If you are seriously thinking of starting a profitable blog you cannot skip the step of defining a niche. As obvious as it may seem it’s the reason why a lot of new blogs fail.
What does this mean? Basically, you have to decide what type of information you are going to offer to your readers.
If you mess this up you will not generate traffic, build a following of readers and go nowhere near to being able to monetize your blog.
I’m doing a little psychological terrorism on you but is for your own good 🙂
Choosing a specific niche can seem quite hard. Indeed, it’s easier to implement all the technical aspects of starting and maintaining a blog than to have a clear picture of what its focus is going to be.
A great thing about blogging is that you’ll be able to change and adapt your content as you progress. Blogging for money is indeed a process of building, listening and adjusting. So, whatever you do just don’t overthink.
Give yourself a time limit and then move onto the next step of building a blog
Still, try to come out of this article with a specific idea for your blog.
What is a niche?
A niche is just the general topic matter on which you base your blog. Some examples of niches would be:
- Health and fitness
- Interior design
- Personal Finance
Here you can decide to go very broad but you will be up against a lot of competition and it will be much harder to get recognition or zoom in on something very specific.
For example, instead of considering health and fitness in general, you may specialize your site on only back pain issues. Or even deeper: back pain issues caused by bad posture in the office.
For a new blog, it will be almost impossible to rank on the first page of Google SERPs’ with a post on “back pain”. If you don’t know, “SERPs” is just some search marketing jargon for search engine results pages.
If the entire blog, however, specializes in something more specific it could outrank even the biggest competitor. This is because the big authority sites may only have a few articles on the topic that your whole blog specifically tackles. So, overall your site could be valued as more relevant.
As you go deeper and deeper you will find that there will be fewer people interested in the topic but also less other bloggers and businesses sharing information on the subject, which is a good thing.
So, in essence, a niche is a smaller, well-defined piece of a market that groups people with similar characteristics.
The 3 biggest mistakes you can make when choosing a niche:
- Investing time in creating content in a niche that is too small or not profitable.
- Starting to work without having a sense of how to monetize your content in the future.
- Not choosing a niche that you know personally. This should also make it easier to choose a topic for your blog quite rapidly.
Mistake n° 1:
Clearly the first point speaks for itself. Even though some people believe that you should start blogging on a subject in which you are passionate about, you will not go very far if nobody else is interested. So please do some research before beginning your venture. It will save you a lot of time and hassle in the future.
“one of the big lies that some “experts” tell you is that you can make money with your passions”
You should blog about something you are passionate about they tell you. I’m sorry but this is not how the market works.
Profiting from a blog about ancient literature will not be easy. Indeed, if your goal is to make money blogging you’ll have a real hard time monetizing this market niche.
I have friends that have some very weird hobbies. I’m somewhat of a misfit/nerd myself so that is ok.
However, the harsh reality tells us that some topics are just too hard to monetize. If your passion matches the needs of the market than dive into it. If not you should find something else to specialize your blog about.
There are a few different tools that you could use to test your ideas. However, the most useful software available could be a bit too pricey for most new bloggers.
This is why I’ll also share with you a great free strategy you can use. Skip ahead if you just want a free method of evaluating your niche idea.
Costly (but worth it) method of testing your ideas
A software which will really help you at this is called Long Tail Pro. You can use it to find the search volumes of keywords and to get an idea of the amount of traffic that they can generate for your site.
Selecting the right keywords is essential to let your blog gain momentum. Especially in the beginning when its authority is at the lowest and Google hasn’t really picked up on it.
Long Tail Pro offers a
- website analysis of your site and the competition’s
- site audits to make sure your website is optimized
- brand monitoring to see when you get mentioned on the web
- helps you find opportunities to get your content linked by other sites
So SEMrush is really an all-in-one SEO solution that can be used to analyze the competition and find some soft spots that a new blog could really tackle.
Anyways, SEMrush also offers a 7 day trial
Either of these can be a very valuable asset for a blogger. However, as I said they are both quite expensive and if you are just starting out they may just not fit your budget.
You could, however, take advantage of the trial periods just to pack up as much information and ideas as you can, in combination with this free strategy that still works very well:
Free method to test your Ideas
I suggest using Google trends to see how a topic is doing overtime and get a sense of how many people are looking into the subject.
