Whether you are starting a personal blog, selecting a niche is easily one of the most significant decisions you will need to make as it will determine the direction of your business. From the design and theme to the content on your blog, your niche is a category that aims to draw specific visitors onto your platform. You may even notice that your niche guides the monetization options that come your way.
There is no such thing as a wrong niche; however, it is essential to keep in mind that some are easier to break into than others. Some happen to generate enormous amounts of money as companies want to purchase ad space and sponsored post geared towards their intended target market.
Before setting up a blog, be sure to read this guide to learn how to select a niche that is right for you.
What Exactly is a Niche?
In short, a niche is a subject matter for your blog. For instance, if you plan on writing about makeup and skincare, then health and beauty would be your niche. If you’re writing about earning an income online, then you are in the business niche.
Using the term niche instead of topic allows you to create content that might occasionally be outside of your niche; however, it does not impact the overall niche of your blog. For instance, you may write an article about going out of town, yet your blog is still a business niche. In some cases, you might not have any content and still have a niche such as if you run a community site.
What does your niche describe?
• Your Audience
• Your Main Subject Matter
• Your Products
• Your Design
• Your Mission statement
By looking more in-depth at the word niche, you will find that it means a specialized area of a market for a specific type of service or product.
Based on the description above, it makes perfect sense for bloggers to select a niche to further their business and narrow down on a specific target group. Primarily, the niche you choose should meet a demand that is currently unfulfilled; however, that is not always the case as not all niche websites aim to accomplish something.
Statistics Within Niches
You might be wondering why it is vital to determine what niche is best for you. Isn’t it as easy as deciding what niches are successful by the amount of traffic and just selecting one?
Well, if that were the case, everyone would have a successful website. There are many critical factors beyond the amount of traffic volume a blog receives on a regular basis. Even if you were to select a topic solely based on popularity, you would quickly realize the success rate is not one-size-fits-all.
Why is that? Well, many sites are not entirely clear about their specific niche from the start. If you check out successful blogs from a variety of niches, you will notice that some of the most prominent blogs do not always feature the most popular niches. It is also important to keep in mind that most bloggers do not commonly share their traffic statistics with the public, so it is not always easy to determine the success of their blog based on traffic.
A survey conducted by Warrior Forum stated that popular blog topics include the health niche, the relationship niche, the business niche, and the gambling niche. While the stats do not clearly paint a picture of the most popular niches, we still keep seeing the importance of selecting a niche as it leads to increased amounts of success.
What You Will Learn In This Niche Guide
Throughout the course of this guide, you will learn about:
• Key consideration factors during the niche selection process
• Researching niches and subcategories
• Ensuring your niche has a target audience
• Identifying opportunities
• Monetizing your intended niche
• Creating new niches based on your personal brand
• Ensure new content within your subject matter
• Selecting a niche outside of your area of expertise
• Identifying strategies and what to avoid
By the time you finish this niche guide, you should have a detailed understanding of what makes a niche ideal for blogging as this will allow you to make the best choice for your intended business. Essentially, you will value the importance of choosing the right niche so that you increase your success rate while also enjoying the actual day-to-day work aspects of maintaining your blog.
It is vital that you truly grasp and under this concept so that you can skip out on years of struggles and head straight to instant success.
Chapter 1 – How Have You Chosen Previous Niches?
Start by looking at your current position on how you have chosen niches in the past as well as identifying any system you might have had to find new subjects to cover. It is essential to be aware of any current problems you might be facing due to having the wrong strategy as it may be limiting your blog’s potential to succeed.
Common Strategies To Avoid When Selecting A Niche
The most common strategy that most bloggers implement to find their niches is looking for the most popular niche based on audience size and then writing basic articles in that niche. Sadly, this is a sure fire way to make your life incredibly difficult and possibly quite dull.
An example of this niche-related strategy might be to make a blog about fitness. Fitness is an enormous industry that generates a lot of money and a large audience as it applies to just about everyone. We have seen a number of successful fitness blogs, so it must be the best choice, right? Well, that is not exactly true.
