Help us Choose a Topic for the Million Dollar Blog (and Discover Your Own)

Earlier this week, we announced the Million Dollar Blog Project.

Our goal is simple: to build a blog from scratch that earns $1M over it’s life, and to show you exactly how we do it, live. We also want to inspire you to build your own fun and profitable blog project along side us.

Now we need your help in selecting a topic for the blog we’ll build.

The rules are simple. Any subject or focus that you think might make a good topic for our million dollar blog can be nominated, except for topics related to making money online.

Anything else goes: underwater basket weaving, submarine races, hamster driving, etc., you get the picture. As long as it isn’t related to online marketing or making money online, please nominate anything you think would make a good topic in the comments below.

What Makes a Good Blog Topic

This project isn’t just about blogging, it’s about building a small business around a blog. That means our topic selection process will be a little more involved than it might be if we were just doing this for fun and creative expression.

Can you make money with any blog topic?

That’s a great question. I think any blog topic could be used to make some money, but not every topic can make great money.

Since our goal for this project is to earn $1M over the life of this blog, we’ll have to choose our topic carefully.

Here’s generally what we’ll be looking for:

1) a topic that will be fun to blog about. (doing something fun makes it so much easier to succeed)

2) a topic that represents a burning desire or pressing problem. The easiest way to build a business online is to solve a problem or fulfill a desire. The stronger the desire or more pressing the problem, the better.

3) a topic that we (the Think Traffic team) already have some knowledge of and interest in, or that we can become knowledgeable in relatively quickly.

4) evidence that money can be made around this topic. We want to know that opportunity exists within this market before we jump in.

We’ll cover our selection process in much more detail when we reveal the topic. Hopefully our process will help you choose your own blog topic if you’re planning to start a new project along with us.

How the Selection Will Work

We’ll take all of your nominations and put them to a vote next week. You’ll vote to narrow them down to the top 5, then we’ll choose one of the top selections.

The voting will take place over email, so if you want to take part in the vote next week, make sure you’re on our list for email updates. You don’t have to subscribe to nominate or follow along with this project, just to vote next week if you want to.

Again, anything goes, so feel free to nominate anything, no matter how crazy or obscure it might seem. We’ll take all the nominations and put them to a vote.

Why Are We Asking You to Nominate?

Why not just select a topic ourselves, instead of letting readers nominate a topic? Great question. There are three reasons why.

First, we know you’ll have some great ideas, more ideas than we would have on our own. By doing this publicly, we’ll get to use one of your ideas, you might just find a great idea for your own project as well.

Second, we want to show you how our selection process works for all kinds of ideas. We’ll be showing you why we selected our chosen topic, and why we didn’t choose the other topics in your top 5.

Third, we’re feeling up for a challenge 😉

We’d Love You to Join Us

Remember, if you’d like to start your own blog alongside us, we’d love you to join us in this project.

You’ll be able to follow along with our updates and learn strategies and tips you can apply to your own site. We’ll even link to your blog and progress reports on a special page here at Think Traffic.

If you’re thinking about starting your own blog, read all the details here and leave a comment telling us about your plans.

We’ll be explaining more about how participation will work next week. For now, just let us know if you’re interested on that announcement post.

Unleash the Nominations!

Alright, it’s time to ask for your input.

What do you think our million dollar blog should be about?

We’d love to hear your nominations for topics in the comments below. Feel free to nominate up to three topics. Include a sentence or two if your idea requires a little explaining.

Here’s a hint to people planning to start a new blog for this project: you might just find a great idea among the nominations that you can use yourself.

Nominations will close on Tuesday, September 6 at Midnight Eastern. Note: Submissions are now closed. :) We will email Think Traffic subscribers with a chance to vote on all the nominations later next week. We’ll announce the chosen topic during the week of September 12th.

This should be fun, thanks for your ideas!

[catlist name=million-dollar-blog-project template=mdbp orderby=date order=asc]

Published by

Corbett Barr

Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.

159 thoughts on “Help us Choose a Topic for the Million Dollar Blog (and Discover Your Own)”

  1. Helping you come up with a topic would be a lot easier if I knew something about your interests and particularly, your passions.

    1. Hey Mary, great question. I didn’t want to mention my own interests in the post because I couldn’t possibly name everything I’m interested in, and I don’t want to limit the ideas in any way. Also, I won’t be the sole author of the blog, my team will be helping out as well, so it’ll have to be a topic we mutually find interesting.

      Broadly speaking, I’m interested in health, wellness, travel, art, architecture, homes and home development, design, self improvement, technology, startup culture, photography, food, cocktails and beer, surfing, entrepreneurship, writing, music… the list goes on.

      That’s not all, either, so really, feel free to nominate anything.

  2. I think this is a great idea. I agree with Mary, it’s difficult to come up with a topic without knowing a great deal about your interests. However, I have an idea. It’s what I would do if I had a spare 5 hours a week (which I unfortunately don’t).

    I would do a blog in the self improvement niche. OK maybe some people will recoil from that more than they would from the make money online niche. But it interests me. More notably the self hypnosis side of it. You can offer free self-hypnosis tutorial MP3s and e-books as lead magnets. There’s a lot of good products out there you can review. And it can solve lots of problems from confidence/public speaking issues to addictions, from general health and fitness to memory improvement.

    Another thing you could do would be to ask for members of the ThinkTraffic tribe to come up with guest posts. I would be interested in helping you there :)

  3. Things I’d love to read more about…

    *Health/fitness for busy people
    *Language learning blogs
    *Shoestring travel
    *Writing style

    Can’t wait to see what everyone else comes up with!

  4. I told a former co-worker she should blog about all the animals she rescues (and those others rescued) — animals provide lots of opps for stories and cute pictures. Both grab the heartstrings of readers.

  5. Something related to this website that I find interesting is social marketing. Generating traffic from sources other than Google. Social networks, blogs, word of mouth etc. Using social media is increasingly important for driving traffic and I am guessing that this topic will become even more important over time. Maybe it is a little too related to this website?

  6. Why not target small-business management and growth? You could create a lot of strong content around KPI identification, tracking, and using data to plan strategy, eliminate bottlenecks, etc. It’s a market that is already spending money by definition and in larger amounts than consumers. You can use your existing business as both inspiration and sandbox. (Not to mention improve your own operations and management along the way.)

