Trying to find a blog niche can raise many questions in one’s mind.
If I start writing on this topic, will I be able to make money? If I wrote about this subject, would more people engage with my blog? Will I be able to build a community with my blog?
Don’t let analysis paralyze you. Even if your first blog doesn’t succeed, you can learn from the experience. Repeated failure can actually help you to iterate, improve and develop a more successful strategy down the line.
Let’s begin this discussion by understanding what niches are and why they’re important.
What is a niche?
A niche is quite simply a theme or a topic. It refers to the subject matter of your blog. Defining a niche will guide the direction of the information you provide as a blogger.
In most cases, when marketers mention niches, they are referring to very tightly defined subjects. For example, where ‘music’ would be considered a broader topic, ‘top 40 songs that contain xylophone’ would be a narrower niche.
Why pick a niche?
Most marketers look for niches in markets that people are disproportionately passionate about. This allows them to connect with a “ready” audience that wants to discuss and learn more about their interests and passions. This type of audience is also more likely to purchase information products or affiliate offers.
This is called a profitable niche. If you are interested in monetizing your blogging efforts, this is what you are looking for.
If money is not your primary focus, there are still several other good reasons to pick a niche. Consider the following:
- Establish yourself as an authority: it’s easier to brand yourself as an expert if you continually dig deeper into a tightly focused subject.
- Encourage discussion: as you build a reputation for specializing in a particular field, you will develop relationships with people that want to know more about it. This will stimulate more sharing, engagement, and discussion on your blog.
- For personal fulfillment: you can concentrate on a topic that really excites and interest you. You don’t have to talk about other things if you don’t want to.
Here are several guiding questions that can help you to decide on a niche:
What are you good at?
If you are still going to school, or if you’ve chatted with a career counselor lately, or if you are regularly in touch with your parents, this question (and the next question) has probably come up very recently.
People aren’t necessarily passionate about what they’re good at, but if the two points intersect, it can foster longevity.
Ultimately, I don’t think this is the best question in helping you to decide on a niche, but if it’s something you’re good at, there is always the possibility that you could teach it too.
What are you passionate about?
People aren’t always good at what they’re passionate about. Does this mean that you shouldn’t blog about it? No, not at all.
In fact, there are examples of many people, like Pat Flynn, who started documenting their journey as they were on it. This approach to blogging can give your blog a very personal and sincere tone if you are committed to being transparent.
Passion niches can also be very profitable. Think about it. How much money money do people spend on hobbies like golf, fishing, or hunting?
What could you see yourself writing about indefinitely?
Regardless of how you intend to use your blog, it usually requires that you develop a long-term vision for it.
If you want to build an engaged community, it’s going to take time. If you want to make money, it’s going to take time. If you want to promote yourself, your business, your services or products, it’s going to take time.
Therefore, if you can’t see yourself writing about a particular niche over the long haul, it may not be the right one for you.
What kind of results are you looking for?
This approach involves determining what you hope to achieve with your blog. Rather than selecting a niche based on what you are good at or what you are passionate about, you can pick a niche based on what you want to achieve.
For example, if you have financial goals, you can seek out profitable niches. If you want to build a community, you can seek out passion niches. Oftentimes, the two actually intersect.
If there is someone out there that has the results you want, then you should consider asking them how they accomplished what they did and how you can implement their methods.
Who is your competition?
If you are planning on creating a blog in a highly competitive field, make sure you are doing it with some awareness of who and what you are competing with. Making blind, uneducated decisions could land you in a market that already has adequate guidance and little or no room for another personality.
One way to find out what kind of interest and competition there is for a specific keyword is to use Google Ads Keyword Planner. Additionally, this tool can help you to discover search terms or long-tail keywords that you may not have thought of using before.
Ultimately, you can pick whatever niche you want. You don’t have to find a low-competition high-return niche to start a blog. If there is something you want to blog about, there is nothing stopping you.
However, it should be with the understanding that – unless you put some strategy behind it – you may not get the type of traction you want. Your content may not get shared, and your mailing list may not grow.
Are you looking for a niche to blog about? If so, I am here to help. Please get in touch with me so we can come up with a plan for your niche blog.