Since fitness is such a popular niche, it tends to be a terrible choice for one’s first blog due to that very same reasoning. If you were to create a blog about fitness, you now have to compete with hundreds of thousands of fitness-related blogs. Keep in mind that there are also successful fitness websites like Bodybuilding.com and MarksDailyApple that been around for some time, have a plethora of marketing resources, and have plenty of brand visibility.
In the fitness industry, you might write a post on how to lose weight and wind up competing with millions of other articles on that very same topic. How can you expect to stand out in this type of industry and get noticed amongst millions of other similar posts about weight loss?
This same strategy goes for other popular topics such as finance, business, and dating. Another major problem of writing for a large niche is that it is likely you selected an industry that you are not already an expert in prior to creating your blog. While it made seem as though anyone can write an article about crunches, you wouldn’t want someone to get injured and blame you for it despite you having little to no expertise in the matter.
In regards to business or finance, you might struggle to write about complex topics such as investment strategies and business management which may result in difficulty creating new content as you are not truly familiar with the topics at hand. You are more likely to find the issues boring or hard to understanding which increases the chances of you not sticking to writing articles on your blog.
For this very reason, individuals who select the first popular niche they come across and start a blog around it almost always end up disappointed as they typically spend years writing the same content only to realize their blog didn’t go anywhere. All in all, most ‘popular niche’ bloggers end up giving up at this point.
Chapter 2 – Identifying Your Self-Interests
So, if you cannot select the biggest niche, what should you do?
Well, a common tidbit of advice among writers is to write about what you already know. Typically, one may aim this advice at creative writers and fiction writers; however, it still applies in this case as well.
What exactly does this mean? Writing what you know means to write something that you have previous experience in that you also find interesting and enjoy writing. Ideally, your blog should not be viewed as work and should be something that you look forward to as well as enjoy doing in your spare time.
By picking a niche or topic that is already an interest of yours or a hobby you participate in, you are giving yourself a head start as you bring plenty of knowledge to your blog. You will understand the subject and know what kind of content visitors are interesting in reading. There is a better possibility that your blog will stand out amongst others as you can create unique topics within the field.
Most importantly, writing a blog about a subject you enjoy means that creating content will not feel like a chore. Since you find the topic interesting, you are more likely to develop high-quality posts in a short amount of time. Your passion for the niche will ensure you write regularly and that you come across excited about whatever it is you are informing your readers.
Examples of Personal Interest Blogs
So, what might a blog about a personal interest look like? This factor is often left out in other guides as may think that writing about what you enjoy is obvious; however, that is far from the case as many people do not have traditional interests or hobbies.
Many individuals are so consumed by work and our day-to-day lives that we do not have much free time to pursue travel, sports, or learning a new language. All in all, many people do not know much about finance, fitness, or cooking. It is likely that you spend most of your evenings watching TV, relaxing, and taking the kids to practice.
So, what should you do if you do not have a clear interest or hobby? What can you write about when you are not passionate about one traditional topic? The trick is to understand that any idea can turn into a niche for a website. You are not limited to selecting something that one might consider a hobby or interest in a traditional manner.
For example, maybe you enjoy the computer game The Sims. While that is not something you might announce at a party as your hobby, it does not mean that it couldn’t make for a great niche on your website. The same idea goes for the love of a specific show, movie, play, or even actor.
Fan websites are widely beloved because they feature something that many people are also passionate about. A fan website has clear routes to market, so they do not face much competition, and there is a steady supply of new stories to broadcast.
If there is something you love, a fan website might just be the perfect remedy. Once you select your topic, you can find existing Reddit groups and even groups on Facebook and Google+ to announce your blog and watch as other fans visit your site. You may also get support from the creators of a show or an actor themselves.
You can also apply this to sports teams as there are plenty of people passionate about their favorite teams, and there is a plethora of opportunities to promote your blog. How about placing an ad in a program for the next game?