    There is a large and established services industry to promote and recommend while building your own products, etc. The list goes on. You guys are passionate about business right?

  7. Agree! A small hint on your passions would be nice. However:

    * Personal Development
    How to find your passions/ambitions and how to pursue them.

    * Social Dynamics
    About the way we interact and how to optimize our communicative skills.

    * Uncommon fields of expertise and location independence
    e.g. Engineering, Human Resources, etc. Fields other than, webdesign, writing, affiliate marketing, etc.

    1. Hey Kristal,

      Are you writing about this subject anywhere? I’m a mechanical engineer and specialized in offshore engineering. However, in today’s industry, I don’t see a lot of options for people who want to go location independent.

      I could think of teaching or writing about technology. But these aren’t real engineering jobs.Perhaps you’ve got more creative solutions ;-). Always curious about other peoples perspectives!

  8. Okay, on to the topic!

    Self Defense and internet business lifestyle.

    Bloggers are some of the most transparent people out here. Sharing where they live, how much they make, etc.. So, learning how to defend ones self is a necessary precaution to take.

    Ways to monetize, as you learn you can offer video tutorials, and paid membership sites.

  9. I like the “Shoestring travel” idea Sarah mentioned. I’m always looking for ways to take a quick and cheap vacation with my wife.

    A couple other ideas:
    *Recipes for couples without children
    *Male guide to female communication

    Can’t wait to see what you pick!

  10. How about “Using technology in small business”?

    I see a lot of local small business owners whose lives would be much easier if they were introduced to tech that I take for granted on a daily basis. Things like Google Docs, a basic CRM, and a mobile credit card processor (like Square) would help a lot of people save a lot of time and money.

  11. This would really come down to knowing the people that are going to be building the site better to make a better recommendation. As stated, it is wanted to have the topic be fun and engaging as well as a pressing demand for it. So I would agree with Mary on this one.

  12. Hey Corbett,
    Although this is a very unique and interesting idea, how is it ever going to be possible to follow this project through? What I mean is, it may take 5 years to get a blog to generate $1mm. Are you going to keep stats on this for 5 years and post the updates? It will be great to watch you for a while, but at some point, it seems to me that people will start to lose interest.

    I’m sure you’ve already thought of this, but I’m just curious to know how you plan on keeping people involved in this project for an extended period of time.

    As far as my suggestions, here are a few:

    1. Bullying/cyber bullying (I know you have kids and are probably will be concerned about this at some point).
    2. Behavioral disorders in children. A huge problem and one that many parents, including me, are dealing with (and spending money on).
    3. Bodyweight training. This is actually a pretty good niche and has become very popular over the last few years. I’ve been a personal trainer for 14 years and know there are a lot of great benefits to this type of training. I’ve actually done a ton of keyword research for this topic but simply have no time to pursue a niche site. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

    Good luck.

    1. Hey Steve, fantastic question about tracking the site. We will track the new site for as long as this site exists and people remain interested. I think the most exciting part will be what happens over the next 12 months obviously.

      Also, once we start earning income, we can report on our run-rate calculations and “time to $1M.” For example, at $2k/month, time to $1M = 41.6 years. At $5k it would be 16.6 years. At $15k it would be 5.5 years, etc. I’m going into this without having thought through every aspect of it for the future, so it’ll be a new and uncharted journey for everyone involved, including me.

    2. I’m sure the first 12 months will be HUGE and draw a ton of interest. I think that if you start posting calculations instead of actual earnings, it will lose its appeal but I could be wrong. Anyone can run a calculation on their blog and mine looks like this $0X12 months=$0.

      I guess I need to start thinking about my business model :)

      Anyway, I’m looking forward to it because it’s interesting and it’s coming from you! Is your pal, Pat Flynn involved as well?

    1. Maybe just my interests, but think this sounds interesting. Real world skills, entrepreneurial focus/development – thinking outside the box vs. canned education.

    2. I like the idea/concept of “creating your own education system” and I think this concept would be of interest to people internationally and in the Us with different levels of frustration and accessibility to quality, real-world, caring education systems.

    3. Like that Danny! My vote is for entrepreneurial education of our kids. There are so many directions you could go and products you could create. Not sure how much money is being spent here though.


  13. I have a sport related entry. My brother in law introduced me to this sport a few years back and It actually has very little internet coverage but quite a lot of searches. It is a very niche sport, and that sport is: Disc Golf !

  14. I think it should be completely unrelated to business. I love Mary’s idea. How about a blog that offers a showoff of others’ DIY projects and homemade items. It would be good exposure for them, especially if they’ve built a business around it, and you can read their story, and connect with them. It can also feature tutorials (maybe that can be a paid subscription).
    This is actually a blog project I’ve been working on for a little while. Hasn’t launched yet, its my first one, and what a hurdle. I would like to see how someone with experience would put it together.

  15. Topic: Careers vs job: following your passion
    “evidence that money can be made around this topic”– Hard statistics aren’t needed to understand how many people have a j-o-b but hate showing up and making someone else wealthy. Countless people aspire to wake up in the morning and “chase the dream”. A passionate career vs a paycheck job is out of reach for many.

  16. Here are 3 topics that I’ve thought about creating a blog about. It would be interesting to see how you or other think traffic followers would implement a blog about these topics.

    (1) Getting VMWare Certified
    – This is not only a fast growing topic, but I’ve also been very interested in learning about.

    (2) Getting Microsoft Certified
    – I need to get a couple of Microsoft certs myself, so I thought it would be smart to create a product around it.

    (3) Hamburgers
    – I thought it would be fun to review hamburger restaurants. It would be a great place for restaurants to pay for advertising if I had a large loyal following of hamburger fanatics.

    I’m also looking forward to seeing all the topic ideas posted in the comments, because I too would like something to write about for my own Million Dollar Blog Project.

  17. The project sounds fascinating, and I love your courageous spirit.

    Money-wise, it would make the most sense to build the project around something in the business/marketing sector to compliment the traffic building articles of ThinkTraffic. However, we all know marketing/business blogging is already highly saturated… so if you were going to go down that path you’d need a very unique angle.

