How does a small startup blog or website compete with the bigger more established ones?
You may be asking, how can my blog possibly get traffic when there are so many blogs already out there?
Focusing on a specific niche market can be a valuable way stand out and attract traffic. A blog that focuses on one thing well will be more successful than one that tries to do everything and produces thin content.
So what exactly is a niche blog? How do you start a niche blog?
A niche is a narrowly defined target market focusing on a specific consumer group. Niche marketing strategy targets this narrow group of consumers and caters to their specific needs.
A niche can be broad or narrow. For bloggers, there is much opportunity in narrow, more specific niches because there is generally less competition for them.
This post will look at 7 steps you can take for finding a profitable niche to start a blog with. With the right planning and niche research, you can set your blog up for success.
1. List Your Passions
Finding the right niche for your blog involves first assessing your own passions, knowledge and experience. The more you know about your particular niche, the better you will be able to appeal to your readers. If you are personally interested in what you are blogging about, chances are you will not only enjoy writing but also write better content.
You may already have an idea about what you want to blog about. If you don’t, here are a few things you can do.
First, ask yourself: what are your hobbies and interests? What are you knowledgeable about? Looking at what you already know can provide inspiration for choosing you blog topic.
To get a feel for what you like you can also research and read existing blogs. See if you are interested in the material that is being presented and if you can see yourself blogging about that topic.
Do a quick search to see what already is out there for your niche.
Having an interest in your niche will help make blogging more enjoyable, adding to the whole experience.
2. Asses Your Knowledge
When you start a blog, it helps to have some expertise in your niche. Although you can always learn more, it helps if you have at least some understanding of your topic.
If you have chosen a niche that you are passionate about, you most likely already have some knowledge in that field.
To get some ideas, ask yourself what you are particularly knowledgeable about or good at. Do you know more about a specific topic than most people? Do people come to you for advice on that particular topic?
If you have already been helping and teaching others about a particular subject, then it can be easier to write about it in a blog.
If the topic is related to your profession, even better. In this case, you already are an expert in your field and can share your knowledge with others through your blog.
Here are a couple questions you can use to quiz yourself:
- Do I like reading about my chosen niche?
- Do I know a considerable amount about my topic?
- Can I see myself blogging about this niche?
- Do I have experience or knowledge about this niche?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, chances are that your blog niche is suitable for you. If you answered no, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you can’t choose that specific niche. Just because you don’t have the knowledge now doesn’t mean you can’t learn and become an expert. If you are really interested in a topic, you can learn and blog about it at the same time.
3. Define Your Niche
A niche can be broad or very narrow. Often small blogs will want to target narrow markets because there can be less competition for them.
Now it’s time to define your niche and come up with some related niche ideas. Look at your interests and skills and identify it as a topic if you already haven’t. Is your niche broad or more defined? If it is a broad niche, think about some specific topics belonging to that market.
Some examples of a broad blog niche could be:
Some examples of more narrow blog niches:
- The Paleo Diet
- Wedding Photography
As you can see, there are so many possibilities when it comes to finding a niche. All you have to do is get creative, do some research, and come up with ideas about what you think people might be interested in.
To help you find new possibilities, you can create a chart. Here is an example planning chart you can follow:
Once you have come up with some topics that you are interested in, the next step is finding out if people are actually interested in those topics.
4. Asses Your Audience
Now you will have to see if there is actually demand for the niche you chose. If nobody is interested in reading about your topic, chances are it will be harder to get traffic.
Try to think about things from the perspective of your audience. Ask yourself some questions about what your readers are looking for.
- Why are they looking for information on your topic? To make a purchase? To get instructions on how to do something?
- What kinds of questions do they need answering?
- What do you think your audience will search for?
There are some helpful tools that can enable you to see how popular your niche. Let’s take a look:
To give you ideas about what the audience for you niche might be looking for, you can use Google’s keyword research tool. When you search for a particular topic, and the tool will give you an idea of popular searches for your niche.
This will give you a good idea of how big your audience is and the competition for that niche. You can use this tool to research the niche ideas you came up with and see which ones are most popular.
Another valuable way to judge the popularity of your niche is to see how much it is showing up on social media.
There are a few tools out there that will help you see this. Buzzsumo is a tool that shows you the most popular articles for a given niche, and the number of times it’s been shared.
You can judge how popular your topic is by looking at how many shares posts in your niche get.
You can use Google Trends to see what is popular and trending, and how the popularity for your topic changes over time.
This is a good way to see if your niche is evergreen or not. If there was a sharp spike that is now falling, perhaps your niche was something that is not going to stay popular.
5. Will Your Niche Last?
Finding out that the niche you have chosen is losing popularity is the best. If you don’t plan carefully, you may miss important hints that your niche is not going to last.
An evergreen niche is sustainable and will last for a long time.
For example, fitness and nutrition are topics that most likely aren’t going to go out of fashion because they are important parts of people’s lives.
- How long has my niche been around?
- Does it seem like it is losing popularity or is steady?
- Are there opportunities for development of my niche?
This is a good place to start when trying to figure out how long your niche will be around.
As mentioned above, you can use Google Trends to see data on how popular your niche has been over time. A regular, steady pattern is a good indicator that you have a topic that will stay popular over time.
6. Look At Other Blogs
Do some research and look at other sites to get some blog niche ideas.
Look at all types of blogs, large ones, and small ones. You may find the larger ones target a broad niche while small ones target more specific niches.
Make a list of some of the blogs you like and look at their content. Look at what their niche is and what content they are producing.
Feedly is a good tool you can use to organize other blogs into one place. You can use it to compare and read blogs over a period of time and get a feel for your niche.
7. Plan and Start Your Niche Blog
Now that you’ve done the research and found a niche, you can now start planning out your site.
Make a list of some different blog post ideas that you could use. This is a good way to judge how easy it will be to produce content for your niche.
You can do some research to help you come up with blog post ideas. Head back over to Google’s Keyword Planner and type in your niche.
To start, enter your niche or keyword into the planner.
Click on “Keyword ideas” to see all the keywords related to the keyword you typed in.
Now you can use these keywords to give you ideas for blog posts. More specific searches, or long tail keywords may have less competition. Targeting these keywords is a good way to increase traffic to your blog.
The more post ideas you have the easier starting your blog will be. By planning your blog ahead of time, you will get an idea of how practical your niche will be to blog about.
Picking the right niche can affect the success of a blog. Choose a blog niche that you are passionate and knowledgeable about and you will enjoy blogging a lot better.
If you are a beginner blogger, you may want to try and look for the narrow niches that have less competition. Becoming an expert on your topic and doing one thing well can be an effective way to attract a following.
Once you are ready to start your blog, you can visit this tutorial to get it set up.
Hopefully, you now understand how to start a niche blog. You can go back through the process again if you are still unsure about what you want to blog about. Take the time to find a profitable niche, and you will be setting the foundation for a successful blog.