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In this is a blog post, I’ll help you figure out something of great importance that most bloggers struggle with – should blog about something you love or go after the loot. I will tell you my story on how I came to choose between loot or love. But more importantly, you’ll complete 3 simple exercises that will help you clarify whether you should blog about something that makes you money or something you are passionate about.
You may have just happened upon this blog post, which is really cool. But I wanted to let you know that this blog post is part two or the continuation of another blog post I wrote about that talks about what to blog about. In that blog post, I give 3 steps on how to find your blog topic by really focusing and honing in on a unique topic. These blog posts are part of my Free Email Blogging Course where I help mom bloggers figure out what to blog about, set up a blog, write blog posts and start making money blogging. Click HERE for more information on how you can sign up for that eCourse.
YOU SHOULD BE PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR BLOG TOPIC
Should you blog about something you are interested in or are passionate about? Well, I don’t want to burst your beautiful blogging bubble but I do want to give you a dose of reality. Blogging in itself is hard and it can be a grind. You have to be consistent and blog when you don’t know what to write about or don’t feel like blogging. It is important to love what you do because sometimes that’s the only thing that’s gonna keep your blog going. So, I suggest you blog about something you like. But on the other side of the coin…
YOUR BLOG TOPIC SHOULD BE SOMETHING THAT MAKES MONEY
We are living in turbulent times. It’s hard out here. There is no such thing as job security anymore. Unemployment is up to levels we haven’t seen since the Great Depression and no one knows from one day to the next what will happen with the economy. Geoff Williams of the New York Times says, “Sure, you can start your blog as a memoir. But if you have expertise that people pay for, definitely consider blogging about that.” For those reasons, I strongly suggest that you blog about your expertise, skill or experience that can bring in money.
Now, every blogger has to decide what they are really chasing – the almighty dollar or their passion. Ultimately, you have to make the decision of whether to just go after the money or follow your heart. And I am no different. I had to make that hard decision myself. Let me tell you a little more about it in my story.
A few years ago, I was getting a lot of media attention from my blog. I was regularly asked to give interviews and went to local news stations to tape news segments. As a result of all that media exposure, I built my blog around being a tech expert. For years, my blog was about my take on the latest technology news and gadgets. But I can honestly say that I did not make a cent off my blog for years. Sure, I spent money making demo reels, getting my blog looking perfect and traveling here and there, but I didn’t make any money. I was on TV, my blog looked great and I was traveling for media but I didn’t make one penny.
LIFE MAKES YOU SHIFT GEARS
During that time, my life and priorities changed. I became a stay-at-home mommy to my toddler and twin babies. I was so over ripping and running all over town without getting any kind of compensation. Mainly because I was exhausted from staying up all night with my twin babies. It became increasingly difficult to travel at a moments notice or run to a news station with only 2 hours notice because I was the main caregiver for my children. My days were filled with doctor’s appointments, play dates and potty training. I was teaching one online graduate course but I knew that I wanted to do things for my children that required money that we didn’t have, like gymnastics, ballet class and private schooling.
It was also a difficult time because I realized that I didn’t want my blog to focus on tech and gadgets anymore. Sure, I knew a lot about the latest and greatest tech gadgets but my heart wasn’t in it. I wasn’t feeling fulfilled in what I was doing. Therefore, I needed and wanted to make a change. So I learned that was just because I like something and am good at it doesn’t mean I have to blog about it.
But an interesting thing was also happening during this time. Many of my mom friends and friends of friends wanted me to help them start a blog. They wanted to stay home with their kids, work from home and contribute money to their household. Others approached me about creating or redesigning web sites for them. I did it and didn’t really think much about it at the time. But you know what? That money was steady and it was good money. I never advertised my skills and all the business I got was by word of mouth. I love teaching. Hence, the reason I became a professor. So it shouldn’t have surprised me that I found myself being drawn to helping moms learn how to blog and create the life of their dreams.
It finally dawned on me one day to focus my blog on teaching mommies how to blog and and fall back on the tech expert stuff. I mean, it’s not rocket science, right? I was making money teaching moms how to blog and doing web web design without even trying. However, I couldn’t earn a dollar blogging about the latest technology. I enjoyed working with other moms and I was passionate about it. Informing the public about the latest and greatest tech gadgets wasn’t feeding my soul or paying the bills. So for those reasons, I decided to switch gears and focus my blog on helping moms start and build profitable blogs. It’s cool because it fills a need that people have and generates income for my family.
Luckily, all the things I was doing were in my wheelhouse. I really didn’t have to chose between blogging about my passion versus blogging for money. I just had to hone in on what I really wanted to focus on. So, my suggestion to you is to try to find a combination of both. In other words, figure out what you love and find out how you can make some money off it. That is truly what you should blog about. But I am not here just to talk about me. I am here to help you out. And since you’re reading this blog post, I know you are struggling to figure out what you should blog about. So, let’s figure it out!
Hopefully, you are part of my free blogging course and completed part I of deciding what to blog about. If not, click here
LET’S COMPLETE THESE EXERCISES
For the remainder of this blog post, you’ll complete 3 simple exercises: The Startled Awake Exercise, The SET Assessment Exercise and The Circle Exercise. The Startled Awake Exercise will help you discover your passions and interests. The SET Assessment Exercise will help you clarify and organize your skills that make you profitable. In The Circle Exercise, you’ll take all those different interests, passions and business ideas you have and whittle them down into your blog topic. If you’ve already completed the Circle Exercise as part of my free blogging ecourse. Just redo it but add the topics found in the Startled Awake and SET Assessment Exercises. Completing these 3 steps will take about 60 to 90 minutes of your time and help you find a blog topic that you’re passionate about that also brings in money.
