your old topic. Don't let readers know you're changing the theme, just gradually start posting with more frequency about the new topic - ease into it. Eventually you'll be focused on the new topic and retained some of your old regular readers. Realize this... search engines like to see a focus on a topic. If your two topics are not related you'll not get "Google Love" like you had before you changed topics.



H-O-T Blogging Topics? Politics; Technology & gadgets; positive outlook & motivation; tips; gossip; life as a teen, mom with kids; advice blog; dating advice; saving money blog; frugal living; humor, jokes, funny photos, comics; collections of things- best photos; funniest photos; everything about a place - your town; your state; your favorite vacation destination; You DON'T need to BE THERE to blog it. Start a blog on Hawaii tourist attractions and things to do but you are living in Denver, Colorado!


Review...

Choosing a topic to blog about for money is very important because you'll be devoting hours and hours over time to making your blog work. Hours that should be going to spending time with your kids and helping your parents cope with old-age.

If you're focused on a topic that is not primo for making the duckies you will experience "no joy" as my uncle "Fishrat" used to say.

Just follow the tips above for choosing your blog topic. If you have a specific question just write a COMMENT below and I will answer, and even give my opinion if you are considering a topic you're not sure about.


Ok, take some time today and
choose a primo topic for your blog
that will bring you an abundance of

Google Love, Google Points,

and make you more money than
Oprah or Rosie.

Sorry, formatting is a bit "sketchy" as my Australian friend used to say, because I'm in Thailand, it's Songkran Water Festival time and all internet cafes are closed. I'm using my mobile as a modem and Blogger.com doesn't work perfectly when I try to edit my posts. Works well to post them, but editing is pretty snarked.


Prior post Step 3, What Skills and Qualities do I Need to Blog for Money?

Next post Step 5, How Can I Choose a Good Domain Name and Title?


If you have any questions that weren't answered by this post - please leave a COMMENT below and I'll respond quickly. I reply to every comment everyday. ~ Vern

3 comments:

Richard said...

Hello Vern,

Nice site you have,,clean,easy to navigate and full of "good stuff".

I used the Google Keyword Tool, however nothing was returned for the name I put in,,I'd appreciate any suggestion's, should I use a differnt name? which is
U 2 Can Blog
thanks,,
Richard

: ) said...

I think I didn't explain very well... The Google Keyword tool is to help you find what the rest of the world is searching on using google.com. If you enter "Thailand" it will show you the phrases that include 'Thailand' that the world is using to search google for.

Google keyword tool really isn't to help you find a domain name or come up with suggestions for a domain name.

Can you write me at: Thaipulse@gmail.com and I'll help you with the process... Not sure if your'e the richard I know here in Thailand... well, one of two... Thanks! Vern

Michelle Hipps said...

I really appreciate your blog.