*This is Chapter 2 of the Zerothreetwo Blogging Guide. If you want to start at the beginning, here’s the link to Starting a Blog.
“What should I blog about?”
Finding a topic can be the easiest thing in the world, or it can be like pulling teeth. The best blogs have a consistent direction and you know what to expect when you read them. Even if the topics are broad, good blogs have a universal theme tying everything together.
This chapter of the Zerothreetwo Blogging Guide is not about answers, but questions.
“What should I blog about?” is not the right question to ask. Asking the right questions is key to moving forward. We won’t have the answers. We can only share our experiences. Only you can answer these questions for yourself.
Your intent determines how you will approach every other question in this chapter.
There’s no right or wrong answer.
Answers can range from:
“I want to show the world who I am.”
“I want to help people.”
“I want to be an influencer and get showered by free stuff from companies.”
To each his own.
Be honest to yourself and find the intent for this compulsion to start a blog.
What is the purpose of your blog?
Blogs tend to fall into these three categories:
(1) Personal blog
Not much explanation needed for this one. A personal blog is a window into someone’s personal life.
(2) Media blog
Like a magazine, a media blog tends to be about a specific niche or culture.
(3) Company blog
A blog is a great way for companies to market their products and services.
It’s possible for blogs to be a hybrid of all three categories. Zerothreetwo is a prime example of this.
You need to answer these questions before you move forward, but be open to change.
When we started Zerothreetwo, it was strictly a blog about Cebu. We were blogging about new restaurants, interesting travel spots and trendy events.
Eventually, we grew and expanded our topics. Today, you’ll find personal posts mixed in with movie reviews, outdoors activity, travel guides, and even a blog guide.
A blog can evolve and become a totally different monster.
But best to have a starting point.
What’s your starting point?
Niche is always better.
Don’t try to blog about anything and everything. Find a niche and be the best in that niche.
For example, let’s talk about photography.
If you were to blog about photography as a general term, you would be climbing a steep mountain.
A Google search on the word “photography” shows 772 million results. That is a very crowded topic.
This time let’s try searching for “insect photography.” The results show 8.8 million results. That mountain doesn’t seem as steep anymore.
Let’s go even further, “portrait photography Cebu.” This one only has 562 thousand search results.
The more specific your niche the more likely you’ll stand out.
What niche do you want to serve?
How do I stand out?
The internet is filled with blogs. Lots of people are writing, taking photos, vlogging, and sharing content to the world.
Here are four suggestions to standing out:
(1) Just be yourself.
No one else is like you. You are unique with your own set of silly quirks. Use those quirks to your advantage. No one is grading your blog posts. No teacher telling you what to do. No need to robotize yourself.
Just be you.
I may be over simplifying it, but this is the best you can hope for. Some people are incredibly attractive and will get attention simply by posting their perfectly tanned bod on Instagram. Some people are incredibly funny and witty that a 140 character tweet gets hundreds of thousands of retweets. Most people are not so lucky. But that just means you’ll have to work twice as hard to get that attention. In later chapters, we will talk about blog promotion. But the short answer is be yourself. No one can take that away from you.
(2) Solve problems.
Most people visit blogs because they have a problem that needs solving. Have you decided on a niche yet? One sure way to get readers is to answer as many questions about that niche as possible. The world is full of people looking for answers. It pays to be one of those pillars of knowledge.
“But… I don’t know how to solve those problems. I’m not an expert in my topic.”
You’ll be surprised with how much learning you can achieve if you are forced to blog about it every week.
“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” – Phil Collins
Have you ever tried teaching? You’ll find that teachers learn more than their students. The subtle pressure of having to know what you talk about will speed up the learning process for you.
Even if you don’t know much about the topic, you’ll soon find yourself devouring information.
(3) If you can’t be the best, be different.
Being the best at something is hard. It’s also over rated. There are billions of people in the world, safe to say there is someone faster than you.
Being different. That’s where the art rests.
Kurt Cobain wasn’t the best singer in the 90’s. There were millions of people who could sing better than him, but no one could sing like Kurt Cobain.
This is where real life intersects with the blog. If you are beautiful, funny or talented, then show it on the blog.
Of the four suggestions in this list, this is possibly the most difficult. Most people aren’t born with the gene to entertain.
But that’s ok.
Not everyone needs to be entertained. More often than not people want to be heard and helped.
Instead of trying to stand out, ask yourself, “What is the best way for your to build your tribe?”
Remember, we can’t tell you what to blog about. That has to come from you. Sometimes it’s about finding your passion, but most likely, it’s about finding passion in something that found you.
Why do you want to blog?
What is the purpose of your blog?
What’s your starting point? What’s your niche?
How do I stand out? Or how do I build my tribe?
On the next…
Next week, chapter 3 of the Zerothreetwo Blogging Guide – How to blog? We get into the specific tactics of a blog. We’ll touch on topics like tone, titles, SEO, No. of words, etc.
Till next week.
PS – If we missed out on anything or if you have any questions or if we should elaborate more on something, feel free to send us an email.