Blogging is a very worthwhile endeavor, but even before you dive into a conversation of finding the right web hosts or how you will go about monetizing your site, there is one very important question that needs to be addressed: Why are you going to blog and what are you going to blog about? You need answers to these before you can even start blogging in the first place.

Sure, asking what you’re going to blog about seems like simple enough of a question, but depending on your answer, the goals for your blog can swing heavily. Your blog can become a very different kind of website and your strategies can be vastly different too.

Blogging for Fun

If you are going to blog simply for the fun of blogging, you really can choose any topic that you’d like for your blog. The majority of people who start their first blog are creating personal blogs. With these kinds of sites, the blogger usually discusses personal interests or offers an online diary of sorts.

These kinds of blogs are great for learning how to blog, making new friends online that might share the same interests. For example, you might be a big fan of the Vancouver Canucks and you start a hockey blog. The goal is to have a good time, just because you want to have a proper venue for voicing your opinions. You might then get in contact with other Canucks fans around the city.

When you’re blogging for fun, just about any topic will do. This is because you are likely less concerned with profitability and other metrics. It’s more about making friends, having a proper venue to have your voice heard, and learning about the different technologies and innovations that are available to bloggers today.

Blogging for Business

If you are going to blog as a branding exercise for your company, your goals can be very different from a personal blog. Corporate blogs and official company blogs are an entirely different animal from the blog of a regular individual.

With business blogs, two main trends seem to emerge. On the one hand, some companies will only blog about company business. They may offer customers and partners an “insider’s look” into the company, showing them what happens behind the scenes. This is the case with the Disney Parks blog, for instance. They can also use the blog to highlight new products and other company announcements.

Alternatively, some companies use their blogs as a way to establish themselves as experts in their field. While some posts relate directly back to the company itself, many blog posts are simply about that particular industry. A financial services firm, for example, may offer posts that discuss the current economy, setting up your accounting books, and so forth.

Blogging for Money

More and more people are getting into blogging with the sole purpose of making money from them. They see larger sites like Engadget and TMZ making substantial amounts of money and they want to get in on the action. This is perfectly understandable.

If you are thinking about starting a blog with the goal of turning it into a viable business on its own, then you will have to take a completely different approach than you would with a personal blog or a corporate blog.

In the next chapter, we will discuss in detail how you can go about finding the right and profitable niche for you to start blogging about. Choosing the right subject matter can mean the difference between making thousands of dollars a month or barely being able to afford the hosting costs.

This blog post is part of the Complete Guide to Blogging. Be sure to visit our Blogging Guide for the full break down of all chapters and posts in this series.