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Creating a Blog In a Niche You Know Nothing About

Posted By Guest Blogger 20th of September 2010 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

A guest post by Adam from Things To Learn.

I’ve been blogging for over two years now and I will be the first to admit that I haven’t been the best blogger in the world. Far from it. There were several stretches where I didn’t blog regularly or I wrote posts that just didn’t cut the mustard.

The blog that I was maintaining was in the ever crowded personal finance (PF) niche. Frankly, I know a lot about financial planning (I have a master’s in it) and I thought that I would thoroughly enjoy writing about it. Man was I wrong. If you ask any expert in the field, they will tell you that everything PF has already been written. In order to separate yourself from the hundreds of PF blogs out there, you have to put your own spin on the topics or just talk about your personal experiences. Well, I wasn’t that great at putting a spin on the topics and my wife and I don’t really live a fascinating financial life.

So, I slowly continued the blog. I stuck to it for about 2 years and decided that I just wasn’t having fun with it. I still enjoyed writing, but I was just burnt out writing about personal finance. I knew it was time for a change but I just didn’t know what. I don’t really have any hobbies and everything else just seemed so saturated already.

Blogging On Something You Don’t Know

As I was enjoying a nice walk around Washington DC with my wife, something caught my eye. None of the buildings were tall. I wondered what the deal was and figured that plenty of other people may have thought the same thing. I did some quick research at home and found out that there is some crazy law that doesn’t allow the buildings to be tall in the city. Weird.

After I learned about the topic, I had other random questions/things pop into my head and they just kept coming. An endless supply of blog posts! I wrote them down on a piece of paper with the title “Things To Learn”. I knew right then and there that I needed to create a blog on the topic. I was going from writing about things that I knew inside and out to something that I had no clue about. Why would I do that?

Why Should You Blog In a Niche You Know Nothing About

You Have An Almost Endless Supply of Blog Posts

Many great bloggers started writing about things that they wanted to know more about. For example, J.D. from Get Rich Slowly started his site when he was $35,000 in debt. Obviously, personal finance wasn’t his strong point at the time but he started the blog to learn more about the subject and it has now grown to one of the most popular blogs on the web. Heck, even Darren started this blog because he wanted to learn more about making money on the web.

Personally, I have been thinking about my new blog for weeks now. To date, I have approximately 100 “things to learn” in my WordPress drafts. You know what, the ideas keep coming too. Whether I am reading a book or having a conversation with a stranger, the thoughts keep flowing. You can do that with any niche too. Especially if you are constantly trying to learn more about it.

It Never Gets Old

Most new bloggers fizzle out after a few months because they feel like no one is listening. Hey, it happened to me a few months after I started. But, I stuck with it and my blog has made a few bucks here and there.

Believe it or not, I don’t really care if my new site has readers. I mean, there is a small part of me that likes the interaction but I am doing it more for me. I want to learn and blogging about things I am interested in gives me pleasure. The place that I want to get my interaction is from other sites like this one. I am saving some of my better posts for other blogs and I will be interacting with the readers here.

I think that by blogging in niche you know nothing about, it will be difficult run out of things to write. I mean, I bet it may get a little old after a while. If I had to guess, I would say that many of the bloggers that have been around for a long time will tell you that it’s starting to get old. I imagine the thought of quitting has crossed their mind. Even though they started out knowing nothing about the niche, now they do and it would get old. However, they are now probloggers and are making good money. How many small bloggers that burnt out posting about what they know can say that?

* * * * *

How many of you started blogging in a niche you know nothing about? Have you seen the same results that I mentioned? What other positives can you see with blogging in a niche you know nothing about?

Adam spends his time finding out what the closest city to the north pole is or what the largest country is. He enjoys learning new things every day and sharing them with those who are willing to listen.

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Comments
  1. This is a great article, I started a blog early in 2006, it was a personal blog mostly stuff I randomly think of. Then last year I decided to join the bandwagon of web design resources and I’m enjoying it enormously, I still can’t write more than 1 article a week but for me thats a huge jump from my previous blog where I write whenever I feel like it, sometimes months before I have a new post up. Cheers mate, great stuff.

