Popular opinion says that you should blog about something you’re passionate about because you’ll be interested in the topic and your excitement will come across in your content. The belief is that you’ll also quickly grow bored and give up if you’re not really passionate about your topic. But how much weight does this theory hold? After all, this is you’re livelihood we’re talking about. Should you really develop your business around your passion?

There’s something to be said about basing your business plan on your passions. Plenty of successful business people make money doing something they love. And it makes sense – if you’re passionate about something then that means you’re probably more knowledgeable about that topic than the average person. One of the biggest obstacles in marketing is being able to identify what your customers need. And who better to identify the needs of the buyer than someone who’s already an expert on the subject. But should you base something as important as your entire financial future on passion alone?

Before you start building a business around your passion, here are a few things you need to consider:

Are other people passionate about the same thing

You may be passionate about gray squirrel hunting but that doesn’t mean you can make money blogging about it. Even if your blog contains 20 years worth of your gray squirrel hunting expertise, if no one else is interested in hunting the little critters they’re not going to visit your blog.

How much competition do you have

Let’s say you’re passionate about black socks and when you do the research you see that 3600 people share your same interest. That’s great! You’ll have an instant audience for your blog about black socks. Now do a Google search on the words ‘black socks’ and you’ll see there are almost 19 million competing web pages. That’s not so great. That’s a lot of competition.

Can you find enough content

It takes a lot of content to create a quality blog or website. You also need to post frequently and regularly to attract new readers and keep the search engines happy. Will you have enough to write about if you go with your passions?

    Can you monetize it:

Let’s suppose that so far whatever it is you’re passionate about meets all the criteria. There are plenty of people who are also passionate about it, there’s not too much competition and you’ll have plenty of interesting things to blog about. The important question is how will you make money? Probably 99% of the time this won’t be a problem. You can always find something to sell and even if you can’t you can sell your expertise by writing your own ebooks or guides. But it’s still something you need to consider before you make your final decision.

If the topic you’re passionate about just doesn’t fit the bill, you have two options:

    Widen/Narrow your focus:

If there’s just too little interest in your topic then all you need to do is widen your focus. Instead of setting up a site about hunting gray squirrels, build your business around squirrels in general. You’ll have a lot more relevant keywords which will attract a wider audience. You’ll also probably have a wider choice of products you can use for monetization.

If, on the other hand, there’s just too much competition, consider narrowing your focus. Instead of blogging about black socks, choose a niche topic like black dress socks or black baby socks. You’ll still be blogging about something you love, you’ll just be narrowing your focus. As your readership grows, you can start adding in addition niches like black argyle socks or black tennis socks.

    Choose a different topic:

Your other choice is to forget about your passion and choose a more profitable business plan. It doesn’t make sense to develop your business around your passion if you can’t come up with a plan to make it profitable.

Look at it this way – There are millions of successful business owners out there who built their business around cleaning out septic tanks. And there are millions of webmasters who built their profitable businesses around colon cleansers. Do you really think that either one of those successful business people woke up one day and said – Hey! I’m passionate about poop! I think I’ll build a business around it!

No. Those guys aren’t passionate about poop. They’re passionate about making money. But their businesses are successful because other people are passionate about poop.

Don’t base your business plan on popular opinion. Instead of blogging about something you’re passionate about, blog about a topic that has a lot of passionate buyers.

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sté Kerwer is the guy behind Dukeo.com. He blogs about affiliate marketing, making money online, email marketing, SEO, mindset for success, WordPress and a lot more. To read more about Sté you can either grab his RSS feed or follow him on Twitter @dukeo.

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