You can blog about virtually anything, but without the proper research your blog may be at a dead end before it ever starts.
Many bloggers oftentimes start a blog before they think through how the blog will work, it’s audience, and how to make money from the niche they select. Yes, they may be passionate about the blog, but there must be a business case behind it if you plan to expand the blog beyond it being a simple hobby.
How To Determine What To Blog About
Here are a few things you will need 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 looking at?
- What is the long term value and monetization plan?
- Will there be enough content for me to write about?
- How can you build links and buzz for your site?
All of these questions are important, but the overall monetization down the road and the immediate competition are what should be your main concerns right now.
What is Niche Blogging?
Niche blogging refers to blogging within a particular group of people or subject. Some websites have succeeded in creating a very profitable blog that requires a little amount of effort. But, note that niche blogging is not just an overnight work.
Niche blogging has become popular among people who want to start their passive income online. The reason is that it has been believed that focusing on an individual subject means you are less likely to have competition and a better possibility of getting traffic.
It may sound easy to make, but profitable blogging requires a heavy and deep research. It’s true that blogging can only be something you built because you are passionate about it, but at the end of the day, you will eventually want to earn money from doing what you love.
The good thing is, there are abundant sources and possibilities of making revenue through your blog. And to be able to succeed, we handpicked 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’re interested in
Too often, bloggers make a wrong choice of only doing what seems to make them millionaires.
Good niches that are profitable can be hard to score but deciding purely based on its capacity to be profitable is not going to do you favors in the long run. Even though you earn from said niche, if it’s something that doesn’t interest you, you’ll eventually grow tired of it and move on.
2. Search the demand for your idea
Google is the biggest search engine and is where most of the traffic is going to come from. Know if there are people who are looking for your niche idea.
Another thing to note is your competitors. While it’s tough to leverage your way up against your biggest rivals, having so can be a positive thing.
If you have competitors you can learn from them; it also means that your niche is something you can earn. There are more steps in validating if your chosen niche has a considerable amount of traffic.
It’s a matter of hard work and patience to find what’s right for you eventually.
3. Look for Profitable Opportunities
One of the first steps in deciding on what niche you’re going to venture on is knowing if you can make money from it.
Having a niche that you like and has a good traffic is one thing, but it being profitable is another. Even if you love writing about it, it’s a waste to realize that there’s no money to be made months down the line.
Niche Case Study: Real-World Example Of Niche Selection
I spent a few days thinking about the niche I was going to use for this create a blog case study and I actually went through a bunch of different ideas. Several times I thought I had come across an interesting niche, but I came to the conclusion on a few of them that I might not have as many monetization methods or content ideas to build them out down the road.
Coming up with your basic topic is one of the hardest parts in itself. If you want to get some ideas on what people are search for (hot trends) right now, you can visit Google Trends or now.MSN.com to get a few ideas.
Originally I was looking at choosing a niche in the “education” and “work place” area. For ideas I was browsing through a bunch of the articles on Money.com that focused on the Gen Y audience and their college degrees and what are the most sought after jobs when coming out of school. Their site has some great “Top Lists” for stuff like that.
However after using Long Tail Pro, I was seeing some highly competitive niches that were looking good in the average local search and average cpc department, but were monsters in the average Keyword Competition area.
You can see in the screen shot above that many of the keywords were in the 50-60 range. This is very competitive keyword, and while you could break the keywords down even further, I continued to see much of the same competition levels.
So I continued to think about new niches and ideas I could create a blog on. Again, I wanted to pick something completely out of my realm that wasn’t “make money online” or “blogging” related. Eventually I saw an ad somewhere for solar power and I figured I’d throw that word into Long Tail Platinum and see the results.
Not too 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 site with.
For a couple days I thought about the “solar” niche and thought it was a good concept, but after writing down some pros/cons about the topic, I found I really wasn’t interested in the topic at all.
If you can go after the keyword from the right angles you can definitely make good money and rank in the search results. There is a ton of money flowing in the solar space right now, which was one of my main reasons for looking into this niche.
Your main competition would be local “solar installation” type of companies, but you could do fairly well if you were to build up a solid resource site around the topic.
With all of that said, I still had the education and jobs niche markets in the back of my mind and was continually opening up Long Tail Pro to try and find some new ideas.
Once again I was looking through news articles on Google about college students and jobs they are looking for when coming out of 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 screenshot below from running a report on “tech support jobs”. The average keyword competition is a 32 and the local searches come in around 33,100.
While “tech support jobs” isn’t the main keyword I was going to focus on, I thought it would be best to build a new site around the topic as a whole and categorize the site into smaller long tail keywords.
The last thing I want to do is pick a niche and then say “oh well, that didn’t work”… hence why it can take a lot of time and research to finally pick a solid niche and keyword focus.
Now that I have chosen my niche and keywords, it’s important to make sure there is actual life to this niche and that it’s worth the time and effort we are going to put into it.
Why “tech support jobs” as a niche?
There are plenty of reasons why I am happy to get into the tech support jobs niche in this example.
Just a few of the reasons are that the employment rate is horrible right now and people are going to be looking for information on how to get a job or work from home. There is currently a decent amount of search results for “tech support” terms related to working from home.
Another reason I like this niche is because it’s both job and education related. There is always going to be big money in these niches because businesses spend money to hire new employees and colleges spend money to advertise to people who are interested in getting higher education or a new job.
Lastly, there is a lot we can talk about in the tech support niche. Whether it’s how to become a tech support person or how to report complaints against tech support from other companies.
What’s the hypothetical plan for this tech support jobs niche site?
The best way to answer this question is to actually think in terms of someone who is searching for “tech support jobs” related information online. Obviously they are looking for information on the topic and how they can become a support person or learn more about the profession… so that will be the main focus of the site.
The goal is to rank this blog for several long tail keywords (and eventually some generic keywords) in the search engines by creating quality content and information that people are looking for and find value in.
The last thing we want is to put all of this effort into a site to only have it be another trashy “thin” content site. Remember, we want to make an AUTHORITY resource site, which means you are providing value.
Monetization and ideas down the road?
This was definitely something that I had to think about when choosing the “tech support jobs” niche. Through Long Tail Pro we could see that “tech support jobs” related keywords are costing in the several dollar range per click, which means it could make some good money through Google Adsense, but we also don’t want to build a business that is reliant on only one revenue source.
Fortunately there are plenty of other ways to make money with a jobs related site, which includes affiliate marketing (lead gen), how to guides (product sales) and there will definitely be a potential to sell the site once it’s fully established. In addition to driving leads through other sources, the potential is also there to build out our own mailing lists and products relating to the niche.
If you are going to be selecting a niche for a new blog, make sure you consider all of the questions above and if they fall in your favor.
It’s way to easy to jump into a new project and get too excited, buy a domain and setup a blog then lose interest in a few days. The last thing you want to do is spread yourself too thin with garbage projects or keywords/niches that have way too much competition or little monetization/return down the road.
Think it through, be patient, and once you feel like you’re truly ready, start building your blog.