  2. I started my tutorials blog, “headway hub”, because I wanted to know more about creating sites with the headway theme. Now I own the most successful/largest blog in that niche. :3

    I love learning and I definitely think it’s more fun when you still have questions to ask. It gets boring if you know everything!

  3. Great post, and Adam’s site looks interesting. Usually people say to choose your passion as your niche, but lately I feel I’m short on passions. I want to start a new site or two, but it’s hard to choose a new subject matter that I know a lot about. This post definitely gives me something to think about – a whole other way to look at things.

  4. @amaaanda says: 09/20/2010 at 1:54 am

    I started a blog similar to this a few years ago. It was thingsiask.com though now I think it only lives under the Blogger URL.

    The key with this, if you DO want people to read and o make money is to do your keyword research. Not only did SEO bring me all my traffic but it also gave me new ideas when I was looking for inspiration.

    You CAN get burnt out on this topic though, because the amount of hours you’ll put into thoroughly researching your question or item you want to learn about.

    I have to say, while I did get burnt out from the sheer amount of time put into research, I did make some good dough with Google Adsense while it was running thanks to titling my blogs with such specific and researched keywords. When you do it yourself you’ll be amazed at how many new ideas you come up with!

  5. A very interesting article on why we should write bout somthing we dont know. its a total opposite to normal thought of do what u r good at. will keep this in mind. thnks :)

  6. Great idea. There’s so much stuff that I always wonder about. It leads to lots of research and writing. I’ve thought about starting a travel blog and just driving around America and writing about what I see and find. Just need a new car, new laptop, Sprint 4G and a little green stuff (no, not that green stuff).

    DJ

  7. Hey everyone! Thanks for the kind words so far. It’s nice to see that some people feel the same way as me. Sometimes, writing about what you know can get a little boring. Branch out and learn something new!

  8. If your gonna blog, blog about something that interests you – and others will read. Even if it is something you know about and no one pays attention, it tends to get boring.
    Eventually, you will be an expert on whatever you blog about.

  9. I post on a subject I know about since it is my lifestyle. I had so many people contacting me when I was selling on eBaby wanting to know how to live the way I do. So I started two different blogs. Now, I have four. I never run out of information as people keep making comments that give me more ideas.

  10. Hey, the links at the bottom throw up 404 errors….you don’t want to lose traffic on a great opportunity of being featured on ProBlogger!

  11. I just can’t think of a situation where someone could blog about a topic where he/she knows nothing. Even if one has the fullest passion for a niche, he/she is bound to encounter the so called ‘writer’s block’ often.

    But it is always good to learn new things. So starting to blog in a niche where one knows nothing about, learn everyday and share what they learn also sounds challenging. I am not yet prepared to take the challenge though, may be sometime later :)

  12. Hi
    This is great and solid reason to start blogging in the niche in which we know nothing as it teaches many things new

    Thanks For Sharing
    -Abhishek

  13. Interesting thoughts about blogging, that I hadn’t considered before. Looking at my own blog, I chose a niche that I know about and love, but also enjoy learning more about. So any time I have a question, I’m excited to research it, and then share what I learn. Furthermore, when I don’t have any questions (or am too busy with other things to do the necessary research) I’m able to share something that I already know. It’s a good combination of the two different things, at least for me.

  14. Well, I recently started a new blog about fishing with my dad. I am an avid fly fisherman, but I’ve never written about it before. I found that my questions regarding the more technical aspects of fly fishing have led to all sorts of post ideas.

    So saying I know nothing about the subject is not totally correct. I’m just not the most technically proficient and it has left me with plenty to write about.

  15. Hey there Adam,

    That’s really something else that you did and is a great way to stand out from the crowd because the more questions there are, the more there is to learn.