    Which is why I’m sure you’re tapping our collective minds. :)

    Unfortunately, while there are many topics and Ideas that I’d love to read about, I haven’t done the research to see if any of them are profitable.

    The one idea that comes close is an online product creation blog/workshop. You could offer marketing tips, courses, guides, coaching all based on product creation and marketing online. Since a huge part of bringing traffic to a blog is monetizing it, you could effectively pair this with ThinkTraffic. :)

    That’ll get you to your mark fast.

    1. Ha – brain fart. Apparently my eyes completely skipped over the part where we can’t choose “make money online.”

      Scratch the idea above – here’s my fun ideas

      1) Self-sustaining lifestyle (grow your own food/ use solar power etc)

      2) Mind strengthening (mind over matter/ lucid dreaming)

  18. How about personal finance….not the save money/deal finding type, but what to do with your money once you have some beyond the usual emergency fund, 401k, IRA, pay down debt advice. Given the success of Think Traffic, I’d imagine you have quite a bit of income to allocate. It would be interesting to see what investments & methods people use that get beyond the basics of financial management.

  19. Hi,
    How about something way off the online marketing topic: Ghosthunting. It’s so popular right now but websites about it are usually really cheesy. It could easily expand into other areas, such as psychic phenomenon, exploration of science, the physics of our world, conjecture about other other worlds, etc. People love to share their experiences and ghost stories…There are also marketable products, such as tool kits for doing at home ghost hunts.

  20. 1. Home brewing beer.
    2. Self defense training (could niche this down to “for women” or “for children” or “for business executives”, etc.
    3. I don’t know. . . origami? Probably not.

    Looking forward to watching the process unfold. Thanks!

  21. I’m going to agree with Vic’s first choice. Something I’ve been dying to get into is Home Brewing and actually considered starting a blog that would document my journey through learning how to do it and trying out different recipes.

    Other than that, I’d love to see more video game blogs out there. Right now, the only really successful ones I can find are just glorified news sites. I want something more, ie

    Indie Game Development
    Video Game tactics shown through video
    Interviews with big video game names on video

    If you guys start something in a video game niche, I will have to dance a jig.

    Great idea btw guys. Can’t wait for you to start the project, no matter what the niche.

    1. I like the idea for video game tactics. I actually had an idea a while back to do a site focused on class specific raid tactics in WoW. Instead of just having a video showing an overview of the boss battles, it would have a video for each class showing specifically what they need to be doing.

      Of course I quit playing WoW fairly soon after having that idea. Plus, I didn’t really have the time to make it work. I still think it would be cool.

  22. I like the ideas about education, especially now that I’m living in a state that consistently vies for last place when it comes to public education and the funding thereof (i.e. Texas — thanks, Gov. Perry). I’m also interested in challenging our corporate food sources and reclaiming space in urban areas for backyard/community farming, so perhaps something on the subject of hooking up with schools to create rooftop gardens, community gardening space and/or greenhouses for either an after-school activity or as part of the science/phys. ed curriculum would work. I know that is a fairly specific niche, so you could broaden it out to include more DIY activities, or to the topic of urban farming more generally.

    Anything green/eco-friendly and sustainable is also going to be huge. It’s a popular topic, and one that’s really needed from a lay-person’s perspective on how to gradually get more involved and make the little changes that really add up. If you can include more “hardcore” how-to’s like helping homeowners convert to solar power, that would be awesome.

    1. i agree w the green living thing. i have bee toying w the idea of creating a zero-waste blog for quite some time. maybe i will have to use that for this project. :)

  23. What about a blog about starting and running your own social network? The blog/business can offer:

    – Reviews of open source and paid SN platforms (with affiliate link)
    – Paid directory of service providers (developers, designers, support, etc)
    – Reviews of web hosting providers (with affiliate link)
    – How-To’s from A-Z (seeding, increasing participation, monetization methods, etc.)

    Perhaps, this could lead into the development of a new platform based upon the needs and interests of the readership (voted upon). Which would be a longer term revenue stream that comes after you’ve established your brand and site as an authority.

  24. There’s so much hype around things like 4HWW and “hacking” sites (as in travel hacking, language hacking, etc – not computer hacking!). I think people really want effective resources for quickly and easily mastering new talents or improvingexisting talents, getting over plateaus etc.

    Personally I really like one of Corbett’s earlier sites, Morning Spanish, and I think maybe a revision of that concept could work really well depending on how you monetize it;

    otherwise, something on improving physical or mental performance, such as How to Run Faster or How to Speed Read;

    or finally (as we’re only allowed 3 suggestions), healthy eating or nutritional advice.

    There are so many other ideas for niches, I’m sure you’ll get a load of suggestions!

    By the way, forgive my curiousity, but I suspect you already have a pretty good idea of what your subject material will be don’t you? 😉

    1. I think this is the best idea. A blog similar to lifehacker would do very well in today’s market. Every day you could feature ideas on how to do everyday things faster, easier and cheaper. Toast bread more efficiently, drive in 4th and 5th gear for increased fuel efficiency, save big on grocery shopping using online coupons – that sort of thing.

      Include money saving tips, easy modifications of household items to make them run better, home budgeting tips, and so on. I’d love to read a regularly updated, well-written blog that focuses on stuff like that. The best part is you could incorporate a lot of the great ideas people are giving here into such a blog.

    2. oh i like this idea too, especially a blog that talks about multiple life-hacking topics, not just one, like sleep hacking, etc. Daily tips on life-hacking in various aspects of one’s daily life would be very interesting!

  25. 1) I love Vic’s idea of self-defense training, especially for women. Lots of videos would be cool. :-)
    2) How to become a better writer.
    3) How to lose weight and feel awesome — even at middle age! — the Primal/Paleo way. (I performed my own self-experiment with this lifestyle and it worked great, so I guess you say I’m an evangelist now.)

  26. It’s totally mind boggling to think of the top 3 blog topics I’d choose. I know it was already mentioned once but I think entrepreneurial education is an outstanding idea!

    How huge is the unemployed audience? How many people have turned to self-made ways to bring in the lost income they’re facing? This blog can cover an array of topics like books you recommend, guest posts from others who lost their jobs and worked hard to create something of their own without relying on the state of our economy, motivational posts on where to start, the truths about it not being easy or happening over night and so on.

