I'm not sure if my idea will work for a blog

Believe it or not, not all ideas work well for blogs.

Building a blog is essentially about building a community of like-minded individuals who have a proven interest in your topic. A blog is about your audience, or tribe, as we call it. it's focused on teaching them what they want to know.

A book is focused on your message. It's focused on what you want to say.

Some ideas are more suited for a book. A book can be about you, your life and challenges, your lessons and insights, your tips and advice for others in the same situation.

A book can teach readers what they need to know first to understand your idea, concept, technique, process of method, and teach them the process.

Some ideas are a cause. If you have a passion that won't let go, if you want to rally people to create change, right injustice or fight hunger, you have a cause. Social media has proven to be a more effective vehicle than blogging to generate interest and fuel for a cause.

Some ideas are a movement. Movements are often marked by protests and news coverage. As with causes, social media is more effective in sharing your message than blogging.

So how can I know if my blog idea is any good?

The answer is actually simpler than you may think: By looking to see if any other bloggers have popular -- and profitable -- blogs on your topic.

There are a lot of "good" ideas on the internet. Some of them are very popular. But only a small handful of ideas have the staying power to be both popular and profitable for a blogger.

Unfortunately, in this case, the numbers matter. The less popular an idea, the less likely it can be profitable.

Here's a quick checklist to determine if your idea is off track:

  • Your idea doesn't solve a problem that a large audience is already searching for.

It may seem obvious, but there has to already be an existing audience actively searching for information and help.

  • An audience isn't already paying someone else for help with this problem.

The old adage Follow the money makes sense here. If people are already spending money to solve a problem and you offer them help, chances are good they'll give you their money instead.

  • Your idea is too narrowly focused.

Yes, the internet is a bit place when you can find just about anything. But step too far from mainstream ideas, and you'll quickly discover how deafeningly quiet it can be.

  • Your idea is too abstract and too broad.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, trying to appeal to everyone means your idea is so diluted you don't appeal to anyone. So we come back to the beginning: Are there any popular and profitable blogs on this idea?

  • The audience you're targeting isn't online or doesn't read blogs.

There are large audiences who don't bother with blogs, such as CEOs, top execs, teenagers, and older folks. They spend their screen time on other platforms, such as business magazines (CEOs and top execs), Snapchat (teenagers), and Facebook (older folks.)