    I started blogging because of a broken heart. I could post the link here but I’d rather not take it much further than that. I’m somewhat still dealing with things (the pain is gone though) and I randomly picked topics just to write about until I got into the blogging niche. Now I blog about helping others blog.

    No one’s ever thought of that one, eh?! lol

    I just find the power of blogging really cool as there’s so much you can do with a blog on so many levels, money aside.

    Really just wanted to say that and explain a bit about how I got started blogging. You definitely put a spin on things and I’m glad you figured out a direction to go instead of just giving up because it wasn’t fun any longer.

    In the end, above all else, if it’s not fun, why work at it and keep going? :)

  16. Congratulations! You have found a nice blog idea for yourself. As you know, that’s not a insignificant thing in a life of a blogger.

    As of writing on the topic you know nothing about, it might be a great thing if you are a curious person that like learning new stuff and if you have decent writing skills. I’m doing a similar thing for years, writing for a school children magazine. As you can guess, that kind of writing doesn’t require knowledge of the subject but skills of researching and “digesting” the subject and making it interesting for the specific audience. Needles to say, I hardly goes boring as would niche writing be.

  17. This an extremely timely post for me.

    I recently started a blog about learning to fly in an ultralight aircraft.

    This is something that I don’t or didn’t know a thing about but I am passionate about learning about it.

    Ideas for blog posts are coming to me all the time as I continue to learn about this sport.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  18. We are all human and we write stuff that we like and take interest of. Thereofre, we made a blog and post it…. simple…

  19. I agree with this post! I started http://www.shrewdcookie.com/ as I had worked in personal finance for nearly 20 years. I had however “burnt out” and now find it difficult to motivate myself to write more articles.

    I therefore started http://www.shrewdblogger.com/ – I have a great fascination in blogging, social media, wordpress etc and, although I know the basics I am no expert and wished to learn more.

    I therefore decided to start shrewdblogger.

    Remember, there is no better way to learn anything than to actually do it – and by blogging about it I am finding that I am enjoying the learning process even more.

  20. i love this. so refreshing for someone to say we can blog about something even if we are NOT and expert. yet.

    i have done this with my little biz blog. as i am working on improving my little home photography business i share what i am learning on the blog. i think it helps keep me accountable for actually putting the advice into practice, and i like that my work and research and tweaking can help out other mums like me.

    sometimes i feel a bit odd offering advice when i am hardly an expert, but then i remind myself that people are finding it helpful, so i just keep on keeping on!

    thanks =)

  21. “Small bloggers” need to keep posting. They’re the ones who keep blogs feeling real and authentic. Pro blogs come off feeling so sanitized and non-personal.

    That being said, pro blogs often have accurate and useful information for getting things done.

    So, there are reasons to support both and visit them.

  22. Dang, you’re on to my idea.

    Writing blog posts on things that I want to know more about does work for me. Blogging about nothing is Seinfeld

    !!

  23. I’ve got mixed feelings on this one. On one hand, I can see where this would shake things up and make blog writing interesting once again. But on the otherhand, I’m not sure I’d consider a blogger writing on unknown topics as any kind of expert. What happens if your readers have questions?

  24. As you made reference to, I think it’s important to stress that you have to naturally “desire to learn” more about the chosen topic. It should never be a strained effort – otherwise, move on. Referring to what QwkDrw wrote, blogging about nothing is Seinfeld, but all of Seinfeld’s topics are universal themes as well.

  25. I agree with this post! I started shrewdcookie.com as I had worked in personal finance for nearly 20 years. I had however “burnt out” and now find it difficult to motivate myself to write more articles.

    I therefore started shrewdblogger.com – I have a great fascination in blogging, social media, wordpress etc and, although I know the basics I am no expert and wished to learn more.

    I therefore decided to start shrewdblogger.

    Remember, there is no better way to learn anything than to actually do it – and by blogging about it I am finding that I am enjoying the learning process even more.

  26. There’s something very heartening for me about this post. I did exactly that in the world of making money online. I started a blog in January of this year and have been writing it since as I learn more and more about it.

