Picking a niche when you start a blog is probably the most important part of the whole process.
A good niche will help you succeed faster. A highly competitive niche can really slow you down and leave you wondering why you decided to do this to begin with.
Why do you need a blog niche, anyway?
A blog niche is important for several reasons.
First, there is enormous amounts of competition in the market these days. The saying “the riches are in the niches” is as true as it’s ever been. So you need to find a topic that you can write about, where you’re not competing directly with the biggest sites online.
Second, it helps you build authority on a specific subject. Going deep on one subject helps elevate your status as a subject matter expert.
Third, it allows you to focus on specific search phrases, keywords, questions and topic that your target audience is looking for and searching for in search engines.
Fourth, it helps you identify monetization opportunities. When you’re figuring out your niche, you need to think about niches and topics that have commercial appeal to your target audience.
Fifth, it helps you determine what potential audience size you’re creating content for. It’s great if you’re really passionate about a project, but if it’s just you and 13 other people in the world, is it really worth it to create a blog about it?
Finally, it helps you generate the right kind of targeted traffic to your blog. Tons of traffic is great, but if it’s not relevant, it doesn’t really matter
You’re going to want to pick something that interests you or at least has some potential to interest you in the future.
If it doesn’t have any appeal to you then sustaining it over time is going to be virtually impossible.
You should also consider how much money you want to make from your blog. It’s always important to begin with the end in mind when you’re considering your niche.
STEP 1: Choose a niche for your new blog
- Pick a topic you’re interested in
- Talk about what you know
- Pick a topic that’s broad enough to cover lots of stuff
- Look for “blue ocean” opportunities
- Pick a topic that you can monetize
- Assess the competition
So by this point perhaps you’re wondering, “that’s all good, but I don’t know what I should blog about.”
Don’t worry – this is a common question when people start to think about whether or not they want to start a blog.
Or maybe you already know what you want to blog about.
Then you can just skip to the next section in this guide.
But before you do, I encourage you to at least skim through what we’re talking about here because I’ve got some ideas that I think can really help solidify your niche.
Sometimes people already have an idea for what they want to talk about.
Sometimes they’re just excited by the idea of launching a new project online.
Nothing wrong with either approach.
But it would help if you had some idea where to start, right?
The topic that you choose depends on what your goals are.
So let’s start with figuring out what your goal is.
If you’re like most people you came to this idea of starting a blog because you wanted to earn some extra money online.
Pick a topic you’re interested in
Here’s something you need to know about starting a blog:
You’re going to be creating a lot of content for your blog in order to get the needle to move.
So it’s vital that you pick something that you’re legitimately interested in or you’re seriously curious about.
Here’s a good place to start – answer this question:
What could you talk about for 30 minutes straight without any preparation whatsoever?
If you’re like me there are a few things that immediately come to mind.
Write those topics down.
Another good place to start is your hobbies.
What are the things that you do that just immerse you and you completely lose track of time?
Whatever you decide on, you have to have some interest in the topic – enough to get you going and enough to sustain you.
Talk about what you know
What a lot of people don’t realize when it comes to starting a blog is that you already have enough to start your blog right now with your own life experience.
So many of you reading this are experts in your day job, in your hobbies, or in subjects that you’re passionate about already.
Your life experience provides a wealth of opportunities for great topics you can blog about, so start by looking no further than your own life and experiences.
Pick a topic that’s broad enough to cover lots of stuff
You want to have a topic that you can create lots of content on so make sure it’s broad enough to get lots of variety.
And while yes, it’s true that you want to have a clearly defined niche, and you don’t want to be in the “mainstream” where there’s so much competition (we’ll talk more on that in a just a minute)…
…you also don’t want to get so niched down that the opportunity isn’t more than 20, 30 or even 50 total posts. You want to be able to build up a library of 100 or more posts at the very least.
Look for “blue ocean” opportunities
The “blue ocean” concept comes from a book by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne that encourages businesses to find opportunities in unique niches that are a couple levels removed from “red oceans” where the competition is fierce. A “red” ocean is where lots of sharks are feeding on fish and there are too many sharks, so the water is “red”. “Blue” oceans is where there where there are plenty of fish in the sea and yet very few other sharks feeding there.
When it comes to niche selection you want to research and find opportunities where there’s an audience looking for answers but there aren’t a lot of people in that space already and/or the quality of the resources aren’t very high quality.
Pick a topic that you can monetize
Passion is essential when you’re starting your blog.
But it’s also a business for most bloggers, so monetization should be in the plans from the beginning.
If your topic doesn’t have a clear path to monetization, then it’s going to end up being very frustrating.
So when you’re looking at topics and you’re narrowing down your list, make sure to write down some ideas on how you can monetize the topic in the future.
You don’t want to be stuck with a bunch of great content on a topic that you can’t find a way to monetize.
Assess the competition
Here’s the thing:
The competition can be beat – it’s true!
But you have to choose your battles.
And when you’re getting started with a new blog trying to go up against the heavyweight contenders in your space is going to extremely difficult, if not impossible, to begin with.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t compete on smaller topics.
You just need to know what the competitive landscape looks like.
So do your homework and research and find out who the other big names in your space are and who the other contenders are.
In virtually every niche there are “cracks” in the content landscape that you can exploit so dig deep and find out all you can about your niche, its opportunities and the competition in your space.