    All I’m saying is the audience for those who are unemployed & looking to start something on their own they can rely on is huge. This audience is filled with people that come from all different professional backgrounds, yet have no clue where to break ground.

    As for my 2nd & 3rd ideas – right now I don’t know to be honest. I’m too pumped about an entrepreneurial step-by-step blog, ha! I’ll have to get back to you.

  27. Corbett:
    Here are some ideas for the blog topic:
    1. Personal finance in a difficult economy.

    2. Health and fitness for senior citizens (formerly known as baby boomers!)

    3. Vegan diet

    4. Web design

    5. Minimalist lifestyle


    1. Ooo yes! I would absolutely read this site.

      That said, there are already some very good and very active cycling communities with large sections devoted to urban commuting.

  28. Ha! Brain-fart – just realized we can’t do the ‘make money online’ shipiel…

    Okay, here’s mine then:

    1. Self-sufficient Lifestyle (like growing your own food/ generating your own power)

    2. Lucid dreaming

    3. Mind over Matter (hypnosis techniques)

    4. Color psychology

  29. I recently came across a site,, and I thought it was interesting. Not to sway people from going to college, but to show them that other options exist.

    Let’s face it, we having an education bubble, college tuition prices are rising at more than double the inflation rate, and the majority of people (especially young adults) still don’t know what other options exist for them other than going back to school or just getting the regular j.o.b.

    I’ve always wanted to see a good informative blog centered around alternative education/opportunities for young adults/adults that don’t know of any options out there other than going back to school. Or even parents that want to help their kids (or themselves) in some way, that want their kids to be successful, but themselves don’t really know of options besides school. Or what other educational opportunities that exist for them that isn’t commonly known.

    So maybe a blog dedicated to first showing people why they have to rethink higher education or the normal job/school path( if they don’t really know what they want to do), and then once things start to click and they do understand, address all their concerns/questions/comebacks, and then actually show them what their other options are, what steps they can take, places they can go, resources they can use, a forum/community dedicated to help, whatever.

    The market may not be ideal as far as the blog making major money, though I could be wrong, but it’s certainly a pressing need that I know we’re all aware of and would like to help with.

  30. *Travel blog with guides on a low budget
    *Photography, but from an amateur perspective, nothing complicated, nothing smartass
    * Already said, but language learning blog, with live/recorded video classes on a basis
    *Money making opportunities for student: Not really something like part-time jobs, more like something online that students get a hold on by selling and making money

  31. Using the concept of crowdsourcing to build a business. Mostly it has been used on the consumers end to leverage deals from businesses, but what about using it to build a business?

    I will be using this same concept in the blog that I intend to build alongside this project. It will be based on the local Happy Hours of a community. Who doesn’t finding the best spots in town, drinks at the cheapest price ever, 1/2 price appetizers, and new friends?!

    I love the language learning idea as well.

  32. Corbett, whatever you eventually choose, it would be great if it couls be suited to an international market rather than being US-centric like rental markets, college stuff for example.


  33. I’ll throw my hat in to support Vic’s idea about home brewing/craft beer! I have a friend who took a long road trip recently and made a point to hit as many craft breweries as possible along the way. The appeal is comparable to that of wine. While I don’t want to brew it myself, I’d love to learn about it and become a more informed and better consumer! :)

  34. If I were doing this I’d keep two guiding principles in mind:

    1. The problem would require a journey. For example, learning a language or improving fitness would foster longer-term engagement than, say, building a shed.

    2. I would combine two to four broad topics to create an interesting niche. From the topics provided above, I could take Corbett’s broad interest in travel, Sarah Russell’s health/fitness for busy people, toss in Chris Ducker’s interest in healthy eating, and finish off with Shlomo’s minimalist lifestyle. I now have the potential for a blog (and associated community and products) for health conscious, high mileage business travellers who never travel with checked baggage.

    This is just an approach – I’m not sure if something like this already exists.

  35. Always thought it would be cool to have users/readers pick from a list of items that you could easily buy at a home improvement store or warehouse like Costco and create something out of that.

    Each week there is a new creation from the supplies you’ve listed and have been narrowed down to only a few by the readers to achieve a certain goal.

    It’s different.

  36. Hi there!

    Here are my topics:

    How to be a famous rockstar (topics can include: how to build a fan base, building on your rockstar image/brand, etc.)

    Curly Hair (topics can include: struggles of frizz and flyaways, achieving the ultimate curl, why we want straight hair, etc.)

  37. The home brewing thing sounds solid (even though I don’t drink.)

    A real life problem that I need a solution to is the neighbors damn barking dog at all hours.

    With my four kids, I also really enjoy kids sports photography (football, soccer, lacrosse, etc…)

  38. Alright,
    I always thought someone should do a 30-day blog. Chose one topic for a month and learn how to be the best at it (or at least competent in it) in 30 days. That way you almost will never get board, you’ll have to experiment and discover whole new ways at looking at things and bring a new method or mindset to areas that maybe stagnant. I always wanted to do it, but I don’t like writing that much and my time is limited to other more pressing matters.

    1. This is along the lines of what I have been thinking.
      Most people are interested in learning a new skill, discovering a new passion or hobby or simply researching that skill for their school or business project.
      The idea of ‘Learn Something New’ interests me as it links in self imrovement and education. There could be a weekly topic/skill or monthly like Brad has suggested. Resources, tutorials etc could be pulled from all over the net and someone could blog their progress of learning said skill. It could be languages, crafts, art, music, cooking, eco stuff, anything!

    2. I LOVE this idea. I constantly have people telling me I need to focus and find a niche, that I can’t be a master of all!. But I can’t help my desire to learn new things constantly! If you’ve ever read about Renaissance Souls~ this was the only way I could define myself for a long time, and I still struggle with trying to stick with just one thing. In fact I am at a crossroads… trying to figure out how all of my skills and talents combine into a profession that offers ONE essential goal/idea, but uses multiple tools to arrive at it. Not to mention, since high school I’ve remembered that one of our town’s founders had a goal to learn something new everyday.

  39. How about travel hacking website not necessarily focused on getting mileage like Chris G does but everything else. Best hotel deals. Car rental. Trip advice. I guess like how to travel on a budget but have a full experience.

    Or training techniques to dominate snail fighting.