    I must admit, I recently had a bit of a crisis of confidence, thinking ‘how dare I write about something that I’m still learning’. In fact, this post has re-affirmed that what I’m doing works, as proven very eloquently by the Get Rich Slowly example.

    Thanks for this nudge of inspiration.

  27. Hi Adam,
    Great idea for a blog.You know something, finances are just something you decided to learn about, no more ,no less. Your mind is full of thoughts and hopes and dreams…
    The Law of Attraction will have all the ideas in the world pass in front of your eyes if you look deep enough.
    Grab on and hold for dear life because yours is about to explode with joy and happiness.
    Thanks so much for sharing your idea.
    Pierre
    Thee Quest For Perfect Health

  28. Nice inspiration for blogging adventures – I have experimented blogging in new niches although I have not seen much success but I am hopeful that someday I will see results – Quality content and consistency is key to successful blogging.

  29. Great article that exactly what my business are st maarten deep sea fishing is going thru, the big guys like the travel industry just throw money at the advertising Companies and crowd everybody out.Maybe blogging in niches can help,,let see?

  30. Thats a really great post! I use hubpages to make the larger amounts of my money, at the moment, and I know nothing about most of the subjects. I could get morose about it, or do what I do which is to find the subject fascinating! I don’t think I could choose a whole blog about it though. Though my own cycling website is a complete work in progress because I know so little about the tech that’s out there now. Once again, thanks for this encouraging post. I will sending a link to my team.

  31. I have to agree with this post,you shouldn’t write about something if you aren’t passionate about it because it will come across in your posts.

  32. I also started to write a blog in a field I know nothing about
    I am a SW engineer and I started to write a blog about business. I am an “active learner”, I am having hard time learning passively from a book or a video, I need to ask questions and apply the things I learn in order to really understand them.
    I started to be interested in Economics and Business and instead of going to MBA I started to write a blog.

  33. This is not only a great ‘boosting’ article for the new blogger but also for anyone who has become to feel lackluster about their own blog.
    I’ve started four different blogs but stopped posting after a bit; perhaps a lack of passion or maybe because I didn’t put the energy into it and treat it like a job instead of a hobby.

    All four blogs were about subjects outside of my regular job in IT.
    I felt that I ran out of things to say or to show (photos). You’ve made me rethink my approach and strategy, but also the point of constantly learning more, be it on the subject of the blog or on blogging itself.

    A MILLION THANKS for writing this!

  34. I’m really not a blogger myself but I guess blogging in a niche you know nothing about is just the same thing with discussing something you are not actually that familiar with or joining a discussion with a topic you just you are not so sure about. I actually find it fun and educational. It’s just like what you mentioned, there are a lot of good ideas or questions that run through your head about a new topic which could be fun for some like for me and then afterwards since you want to find out the answers to your questions, you research on them which then becomes educational.

  35. Adam,

    You make a great point here – you don’t have to be a subject matter expert to blog about a given subject.

    As long as you are an engaging writer and have something meaningful to say, blogging can be as much a learning experience as it is a teaching experience.

    Seth Godin made a similar point in his latest blog post from today: “Relentlessly asking the right questions is a long term career, mostly because no one ever knows the right answer on a regular basis.” (see http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/09/questions-or-answers.html).

    And I’m another case in point – As a man in my 30’s, I knew literally nothing about wedding planning a couple of years ago, but I now run a fairly successful destination wedding planning blog at http://www.simpleweddingsblog.com!

    Momma always said, “Blogging is like a box of chocolates…you never know what your gonna get”!

    Jeff Copeland
    Tampa Bay Search | Solutions for Small Business

  36. “I mean, there is a small part of me that likes the interaction but I am doing it more for me”

    I love that attitude. If you write for you, and not to please people, then the right readers will find you and you will all be one big happy family! Write to please people and you’re facing an uphill struggle.