Not only that but you can use Google trends to see if the interest for a particular subject tends to increase or decrease. Maybe the interest in the subject is fading
For example, would you write content on a subject that has this trend? You shouldn’t unless you expect that is going to start picking up again in the future.
Finally, I check in the normal google search to see if there are other businesses or brands that are already advertising for the keywords related to the niche.
If the answer is yes then I at least know that someone is making a profit from them, which is a good start. Indeed, if other people are paying for advertisement it means they are getting a return on their investment.
If a niche is big enough Google will also autosuggest you many other related searches to the keyword you typed. Just look at the end of the page for other suggested keywords.
If Google doesn’t advise you on related searches then that’s a good hint that you need to boraden your topic a little.
Mistake n° 2:
Another big “don’t do it” is publishing one article after another without knowing why you are creating that particular content. How are you going to monetize your blog in the future?
You have to concentrate on your objectives. What do you want to achieve from this project?
- Do you want to make money by promoting products and services with affiliate marketing?
- Are you looking to acquire potential clients for your existing activity and expand its reach?
- Do you want to do personal branding and profit from your online reputation? For example, this is what I was looking to achieve with my other site,
.it. Visit the about me page to learn more about me. studiosmd
A successful blog is based on an objective and if you want to earn money you have to keep it clear.
For example: let’s get back to our health and fitness example.
Even if you are not a trainer and you don’t have services or products of your own to promote this niche is still very good.
In fact, you will be able to find a huge amount of products to market as an affiliate. You just need to do a very basic search on Google to find a variety of ideas.
However, if you begin a blog on ancient literature I’m sure you would have some trouble making a
Note: if your content is valuable and well thought out you should expect to convert between 1% and 3% of visitors into clients. This means that if your site receives 10.000 visits a month I would expect at least 100 people to follow your call to action.
Mistake n° 3: I advise you to choose a niche in which you are somehow involved.
There is no need to be a professor, nor do you need any academic qualifications to be a blogger. You could even target only the beginners in your field that are just looking to start, for example.
Still, you have to know what you are talking about or your readers will surely have better places to get their information from.
We all have interests that could be turned in profitable blogs. It just may be difficult for you to define one just now. So, take your time.
If you really want to start a blog on a topic you don’t know enough about Just say it and turn it into a journey for like-minded people to follow you.
I’ll give you an idea of a blog that I never had time to build:
I know very little about saltwater
If I were to make a blog on “nano reefs” I would never tell my readers I’m an expert about them. That would be unethical at best. What I would rather do is make posts to answer my own questions so that people can follow.
I wouldn’t write as an expert but as a hobbyist sharing the best answers and products I could find. This would make a great niche site.
However, you need to have
But Silas every niche seems to be impenetrable!
So, how do you find the perfect niche for your blog?
Are you worried about the competition? Every profitable niche seems to be filled up by website fighting
You may be worried that your blog will never be able to compete with them. However, I tell you that you should not be worried at all. If there are ads and competition the niche is profitable. That’s really all you need to decide to invest in making a blog in that niche.
What you have to do is find your own personal space. Position yourself differently and make your own market within the niche. You should be thinking: “I don’t care what other people are doing in my niche because my offer is different”.
This is what you must do: position yourself differently from anyone else. Research and use different keywords. Define your unique selling proposition. This is why doing research is important. You have to find your space within the niche. A space that hasn’t been filled up by anyone else and that exists in the mind of those who read you.
How to build a successful blog:
Once you have defined your objective and found the right niche in which to dive into you are set to start your blog and produce
If you are starting fresh on a new domain, as I always did, you must allow some time before search engines will start giving you the deserved recognition. In my experience, you should wait at least four to six months before you will see a spike in the visits. I know that this may sound like a long time, but it really isn’t. You will hit your objective sooner than you think, just focus on creating keyword optimized quality content.
Use this time to create good content and improve the overall quality of your blog. Immerse yourself in the right information, keep on studying and you will be able to take on the new challenges that will arise once you’ll have a steady flow of visitors.
Are you ready to start your blog now?