    Look forward to seeing the list of nominees!

  40. Throwing my 2cents in – I’m interested in the education field and aspects that others have posted about

    1 – life skills/life coaching for high school students
    2 – building a micro-biz or small-biz geared at high school students
    3 – college planning for homeschoolers

    If I come up with some more I’ll post some

  41. I would like a site related to:

    * A family related site
    Topics centered mostly on improving the relationship between family members; how to increase the creativity of kids and specially parents; how to help kids to find their passion and inner peace.

    * Accomplish your goals
    How to set good goals, that motivates you; how to discover your inner passion

    * Speaking in Public
    How to overcome the fear to the audience; minimalistic approach to presentations, etc.

  42. Well, I got some suggestions:

    1. Fiction writing, and do we have to try and teach writing to make some money with this?

    2. Pickup: there’s money to be made, there’s competition, and sex is fun.

    3. Spiritual schtuff. Sure there’s money to be made, as the marketplace clearly shows, but the problem is how scammy the whole deal is. Plus, lots of competition for a very very pressing matter (oh, well).

  43. I liked someone’s suggestion of the home brewing site…..why?

    1. People buy accessories for that sort of hobby so it’s income generating and always in season

    2. Ad revenue capability

    3. Tons of topics and a way to segment into the various types, styles and methods.

    4. Teaching opportunities and ability to find out what problems people have and solve them

    5. It’s not in the MMO arena

    It’s also a way to add value, interact with a dedicated community, and you could do all sorts of promotions, apps, etc.

  44. 1. Something based around the sorta new-ish sport of mudruns, or the gritty type of running events like Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, Warrior Dash, ECT. This picked up steam quick, and I don’t see it going away very soon. Already there are a few ‘training’ websites, but I feel like there is room to continue to expand…

    2. Outdoor/active lifestyle type of blog. Most of these are currently gear review sites, and I always wondered if there was room to expand on it. Perhaps even a cross-lap into fitness, as some people do..for example…Mountain (Perhaps it might even match up with the Tough Mudder concept?!)

    3. A resource that shows how people have started to generate their own income using side businesses during the recession, or in general. Something kind along the lines of Earn 1k by Ramit Sethi, would be a great place to turn to for real world business/side business help…most everybody else does the online/freelance angle to making more money…a self starter resource for the physical world would be awesome!

    3.5. While I don’t currently have an interest in it, or do it, I think the home brewing idea might have some point of potential!

  45. The home brewing idea is cool… there are tons of monetization opportunities, and you could certainly build a community around something like that.

    I’ll throw one out there:

    An authority site focused on learning the ukulele!

    Why? Because it’s an insanely fun instrument to learn, and it’s currently exploding in popularity.

    You could simultaneously run instructional campaigns on YouTube, Vimeo, and Tumblr, and the opportunity to sell e-books and services would definitely be there.

    There’s competition, but honestly you could set yourself apart right off the bat simply by filming tutorials in a well lit room with a DSLR instead of with a webcam like a lot of the stuff you find on Youtube. I loved the resources that were out there when I picked up a uke for the first time, but I always wished there were more.

  46. Something that has interested me lately is how to ethicly achieve goals in spite of difficulty or obstacles. Perhaps a good title would be “How to Get What You Want Without Breaking the Law or Burning Bridges.”

    The “goals” can be small and specific (e.g. getting a raise, talking your way out of a speeding ticket) or complex (e.g. getting promoted over your boss, gathering evidence that you’re being framed for something)

    There are many resources available in raw form that can be used. See “List of Cognitive Biases” on wikipedia. Also, Social Engineering’s site has good tips. Even the “Think like a spy” video clips on the Burn Notice tv show web site.

  47. I second the crowdsourcing topic but my interest would be around how its being used for good such as the Standby Task Force, Ushahidi, the wake of the Englisgh riots or the recent use that Iceland used crowdsourcing to re-design how their country works.

  48. My 3 ideas would be:

    1) A fitness blog centered on helping people reach big goals (weight loss, riding a century, running a marathon, hiking the Appalachian trail) even if they are a busy parent or weekend warrior.

    2) As others have mentioned, sustainable or green living

    3) As others have mentioned, something around web design

    1. I like your #1 idea – not sure how it would play out, but the notion of helping “regular” people master something big with only a little time is interesting…

  49. Something that I’m interested in is investing in Real Estate. In particular I have a goal of starting a blog helping young people (sub-35) get to grips with real estate investment (there’s soooo much mis-information out there). But I’m willing to put that idea up here on the chopping block.

    Plenty of monetization, joint ventures, productization opportunities here… and while I don’t think an eBook is going to get you to that $1m goal, a membership website is a very realistic option.

    As people come back to the market after the debacles in recent years in the real estate industry you’ve got a growing market of young motivated investors to appeal to.

    Following this project closely Corbett…

    1. Hey Josh,

      I personally agree with you! A Real Estate Blog For Beginner would be a great topic and because it goes to show real estate is an VERY popular topic though i haven’t seen any general real estate blogs of that level..

  50. I like all the ideas that use this opportunity to help save the world somehow. My vote goes to a blog on how to live sustainably and how to be part of the solution rather than the problem. Basically just a lot of very practical advice on how to do the right thing on a day to day basis, with regards to the environment, poverty, suppressive regimes, local problems and third world issues, and other ills of the world.

  51. I have a question Corbett. (Off topic)
    Imagine if Leo Babauta, Darren Rowse. Chrish Garret, Brian Clark or you for that matter, starts a blog tomorrow – under a DIFFERENT name. How long would it take you to make it a success? Remember with your new name, you don’t have any connections, any alliances in place. You are a merely mortal – just like most of us – you are a nobody. You will be ignored by most people – worse you will be ignored or even snubbed by some of your close friends. ouch!
    Could anybody take up this challenge? Privately document the whole process while they are doing it, and reveal it all after, say they have 10k subscribers. How long did it take them to do it? With the knowledge and skills already in place. Now that would be one cool project. I would be glued to it, lapping up everything on how they did it. Any takers? :)
    We all know and as Jon Morrow says, it doesn’t matter how good your content is (initially), its who you know. Or does it?