    It’s excellent how you are blogging to learn. That’s what we should all be doing and writing a list is something I may also be doing from now on…

    Rob

  37. Fábio Almeida says: 09/21/2010 at 1:35 am

    Hi Darren, I have been reading your blog and I came across this post and was something that interested me enough because I always wondered how to make money online, I mean since 2004 when I had access to the internet that have always heard that it is possible make money online. And this post is really aimed at people like me who want to make good money online. I find it interesting that the best words are those niches in which you want to know more and more. And I agree with you, for example I want to make money online explaining to readers how to make money online. It is a great way to learn and be updated with new tools.

    But it is also strange I have recently read an ebook where the author (can’t really remember who that was) said never start with something we do not know or where we have no experience.

  38. Nice article! Im new in blogosphere but my blog is like me (very helpfull)

  39. As long as you are honest about your level of expertise and have the attitude of “join me on this learning experience”, I think this is an interesting idea. I can see writing blog posts that share resources or ideas with others. There is that mental challenge of admitting to the public that “yes, I need to learn more” but when you think about that, of course, we all need and want to learn more. I’ve added this to my list of blog post ideas – what do I want to learn more about. Thanks for the idea!

  40. Great article and great points – I also found that when we blog out of our comfort zone, we find out of the box ways of thinking! Thanks Adam!

  41. I’ve often thought of doing just that….blogging as I learn about something.

    Break the monotony!

    Although I agree with John Burnside- you do have to have a passion for your subject matter no matter what

  42. Joyful says: 09/21/2010 at 3:09 am

    I’m with Cheska. I don’t yet blog; I edit books for a living. I figured I’d edit on topics I knew from my education, but actually that got boring. Now I work in fields I know nothing about, and it keeps me interested and stimulated.

  43. Hi Adam.

    Great post! I agree with you. I started my blog knowing virtually nothing about the topic. But it is very interesting now because I have learned a lot and I am still learning.

    I have also started another blog based on what I have learned so far in blogging. And I am enjoying it

  44. I did this when I created my “Learning to blog” blog! It’s purely about the mechanics of blogging, so I can just have fun and post stuff I learn to do!

  45. You’re right, many bloggers start writing about something they don’t know with the idea of learn more about the subject. I started my blog I few days ago about something I don’t know very well, but it doesn’t mean that everything I’m writing isn’t true. “I learn before I post” Everytime I write a post I will first do some research and learn about it before posting, I study a lot because I want to succeed and there is no better thing than write about what you’re learning.

  46. I did!

    My day job involves advising clients on their Web strategy. I wanted to “learn by doing” in the social media space, but didn’t want to create yet another blog about web strategy because the space is crowded and because I want to switch gears after working with clients all day.

    So I decided to write about something that I know enough about to get started, but not so much that I wouldn’t always be learning. I also needed something I was passionate about and that would attract enough interest for me to generate traffic and have the opportunity to learn from the experience.

    So I started writing about parenting, but not from the “this is what mommy does all day” perspective. More from the social and research aspects of it.

  47. I think there is a post related to this on problogger some days ago on what to blog about after you’ve blogged to much.

    I still believe that if you’ve a blog in your niche you can still find some difficulties writing after passing some of the time.

    anyways best of luck bloggers.

  48. I started a blog three years ago because I was hired to write a web site for a guy who disappeared. It was about cell phone legislation for drivers, fairly obscure topic at the time. I knew nothing about the subject. I was stuck with the content so I made the blog. It’s now my No. 1 project.

  49. Great refreshing article. My previous work life has been the basis of my current blog. I have so many subjects that i want to learn about, starting a blog and doing the research to write the articles would be a great way of learning something new

  50. I started a personal finance site as I had worked in personal finance for nearly 20 years. I had however “burnt out” and now find it difficult to motivate myself to write more articles.

    I therefore started shrewdblogger as I have a great fascination with blogging, social media, wordpress etc and, although I know the basics I am no expert and wished to learn more.

    I therefore decided to start shrewdblogger.

    Remember, there is no better way to learn anything than to actually do it – and by blogging about it I am finding that I am enjoying the learning process even more.