Test Drive Your Blog Topic

Many beginning bloggers, this one included, plan to make money with their blogs. I’ll experiment with money-making methods here in the future, but for now, let me just say that making money on a blog takes planning, consistency, and patience. Even then there are no guarantees.

That said, here some ways bloggers make money from their blogs:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Ads on the blog
  • Creating and selling ebooks and other information products
  • Creating and selling educational programs
  • Membership sites
  • Selling products on the blog
  • Directing people to an existing business owned by the blogger
  • Reader donations
  • Selling the blog
  • Selling non-fiction books based on the blog
  • Writing, speaking, consulting, and other opportunities that arise due to visibility from blogging

Regardless of what avenues you pursue to make money with your blog, you’ll want to take your potential topic for a test-drive up front to see if it can perform as a money-making vehicle. You can get as geeky with market research as you like, but I’m going to keep it basic here.

For starters, check to see if there is reader and advertiser interest. Type your topic name in the Google search window. How many search results come up? Are there sponsored ads on the right of the page?

I tested the term “blogging,” and 58,100,000 search results and a nice-sized string of sponsored ads came up. Then I tested the topic of, “the freckle on my left knee.” That brought up 19,600 results and no ads. Looks like I won’t be blogging about the freckle on my left knee anytime soon.

Another thing to consider is what income streams might flow from your topic? Do people pay to learn about this subject? Are there products for sale? Do people have problems and goals related to your topic?

Using my topic of blogging as an example, people do spend money money on products and courses to improve their blogs and blogging skills.  As a matter of fact, based on my own credit card activity, I’d say some people are spending quite a lot.

Looking at the competition is also a good way to test drive your blog topic. In my next post, I’ll show you how competition can be a good thing.

Attention Geeks: If you want to do more in-depth market research, check out this post from copyblogger.

3 Responses to Test Drive Your Blog Topic

  1. Jessica March 4, 2010 at 9:00 am #

    This is a step that lots of people skip over but it’s quite important if you plan to make a living off your blog. However if you’re just blogging because you’re passionate about something and don’t care about the money then I say talk about whatever you want! I love that you checked about the freckle on your left knee and am surprised that it resulted in 19600 results!

    • Jean March 4, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

      It’s quite an amazing freckle, Jess :)

  2. Jessica March 5, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    Must be! I also love your ‘Attention Geeks:’ section.

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