Starting an income-generating niche blog is fairly simple (albeit tedious), but deciding what to write about? Now that’s daunting. By the end of this post, I GUARANTEE that you will know exactly how to pick a blog niche and why that’s important.
“What exactly is a blog niche, though?“
A niche is just a fancy term for the general topic or subject that a blog website focuses on. Remember: the ultimate goal of any blog is to be the go-to resource for a particular topic.
You want your blog to be top of mind when people think about your niche.
Bearing that in mind, you now have to ask yourself the first, critical question: “What can I start a blog about?”
The answer, I’m afraid, can only be determined by asking more questions.
Get a pen and paper or open your favorite note-taking application. Without overthinking it, create a list of answers to the following questions (you’ll have plenty of thinking to do afterwards, I promise).
This list is going to act as your starting point. From here, you’ll be able to essentially narrow down your blog niche ideas from an infinite number of possible topics. Before we dive into that, though, let’s break these questions down to make your list as comprehensive as possible. Don’t worry if your answers overlap or whether you come up with 5 or 20 answers – this process is meant to be completely personal!
Everyone, and I mean everyone, has at least one hobby or pastime. Is it collecting a valuable item? Is it playing a sport? Perhaps shopping at thrift stores? Does puttering around in your garage do it for you? Or do you prefer making GIFs of your favorite pop culture references?
Whatever your hobby is, roll with it. When creating your list of blog niche ideas, jot down the things you actually enjoy doing – not the things you think you should enjoy doing. Be absolutely honest with yourself. Even if you never develop any of these niche ideas into a full-blown blog, writing them down will help you narrow down what will eventually become your blog niche.
Think about the topics and industries that you have significant experience in and inside knowledge of. THESE are the areas in which you can provide the most value to your readers.
A cardinal rule of writing is to “write what you know,” so if you don’t know much about your chosen niche, readers will sense that and seek the answers to their pain points elsewhere. Readers want to learn from the authority of a topic – your aim is to be that go-to resource.
That said, it’s not impossible to become an expert on a given topic by blogging about it. Keep in mind, though, that this will entail a lot of hard work if you don’t already know a lot about the chosen topic. You’ll have to start from scratch and build credibility up from the ground. Considering all of the other factors involved in getting a blog up and running, this may not be the best way to start a blog.
Mull over all of the different topics you just can’t seem to stop talking about. You know the ones – these are things that always find themselves in your conversations with people, regardless of how they began.
What topics do you find yourself endlessly researching? Do you enjoy learning about the latest scientific or technological advancements? Are you interested in ancient languages and cultures? Perhaps you’re a film buff who studies the evolution of cinema?
Whatever your fancy, keep in mind that a big part of writing content involves research, even if the niche you select is within an industry or topic you’re already intimately familiar with. While the level of familiarity will dictate the amount of time you invest in conducting research for each post you write, it’s still important to ensure the information you’re providing to your readers is accurate and up-to-date.
Which topics can you realistically see yourself writing about, article after article? Do you already have ideas swirling around in your head? Are you eager to flesh out an article and start writing? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then file that list item as one of your final blog niche candidates.
“Really? That’s all I have to do to pick a blog niche?”
Well, not exactly. Let me explain.
Blogging is all about content. That’s why it’s vital to choose a topic that you KNOW, without a doubt, you can write about day in and day out. Doing so also ensures that you still have fresh ideas months or years down the road.
If the topic you ultimately choose happens to be something you’re passionate and know a lot about (and chances are it is because how can it NOT be if it’s something you even remotely care about?), then that’s good news for your blog! HOWEVER – it’s important to remember that not all passions can be monetized, so you have to be careful that the niche you choose to build your business upon has the best potential for monetization (more on that later).
This entire brainstorming exercise is meant to help you gain a more thorough knowledge of yourself and what you could potentially start a blog about. This next section will focus on your target audience (a.k.a. your potential readers), the group of people who will make your blog niche profitable.
At the risk of belaboring the point, your goal is to be the authority in your niche. You want to gain and keep readers. More importantly, you want to drive qualified traffic to your site. Qualified traffic refers to the visitors who reach a site who have shown interest in the products available and, therefore, are considered potential customers. The more potential there is for qualified traffic, the more profitable the blog niche is. Considering what others might want to read is important when deciding what to write about. Here are some thoughts on what readers want.
Most people turn to the internet for a solution to a particular problem or issue. Consider which blog niche would give you the opportunity to provide the answers to the questions an audience seeks.
Ask yourself: what do people find difficult? What roadblocks, that take considerable time and effort to remove, have you found good solutions to? Have you found an easy and better way to resolve a pain point?
Yet again, people turn to the internet when they’re interested in learning something new, but don’t know where to start. This can come in the form of taking on a new hobby, changing career paths, or acquiring a new skill.
What new skill/ hobby/ topic can you teach people how to master? More importantly, can you teach them in an engaging, non-intimidating way?
The internet is a great resource for people to outline a path to achieving a particular goal. The best part is that goals can range from health and fitness to family and career. They can focus on finances, spirituality, and so many other aspects of life.
Do you have a similar goal? Are you able and willing to share your journey? Or did you already reach that goal and live to tell the tale? When thinking about a blog niche that centers around a goal, consider not only IF you can provide value in this area, but HOW you can provide that value in a way that makes your blog stand out amongst all the others.
