Choosing the Right Niche for You is the first article in the How To Start A Blog series.
Choosing the right niche topic to blog about is the first decision any beginning blogger needs to make. As much as we wish we could just shake up the Magic 8 Ball for the answer on the perfect blogging topic…that just isn’t an option. Unfortunately, many first time bloggers go through all of the trouble of setting up a domain name, WordPress and the design without the first idea of what they are going to write about. The problem with taking this route is that your url and design should reflect your topic…thus…your niche should be selected before these items…not after. So…as you venture onto your new blogging career, what are you going to write about that is going to shake the world up and change blogging forever?
Choosing the Right Niche – Blogging About a Specific Topic
Many failed blogs on the net failed because they had no purpose or direction. Many bloggers just wing it in the beginning hoping that something eventually sticks. Now…if you are just looking to have a personal blog that shows what you are doing throughout your life and you are not looking to make any income from your blogging, then having a blog without a direction is ok. You are just blogging for the sake of sharing your life and thoughts…not creating a business or income generation. When you are looking to generate income through your blogging and make money online that will hopefully replace that 9-5 that you love to hate, you need to have a direct purpose in your blogging with a defined subject matter.
Are you passionate about your blog topic?
This is the first question any beginning blogger should ask them self. Many blogs fail because the blogger chose a topic based on monetary potential with zero passion on the subject. You have to be able to churn out quality, informative blog articles on a daily basis, so to be successful with your blogging, you have to be passionate about your subject and blogging niche. Without that passion, your blog will eventually fade out due to the lack of true interest in generating more content on a topic that you really have no interest in. Ask yourself several questions during your quest for the perfect blogging topic for you.
- What do you like to do?
- What drives you to be better?
- Is there a niche that you are involved with on a weekly basis…daily basis?
- What do you do now that you would like to be better at with time?
The goal is to become an expert in your field (not necessary at startup), so as you go through the process of setting up your blog and generating content, you need to have a working knowledge of what you are writing about. Even better, you need to have a unique voice that goes along with that content to separate yourself from the other bloggers in your niche.
Hint: Don’t blog about making money online or blogging if you have not been successful in either category. At the same time, don’t blog about how to drive a race car if you have never been on a track…see my point?
Blogging…when it boils down to it…should be a fun activity that you enjoy. It should not be work that has to be completed everyday and by being passionate about your blog topic, you will be able to grow your blog during the years to come.
Are search engine readers searching for your blogging niche?
Once you have decided on a subject to blog about, you need to do some preliminary research into your “competition” and keyword search volume. If you are going to blog about gardening, here are the steps I would take to make sure you have a viable, potential readership that is worth writing for.
- Go to Google and type in different series of keywords (ex. Gardening Blog, How to grow a garden, Successful Gardening, How to grow tomatoes, etc.) and see what the results are. Visit those blogs/websites and check out their subscriber count (if posted) and comment interaction on their articles. You can also find some background information through Alexa.com (not conclusive…especially for some niche’s) on those specific sites to get an idea on how much traffic that blog receives.
- Next, I would go to the Google Keyword Tool and type in those same keywords. This Keyword Tool will give you an idea of the monthly search volume for that specific keyword combination as well as suggested related keywords. This will give you an idea about how many people are searching for your given blog topic.
If you are finding decent search volume with several related blogs, you have probably picked a niche topic that is worth writing about. If there is very low search volume and basically zero competition, you might need to look into expanding your blog topic or look for a completely different niche all together. There have been very successful blogs in small niches, but with a smaller audience to target, it will be much harder to be successful and generate traffic.
Narrowing Down Your Blogging Niche
Many times, you are going to pick a blog topic that has an extremely wide scope. I have found that it is best (especially in the beginning) to narrow down that niche into something that is more manageable. You will see better results in the beginning as you really focus on a sub-niche of your blogging topic. With the gardening example, if you are really good at growing vegetables, I would start a blog on how to grow a successful garden full of vegetables. Another option is narrowing down your topic geographically to get a better target audience that you can connect with (ex. Gardening in the southeast US). This does not mean that you can not expand your blog in the future to include a wider assortment of topics, but by narrowing your niche down in the beginning, you are increasing your success rate by focusing on a specific topic that readers will be able to relate to. By being spread to thin, you are increasing your chances for failure by taking on too big of a topic at once.
The key here is to narrow down your blogging niche topic into a manageable size that you can still write about on a daily basis. Do not pull your niche so far down that you are going to run out of content in the first 6 months. You have to be able to bring something unique and new to the table on a regular basis.
Proof: Check out this podcast on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com with Alborz Fallah (The Million Dollar Blogger) on how he narrowed down his car blog to a geographical area and saw rapid success.
Do you have your blog’s niche topic picked out?
Great! Now that you have done the research into what you are going to write about on your blog, you have increased the chances for success by doing a little bit of preliminary research. So what is next after figuring out this first key step? Now…we have to get everything setup and that starts with the domain name. Stay tuned as we continue down the path of starting up a successful blog that we can call are own.
Other Great Blogging Niche Articles
Magic 8 Ball Image by CRASH:candy