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What you know or what you love? How to choose the topic for your blog

Choosing a blog topic is like choosing the style of clothing you wear, it shows your interests and tastes, it makes a statement about you and it is a form of self-expression.

People will also be attracted to you (or not!) according to their own tastes, interests and values.

Some people have one main passion or area of expertise and so the blog topic is a natural choice. For others however your multitude of passions or interests may cause a problem… which one do you choose and how do you approach the topic in an interesting or useful manner that could create a community?

Something you know vs. something you love?

This is an important choice, often the things we have experience in are the very things we want to escape!

But choosing an industry that you are heavily involved in is beneficial because you already have a network of potential people who would be interested in your content, and possibly some contacts that may wish to have an involvement in your website for things like guest blogging, sponsorship or promotion.

Adversely if you choose a new topic that you find thrilling, you will find that the act of blogging for it will draw you into that industry and if you do a good job, could be the life change you are looking for.

As you can see there are benefits to both knowledge and passion!

It does really help to create a blog where you have an established community who will appreciate it, however nothing compares to doing something for the love of it.

The big decision

One thing that may make the decision easier is that your idea doesn’t have to be THE ONE – just the one right now!

It is all part of the learning curve. Once you understand how to build a blog, build a community, create value and income online, you will find that you are drawn to other opportunities and ideas as time goes by and as your interests and experience of life changes.

Once you have a topic that lights your fire, find an angle, name and domain name that represents who you are and what you do.

Here are some resources for those who are ready to get started and a request (and opportunity!) for those of you who already have a blog.

If you are ready to get started…

Download the Essential Blog Checklist for handy tips on each area you need to think about. Or if you are ready for the fast track, register for the Website Launchpad Course that starts next week!

The Website Launchpad is a step by step course for those of you who are ready to get cracking on your first website with expert help. Learn how money is made through blogging, how to make the most of your efforts and enjoy having someone available to answer all of your questions along the way.

If you already have a blog…

Please share your blog and why you chose the topic in the comments below, tell us the highs and lows and give us a chance to come and check you out (yes please include your web address!).

If you like it, please share it!

Speak your lovely mind!

  1. Thanks Serena, I love the emphasis on following your passion, you rock!

  2. Ideas for my blog ( and newsletter come from daily experiences. There are always challenges that pop up, and I then write about how I solved them. I also share a lot of tips from my daily audio/video work. When I’m stuck, I might review a product or draw from my past work, revise and update the material, and go with that. I’ve been doing my weekly newsletter since 1997 (before the word ‘blog’ existed) so the discipline to write has been earned through hard work.

    • Serena Star Leonard says:

      Hey Jeffrey, thanks for sharing your blog, I love your work! I have a few questions for you, so I will send you an email :)

  3. I read an article in the Dominion Post two weeks ago, bought your book and have built my blog over the last week. I love painting, and have sold a fair few landscapes and now I would like to share my knowledge.
    Thanks for the inspiration Serena.

  4. Hi Serena, I have had a blog for about 7 or 8 months now about crochet and bits and pieces of my daily life.
    I found your book a little over a month ago and read it cover to cover and now I am going back through it taking notes and seeing what I can do to help generate an income from my existing blog. While I was reading your book I had an “Ah Ha” Moment in relation to adding value to my site. I used to read a gardening blog in which the owner of the blog did reviews of tomato varieties. She would grow them from seed and write about how the plant grew, what the tomatoes looked like, their texture and their taste. Nurseries and members of the public would send her unusual tomato varieties for her to grow and review.

    I then realised that I haven’t ever seen any yarn reviews. I started doing yarn reviews of the yarns that I am using or have used and the response has been very positive. I am now going to work on getting more reviews done and building my database, so far I only have 13 followers, before I can realistically start to generate an income. But it will happen!

    Thanks for showing me just how I can do it with my existing resources.

    I do have a question – if I start using WordPress can I transfer my blogger posts or will I have to start fresh?


    • Serena Star Leonard says:

      Hi Helen, thanks for reading and nice to see you here! Reviews are a great idea and can make your website really useful.

      With your posts, you can definately move your posts over! With WordPress you can back date your blogs so that they appear on the correct date. Technically I am not sure how you would do this (perhaps someone else can suggest if there is an app?) but in the very least you can do it manually, one blog at a time.

      Serena : )

  5. Hey Serena,

    I saw your interview on “The Circle” the other day and instantly related to your “way of life” and how I have had similar experiences in my internet journey.

    I have been blogging for 2 years in the niche of “Online Singing Lessons”. I am a singing teacher by profession and my passion is singing so it was a no-brainer when deciding on my niche :)

    I had no internet marketing or website building experience when I started out, just an ambition to get my message out to the world.

    I made many mistakes early on but gradually I have been able to build a community of subscribers and a number of online training programs which now generates a steady monthly income which has allowed me to “semi-retire” (I work about 20 hours a week from home and the reason why a 33 year old guy would be watching “The Circle” mid week!). I would say in the next year my online income will go close to replacing my income generated by selling my time.

    I wanted to comment to show your subscribers that you can make an income in any niche as long as you are patient, have good mentors, add real value to peoples lives and set yourself realistic goals.


