This guest post is by Martyn Chamberlin of Two Hour Blogger.
“What should I write about?” It seems such a silly question. Of course you know what to write about!
In fact, you could argue it’s even impossible to write about the wrong thing. That’s like ordering the wrong iPod! Whoever heard of such a thing? As you know, if you write long and hard enough, someone will listen.
An audience of five is great if you’re just blogging for fun. But what if you’re trying to build a profitable business? Can you get enough people listening to make a business?
The answer is yes, if you’re in the right niche. The problem with many failing entrepreneurs is that they’re in the wrong niche. Here’s a list of symptoms you’re one of them.
1. You’re building a big list but you can’t sell anything
In your zeal to rebel from your day job, it’s easy to pick a topic that’s utterly foreign to what you’re good at. But it’s hard to make real money in an area you know relatively little about.
Forget about monetization. Businesses don’t monetize. They sell things. What are you selling? If you don’t have a clue, you’re in the wrong niche.
2. You aren’t becoming an authority in your niche
If nobody’s commenting on your prose, sending email, buying your stuff, and becoming clients, you aren’t an authority. If you’ve spent a year of hard work without anyone acknowledging your expertise, you’re at a dead end. It’s time to move on.
This isn’t always your fault. You can be the greatest parody IT blogger, but if not enough people care about parody IT, you’re stuck. It’s safer to go with a demand that people have proven already exists.
3. The people in your niche don’t spend money
If your niche doesn’t spend money, you’re in trouble.
I know a fine art painter who returned to his day job because his titanic audience wouldn’t buy enough work. Don’t pick a field where people are looking for a quick laugh or a brief diversion. They won’t pay your bills.
4. You never enjoy writing about your topic
Have you gone six months without loving your subject? Does the very thought of hitting “New Post” make you cringe?
The best content comes from writers who are compelled to write. You can’t enjoy this excitement every single time (we all have our bad days), but you should feel it regularly.
5. You’re measuring everything in immediate dollars and cents
If money is all you care about, you’ll be too sane to stick when it’s tough. You won’t be passionate with tasks that have little immediate revenue.
To build a thriving blog, you have to be dedicated to your community. This means dispensing free advice to strangers for the greater community. If you want every single decision to be data-driven and money-making, you’re in the wrong niche.
6. You’re copying other people’s ideas outright
There’s no such thing as 100% original content. It’s okay to get inspiration from other people—in fact, it’s important. But if you don’t even try to edit other people’s ideas, if you mimic their entire ideology with tasteless apathy, you aren’t built for this niche.
Eugene Swartz once said he never knew a company that built its success from copying a competitor’s ad campaigns. Content marketing holds the exact same principle. You can’t expect success when you’ve got nothing original.
If your imagination doesn’t takes control at some point, you’re destined to burn out.
What should you do?
You don’t have to start out a genius. You don’t have to be a perfect writer. You don’t even have to completely understand your business model.
But you can’t be in the wrong niche.
Take a hard look at your blog.
Then pick yourself up and get good at something people pay for.
Martyn Chamberlin can take your WordPress site to places you never dreamed with the Genesis Framework. He blogs at Two Hour Blogger.