Gone are the days of the casual HTML built blog page. Now everyone is blogging, and they’re making money from it.
According to Glassdoor, bloggers report incomes from $19K to $79K a year. Considering that blogging is less than twenty years old, that’s impressive.
Some people approach blogging as a way to make some extra cash. Others have learned to support their families on their blogging income.
If you want to write as a blogger for a living, the best thing you can do is pick a niche. A specific niche with good SEO can be the difference between making nothing and paying your rent.
But how can you pick a profitable niche that you won’t hate in three months? Use our guidelines on how to find your niche and make it work.
What is a Niche?
Do you remember learning to write essays in school? Your teacher told you to build your whole paper around your topic sentence.
That essay is your blog, and your topic sentence is the niche you’re building it around.
A niche is the central focus of your blog. The success of your blogging career will depend a lot on which niche you choose.
Why Do You Need a Blog Niche?
Of course, there are blogs that don’t have a niche. These blogs have several different categories with no real cohesive focus. These blogs are often called lifestyle blogs, and they can be successful.
But it’s hard for new individual bloggers to be successful with this kind of blogging. The best thing for you to do as a blogger is to pick a specific blog niche and stick with it for at least a year.
Having a specific blog niche can help keep you focused. It helps prevent “blogger’s block” by giving you guidelines to generate content.
You can also become an expert in your niche by writing about it A LOT. Your audience has a specific need. When they go to find a blog, yours will be right at the top.
This is where the money starts coming in. The more you grow in your niche, the more people will seek you out. The more people coming to your site means more opportunities for monetization.
Now that you know why you need a specific blog niche, it’s time to figure out what niche works for you.
How to Find Your Niche
How to find your niche in blogging is not a quick, easy process. Nor should it be; you’re going to spend the next year of your life creating and growing this blog. You don’t want to waste your time on something that’s going to be a dead-end.
So what is the first step on the road to finding your niche?
Make a List of Possible Niches
You’ll want to make a list of 10-15 possible niches for your blog. We’ve created some questions to get you started.
What are You Passionate About?
We’re not talking about your hobbies. We’re talking about that topic you could talk about for hours.
What are all your podcasts about? What is that one subject that your friends (not so secretly) wish you would stop bringing up?
If you can think of a few ideas that you’re crazy passionate about, then you’re on your way to creating a niche.
What are You Experienced In?
Think back as far as you can to see if you’ve acquired an expertise. Did you have a successful lawn mowing business when you were a kid? Are you always the one who ends up doing the social media marketing at your office?
Think about the skills and jobs you have listed on your resume. Write down anything that catches your attention on your list of niches.
What are Your Strengths?
Have you moved around a lot, and know how to make new friends? Did you study the history of finances in college? Do you take great nature photos?
All these can be the subject of a blog if you learn how to present it.
Find Out What Niches Are Making Money Already
Instead of forging your own path in the world of blogging, you could create a blog based on a popular niche.
Niches like personal finance, social media, and parenting are very popular. You could make a decent chunk of money writing in these niches.
A few words of warning though, if you choose to do this. If you choose a popular niche only to make money without any passion or expertise, you’re going to fail.
Blogging is a personal medium, and your audience wants to know and trust you. If you betray that trust, you’ll never get a dime from that site.
But if you think you can write about your niche, and it happens to be popular, more power to you. Here are some popular blog niches to give you some ideas.
- Blogging and Social Media
- Business Entrepreneurshiprship
- Creative Arts
- Hobbies, Decorating, and DIY
- Sports and Fitness
- Web and Graphic Design
Do Some Keyword Research
You’ve created an exhaustive list of possible blog niches, now it’s time see if anyone is going to read your blog.
Our site Digital Neighbor can help you find SEO keywords that work with your blogging niche. Then tools like Google Trends and Wordtracker help you find out if anyone is searching for your blogging niche.
You can also check out the Amazon best sellers list. Search for your blog topic and use the top results to generate ideas for your blog.
These results can give you the data you need to figure out how to find your niche and make it profitable.
Visualize Your Audience
You’re not blogging into the void. Real life people are going to find your blog and read it. The best way to keep those people coming back is to visualize your audience.
Visualizing your perfect reader can help you narrow down which niche to blog about. The needs of a single 20-something career woman are different than those of a stay-at-home dad.
When you’re visualizing your reader, consider their age, gender, economic status, and interests. This information can help you figure out who you’re writing for.
It’s okay if you are your audience. If you’re passionate about the niche, it makes sense that you would want to read your blog.
To make the most out of this, visualize yourself before you started this blogging journey. What were your questions? Fears? How old were you, and what sparked your interest in your niche? These details can be a great breeding ground for ideas.
Check Out the Competition
Contrary to popular belief, competition can be a good thing for your blog. For one thing, it means there’s an audience who cares about your niche.
You can also look at your competition and figure out how they’re making money. Are they using their blog to sell online courses? Are they making money with advertising, or are they selling eBooks?
Think about what you can bring to the niche that your competitors can’t. Read the comments on competing blogs for ideas about how you can help your audience. You are an individual with a unique perspective on your niche. This means you can help your readers in ways other people can’t.
Take Your Niche List and Narrow It Down Even MORE
By now you’ve got a healthy list of niche ideas, plus some data to backup which niches you should go for. That’s great, but now it’s time to get even more specific.
For example, let’s say you found your niche in social media marketing. That’s a popular niche that might make you some good money. But if you make that niche even more specific, it’ll help you grow your expertise.
Instead of choosing online social media marketing, consider focusing on Facebook or Pinterest. That way people who are experts in Twitter but are clueless about Facebook will come to you.
Whatever niche you pick, stick with it! Don’t lose confidence in yourself and start wandering. You might start building a following only to lose them with your random posts.
Ready to Do More with Your Blog?
You know how to find your niche, but there are so many other great things to do with your blog. One of the best things you can do is to optimize your SEO.
For ideas about growing your audience with SEO and PPC, check out our blog. We have some great resources for you to make your blog the best it can be.