If you prefer an alternate route, you could look at your daily life for inspiration. You could write a personal blog about being a vegan, a mom, a pet-owner, or even your profession such as being a doctor. Some people also look at personal experiences to help determine a niche such as traveling and school-related niches.
Coming Up With A Personal Brand
Inventing new niches is entirely doable as everyone is complex and enjoys multiple topics throughout different areas of their lives. You can bring a unique perspective to any type of subject you are covering on your blog which is why you might want to look into making a personal brand for your website. Why not tap into who you are as an individual and create a new niche that only you could offer visitors?
This idea may sound a bit confusing at first, so here are some examples to clarify this idea. Nerd Fitness is a website that incredibly popular despite its lack of one specific category. This website combines fitness and nerd culture which creates an entirely new topic that aligns with things the blogger wants to write about in posts. The blogger has now made a personal brand with a niche that is specific to him and visitors who enjoy the combination of two niches.
Another prime example of this idea is the Art of Manliness as it is so much more than a website with a common niche.
In short, you do not have to have one specific hobby to create a niche. All you have to do to find the right niche is take a look at who you are as an individual. Determine your niche by understanding precisely what you are passionate about in your life and what makes your ideas unique. Offer people something that no one else can on other websites. Your personality sets the tone of your personal brand as it allows you to build an entirely new and creative niche.
Chapter 3 – Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone and Learn
If an obvious topic still does not come to mind, there is one more option that is available to you, and it is to learn something brand new to you.
Right now, you might have no hobbies or areas of expertise, yet that is entirely normal. It is important to remember that many people are in the same boat as you, so don’t let that stop you!
Keep in mind that this idea typically only works if you find something that interests you or something that you genuinely want to learn. You can easily create an exciting and unique blog that revolves around you learning a new hobby or subject as you can document your progress and share what you learn with your audience.
Maybe, you wish you were a hacker or could fluently speak another language. All you have to do is begin learning and sharing your experiences and any tips to your audience along the journey.
Why Should You Listen to A Learner?
You might be wondering why someone would want to take advice from you if you are not a certified expert in the field. What could you offer that someone else hasn’t already?
Learners typically have the upper hand on writing about topics. Unlike experts, learners do not scare away their audience with the use of jargon. Learners make excellent teachers due to being able to put themselves in the other person’s shoes as they previously went through the same learning curve. As a reader, it is interesting reading from a learner’s narrative as it feels personal and can even be fun to read.
Another advantage of writing while learning new subjects is that you will likely have an easier time creating content. As an expert, you might worry about other experts reading your work which may make you feel as though individuals are watching your every move.
For example, if you are a fitness writer and suggest a move that results in someone getting injured, it is almost sure that other experts in the fitness industry will comment on your posts to inform you of the poor advice. If you are writing about a complex topic such as psychology or brain health, you can bet that others will laugh at your post if you mess up on terminology.
If you write as a learner, you are letting your audience know ahead of time that you have little expertise on the subject at hand which gives you a free pass. People are much kinder to learners which allows you more freedom to write without fearing criticism.
The blog The Personal MBA is a successful blog by Josh Kaufman that started off as a small project. He initially used it to take notes on his learning progress within the business industry as his goal was to get an MBA; however, Josh did not have the money or time to do so. Instead, he decided to learn a bunch of different business principles taught in courses related to an MBA and kept his blog as a way to retrieve such information for personal reference.
All in all, he ended up creating an excellent resource for both entrepreneurs and those interested in business. The result of his hard work was a wildly popular site, a business venture, and a book deal.
Josh’s story might inspire you to approach a topic of interest as a newbie so that you can give it a unique twist. This story shows us that if you want to learn a new topic and there are not enough resources other there, then there is an excellent chance other people also feel the same way. Build a blog for yourself, and you will also be building it for other people as well. Some people refer to this idea as scratching your own itch.