    1. Hey Marya, your idea is an excellent idea, and one that I’ve contemplated lots of times before as well.

      You’re right that success online definitely depends on the relationships you build with people. For this project, I’m specifically looking for a topic that I don’t have established relationships in, so the benefit of “who I know” will be minimized. It will still play a factor, but that’s partly why I’m setting the bar high at $1M.

      I considered the anonymous / pen name approach as well, but for this particular project, I decided it would be more valuable to give everyone the ability to follow along with every step, and to have input into the process. I wanted to do this live, with real-time feedback.

      We’ll see how it goes, and I’ll be clear about any advantages I may I have. Perhaps for the next challenge we’ll do something like you describe here.

    2. Hi, bit off topic here too but was wondering how the journals work for recording our process. Do u think keeping a separate anonymous Blog as a journal?

      Thanks! Julz :)

  52. About your question, I am mostly interested in writing, blogging and PD blogs. What I would like to see is a high quality blog on freelance online writing. If somebody is starting out, that would even be better. Thought I’d give some input. Cheers

  53. Love that you’re asking us for suggestions. Mine:

    * Becoming a wine conoisseur
    * Building an electrical car
    * Building an airplane and learning to fly it
    * Build a boat and cross the Pacific in it
    * Getting good at tennis and qualifying for Wimbledon

    1. I dig the whole “connoisseur” thing – even though I don’t care for wine personally, the idea is pretty cool – could even be used across a bunch of other niches, like in tandem with the homebrewing idea, a beer connoisseur would be up my alley!

  54. I think a few of you are coming closer to what topic is needed. Honestly though, I think many of the topics are dry. I like some of the ideas Andre mentioned and a few above. In my opinion, the topic should be fun and hobby-ish.

    Here are a few of my own:

    Water propelled rocket building
    Rubber band powered toys
    Home built solar cells
    Solar cooking
    Unmanned Aeriel Vehicles
    Weather Balloons
    Micro Housing

    These are just a few off the top of my head. Some broad are so broad, they could be narrowed down.
    Let me know what you think.

    1. I love the rocketbuilding idea. Saw some YouTube videos the other day and these things get as long ! I wonder what the US Army think when they see them on radar, haha!

  55. Question: does the “pressing need or burning desire” requirement really fit an authority website? Niches I can see it, but authority sites? Obviously there needs to be a level of interest or people will not give it the time of day. However, I’m wondering if the guidelines for niches apply to authority sites.

    1. Hey Mark, that’s a great question. Let me ask you this, would you consider Think Traffic an “authority site?” I started this blog because I saw a “burning desire” for people to attract more traffic to their websites.

      What about “Man vs. Debt,” is that an authority site? Don’t people have a pressing problem to get out of debt and live a more fulfilling life?

      You’re right that the definitions might be a little different or looser than with a niche site. But, if you’re hoping to make sales from your blog I still think you have to tackle something that people really strongly want or need.

      Do you agree?

    2. I suppose you’re right. It’s just very tough to discover what the pressing needs are. Darren Rowse’s photography school site is overflowing with killer content, but I don’t personally consider it a pressing need topic. He’s developed a huge following. What does that indicate?

    3. It’s a great point Mark, and I agree the definitions are different and not set in stone. There is however a strong desire for people to learn photography. It may not be a “need” but a desire can be just as good.

      One way or another, you have to give people something they want or need. The stronger that need or desire, and the higher the quality of your content, the easier it will be to attract and retain readers. The bigger the market, the more you can afford to focus on needs/desires that are less pressing.

      That’s my take anyway. But with anything online, there is no “right way” and exceptions will abound.

  56. I noticed your interest in homes/home improvement.

    Many people feel stuck right now with this housing market. How about a blog exploring home ownership in a bad economy with ways to find the bright side. This could lend itself to home improvement on the cheap, ways of getting your home to pay for itself (roommates, renting, weird ideas to get it sold at a decent price, finding out what others have done, bed & breakfast, etc.), building a sense of community in your own neighborhood, helping others not to flee the neighborhood, etc. etc.

  57. Hello ThinkTraffic Team,

    Here is my submission

    1) A topic that will be fun to blog about. (doing something fun makes it so much easier to succeed)

    I think you should create a blog that is focused on mobile applications that can improve one’s work productivity, relationships with friends and family, and overall quality of life. These could include mobile payment solutions, expense reporting, keeping in touch with loved ones, improving your sleep habits, improving your efficiency at work or while exercising. Just blog about any mobile technologies that can improve several different aspects of one’s life

    2) a topic that represents a burning desire or pressing problem. The easiest way to build a business online is to solve a problem or fulfill a desire. The stronger the desire or more pressing the problem, the better.

    Almost everyone has a cell phone, but not everyone realizes the benefits of mobile applications. Solve the business traveler’s problem who wants to complete his expense reports while in the airport. Solve the mom’s problem who is in the supermarket looking for a quick and easy recipe to cook for her family tonight, but has a burning desire to please her family. Mobile applications can solve a ton of problems for people. Solve the high school coach or athlete’s problem who can’t afford a personal trainer, but has the burning desire to improve their performance.

    3) a topic that we (the Think Traffic team) already have some knowledge of and interest in, or that we can become knowledgeable in relatively quickly.

    Most of the team should be interested in the future of mobile technology, if not then they better gain interest fast because there are a number of mobile technologies still in their infancy!

    4) evidence that money can be made around this topic. We want to know that opportunity exists within this market before we jump in.

    I don’t want to give all of my ideas away because I would love the opportunity to build some content that can be monetized for you guys!

    Ben Grise

  58. If you want to narrow down my idea.

    How can mobile applications improve a blogger’s efficiency and productivity?

  59. My first concern is how can i make the difference between niche and authority sites in order to give you (some) options.

    Anyway, i think something related with on-line learning could be a good topic. I know it’s very broad, but people is looking for knowledge… at least i´m on that!

  60. I found this site today even though Thursday has passed here is a last minute entry. Hopefully not to late.

    Not in love anymore? How to Divorce your job and find your passion through Simpler Living

    “The belief that high income is associated with good mood is widespread but mostly illusory,” economist Alan B. Krueger

    I propose Simpler Living a blog that will explore and map a journey from a miserably 6 figure a year traditional way of living back to an often forgotten way of life.

