Starting your blog can be overwhelming. I know it was for me. I spent ages just trying to think up the perfect domain name. Eventually I realised the answer was right before my eyes.
But when I bought the domain, I just sat on it for years. Like a constipated mother hen.
What do I write about?
I read all the guides. I listened to all the “gurus”. They all said you need to niche down and focus on one thing.
That’s fine advice if you’re trying to get into one area and trying to make money from a particular audience but what if you just want to write?
I did the “one-niche” thing. I wrote about how to get into Oxford. My domain name was actually called that. I tried writing about learning English as a foreign language. And I even tried just writing about books.
All those ideas failed.
Use the scattergun approach
Writing about one niche failed but what did work – the thing you reading right now – is just writing about whatever the hell I want.
Sure, there’s a main theme here.
I’m a writer so naturally you’re gonna see a bunch of articles like these:
- 10 Great Websites For Beginner Writers
- 10 Easy Ways To Break Out Of A Writing Funk
- 10 Things Writers Can Learn From Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood
And I’m a book-lover, so you’re gonna see articles like these:
- How To Find New Exciting Books & Learn About The World
- 7 Lessons Learned From Man’s Search For Meaning
- 6 Ways To Become More Well Read In 2017
But there are some days where I wanna write something… Just not about writing or books.
Hell, I have other interests too.
Like health. How many blogs do you see combining book reviews and writing advice with random health articles like these?
- 7 Lifestyle & Diet Hacks I Used To Stop My Stomach Problems
- How To Cure An Ingrown Toenail Without Surgery
- How I Cured The Worst Insomnia Of My Life
Other days, I don’t want to talk about writing or books or health.
Some days I feel like jotting down a diary entry and twisting it into a meditation on creativity:
Other days, I feel like writing a story and I’ve got nowhere else to put it so I stick it here:
Other times, I wanna help my fellow freelancers and entrepreneurs:
- Stop Writing Shitty Freelance Proposals (Do This Instead)
- 5 Things I Learned From Writing Academic Essays For Money
And OTHER DAYS I feel like getting all high and mighty and spouting off “life-advice”:
- Difficult But Useful Lessons To Learn In Your 20s
- How To Beat Stress Before Stress Beats You (26 Stress Busters)
- 9 Common Mistakes People Make When Choosing A Life Partner
But wait! There’s more! Some days I don’t wanna talk about any of that stuff. I might want to chat about marketing and customer service instead:
- 3 Outstanding Customer Service Lessons From David’s Tea
- 5 Outstanding Customer Service Lessons From The World’s Best Hotels
Why the scattergun approach works
When you’re first starting your blog, you just need to write.
You need to get going. You need to pump that content out.
Imagine if I had just chosen one niche from the many above:
- “Life advice”
- Customer service
I wouldn’t have half the amount of articles I currently do.
This blog is young. The first article was posted on June 25th 2016.
It’s not even a year old. And yet I’ve got 11 pages of content (over 100 posts) and a pretty regular posting schedule. And I do not spend much time here. I have two-full time jobs, a writing/publishing career, a new business venture that’s just getting off the ground, and I travel a lot.
Traffic is very small. But it is growing consistently even though the overall numbers are low.
But this is actually pretty promising.
I’m a complete unknown. A nobody. I’m not a public personality. Very few people who regularly read this site know me in person.
This is my personal area to….
- Write about whatever I want
- Hone my writing skills
- Experiment and play
My focus isn’t to “build an audience”.
It’s for me to write articles with care that help you, entertain you, or just give you some thoughts to go explore in different areas of your life.
And when you’re getting started with your blog, you just need to move out of that procrastination desert of uncertainty.
You need to move beyond silly questions like…
- “What am I gonna write?”
- “What’s my brand?”
- “What’s my niche?”
Forget SEO and all that. Forget about writing about one thing.
Just write about what YOU want to write TODAY.
How can you…
- Help someone?
- Entertain someone?
You must be an authority on something. Remember, authority doesn’t mean you need credentials. I’m not Stephen King but I give writing advice. I’m not a doctor but I give health advice (cautiously). I’m not a millionaire multi-business owner but I think I have my shit together so I give “life advice” where I can.
You can do the same.
If you’re really stuck, check out some of WordPress’ daily writing prompts:
They give you one word to get your creative juices flowing and then you can just run with it. You can even link to them and they’ll link back to you, which should help your SEO (not that you should worry about that to start).
Another benefit to the scattergun approach
Remember that the seeds you plant today will flourish into beautiful trees tomorrow.
Write about a whole host of topics and you’ll get a whole host of feedback.
You’ll find out….
- What topics are popular
- What people are searching for
- Where your writing style resonates the most
You can then use this feedback in the future to further help develop more content and maybe carve out a niche down the line if you see fit.
There’s nothing worse than starting a “niche blog”, putting tons of hours into content creation, and then finding no one wants to read you.
Or imagine having a “great idea” for a new product or app or service and you spend a year developing it, marketing it, and pouring money into it. Then no one buys…..
Test out whether there’s market interest for your ideas by seeing the popularity of what you write about first.
Start today. Write something. Write anything.
If this has helped you to write your first blog post, let me know. Post a link down below or tweet me and I’ll share your work so we can get you some traffic right off the bat.