For those not down with the lingo yet, a ‘niche’ basically means a subject or a topic.
This is the area of interest that your website will focus on and it’s what you’ll be writing about for your blog posts.
This might sound like an easy job–but picking your niche is something you should consider very carefully. Getting this right can make your life a lot easier while choosing poorly can make it almost impossible to achieve the success you’re looking for.
Here we will look at some of the considerations you need to remember when picking your niche.
A Topic You Enjoy
Tip: Always choose a niche that you enjoy reading and writing about. Blogging is not a ‘small’ job [i.e. hard work], by any stretch of the imagination.
Well then, you have to ask yourself—is this something you will be happy to write about regularly?Writing will also come a lot easier if you’re well-versed in the subject. You’ll need to do less research and, it is much easier to come up with new interesting topics that people who like the subject will be interested in.
Also, your passion will come across in the content when you are in the right niche and people will be more inclined to read more of what you have to say.
Bring Your Passion
If you’ve picked a niche you are passionate about, that you love and understand, you’ll be even more likely to stay focused over the long term. Creating a blog isn’t something you throw up today and that’s it. Keep blogging regularly over a long period of time to become popular. The passion you have for the topic will shine through in everything you do.
Ultimately, choosing a niche just because some ‘guru’ says it’s a profitable one is a fast track to becoming bored and disillusioned and ultimately giving up.
Know Your Purpose
You can be very passionate about a topic, but lack focus.
To have a successful blog your purpose needs to be clear so that you can focus on the specific message that you have.
- Don’t have a blog about “books” have a blog about a specific type of book.
- Don’t have a “cooking” blog, have a blog about a particular type of cooking.
- The more you niche down, the more you’ll be able to understand what your purpose is.
Broad vs Specific Topics
It used to be that you could write a skimpy blog on a narrow topic and do well with it.
However, with the last few Google updates, it’s become very important that your site become one of authority.
The more high-quality content for your blog post ideas that you have, the better.
That means you need to choose a niche that is narrow, but not too narrow. Remember, you never want to run out of topics.
- There should be popular blogs within your niche. (check the search engines when doing research for this one)
- There should be news stories about your blog idea topic, all the time. (Google trends are also helpful.)
- There should be lots of people reading and popular topic activities in your niche and Google search volume, all the time.
- It has to be something people really care about—something that has a lot of staying power.
This should not be something too general, like weight loss. But you can choose a very specific niche within the larger weight loss market if you want monetization.
You can do even better if your niche topic targets very profitable and popular categories like making money, personal finance, digital marketing, relationships, fitness, and weight loss. Or a lifestyle blog. You just have to find a unique angle so you can succeed even in a crowded field.
For instance, if you like fitness, how about picking a certain area of fitness such as running or CrossFit?
Or alternatively, what about targeting a particular group or doing a food blog? For instance ‘fitness for diabetics’.
You can also try combining two different topics. A great example of this is the blog Nerd Fitness. Steve has a very specific audience.
Another alternative strategy is to go very broad with your chosen niche which has the advantage of allowing you to come up with lots of new blog topic angles for content. [If you do this though, you risk a lack of focus so you need to ensure that you keep everything tied together with a common thread.]
Your Powerful Niche
Before you begin laying the groundwork for your blog niche, you’ll want to make sure you thoroughly understand your market. This includes knowing who your potential customers are and who the competition is.
Here are a few ways to do this for your new blog:
1) Research social media accounts from within your target audience. Pay close attention to what they tweet, how they respond to posts, what they like and are most receptive to.
2) You’ll want to do the same for your your competitor’s. Focus on what kind of content is being posted that boosts engagement as well as how they’ve positioned themselves in the market.
3) Google your niche and analyze the top search results. Spend time on their websites, read their sales copy and if possible, purchase a few of their products so you can evaluate the type of content being offered.
4) Spend time within Facebook and subreddits where people in your niche congregate to discuss common topics. Look for commonly asked questions, and always keep a look out for ongoing discussions as it signifies a growing demand for help in specific segments of your market.
5) Look at Amazon for bestselling books in your potential blogging niche.
TIP: For your research, take as many notes as possible!
The Right Niche For Your First Blog
Another consideration when picking your perfect niche is whether it’s profitable. Some niches are far more profitable than others and you’ll find it easier to monetize depending on which one you pick.
Examples of highly profitable niches include finance and business. People will be happier to spend money on an eBook about earning money because in theory they’ll make that initial expense back.
Likewise, there is money to be made in any niche that has a big and obvious ‘promise of value’. A value promise can be thought of as an emotional hook—it is something that people will want to buy your products or read your blog for and the way that they hope their lives will benefit.
Ultimately, it’s worth just thinking hard about whether or not your niche will be profitable and weighing this when choosing whether to write about it.
Look at your competition to see whether they look to be making a lot of money, think about your business model and maybe even try verifying your intended business model. [Verifying means trying to sell to your target audience first to see if they are there and if they are interested in buying your product.]
Research Your Ideas
Write down a few topics in which you enjoy learning about and find out who if it already involves anyone in that niche. Now, don’t allow yourself to be discouraged if other people already do that niche. In fact, you want other people to be doing that niche. The reason is, if others are involved in it, then it must be profitable.
When you pick a niche, you need to try to understand the audience enough to be able to solve the problems the audience for that particular niche has. If you understand the niche, and the audience, you’ll be able to come up with and find products and services that solve their problems. If you understand your niche you’ll know what problems the audience has.
It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to enter into a niche that has buyers. It’s one thing to have a niche that’s popular. It’s another thing altogether to have a niche where people are actively buying products. You are in this to make as much money as you’d also like to help people. Choose a niche where people buy products and buy them often. You want a niche where people don’t just buy one product, they buy many.
It’s also important to realize that you are going to be focusing on list building with your blog. With everything you do related to your blog, your real goal is to build your email list. Whether you’re promoting yourself on social media, guest posting, or whatever it is, you’re going to be building a list. Your list is the main spot you will use to market to your readers.
You should also make sure the niche you choose has an active social media presence. There should be established Facebook pages related to your topic, people Tweeting about your topic, and so on. If there is already a built-in audience that is active and is frequently seeking new information, you will have an easier time of it as a beginning blogger and will be able to go full-time down the road.
Wrapping It Up
Don’t try to be someone else. You have competition but you want to be different by being yourself. You can’t copy someone else and expect to be successful. You need to figure out who you are and bring your unique voice to the niche. Your personality is very important in whatever you choose to do.
Finally, just do it.
I know that sounds like a silly commercial but it’s true. If you set your mind to doing something, you will do it. Take the steps necessary to get your blog started and then work on it every day. Set aside the time you can to work on it, and you won’t regret it. In one year’s time if you start today, you will have a very successful blog.