Focusing On Personal Growth
Instead of focusing on an actual topic, you can also approach your new niche as a series on personal growth. For example, many fitness blogs feature bloggers aiming to lose a certain amount of weight. Someone who is overweight may find it reassuring to read one’s weight loss journey as they go through it rather than getting advice from someone who has abs and is skinny. People enjoy being able to relate to the writer as it is comforting.
You can also run blogs about general personal growth and feature posts about being a better person, gaining confidence, or how to stay motivated.
Chapter 4 – Monetizing Your Niche
While doing what you love is great, you still need to think about finances concerning your blog. Before investing a plethora of money and time into your website, it is essential to determine if there are an audience and potential market out there for your intended content.
So, What Can Make a Niche Profitable?
To fully understand what makes a niche profitable, you must first think about all the potential monetization options that are available to bloggers and website owners.
One option for monetization is advertising. Ads can come in a plethora of different forms such as banner ads, Google AdSense, and affiliate links. Keep in mind that ads tend to be on the lower side in terms of profitable as your visitors must either purchase the item or leave your website. Since advertisers are willing to pay for ad space, this means that these companies must make a bunch of money off of your readers.
So, how exactly are they making all of this money? These companies are usually selling some sort of product and making boatloads of money doing it.
Your goal for your site should eventually be to create a digital product of your own such as a guide or sell a product via an affiliate link. Course services are also an excellent way to monetize your blog without working with another company.
At this stage, you need to consider that some niches allow individuals to create products that sell easily than other niches. This factor might also impact your advertising fee as companies can only easily sell items that fit in nicely with your niche. Companies are only willing to pay small fees if the product is not relevant to your site.
Overall, the most profitable niches are those that have plenty to sell to visitors whether that is through affiliate links or digital products. In this case, picking a niche such as a cartoon character might not be good as it has a trademark. Trademarks ensure that you cannot sell your own products based off of the character without the company’s permission as it is the company’s property.
Other advertisers are less likely to want to advertise on a site that is dedicated to a specific character as it might not pertain to their brand or image.
While you may get ads from Google AdSense, some of the ads might not align with your niche which will result in fewer clicks from your audience.
This key factor might be considered when coming up with a niche. While you may be able to make money with fan sites, it is going to be harder compared to other niches. It is essential to come up with a plan beforehand so that you are aware of the level of difficulty before investing too much time and energy in a niche.
Higher Earning Niches To Choose From
A niche may be considered a higher earning niche because it offers an investment piece to the audience. For example, you might have a blog about investing which is a topic that many people are willing to pay to learn more about via a guide or training course. People might want to invest in this type of digital product because it may increase the amount of money they could earn annually which outweighs the cost of the product purchased to acquire the knowledge.
The same idea goes for a plethora niches including business. There is an audience willing to spend thousands of dollars on online courses so that they can learn how to make money online. The initial investment essentially pays for itself in time!
Another type of niche that is quite profitable is anything that promises to alter your viewers’ lives in a major way. In this case, you want to think about how you can improve someone’s life. This idea is why fitness is the perfect niche from a profitability standpoint. So many individuals are eagerly willing to spend money on workout equipment, protein shakes, and fitness books because they believe these products will benefit their lives.
The theory is that it could increase their confidence, lead to a longer life, better skin, and looking better in their clothes. To many people, these theories are highly tempting which is why they are so happy to spend money on fitness-related products.
A similar idea is dating as many people are in relationships or looking for a relationship. There is plenty to write about, and people are willing to spend money on advice for their love life.
Some niches have a high potential to earn large sums of money such as sports car and travel as these sites feature high-ticket items and appeal to major companies such as Audi and Expedia. The major companies spend less money creating an ad; however, they receive more clients when you write about their products and services.
If the niche you selected is not profitable in an obvious way, you might just have to get creative so that it can benefit you financially.
For example, your plan to earn an income might be by helping people find hotels and car rentals while they are on vacation which allows you to assist your audience while also making a commission on each sale. Alternatively, your plan might be to sell your site once it gains a certain amount of traffic each month. Whatever plan you lean towards in the end, make sure that you have thought out your plans in advance to ensure you maximize your earning potential.
