How to Generate Blog Topics & Choose a Niche for your Blog

Passion is a very strong word. I spent several years trying to figure out what my passion was. On some days, I felt like passion was the only thing standing in my way to success. How I wished for someone to just come and tell me, "This is your passion, now go and succeed!" But, over the years, I've realized that passion is overrated.

Most of the blogging tips available on the web will guide you to look for your passion and blog around it. It is claimed to be the foolproof method of succeeding in the blogging space. Today, I am going to bust this myth and share a systematic strategy to generate blog topics that you can write about.

Ikigai - A Reason for Being

You can generate blog topics using the Japanese concept of Ikigai. If you're not familiar with it, let me explain what it means. According to this concept, you can get an eternal sense of fulfilment and joy in your daily activities only if those activities have an overlap of four traits:

  • You love them

  • You are good at them

  • The world needs them

  • You can get paid for them

Ikigai - A Japanese Concept

An overlap of two traits determines whether that activity is your mission, passion, profession or vocation. When all of them come together, Ikigai happens.

Now, for the purpose of our topic today, we will stick to how this concept can be used to decide what you are going to blog about. Let's begin!

Generating Blog Topics

In the previous post on the reasons to blog, I mentioned the importance of external reasons i.e. helping others. That is why we will use the trait 'what the world needs' as the starting point for this exercise.

I. What the world needs

Look around yourself and see if you find a gap in the market. Often, the most workable inspirations come from our surroundings. You need to create a repository of such gaps by observing the problems you and the people around you face in their day-to-day lives. But, don't start blogging the moment you see a gap! You need another trait to combine this gap with. For example, I realized that there was a dearth of non-engineers at the top MBA institutes in India during my CAT preparation (what the world needs), but I only started blogging about it when I graduated from one such institute (what you are good at).

II. What you love

Think of the following aspects of your life:

  • Skills

  • Hobbies

  • Education

  • Experiences

These will help you figure out the things you love in life. You can certainly blog about the things you love because you will always feel inspired to write about them. And you don't need to be good at them already, you just need to be willing to learn more about them. For example, I love marketing and I would definitely want to blog about it someday after learning more about it.

But, here's the catch! This trait needs to be combined with 'what the world needs'. Just because I like marketing doesn't mean I should start writing about the marketing initiatives of the world. At least not until I know who will get benefitted from my content. In other words, what is the gap that my blog will bridge?

Once you list down the things in life that you love, think about their need in this world. By sharing about them, who are you intending to benefit and how? It's okay if you're not good at that topic, you can learn more about it on the way. But, does that topic solve a purpose?

III. What you are good at

The easiest way to blog about something you're good at is to think about the people who are at the level you just crossed. For example, when I was pursuing my MBA, I could write about the CAT exam. Similarly, when I had featured a blog on Google Discover, I could guide the blogging aspirants.

Make a list of all such milestones of your life and see if you can write about one step behind. This will give you an ample number of things that you can write about. For example, if you are a fitness enthusiast, you can write about the first 30 days of someone's fitness journey, what one goes through, how to overcome the disappointment of not seeing results, etc.

Again, remember to connect it back to the trait 'what the world needs' if you want your blog to be unique and popular. If you're a fitness enthusiast and you're planning to write about the same things that other established fitness blogs have already written about, then you're going to be on the zillionth page of the Google Search Results.

IV. What you can get paid for

If your internal reason behind blogging is to earn money, then there are two things you should keep in mind before you look for topics. The ad revenue (the most common way of earning through the blog) depends on:

  • Keywords: Advertisers bid for the space on your blog depending upon the topic you write about. For example, terms like "insurance", "finance" and "legal" are highly bid and such blogs tend to earn a lot of money. The professional way of finding which keywords are bid the highest is by using the Google Keyword Planner. However, if you're just beginning, I have an easier way for you. Type the topic of your interest in the Google Search Box and hit enter. If you see ads on the first page, then it is safe to assume that it is a high-bid topic. You can complement this technique by searching the topic on Google Trends, which shows which keywords are being searched more over time:

Google Trends - Comparison
  • Geography - The second important thing you need to consider is the geography you need to cater to. Some countries like India (and most other Asian countries) don't have a high Cost Per Click (CPC), which is what the advertisers pay you for each click on their ads. If an advertiser advertises on two blogs on the same topic catering to different geographies, let's say India and the US, there is a significant gap in the amount the advertiser will pay for each click to the Indian targeted blog and the US targeted blog. In fact, for a topic like blogging, the CPC gap can be as much as Rs. 67 ($0.88 dollars). So, if you want to earn through blogging, prefer to create a blog that caters to the international audience.

Concluding Note

By using the Ikigai concept, you can generate a list of handful topics that you can blog about. After this exercise, many of you will be eager to start your own blog. So, in the next post, I am going to share whether you should buy a domain name for creating a blog or do it for free. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments below. You can subscribe on the home page to never miss an update about the new posts. Stay tuned!

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