Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Is the Topic Popular?

While the blogger’s interest is important it’s not enough on it’s own to build a popular blog. Another crucial ingredient is that people WANT to read information on the topic you’re writing on. The law of Supply and Demand is what most business students are taught in their first semester of of studying economics and it comes into play here also. You might be interested in your topic but unless others are also you’ll always have an uphill battle in building a highly read blog.

Of course keep in mind that you are writing in a medium with a global audience of many millions and as a result you don’t need a topic that everyone is searching, just one thatsome people are searching for because even it’s something that even a small percentage of people have an active interest in it can be a lucrative area.

Is the Topic one that is growing or shrinking?

Also keep in mind that popular topics change over time. Obviously it’s great to get on a topic before it becomes big rather than when it’s on the decline. This is not easy to do of course but predict the next big thing that people will be searching for and you could be onto a winner.

Get in the habit of being on the lookout for what people are into. I constantly ask myself ‘what will people be searching the web for in 6 to 12 months?’

Keep an eye on what people are into and what the latest trends are. Do this online but also keep an eye on TV, magazines, the papers and even the conversations you have with friends.

What competition is there?

One of the traps that some bloggers get sucked into when choosing a topic is to go for the most popular topics with no regard for the competition that they might face in those markets. The chances are if you have identified a niche that you think is ‘hot’ at the moment that someone else will have also. It’s demand and supply coming into play again – for any level of demand for information on a topic there will only be a certain number of sources of that information that will be needed on that topic.

The web is becoming a more and more cluttered place and sometimes it feels that there are no niches that are left open to blog about. While this is true in some of the more popular topics – remember that you don’t have to go for the topic that everyone is searching for. In fact sometimes it’s some of the less popular topics that have little or no competition that are the best earners.

I have one friend who after years of attempting to do well writing about gadgets swapped to ‘ride on lawn mowers’ (a topic he’d been researching for a purchase he was making). He was amazed to find that after just a couple of months of writing on his new topic that it was doing significantly more traffic (and making quite a bit more) than his gadget websites ever had.

As I’ve said many times before on this blog – become a big fish in a small pond rather than a small fish in a big pond.

Will you have enough Content?

One of the key features of successful blogs is that have the ability to continue to come up with fresh content on their topic for long periods of time. Conversely, one of the things that kills many blogs is that their authors run out of things to say.

Answering the question regarding whether there is enough content can be done on two levels:

· 1. Do YOU have enough content within YOU as an author? This really comes back to the question we asked above about your passion, interests and energy for the topic (so I’ll leave it at that).

· 2. Do you have access to enough other sources of content and inspiration? There are many web based tools around these days that can help you in coming up with content. Some places to check out on your topic to see what news is about include Google News.

Choose a Niche

At this point it’s time to choose a topic for your blog. It’s probably unlikely that you’ll find the perfect topic on all of the fronts above. While it’d be great to find a topic that you’re passionate about that just happens to have massive demand and no competition – but the reality is that most topics topics that you come up with will have at least one weakness to them. Don’t let this get you down – there comes a time when you just need to make a decision and start blogging. The key is being aware of what the weakness is so that you can work to overcome it.

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