Before you start your blog and move forward becoming a successful blogger, consider the following:
The meaning of life is in attaining the highest form of knowledge, which is the idea of the good. – Ancient Greek Philosophers
The same applies to blogging. You want to reach the highest form of knowledge in the topic of your choice. So, pick the one that appeals to you — the one you are passionate about and most interested in. Aspire for success, happiness, security and recognition. By choosing your niche of interest and having your point of view you’ll be able to position and differentiate your blog from the competition.
There are lots of ways to determine what niche is right for your new blog, but we can make the process even easier. In this article, we’ll show you exact steps you must take to choose the right niche for your new blog.
Brainstorm your topic
Without thinking about anything else, start your niche decision process by writing down all the things that interest you. These can be personal interests or professional interests.
Start by thinking about the things you enjoy doing, or would enjoy doing if you had the chance. For example, you are an amateur photographer. Photography blogging could be a great niche. You can share your photos, your detailed knowledge, or your experience with camera technology.
Next, think about the things you would enjoy learning. For example, you’re interested in taking up cooking classes. Even if you don’t have the time or budget to start cooking classes, you can start up a food blog where you analyze recipes you find online. And discuss how to choose perfect ingredients, and weigh the benefits of organic versus GMO ingredients.
Finally, think about the things you are already diving deep into. For example, let’s say that you are an adult that is going back to finish your degree in college. You’re going to do a lot of research on on-campus versus online degree programs, what university to choose, how to get back into the swing of studying, and so on. These are great topics for a niche blog about higher education.
During this exercise, you will get a better feeling for the themes that resonate with you. The ones that you are most passionate about are the best candidates for your niche. Also, read this post to understand what types of blogs exist on the web.
Whether you are excited about one niche idea or several of them, list them down. Next, we will show you a 3 step formula to confirm your niche for success.
Blog success validation
Whether you want to blog for prestige, income, fun or connections, you’ll want to research the niche you choose and make sure the topic is viable. The following “blog success validation” exercise will help you determine if your blog has a real potential. It will also help you understand why most blogs fail.
1. Potential niche size
Even if you believe it’s a brilliant blog idea, you will likely struggle to succeed unless you find a niche market that attracts enough people. You don’t want your niche to be too small or too big.
Example: The size of “golf” niche is, on average, more than 2.8 million monthly searches. This niche might be too big and broad. But if you pursue a niche that is very narrow, such as “plane golf swing drills” (average 4,000 searches monthly), the volume of searches would be too small. One step down from “golf” would be “golf tips” (average 350,000 total monthly searches) or even deeper down “golf tips for beginners” (average 250,000 total monthly searches).
Check the size of your niche
Check the top five keywords for your niche market. Look for at least 10 thousand monthly searches combined for the five keywords. You can use Google Keyword Planner (free), Market Samurai (paid) or WordTracker (partially free) to check for the volume of searches and get keywords ideas. You want to be certain there is a large enough audience looking for the kind of information you will provide. But it shouldn’t be too large that you will get lost in the crowd.
Use the Google Keyword Planner tool to get top keyword ideas and search volume:
Select the “Search for new keyword and group ideas” tab. Enter your primary keyword (see examples in our “golf tips”) and get ideas by looking at the list of suggested keywords.
Select the top five keywords that fit the niche market you chose.
Check the search volume for each keyword and add them together.
For example, applying this search process to our five golf-tip keywords, yielded the following search results:
- “golf tips” – 9,900
- “golf swing tips” – 8,100
- “golf putting tips” – 1,000
- “golf tips for beginners” – 880
- “golf tips driving” – 480
With these five keywords, we have a little over 20,000 average monthly searches. This niche market (“golf tips”) has enough volume and would be a good choice for a blog.
2. Potential competition
It’s a good sign if you have competition. It means others are talking about your niche and pursuing it. It’s also important to note that bloggers in your niche are not always your competition. And you will have to get to know them sooner or later through your blogging journey.
Following is a competition review process you can use:
- Do a Google search for “[niche] blog” or “best [niche] blogs.” Can you find blogs currently targeting your niche? Are there at least five popular blogs focused on your topic? Don’t lose interest if you see a large number of blogs in your niche. If they can do it, so can you!
- Go to Facebook and do a search for your niche. Are there active Facebook pages? Not all topics lend themselves to Facebook, but most do. Look for Facebook pages and see how many followers they have. Great niches will exhibit at least 1,000 fans.
- Go to Twitter and do a search for [your niche]. Are there active Twitter accounts? You should find many references to your niche on Twitter. Check Twitter accounts of people involved within your niche. See how many followers they have (should be at least 1,000).
- Are there offline magazines? This is the gold standard for a niche. If someone is going to the trouble of creating a paper magazine centered on your niche, you can be sure online fans are looking for that information. You can check Amazon Magazines or just do google search for “[your niche] magazine or journal.” In regards to our “golf tips” example, this was a no-brainer, we see all the golf-related magazines at the local grocery stores.
If one or two of these points are positive, it’s a good sign your niche has a potential.
3. Potential monetization
Do you want to earn money with your blog? Many people start blogging as a hobby without looking at monetizing their blog. But, others want to make extra cash or even dream of making a living by blogging. It doesn’t matter which category is yours. It wouldn’t hurt to know if your blog can produce the income you desire. If you found other blogs, active social profiles and offline magazines in the previous sections, this indicates the niche is alive and monetizable.
To make sure your niche is monetizable, research the following:
- Is anyone selling information or products related to your niche? The easiest way to determine this is to see what your competitors are promoting.
- Are well-known advertisers in your niche? These could be the big brands or e-commerce sites.
- Are there affiliate offers in your niche? Here is how to find affiliate offers: Check affiliate networks (Clickbank.com, CJ.com and ShareSale.com and Amazon Affiliate).
- Do a Google search for “[your keyword] affiliate” or “[your keyword] affiliate program.”
These points can help you determine if you can establish a blog in the niche of your choice that helps you generate income.
Making the final decision
Now that you’ve done a validation process for all topics that you had listed. You should have a clear idea of the size, competition, and monetization potential for each subject. And it’s time to narrow down your niches.
If you ended this exercise with one niche in mind, then you’re ready to go and can start your new blog.
If you are excited about several niches, you might feel like you want to create a blog about them all at the same time. The best approach, yet, would be to focus on one at a time. This way, you can create a solid blog strategy and improve upon it by exploring new topics later on.
Don’t jump into niche-specific blogging without a plan. Make sure your niche choice is something that you will want to stick with for years to come. With personal interest, interest from others, and ability to create revenue, your niche blog can become a successful venture!