  61. Corbett, I guess what I’d like to read is a site devoted to those people who take on worthwhile goals, huge goals, where they face years of failure between them and achieving mastery, skill, or success. In fact, they might not.

    In this culture of instant success and instant money, many of the most meaningful dreams and goals require relentless work, focus, and a way to deal with heartbreak. Without the people who take on these dreams, we’d have no Olympic athletes. We probably won’t cure cancer. We won’t explore outside our solar system. And on and on. Even many quiet dreams require the same determination: novelist, artist, musician, etc.

    Some dreams are worth working on and not giving up, no matter how long they take to achieve, if ever. But it’s really, really hard going. All this instant, just-add-water success does not always lead to quality. It just leads you to choose successes that can be realized within days, weeks, or months.

    Some careers, some dreams are a lifetime of effort. Let’s celebrate them.

    1. I’m very late here, but this is brilliant, Diane. I love what you said about our culture of instant success. The problem is, that’s what sells.

  62. To me, it seems like most people choose to become online entrepreneurs because they want the freedom and income to be able to travel. That is the case for me.

    My suggestion would be to do create some sort of travel site. I like the shoestring budget idea above or…

    * A blog about local the culture and customs of different parts of the world.
    * Reviews of surf spots around the world…how to get there and where to stay
    * Unusual sports of the world
    * The best stuff from around the world…does it live up to the hype?
    * How to do travel photography

    Would be a great reason to travel and write stuff off.

  63. I like the idea of capitalizing on the pressing issues affecting people right now; the Great Recession.
    More & more people are out of work and are quickly losing the lifestyles that they may have once had.
    A blog based upon a sustainable lifestyle with a smaller footprint.
    We have had explosive growth in the latter half of this century & are now being forced to recede into a new existence making due with less. Less money, less house, less job, you get the point.
    We also have a template for this type of change, the Great Depression changed how people lived back in the 30’s and left a lasting mark upon them.

    1. Hey Junior, the answer is no, the bloggers participating will not all be blogging on the same topic. You can choose any topic you want to create your blog on, whether it is in the nomination list or not.

  64. I’d like to see something related to:

    Learning maybe ruby on rails
    Learning CSS+HTML5
    Outdoor recreation
    Remodeling homes
    Building a phone application

    I know there’s a ton of these websites out there, but I guess I’d like to your approach.

  65. Hi Corbett,

    Another subject that does (and will) generate a lot of interest the coming period is “the end of the world” and the Maya prophecies for December 21st 2012. This would be a great opportunity for you to learn more about your beloved México, the Mayas, and to crank out some fun blog articles:

    – 99 Things To Do Before You Die
    – How To Build A Spacecraft
    – The Safest Countries On Earth
    – How To Survive A Nuclear
    – Best Places To Celebrate The End
    – What To Do If Nothing Really Happens


  66. My nominations: (with my usual level of thinking things out)

    * Storm chasing / weather hacking
    * Self sufficiency (you could include some home brewing!)
    * Making things!

    Really I’d like to see something that’s absolutely not about making money/business/finance related.

  67. I think that most of the people do not know how start an adventure. Some friends and my humble self are in the process of entrepreneurship. I definitely see it as a huge adventure AND opportunity.

    So why not start blog on entrepreneurship and at the same time build a business around it? People will be able to follow every step and see how or what they could improve in their future projects.

    As entrepreneurship is a future-proof topic, and new ways of marketing and business are being developed, it could really become a timeless blog. – Topics written ten years ago would still have a huge value to the readers.

    The way you treat and motivate your employees or contractors most probably won’t change in the next ten to twenty tears.

  68. On my own side, I will like to nominate this powerful and interesting niches where many people are not turning to these days because there’s huge potential of making it become a success fast. The niches are internet security and mobile phone apps development…

    Hope that can work?

    Thanks for the opportunity

  69. What exactly ru gng to do with $1m. Ok i dont want to know about that but my idea is Go for a ‘Cause’…

    What exactly i mean is write in ur blog something about a person/animal who is suffering from something (like poverty,health pblms) or an education campaign or fund for an Orphan organization..There are so many people who wants to help others…Give them some news … and also ask your visitors donate You $1m that vl help one million your neighbours.

    That may be ridiculous idea but lasts long… and Please if you think this is a bad idea just remove this comment

  70. The are some really amazing ideas above. My 2-cents worth:

    – Scuba diving (this can go very narrow – eg. wreck diving, shark diving, best diving in a particular region; or included in a broader topic like outdoor adventures and travel)

    – eco-tourism (and what it really means to be an eco-tourist). Actually, anything to do with nature and preserving our environment.

    And to echo at least one of the comments I read above, it would be great if this blog took on an international perspective. I have been living in Honduras for the past 5 years and would enjoy seeing opportunities come from this that are not narrowly construed to the US stakeholder.


    1. Eco Tourism! Beautiful subject. Especially since everyone claims being eco nowadays! What does eco actually mean and how to identify whether a company isn’t as eco as they say they are.

    2. agreed. i am all for eco/green living blogs. eco-tourism is exploding but how do we really know whether a tourism company or hotel/condo is really eco-friendly?
      how do WE become eco-tourists, making as small a footprint as possible when we travel?
      I am thinking I may have to use this idea for my own blog if it is not taken by the TT crew.

    3. I have been throwing around the idea of scuba diving for my own blog project, but am not sure what to focus on. I am relatively new, and wide-eyed as a doe to explore more more more! Any thoughts on a possible narrowed down idea?

    4. Nick, I don’t know much about scuba-diving, having never done it myself, but why don’t you surf the net looking for blogs/sites out there about it and see what they are missing and how you can fill in those gaps or make your experience different and more exciting for people to read/visit? You could do videos, you could slant it towards newbies or experts or both or whatever you feel you know more about.

      Hope that helps!

  71. Nothing has been said about monetization i.e. how do you actually make money with it. Are you going to do classical product creation/seminars/etc stuff? I guess there could be alternative ways to generate U$ 1M.

    What I mean is – you could also think about having a non-profit (charity oriented) project that would attract (government & non-government) organizations to sponsor it.

    This way it will not be you who profits from it but rather the ones who need the money most. Nevertheless, the project would have still generated 1M.

