9 Steps To A Knockout Niche For Your Blog
What topic or niche do you blog about? Where do you even begin? This is a key decision because your choice will influence just about everything on your blog. You certainly have some control over how much traffic you get, how often our posts are shared and how much money you can make. But your niche can be a key factor.
So remember, you need to give proper thought and research to the niche you select. Otherwise you can spend countless hours of effort building your blog and creating great posts, offering products and more, and the result may still be very little traffic or sales.
A lack of visitors may not be that important if you are simply blogging for fun, or for the purpose of delivering a message to a particular audience such as something political in nature. Although even in those case you would still want a lot of people to see it, right?
Your Blog Niche and Purpose – Fun Or Profit
If you are blogging for fun, obviously you’ll want to choose a blog topic you are passionate about. Be sure you have a lot of knowledge on the topic or that you are willing to take the effort to do the research to obtain quality information to share. (Although if for fun, too much ongoing research may start to take the fun out of, unless you love doing research!)
If the ultimate purpose of your blog is to create income, to be profitable, then you have to know how much interest people have in that niche and if they have money and actually spend it. So these two factors really help determine the success of a blog: 1) the right niche, and 2) if money is being spent in that niche.
You can make money blogging in almost any niche (some easier than others), but there are a few golden rules you need to follow when choosing your niche.
1. Choose Something You Are Passionate About
Choosing a niche you are personally passionate about is one of the most important rules for bloggers. It impacts so many things about your blog and your success. An exception to this may be for entrepreneurs who thrive on creating new blogs and new businesses and selling them. But even then, having passion will make it more fun and more profitable.
Here are just some of the reasons why being passionate about your niche is important.
Excitement and fulfillment. Blogging can be tedious at times. Even though it may not be hard work, a lot of people get discouraged and never put in the effort to create a really great blog. With a niche that brings out your passion, you increase the chances of actually getting the job done rather than quitting. And as you keep creating great posts, it can also help bring you fulfillment and a sense of pride.
Better quality articles. You want to create articles your visitors will read and find interesting and want to share, but who will also believe it was written by someone who knows her stuff. Your articles need to seem genuine and hold up to reader scrutiny. This also helps you more easily be seen as an expert in your niche.
Related: 5 Top Tips To Earn Money Blogging
Make more money. The better the articles the more money you can make. This is even more true if you are a blogger who creates sponsored posts. It can also help motivate you to keep going with your blog. So if passion is part of your writing, it shows, both to your readers and to your bank account. And really, while we may love our blog, isn’t a big part of blogging about being able to monetize it?
Desire to excel. The desire to excel and create an excellent blog is a great motivator and will help you produce a quality blog. Which again, will also help bring in the visitors and income. I have seen many bloggers who do it solely for the money. Because of that, they miss out on a lot of detail needed to make a quality blog.
Encouragement to keep going. Being passionate about your niche, and having that passion impact the other reasons I just mentioned, will help encourage you to keep going. You’ll have the desire to rinse and repeat, by either creating more and more great posts or even by creating an entirely new blog!
2. Choose Something You Have Knowledge In (Or Want Knowledge In)
At the core of your blog or website is your articles. The articles provide a base for which everything else may be structured. And blogs exist for the sharing of information. So when choosing a niche, it’s important to choose one with which you are familiar. You should have some experience in the field you are talking because it leads to more informed articles and a better overall blog.
However, you may not always know a lot about your topic. So the next best thing is to have a desire to learn about your new niche. You can become an expert on a topic in a few months or even less, not years. (Make no mistake though, you will need to put in time and effort.) There is so much information available online that it can be fairly easy to learn enough about a niche to begin creating quality articles on it.
3. Don’t Choose A Niche That Is Too Specific
While you want to create a specific niche rather than being too broad trying to appeal to everyone, which just doesn’t work, don’t get too small either. Getting way too specific will also fail at drawing a large crowd of dedicated readers.
Let’s take dogs, for example. The broad category of dogs is just way too big. Narrowing it down to topics such as dog health care or one particular breed of dog is specific yet big enough to draw a large crowd. However, what about choosing something even more narrow such as Labrador toenail care? (Silly, I know, but you get my point.) I can assure you there are not many people on the Internet entering Labrador toenail care into the search bar. A blog or website that narrow and specific will not draw enough traffic to make you money. It is better to go with a wider niche such as “Labrador dogs.”
4. Brainstorm First, Then Choose
It is always a great idea to brainstorm ideas before choosing a niche to create an entire blog or website around. Brainstorming can be easy and fun and doesn’t need to take hours and hours.
Here are the simple steps to a successful brainstorming session.
Get secluded. To have a successful brainstorming session your mind needs to be clear of distractions. Go into a room by yourself and shut the door to give yourself some space. Keep interruptions to an absolute minimum. (In other words, don’t get started five minutes before the kids walk in the door from school.)