    • Serena Star Leonard says:

      Hey Ian,
      It’s such an exciting journey eh! And yes so much to learn and figure out, but so worth it in the end.
      Thanks so much for visiting and sharing your story!
      Serena : )

  6. Hi Serena, our blog ‘on the blackboard’ was created to add value for our Aussie School Shop website users. We’re business partners with 5 teenagers between us, and so the posts can be anything from learning to drive, debutante balls, careers info or stretching the family budget. The posts read like a timeline of the stages we’re going through!

    We’ve added the mailchimp newsletter signup (thanks to your recent help), but struggle to come up with useful content that hasn’t already been blogged about.

    Lynda & Carolyn

  7. I also saw you on the Circle and I immediately (before the end of the show) bought your book for Kindle. I have set up a blog with WordPress and registered a domain name that suits me better with Cheap Australian Domains, do I still need a Host like Hostgater or am I covered for that with WordPress?

    Also I wanted to print out the Resource pages at the back of the book and I don’t seem to be able to do this with Kindle, is it possible?

    Thank you so much for writing this book regards Frances

    • Serena Star Leonard says:

      Hey Frances, thanks for stopping by!

      It sounds like you have gone for in which case you do not need a host. You may find that this version is limited in terms of plugins etc which won’t affect you straight away but will do once you get familiar with blogging. If you find this you may wish to switch to in which case you will need a host.

      I am not sure about Kindle as I am yet to even see one! So I am unsure if you can print pages, perhaps another person reading this can thorw light on the situation?

      Good luck with the blogging and feel free to post any tech questions you have on our Facebook wall

      Serena : )

  8. Hi Serena,
    I have a website and blog about my travels around Australia and my love of photography.

    I borrowed your book from the library a few months ago. I’ve read many others since on Twitter, Facebook marketing, SEO etc.
    The books all make it sound so easy but it’s not, it’s hard work. Your book is the first one I have read where the author was so accessible and helpful.

    The problem I have with books on how to be successful, make money at home etc. Is that the authors don’t tend to practice what they preach. They make their money selling their books and courses. They write about what desperate? people want to hear. Does that sound harsh?
    I recently read two books on how to make millions selling on ebay> Yet I have tried searching for what the authors sell.
    I’m sure that they did sell on ebay to make their millions but why not now? Instead they are writing books and selling expensive training literature.

    I have also tried finding the sellers who have their testimonials in the book, but can’t find them either. I am obviously not looking in the right places. But you see why I am cynical about these types of books.

    Blogging is all about writing meaningful content, and they will come. Perhaps that’s where I am going wrong.
    I have managed to source discount Genuine Software and media. I can sell it for a cheaper price than most other outlets. only time will tell if I can. It is all about building up relationships and trust I guess.


  9. Hi Serena, I read in your book write meaningful content and they will come. Well it has begun alas it took a dying whale to start the ball rolling.

    Last week I found a beached whale, helped it, took photos, wrote a story, put some videos up on You Tube and uploaded some pictures to Red Bubble the online artist community. They picked up on a thread I wrote and featured me in a story. Now my feedback and comments to my work is going through the roof. of yes i’ve even sold a picture. Story here…

    Cheers Dean

    • Serena Star Leonard says:

      Hey Dean,

      Thanks for keeping me posted!

      I am so sad for the whale. Such beautiful pictures. But so happy that you are getting lots of interest in your story.

      Just goes to show that you can’t always plan the flow of your blog, sometimes things just happen that change everything.

  10. Hi Serena, thanks so much for your inspiration, practical advice and encouragement for newbie bloggers like me.
    I started a blog a few months ago about my journey as a 52 year old female student pilot. Learning to fly is so far out of my comfort zone, I thought it was worthy of documenting! And I hoped it might encourage other women to give flying a try. You can find me at My biggest challenge is writing posts for my blog, timewise is hard and I always feel like it needs to be perfect before I post. How do you manage to keep writing regularly in your busy life? thanks again, Kirsten

    • Serena Star Leonard says:

      Hey Kirsten,
      Cool blog and awesome challenge! What a buzz!
      Yes time is a challenge for everyone! I find that traveling is a real impediment to writing as we have no set routine, no guarantee of internet and so many other things to see and do! How I personally manage is that I prioritise it over everything else. That probably sounds obvious but because I spend limited time on my website I always look to do the blog first, then share it on social media, then email it to the database. In that order. That way, even if I haven’t emailed it, there is still new content on the website, that I can send out when I get a moment. Being so passionate about writing I have been promising myself to write more but it hasn’t happened yet!
      If you are struggling, pick the days that you will publish and if it is not done, then stay up late and finish it. No excuses. You may miss out on some sleep a few nights but it will start to become a habit. That is is hardest bit, setting up the good habits. Apparently it takes 21 days to form a habit.
      As for feeling it needs to be perfect – it took me a while to get past the obsessing over every word – even days after publishing! But I am used to it now!
      John and I proof each others blogs which really helps too. If you have someone who reads them for you and tells you they are great (or need changing) you will feel much more confident to publish. Especially on the ones they LOVE!
      I have a private blog group on Facebook, if you would like to join it and be in a community of bloggers email me and I will send you the link.
      Good luck!

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