2017 State of the Blogging Industry

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ConvertKit

part 3: the topic

The most popular blog topics

Every blog has a topic. It seems like that should be true, but in reality too many blogs have a complete lack of focus or topic. They can come across like wide-ranging dialogues on the meaning of life or myopic, self-centered personal journals.

To grow an audience today, it is almost a requirement that you start with a specific topic and clearly communicate it. We thought it might be interesting to see which topics are currently being covered intensely in the blogging world vs. which topics are less popular.

We offered so many different options for this question that they don’t all fit on a graph.

One note: Obviously, these numbers add up to more than 100%. That’s because each survey respondent was allowed to select as many topics as applied to their blog in their minds.

Now let’s chat more about the most and least popular with an eye toward which topics might be most ripe for new bloggers or bloggers looking to change topic.

The Most Popular Blog Topics

You could practically make a meme out of the top of this graph. Personal development, entrepreneurship, small business, online business, productivity, marketing, and lifestyle design are the top seven topics, the least of which is covered by more than 20% of bloggers. No wonder it can seem like the Internet is an echo chamber. A remarkable percentage of bloggers are writing about the same topics.

What topics does your blog cover?

Top 20 topics

The Least Popular Blog Topics

It’s really important to immediately note the difference in scale of this graph. The most popular topics on this chart are less popular than the least popular on the last graph, which maxed out at 45%. This graph maxes out at 8.5%.

You can see that crafts, culture, management, faith, finance, and home improvement all have a number of bloggers covering them. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the graph, we see many topics that are traditionally covered by large media organizations like sports, news, celebrities, politics, automobiles and gossip.

What topics does your blog cover?

Bottom 22 topics

Blog Topics We Overlooked in Our Survey

Before we move on, it’s important to take a look at the “Other” category, which included 21% of bloggers. This category showed us that we clearly left out a number of topics from our list. The major ones that received a quite a few write-ins included education and teaching, photography, graphic design, health and well-being, and writing. These seemed to stand out as distinct topics that we’ll certainly include in this report in years to come.

“Other” also included some truly unique topics, such as the respondents blogging about historical swordsmanship, summer camp, or industrial flooring. Some things just don’t fit nicely into the buckets we provided!

Before we move on to the blogging tools and tactics section, let’s compare the top five topics of professional and not-yet-professional bloggers.

What blog topics are most popular for professional bloggers?

The most popular topics for pros vs. not-yet-pros: Entrepreneurship vs. Personal Development. Of the pro bloggers, 46% blog about entrepreneurship and 44% of not-yet-professional bloggers cover personal development.

This trend illustrates a story we see so often in the blogging world (and maybe it’s your story too). Many bloggers start out, as we’ve seen, looking for a creative outlet or for somewhere to document their personal development journey, so their blog naturally takes on a “personal development” topic.

Then, there comes a day when many of those not-yet-pro bloggers wake up and realize it’s tough to stand out as a personal development blogger AND it’s easy to make a case for why someone should pay you if you’re teaching them about entrepreneurship. Many people make that shift from blogging about personal development to blogging about entrepreneurship as a result.

Next we turn to the tools and tactics bloggers use to go from an idea to regularly publishing content.

Most common blog topics of pro and not-yet pro bloggers

PART 4: THE BLOG

How bloggers start and run their blogs

Read next section →

Download the State of the Blogging Industry 2017 report