Blogging Brainstorming Help

I am toying with the idea of testing the problogging waters – writing a topic-focused blog, promoting it, monetizing it, and seeing if it can become a self-supporting endeavor.

Interestingly enough, although I’m typically quite decisive, I have a hard time defining a subject area… my native perfectionism is sabotaging me. I can’t really pin anything down that meets my criteria – and thanks to eMoms at Home for the great supporting article on the subject:

It must be:

  • Broad enough audience appeal to attract sufficient traffic
  • Both narrow enough that it’s marketable and topic specific, yet wide enough that I can write fresh content about it regularly
  • A growing field or industry, not declining
  • Subject matter I care about and am sufficiently knowledgeable about to write on
  • A concept that lends itself to connecting and community building

So what do I know?

  • Project management (niche audience)
  • Business writing (ugh – boring)
  • Telecom & IT (boring)
  • Being a woman in business (saturated market)
  • Creative/artistic type stuff (limited niche audience)
  • Dogs (limited niche audience – boring)

It almost the equivalent of being struck by lightning for a general, daily life, non-topic-focused blog to succeed wildly, like Dooce or Xiaxue. Those ladies are pretty amazing, but I have no interest in emulating their version of cold fusion in a Dixie cup.

Why am I interested in this? A month or so ago I published a Why I Blog post – I do it because I love to write, and also because I enjoy being a part of the user content-driven renaissance that is Web 2.0. Jumping on board that groundswell of fundamental change in the nature of the Internet and its business model in a more substantive way intrigues me.

So, I’d appreciate any ideas, suggestions or comments from readers – wild, crazy, silly, sensible, random or otherwise.

Thanks!

11 Responses to “Blogging Brainstorming Help”

  1. Brandy Says:

    Hummmm, How about “Making Technology Work for You”.

    There are so many solutions or simple hints and ideas on existing and new technologies that could really make life easier – and is applicable to all venues.

    Working moms want to save time, there must be something out there for the traveling dog show junkie (or maybe how to build a site to promote their business), ahhhh you name it. There are tons of tools but limited knowledge in how to get them set up or work best for you.

  2. Jen / domestika Says:

    Add to the list of criteria, perhaps, a topic that lends itself to writing about specific products – not simply intangible ideas – if you’re looking primarily at monetizing. As for topic… whatever you pick, do make sure you care enough to be able to keep it up long-term (unfortunately, only you can answer that one…
    Best of luck!
    Jen

  3. Jeri Says:

    Great ideas!

    I really like a combination of your last idea, Brandy, and your input, Jen. (And beautiful site, Jen, btw… glad I went to visit!)

    I am power-user level technical. I have been but am no longer a sysadmin/remote WAN/LAN admin, and I work in IT. I really enjoy figuring out and playing with some of the great technical tools that are out there. They can be really challenging for me, with steep and obscure learning curves. If that’s the case, they are completely out of the reach of the average layperson or nontechnical user on the street…

    I think there may be a niche there — “Unpacking it 4 You” or something. The wheels are turning.

    Thank you!

  4. Jen / domestika Says:

    Thanks so much for coming to visit – your wonderful generous compliment got me all choked up {sniff sniff}.

    You may be onto something with the UberGeek line. Few people with that level of technical expertise have your ability to communicate at a layperson’s level. The trick might be to deliver in bite-sized pieces… I do believe that the key to a successful blog is to be useful to your readers, whoever they may be and whatever the subject area, and that potential is certainly here.

    I’ll stay tuned, all agog to see where this goes!

  5. Brandy Says:

    Jeri, dont forget…as your sucess grows you will have more and more opportunity for advertising revenues and what not. Referals for products, who knows! Start a webbased business and sell the products you promote *giggle*

  6. slatrat Says:

    Here’s a comment from a longtime blogger – it’s a real effort to do a focused, everyday or several times a week focused technical blog. It can be very tiresome to constantly be fresh and insightful. And it can get in the way of real life.

    I think you would have an excellent viewpoint. But it can become a real slog.

  7. Holy Says:

    Problogging has its limitations too….those sites tend to look cheesy and obvious to savvy web surfers…so while you may get the hit, you may not get any real time surfing your site as most know these sites for what they are – paid blogging.

    It’s the same schtick in newsprint – let’s use the tourism industry as an example – I read a paid advertorial – which combines destination and hotel advertising revenue with a little bit of editorial copy from the Travel Editor talking about how wonderful that destination is – or worse, the destination themselves write the copy and it comes off as cheesy testimonial…Credible? Not really.

    But if a travel writer writes a blurb saying “go to Bali, it’s awesome” – chances are, readers will take notice.

    Same with Problogging….there’s always the bottom line, what’s in it for this person to promote this or that product or thing? –

    So I tend to agree with Slatrat – go after the paid blogging only if it’s attached to a desk job of some sort – otherwise I doubt your revenue will ever really match the labour….but if it’s a labour of love…then go for it.

    Hate to sound cynical and jaded – I flirted for a time with doing destination blogging – ie. doing hotel and attraction site visits and then writing up about them but again, as a surfer, if I were to stumble across those versus something from the tourist board, I would tend to take the tourist bureau write-up more seriously.

  8. Andrew Boyd Says:

    Hi Jeri,

    I’m at much the same stage as yourself – I’ve started taking blogging more seriously and have friends who are getting into it as well.

    I’ve found Wendy’s posts at eMoms to be really very good for blog ideas and inspiration – I can also heartily recommend fellow Aussies Darren Rowse (problogger.net) and Yaro Starek (entrepreneurs-journey.com).

    As to brainstorming – I’ve found Seth Godin’s Edgecraft technique to be helpful – he talks about it in his book “Free Prize Inside”.

    Hope this helps, and good luck with it.

    Best regards, Andrew

  9. Find your logical blog niche - logically at Facibus On Blogging Says:

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