Everyone needs distractions from the drudgery of daily life. People want to read something out of the ordinary, something hilarious, or just something that temporarily distracts from their reality. There isn’t a scarcity of entertainment to be had, so if you decide to head down this road, make sure to offer something unique, or at least of higher quality than anything else out there.
Try to think inwards and wear your “reader” hat when you consider what would make a suitable and monetizable blog niche. As you encounter problems that need solved or questions that need answered or goals that you want to reach, ask yourself: are you willing to buy something to solve that problem, answer that question, or help you reach that goal? This should help you ponder what you have to offer and whether your readers are willing to buy it.
I don’t mean to muddy the waters with more things to ponder, but they’ll likely come up throughout the process of picking your blog niche anyway, so let’s go ahead and address them. By now, you should have a pretty decent idea of what your blog niche will be, so the next few sections should help you narrow it down to one, concrete decision.
The perpetual question people toil over when it comes to their career is:
“Do I go where my passion is, or where I stand to make money?”
Surprise, surprise: this question applies to blogging as well.
Waking up every day itching to write great content about your passion sounds like a dream come true, right? In an ideal world, every aspiring blogger would be able to focus on their passion and make a suitable income from it. However, if your passion is watching paint dry (I know – an extreme example), you probably won’t make a lot of money from blogging about it.
By contrast, picking a niche that has proven to be profitable in the past will increase the chances of monetization. Writing about something you have absolutely no interest in is unappealing, though, and there’s no doubt you may eventually burn out in that scenario.
My recommendation? Compromise. Choose a blog niche with a large enough audience that will likely pay money for products or services you offer. Consider the likelihood of your readers making a purchase if you turn them onto a premium solution. Again, look inward: if someone else offered that solution to you, would you buy it?
Of course passion is important, but passion is not something that develops overnight. People don’t wake up one random morning and proclaim, “From this day forward, I’m going to be passionate about [insert topic here]!”
Passions derive from piqued interests when you experience or come across something that new. You research it, get involved with it, and never stop learning about it. THAT’S how passion grows.
It’s important to recognize that a passion for a topic you previously might not have cared too much about can develop over time. The more you study and blog about a topic, the more your authority for it will grow. And the more authority you have on a topic, the more people who are enthusiastic about it will end up on your blog.
You see where this is going, don’t you? The shared enthusiasm you have about a topic with your audience will feed your writing. Eventually, you’ll ignite a passion for it that you didn’t know existed.
The bottom line is this: in order for your blog to be successful, you need to find that coveted sweet spot where you’re writing about something that benefits both you and your readers. Not only does it address your readers’ needs, it also provides you with a profitable income.
If a blog niche is far-reaching, it’s easier to attract a broader audience, but it’s also harder to stand out from all the other blogs in that niche. If a blog niche is too narrow, it sets a blog apart from all the others, but the pool of interested people is now too small to monetize effectively.
Difficult as it may seem, aim for a balance of breadth and depth. Choose a topic that interests enough people so that you can make money and at the same time is specific enough that competition is limited.
A good rule of thumb to determine if a niche is too broad or too narrow is to ask yourself: “Will I be able to write articles about various keywords surrounding this topic 2-3 times a week for months, if not years?”
Should you be threatened by other bloggers in a particular niche? Of course! Does that mean you should shy away from niches where competition exists? The answer is a little more nuanced than a simple yes or no.
On one hand, if other bloggers in your blog niche are making money, then it probably means that niche is profitable. On the other hand, if too many bloggers in that niche exist, then it will be difficult to break into that niche and stand out.
Don’t be afraid of competition. Of the hundreds of millions of blogs out there, yours is bound to get some traffic no matter what niche you pick. Think of it as an opportunity: you get the benefit of learning from those who came before you! Knowing your niche well will help you work on the unique selling points that’ll make you stand out from the rest. Always remember to keep this important question in mind:
“What value can I provide that no one else can?”
At this point, your list should be narrowed down to two or three ideas. Don’t make your final decision right now. Sleep on it and reassess after a week. If necessary, go through the whole process again. Contemplating this decision without snap judgement will help reveal the blog niche that suits you best. However, beware of “analysis paralysis.” If your intuition is pulling you in a particular direction after going through the niche selection process outlined in this article, then go with it! Take the plunge. You won’t go anywhere until you get started.
Other people may urge and encourage you to choose what they deem to be the most profitable blog niche.
Don’t listen to them.
Only YOU know which blog niche is best for you. Even if you choose a blog niche that you’re only 50% passionate about but has the most potential for monetization, over time and as your authority grows, so will your enthusiasm for the topic.
Once you choose your blog niche, you’re ready to start a blog! Jump here to read about how to start your blog from scratch.
Have you tried to pick your blog niche yet? Need someone to bounce ideas off of? I’m here for you! Comment below and let me know what’s on your mind.
I've been in internet marketing for over 10 years, and I've purchased dozens of illegitimate products for the sole purpose of evaluating them and exposing the truth about these products to anyone who's thinking about purchasing it. I never let money influence my rating of a product and your success/safety is my absolute highest priority. Don't want to buy a product? Register for one of my 100% free internet marketing training courses>>