Is there a need?

My most successful business ideas were birthed from needs. I didn’t go out looking for a new business, but it came to me in the form of a problem:

  • I couldn’t find an answer to my question.
  • I needed a product/service that could accomplish X, but none existed.

When choosing a topic for your blog, it’s worth pondering what need(s) your blog will meet. What value is it delivering to visitors?

The bigger the need, the better your chance of rapid success.

If you perceive a need, others do too. This is a time-limited opportunity. If you can be the first to meet that need, you’ll “corner the market” and quickly create a dedicated audience.

Someone beat me to it.

Here’s a common question: what do you do when you have a topic in mind, but there’s already lots of content covering that topic?

You have two options: choose another topic, or choose a better angle.

Choosing a better angle means you look at what already exists, and create something better. Being first-to-market has its advantages, but being second does as well! When you’re first-to-market you are creating something from scratch, and building an audience from the ground floor.

When you’re second-to-market (or third, or fourth) you have a full picture of what’s already out there. You can see their strengths, their weaknesses, and you can figure out how to build something better.

Example: YouTube has a massive number of videos covering topic X, but there is very little blog content on the topic. What should you do?

Create the blog content. YouTube will reach a certain audience, but there are plenty of people who would rather read a well-written post than watch a video. You can even use some of the YouTube content in your posts, embedding the videos and writing about what they contain! (We’ll talk more about this later…)

Needs Narrow

You may have started this journey with a broad topic in mind:

  1. I love scuba diving
  2. I’m an expert guitarist who loves to teach
  3. My family is blessed by my cooking, and I want to share that with others

When you begin to think about the needs associated with your topic, you may realize that meeting those needs will require a narrowing of focus or change in approach. This is a good thing. Focused blogs lead to more punchy content that audiences find compelling and relevant.

As an example: what if I took the first broad topic above (“I love scuba diving”) and identified this need: diving requires a lot of equipment, and beginners don’t know what brands/models to buy.

This may lead me to focus my Scuba blog on product reviews and advice. And I’m not talking about a simple 5-star rating system with a few sentences about the latest Garmin dive computer! I’m talking about in-depth reviews that get into the nitty-gritty of the products, showing their strengths and weaknesses in a way only an experienced scuba diver and actual user of the product can do.

Meet your audience’s needs with focused, valuable content and they’ll keep coming back for more.