A very common and sage piece of advice that you’ll get from many a professional blogger is that you shouldn’t choose a topic for your blog based on its relative level of popularity or profit potential. Instead, you should be choosing your core topic based on your actual areas of expertise and interest. You should be pursuing your passion.
There’s no point in writing about a niche or industry that you actually don’t like, because the well of creativity is going to run dry far too quickly, especially if those profits don’t come pouring in right away.
Feast and Famine of Blog Ideas
The thing is that even if you choose a niche or subject area that really interests you, eventually you’re going to run out of ideas to blog about. That’s natural and normal. You may be flooded with all sorts of great ideas when you first start out, but you’ll also run into ruts where there’s just no inspiration to be had. There are several ways to remedy this, like reading other blogs in your niche. And then there’s an existing resource that speaks to you already: your own blog.
Of course, this will only make much sense if your blog has already been around for a while and you’ve already built up a good sized archive. That said, I find it can be incredibly fruitful to dig through your own archive to seek out inspiration for new posts.
Looking Back, Moving Forward
You don’t even need to go back that far. When I first became a dad and had to figure out how to balance my work responsibilities with my responsibilities as a stay-at-home parent, I wrote a blog post on the impact that being a father had on my productivity. I wrote about how I had to write my blog posts in between diaper changes or how my work sessions would be sporadically interrupted by a crying baby.
That original post was published within a couple of weeks of my daughter being born. It was much more about my initial experience and my initial reaction to what would become the new normal. Then, I followed up with a related post six months later, discussing much of the same subject matter, but from the perspective of having lived the work-at-home dad (WAHD) life for half a year. This added value to the conversation while revisiting something I had already written.
What’s Old Is New Again
While you probably shouldn’t just regurgitate something that you wrote a couple years ago and pass it off as if it were something completely new, there is a lot of value to be had in the posts that you’ve already written and may have already forgotten about. If they’ve become a vague memory for you, then chances are that they can be new and interesting to your readers again too.
Consciously or unconsciously, most professional bloggers return to this strategy on a fairly regular basis. John has written about the true value of the dot com lifestyle on more than one occasion, as it ties back into his core branding and core messaging.
No matter what niche, industry or area of interest you approach on your blog, there’s a good chance you can unearth some precious nuggets of inspiration when you browse through your archives.