How Your Target Audience Impacts Your Profitability
While coming up with your monetization plan, you need to think about the type of audience your blog is going to cater to as those are the individuals who are going to read your work. Your demographic needs to be able to purchase the items that you make available on your site for your potentially profitable niche to work.
The disposable income of your audience plays a huge part in how much money you can earn through your niche.
If you are writing about video games, there is a chance your demographic might be somewhat younger which means that there is a good chance they do not have much disposable income. At the moment, many individuals prefer catering to an older demographic such as pensioners as they have more extra play money than many other groups.
How Evergreen Content Impacts Profitability
You will want to determine how long your niche is going to be profitable. It is essential to keep in mind if the niche is a fad or will never go out of style. Some topics tend to be more evergreen as the content can always be considered relevant and of interest to readers.
Keep this in mind when creating a fan site as creating a site based on a recent book or film might leave you struggling to find an audience when there is a decline in the interest of the product.
Even if the fan site has a large fan base now, you might still struggle to create content that is evergreen as it might not be interesting for readers in five years. For example, you might start running a blog about Star Trek and write a piece featuring predictions for the next movie that is set to come out. By doing so, you have dated the article as it will not be relevant to someone if they read it a few years later.
Evergreen content is a struggle for news sites and tech sites as many people do not read articles about older stories years down the road. In this case, a fitness site might be an advantage as there is a mix of trends and evergreen content such as eating healthy meals.
Keep in mind that trends and fads are sometimes temporary movements in society. People might even be interested in the topics for years; however, it can easily fall out of favor when something newer becomes popular in a few months. This is not to say that you cannot make money from a trend while it is popular. You can easily make a ton of money by predicting future trends as it gives you time to stand out before any competition arises.
Overall, you will have to make compromises no matter what niche you pick for your website; however, it can be well worth it in the long run.
Chapter 5 – Specifying Your Niche Demographic
In the previous chapter, we briefly mentioned the importance of knowing your demographic and how it impacts your monetization plan. Some demographics have more extra money to spend than others, and some topics are more likely to result in people spending money as well.
Thinking about the type of audience you want is another way to approach selecting a niche.
Creating A Tight-Knit Audience
If you choose a broad category such as fitness, you may struggle to stand out amongst others in the industry. To develop an audience, you will need to determine a particular niche inside of the broad category so that you can have your cake and eat it too.
For example, you might want to write about fitness for those over the age of fifty or parenting tips for freelancers. This idea is quite similar to the blog mentioned earlier, Nerd Fitness.
Zeroing in on a small audience is an excellent way to add a unique twist to a general category which allows you to stand out in a crowd. By being very specific in your niche, you can receive opportunities that are specific to your blog, and it ensures that any promotions are best suited for your audience. You can quickly become a big fish in a little pond with this tactic.
What specific demographics are available for you to zero in on?
• Physical Location
• Specific Illnesses
Any niche that you select is going to directly impact the group of individuals that you are creating content for. There are some topics that easily appeal to one group over another, and it is essential to keep that in mind while deciding on a niche.
Keep in mind that all niches have their advantages and disadvantages. There are even niches that have no specific demographic as many people find the topic relevant and exciting.
You might be wondering what makes the ideal target audience.
Some things to take into consideration are:
• Passion around the interest
• Level of commitment to the subject
• Disposable income level
• Personality and brand loyalty
• Ability to purchase products about subject
When narrowing down your niche ideas, you might want to ask yourself if the intended audience meets some of the criteria. Older individuals with pensions are a popular demographic right now as they have a plethora of free time and extra to spend on services and products.
Some sites cater to the hobby of writing which tends to appeal to older women at large. Since these women spend much time on the forum, there is a plethora of user-generated content which increases the earning potential for the blogger.
In some ways, older individuals are not exactly ideal for all niches as they are typically in happy relationships and do not have much interest in purchasing new technology, books, or fitness gear.
Be sure to consider all aspects of the intended audience before you reach the final stage of selecting your niche!