Before we even start thinking about creating our blog and buying a domain and web hosting, it's more important that we take some time to decide what we're going to blog about.
You can blog about virtually anything, but without the proper research, your blog may be in a dead end before it ever starts.
Many bloggers often start a blog before considering how the blog will work, what it will look like, and how to make money from the niche they choose. Yes, you may be passionate about the blog, but there has to be a business model behind it if you plan to expand the blog beyond a simple hobby.
This is how you determine what to blog about
Here are some things to think about when choosing your next blogging niche.
- What is the purpose of my blog? (Hobby / profit)
- How competitive is the niche I'm in?
- What is the long-term value and monetization plan?
- Will there be enough content to write about?
- How can you create links and buzz for your website?
All of these questions are important, but overall future monetization and immediate competition should be your primary concerns.
What is niche blogging?
Niche blogging refers to blogging within a specific group of people or topics. Some websites have managed to create a very profitable blog that takes a little bit of effort. Note, however, that niche blogging is not just a night job.
Niche blogging has become popular with people looking to start their passive income online. The reason for this is that it was believed that focusing on a single topic means you will have less competition and a better chance of getting traffic.
It may sound simple, but blogging profitably requires thorough and in-depth research. It is true that blogging can only be something that you developed because you are passionate about it, but at the end of the day you want to make money doing what you love.
The good thing is, there are plenty of sources and ways to generate income from your blog. And in order to be successful, we've picked some of the things you need to know about niche blogging.
How to choose a profitable niche for your blog
1. Pick a niche that you are interested in
Too often bloggers make the wrong choice of just doing what appears to make them millionaires.
Good niches that are profitable can be hard to come by, but choosing based on their ability to be profitable alone won't do you any favors in the long run. Even if you make money in that niche, eventually you'll get tired of it and move on if you don't care.
2. Find the demand for your idea
Jumping into the unknown is not going to do you a favor. Try exploring Google Trends and Google AdWords to see if there is enough traffic on the topic you selected.
Google is the largest search engine and the place where most of the traffic will take place. Know if there are people out there looking for your niche idea.
Another thing to watch out for is your competitors. While it is difficult to stand up to your biggest rivals, it can be a positive thing.
If you have competitors, you can learn from them; It also means that you can earn your niche. There are other steps to check if there is a lot of traffic in your chosen niche.
It is a matter of hard work and patience to eventually find out what is right for you.
3. Look for profitable opportunities
One of the first steps in deciding which niche to go into is to know if it can make money from it.
Having a niche that you like and that has good traffic is one thing, but being profitable is another. Even if you enjoy writing about it, it is a waste to realize that months later there is no more money to be made.
Niche case study: real-world example of niche selection
I spent a few days thinking about the niche I wanted to use for creating a blog case study, and in fact, I went through a number of different ideas. Several times I thought I had stumbled upon an interesting niche, but on some of them I concluded that I might not have as many monetization methods or content ideas to expand on later.
Working out your basic topic is one of the hardest parts in itself. If you want to get some ideas on what people are looking for right now (hot trends) you can visit Google Trends or now.MSN.com for some ideas.
Originally, I wanted to choose a niche in the “Education” and “Workplace” areas. I searched for ideas in a number of articles on Money.com that focused on the Gen Y audience and their college degrees, and the most sought after post-graduate jobs. Your site has some great "top lists" for that sort of thing.
After using Long Tail Pro, I saw some highly competitive niches that looked good in the average local search and CPC department, but were monsters in the average keyword competition section.
In the screenshot above, you can see that many of the keywords were in the 50-60 range. This is a very competitive keyword, and while you could break the keywords down even further, I continued to see a lot of the same levels of competition.
So I kept thinking about new niches and ideas to blog about. Again, I wanted to pick something out of my field that had nothing to do with making money online or blogging. At one point I saw an ad for solar energy somewhere and figured I'd throw that word into Long Tail Platinum and see the results.
Not bad … the search volume is decent and the average CPC is much lower than the education niche, but it seems like a good keyword and niche to start a website with.
For a couple of days I thought about the "solar" niche and thought it was a good concept, but after writing down some pros and cons on the topic, I found that I wasn't interested in the topic at all.
If you can follow the keyword from the right angles, you can definitely make good money and rank in search results. There's a lot of money going into the solar room right now, which was one of my main reasons to research this niche.
Your main competition would be local solar installation type companies, but you could do pretty well if you built a solid resource site around the topic.
With all that said, I still had the niche markets in education and work in the back of my mind and kept opening Long Tail Pro to come up with new ideas.
Once again, I checked through news articles on Google about students and jobs they look for when they leave college. One of them was for Campus IT Tech, which was a bit competitive but eventually helped me find tech support jobs.
You can see the following screenshot when you generate a report from Technical Support Jobs. Average keyword competition is 32 and local searches are around 33,100.
While "tech support jobs" is not the main keyword I wanted to focus on, I thought it best to create a new website around the topic as a whole and categorize the website into smaller long-tail keywords.
The last thing I want to do is pick a niche and then say, "Well, that didn't work." Hence, it can take a lot of time and research to finally find a solid niche and keyword focus.
After choosing my niche and keywords, the important thing is to make sure that niche is actually alive and that it is worth the time and effort we will invest in it.
Why "Tech Support Jobs" as a Niche?
There are many reasons I'm excited to step into the tech support niche in this example.
Just some of the reasons are that the employment rate is currently terrible and people are looking for information on how to get a job or work from home. There are currently a decent number of search results for “tech support” terms related to working from home.
Another reason I like this niche is that it is both professional and educational. There will always be big bucks in these niches because companies spend money to hire new employees and colleges spend money to recruit people interested in higher education or a new job.
After all, there's a lot to talk about in the tech support niche. Whether it's becoming a tech support person or reporting technical support complaints from other companies.
What is the hypothetical plan for this niche technical support job site?
The best way to answer this question is to actually think of someone looking for information about "tech support jobs" online. Obviously they are looking for information on the topic and how to become a support person or learn more about the profession … that will be the focus of the website.
The aim is to rank this blog for multiple long tail keywords (and possibly some generic keywords) on the search engines by creating high quality content and information to search for and find value.
The last thing we want is to put all that effort into one site so that it's just another trashy "thin" content site. Remember, we want to create an AUTHORITY resource page, which means you are adding value.
Monetization and ideas on the way?
This was definitely something to think about when moving into the tech support jobs niche. Through Long Tail Pro, we found that keywords related to “tech support jobs” cost in the tens of dollars per click, which means that Google Adsense can make good money, but we also don't want to build a business depending on only one source of income.
Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to make money from a job-related website including affiliate marketing (lead gen), guides (product sales) and there is definitely potential to sell the website once it's fully set up. In addition to driving leads through other sources, there is also the potential to build your own mailing lists and products related to the niche.
When choosing a niche for a new blog, make sure you consider all of the questions above and whether they fall in your favor.
It's too easy to jump into a new project and get too excited to buy a domain and start a blog. Then in a few days you will lose interest. The last thing you want to do is skimp on trash projects or keywords / niches that have way too much competition or little monetization / return on investment.
Think about it, be patient, and start building your blog as soon as you feel really ready.