I know you are anxious to discover your blog topic, but please do not rush through these steps. Please complete all three steps in order. Also, do not skip or omit a step. Each step is important and builds upon the previous exercise. These exercises and materials are most beneficial when they are followed in order and correctly.
Before you start, you’ll need to download The Startled Awake Exercise, The SET Assessment Exercise and the Circle Exercise Worksheets. You’ll need them to complete the tasks in this blog post and help you figure out your blog topic. Click HERE to download those 3 documents.
You ready? Okay, let’s begin….
STEP 1: COMPLETE THE STARTLED AWAKE EXERCISE
On this worksheet (page 3), write down up to 5 things that you can talk about if someone woke you from a dead sleep and asked you about it. These are topics you know so well that can spout off facts and details without even thinking about it. You probably read about or follow these interests or people on social media daily, watch TV shows about it and pay for media and subscriptions for these topics. Also, try to articulate why you love these topics so much. See if you can put it into words. These are topics you know so much about because you love to learn about it.
STEP 2: COMPLETE THE SET ASSESSMENT EXERCISE
The Startled Awake Exercise helped you figure out what topics you’re passionate about. However, the SET Assessment Exercise will highlight your unique qualities that can help make your blog profitable. SET stands for Skills, Experience and Training. So on this worksheet (pages 4-5), write down all of your skills, experiences, education, training, certifications and anything else that you can charge money for online. The key is to focus on things that can make money digitally or online because we want to work smarter not harder. The goal is to work less and spend more time with your family.
Here are some examples…
I can teach social media using ebooks, webinars and ecourses.
I can help people lose weight by offering training sessions via Skype.
I can use my design skills to create gift baskets that people can buy online.
I don’t want you to write down skills that can’t be used online or don’t relate to your passion. For example, you may have taken dance classes all your life. But if you’re not creating a dance blog or starting a dance studio, then don’t list that as a profitable skill. Does that make sense? Only list skills, certifications and experiences that your blog can benefit from.
STEP 3: COMPLETE THE CIRCLE EXERCISE
This final step will help you hone in on a profitable blog topic that you are also passionate about. Okay now let’s get started on the Circle Exercise.
Step 1: Write out all the topics you are interested in blogging about (page 5 in the Worksheets). Don’t hold back here. Just list them out without thinking about it. Give yourself permission to write out all your interests, passions and ideas. Make sure to add the topics from your Startled Awake Exercise. If you don’t know what topics you are interested in, you can write down things you want to do like visit the 7 wonders of the world or swim with dolphins.
Step 2: Group your topics into larger categories (page 6 in the Worksheets). Some topics may overlap and that’s fine. However, you should notice that you have a 1-2 main topics, while the other remaining topics are sub-topics to the main topics. The main topics are what interest you the most.
Step 3: List out ways to make money for the 1-2 main blog topics (page 7 in the Worksheets). Or more specifically, what ways do you want to make money? This is important because we all have to eat. I don’t want you to pick a blog topic that has no chance of earning some type of income for you and your family. If you are trying to work mainly online, think about eBooks, webinars and eCourses as income opportunities. Other ways to bring in revenue can include things like live events, classes and physical products.
Now, pick the blog topic that you are interested in and can realistically make money with (page 8 in the Worksheets). When I say realistically, I mean something that you actually can and will do. For example, you may be interested in selling Mary Kay products to make money. But if you are shy and don’t like meeting new people, you probably won’t make any money selling Mary Kay. So, pick a blog topic that interests you and also have fun, exciting ways for you to make money.
And presto! You’ve got your blog topic! It interests you and has several ways to generates income. Yay! Congratulations on completing these exercises.
Hopefully, at this point, you’re feeling great about finding a blog topic that you’re passionate about and has profit potential. Don’t second guess your topic. Trust the process and yourself. However, if you’re not 100% on the topic you picked, sleep on it. Then come back and look at your Circle Exercise Worksheet tomorrow. If you find that you really can’t narrow down what you’re gonna blog about to 1 or 2 topics, no worries. You can have more than one blog. However, I don’t recommend having more than one blog if you’re new to blogging. But once you’ve had one successful blog, hire some help and start another blog on the other topic you love so much.
Since you’ve got your blog topic all sorted out, let’s get your blog all setup. Because the most important thing is that you keep moving forward with your blog, take action and believe that you can do this. I can help you start your own blog quickly and cheaply. I have created a step-by-step tutorial on how to set up a WordPress blog in about 20 minutes. As I stated previously, for a limited time, you can get web hosting service from Blue Host for as low as $3.95 a month, which is ridiculously cheap. And as an added bonus, you’ll get a free domain name ($15 value) through my Blue Host link if you purchase at least one year of web hosting service.
Just think, right now, you are only 20 minutes away from having a blog. So what are you waiting for? The time for action is now. I am excited for you.
In this blog post, you’ve completed 3 introspective exercises that led you to the conclusion of whether you should blog for money or follow your passion. You figured out what you are passionate about and listed your skills, training and education that can bring in money online. Ultimately, you came up with one or two blog topics that you love and can bring in loot. And that’s the trick – finding a topic you feel called to talk about and generating income off it. I would love to hear about all the hard work you have done in these exercises. So leave me a comment letting me know what you are going to blog about and the URL. I’d love to check it out.
Dr. Marcella Wilson