    When I see all the suggestions here I recognize the same pattern – “what could I blog about to earn 1M from it?”. It’s a classical million dollar question of the 21st century, I guess :)

    It may be a good moment to start thinking: “what would be a good project subject/topic that would get a 1M in funding?”

    Cheers and good luck with the project!

  72. 3 topics:

    1. The world of virtual conferences. How to create and execute a virtual conference for your business or a particular subject.
    2. Demos. Learning about what goes into a good demo for web apps, how to create, tools, strategies, messages,etc. Ever see those killer demo that web apps who have money create? How do you do that on a budget?
    3. QR codes. How to best use them in small business Marketing.

    If you pick one of these, I want to be dialed in!!! Jacked up to see how this goes.

    G Bone

  73. Here are 3 suggestions:
    1) Help 9-5ers – Help 9-5ers start a side hustle and make it full-time.

    2) Prevention – how to stay fit for life without any health problems.

    3) Inspire Bootstrappers – A blog to inspire bootstrappers by posting real bootstrapper success stories. BootStrapper is a person who has very less money to spare and has a burning desire to start a blog/business.

  74. I believe a fitness and personal wellness site would do well especially if it was in place before people start their New Year’s resolutions. I’ve been working out consistently for 8-9 years, and have tried many of the workout programs. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve gotten some great results from these programs, but here are some aspects I think could be better.

    1. Focus on the lifestyle change with realistic recipes and expectations on diet. Help people find balance in their life. One should not feel guilty about going out to eat.

    2. Help people with realistic expectations from their new lifestyle. A P90x and Insanity body requires you to maintain a strict diet and exercise.

    I believe money could be made from products around healthy recipes, advertising and and a variety of home gym equipment sales.

  75. Hey Corbett,

    My idea for your blog jutaan (Indonesian for million ) wouild be this topic.

    Expatriate Careers, Lifestyle and Living Outside Your Home Country

    Really excited to be apart of the million dollar blog project and plan to follow right along. If the crowd does not like my blog idea it might be what I will choose for my blog idea.

    S Dudley

    1. It should be what you choose! I love this idea. Add in cost of living and compare it to US and a few other big currencies based on readership and you’ve got something sweet!

    2. Thanks for the add on great idea – and that’s not so hard to do. The big consulting companies have several easy ways to compare costs of living from city to city world wide. The most interesting and perhaps easiest is to compare the cost of a Big Mac fro one place to the other.

      That works thanks to the standardization of product McDonalds is so famous for. Thanks again.

  76. Lots of awesome suggestions. I like a ton of them, but put those on my journal blog.

    My suggestions:

    Quick travel: Somewhere people could go to get ideas where to go “this weekend”
    Places / Things to find adventure: Rafting, Adventure Racing, Zip-lining etc.

    I think these goes along with the “How to start an adventure”. People want to do things, but wind up doing the same routine because they don’t know how to find someone… or haven’t been inspired.

    Did I miss someone officially suggesting “Learning a musical instrument”? I know it could fit into a few sites mentioned (30-day challenges), but if not, I’ll throw it in as a possible topic. Also, Bourbon connoisseur wasn’t really mentioned in this thread. Expansion to Craft Brew and wine would be possible.

  77. Hi Corbett, it is great that you have thrown such a challenge. I have been thinking of building a business for months. Thanks to you for posing a serious challenge. It got me thinking. If it is a blogging business, I can think of only one thing. Create an awesome blog about everything about computers.

    I would really like to create a website about computers covering everything from history of computers, hacking, algorithms, increasing efficiency, reviews to Web 2.0 and future of computers and beyond. I know this looks like a lot of stuff. But not looking it as a niche but a business. I think I need to have all those verticals. 😉

    What do you think Corbett?

    Lastly, a big big thank you in the end for gifting us this wonderful blog with so much great information and posing us this great challenge so that we can actually use :) (I just read it regularly without actually using all your advice)

  78. how about a blog a blog about home development related to wellness. means – what can i do to really relax in my home? which tools/gadgets do i need? what do i need to get out of the daily stress?

  79. Blog about learning code, programming.
    Not an expert advice, but rather personal story, the journey.
    I have a startup idea, but it’s challenging to find a tech co-founder. What people say is: learn to code yourself. Quiet few people my be interested because they have the same problem.

    1. I can relate to this. Having a startup without a technical co-founder is challenging. Learning the technical skills may not be totally realistic however in early start up mode when you are creating proof of concept , prototype, MVP, thi scould be helpful. Good idea.

    2. Thanks.
      The bonus could be that once you learn how to code you are on your way. Even if your first startup won’t take off.
      The idea is not to become hacker, but just to learn enough programming to make the prototype.

    3. Rafal,
      Obviously this topic did not get picked….are you going to try to build a blog around it? I think it could be successful. Not sure how to monetize it but could be an interesting topic to run with. Thoughts?

  80. Money is good and we all need it, but I definitely support the idea of supporting a good cause. Let’s take all luxuries and all our egos aside, and put the focus on something from which people who are really in need can benefit. With so many people involved in this project, I think you’d have big voice with your blog. Yeah, home brewing is nice, but man, there are people out there who don’t have access to clean water. I’ll stop here 😉 Sorry for becoming a bit political here. Whatever you chose, I’m happy to have found your site and can’t wait for the project to start!

  81. Your timing is perfect, Corbett. This challenge is gonna help me pick a new blog topic and rock it out!

    I’m just about to launch a personal development site that teaches people how to stand up for themselves, say no and set boundaries with clients and bosses. Been working on it for a while because, although *I* think it’s a burning essential, it wasn’t clear people would pay for this info.

    I wrote a book for entrepreneurs on how to use their contracts so that business is hassle free. Maybe that could be my blog-answering questions and giving tips.

    On a more follow your bliss note, I have two different blog ideas I’m toying with. I just moved from Boston to Oakland without knowing a soul. I’d love to blog about my experiences. Or, do a blog on 203k renovations since I’m starting that process right now, and it’s a douzy!

    That’s what I’d do. Sorry, I didn’t have ideas for you, too- lol

  82. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  83. I may be 1 year behind, but I just want to obligate myself to join this. I’m planning to do something that everybody will be interested. I saw some of your ideas here and I came up with this because of all of you, it’s a blog about educational, tutorial, workshop combined.

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