Write everything down. Write down absolutely everything that comes to your mind, no matter how crazy or far-fetched it may seem. Doing this helps opens up your mind to many possibilities before shutting them down because of external reasons (like trying to be rational). It’s also easier to delete than add.
Give it a time limit. Limit your brainstorming sessions to a specific time period. Consider a limit of 10 to 15 minutes at a time. After that you can start to get less focused and may begin to daydream. Keeping it short keeps you focused and helps pulls great ideas out of your mind. You can easily have several sessions like this rather than one long session.
Go back and delete. Once you have written everything down and you’re done with brainstorming session, it’s time to go back and cancel out the obvious ideas that will not work. Remove things you are not really passionate about. And remove things you could not write at least 30 articles on, or that are way too narrow or just not profitable. Try to whittle down your list to less than ten great ideas.
Pick from the few. Now look at your remaining ideas and do a little research and make some educated guesses based on your options. Think about the topics you are most passionate about, what may be the most profitable, what gets a lot of searches and what may be the most popular with a large amount of people. (Remember, you previously removed topics you’re not passionate about so you’re not choosing a random topic solely for the large crowds. You’re simply choosing between your love of underwater basket weaving and your love of Labradors. So at this stage it’s perfectly fine to go where the numbers are.)
5. Do Your Research
Now is the time to verify your decisions work. It is vital to do your research before you start paying for a bunch of domain names and get hosting set up. Something that might seem like a good idea to you might not actually be that great. By doing your research you are minimizing your risk of failure and increasing the chances of success, which is obviously what we are aiming for.
That said, if you have narrowed your choices to two or three, have the budget, need a while to do research or simply to let things percolate, go ahead and snag a couple of domains. You can easily find a domain name sale or super cheap registrar where for $2 to $6 you can snag a couple of domains (do not go overboard) and give yourself breathing room. You can later transfer your chosen domain to your favorite registrar and let the other domain expire in a year (or hold it for your next blog!). Then you can start thinking about hosting.
But don’t research it to death! You need to keep moving forward and taking action in order to have a great blog. Don’t get bogged down by so much research that you spend months and months on it and still don’t have a live blog up and running!
6. Google Keyword Search
This is a very quick and simple exercise to do that should tell you a lot about your market. It can help you narrow your topic choices and can be a good gauge for how profitable your website could become.
Think of the main keyword phrase(s) that sums up your blog. Consider what words people will use when searching to find your blog.
Type that into the Google search bar and then see how many paid results are shown. The more paid results, the more likely it is that your niche is profitable.
7. Value Or Sale Price Of Similar Site Names
This step can be a little tough so you need to be sure you keep things in perspective. Positive results here can be great, but negative results may cause confusion. That’s because it may be a little hard to determine if those negative results are a good thing or a bad thing.
Visit some websites that offer estimated domain name appraisals or offer domains for sale. Look at sites in similar niches to yours or that have names similar to what you are considering. Review their estimated value or sale price, if they are selling (may show how long it’s been for sale), and look at the stats and figures. That information can give you an idea of how popular or potentially profitable your niche may be.
Keep in mind though that little to no websites for sale in your niche may not be a bad thing. It could mean the niche is doing very well so no one is selling, or that you have an advantage if there are not yet a lot of rival domains to compete with.
Similarly, domains that are valued low may be a bad sign for the niche, but it may also be the creators are simply not putting forth the effort to make their sites popular and valuable. So it make take a little more research here to take a quick look at some of the sites.
8. Look At Your Competitors
You can find competitor websites through a simple Google. Analyze these websites, what are they doing well and what could be done better. Consider copying the concepts that make their website great. Then improve on what you think needs improvement or what needs to be different. (If should go without saying, but do not copy exact looks and articles)
Researching and analyzing the best in the business can help you create a high-quality very popular blog or website. And the higher the quality, the better the change for great monetization, for sponsored blog post or even a selling price.
9. Look At How You Can Make Money
One thing that makes blogging even more interesting and fun is earning an income from it. So it’s good to do some research in advance on how your website will generate income.
Consider ways your website could be profitable such as Google AdSense, private advertising, sponsorships or even paid reviews. See if there seem to be a good number of sites doing these things already. It is also helpful to take a look at the number and quality of potential great affiliate products in your niche.
If you end up struggling for ways your blog could be profitable, perhaps this is not the best niche. Consider going back to your brainstorming results and looking at the next option or two. Then follow the process again beginning with Step 6.
We live in a time where making a great income as an entrepreneur has never been easier. We’re in the information age where people crave knowledge and where it’s more important to them who they get that knowledge from. That means it can also be easier to make money from sharing your expertise.
So rather than just pick a topic willy-nilly, follow these steps to help you choose a knockout niche for your blog. Even if you’re just blogging for fun!
WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR HOW THESE TIPS MAY HAVE HELPED YOU WITH NICHE RESEARCH, WHETHER YOU ARE CREATING YOUR FIRST BLOG, YOUR 100TH, OR SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN! PLEASE SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW