In this post, we explore how you can find the right niche for your blog and what makes a good or bad niche.
niche: a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.
If you read my “No traffic but lots of Content” article, you may be familiar with this reason for a failed blog: Your Niche Sucks.
Deciding your niche is an essential step in planning your blog and should be done before you even decide your website’s name. If you select a dumb niche or attempt a multi-niche blog, you are setting yourself up for eventual beyond nothing .com style failure.
How to find the right niche for your blog
Your niche is your Passion
When you are passionate (or very experienced) about something, you cannot shut up about it. Given that a good blog needs lots of high quality content, it can only be fueled by such passion and in-depth know-how.
Think of your blog as a platform you NEED to share your thoughts and experiences with an audience who cares. If you instead decide to have a blog first and pick a topic later, why do you even need a blog if you have nothing to say at the moment? Very quickly you will run out of things to talk about and resort to other content generating methods. Remember: Blogging about something you’re not passionate about is counterproductive and boring.
Does your passion have a large audience
If revenue generation is your objective, a successful blog needs a lot of traffic. I mean tens of thousands per day. Blogging for 10 or 20 nerds scattered around the world is just not worth the time. A Facebook group would work just as well, and you are better off talking to yourself.
Think about your visitors and customer profile
Despite its enormous population, the internet is a harsh place. People surfing the web with questions are only concerned with finding the answer ASAP. Given the nature of your content, HOW MANY people are likely to find the answer on your website? You want that number to be high, and so your niche should be something that a high number of people are concerned with.
A niche, as the meaning of word implies, is meant for specific TYPES of people, which also exist in large quantities. Even YOU are a specific type of person, like many others out there. Although we get into niche specialization later, for now just think about what kinds of people are likely to find their answers on your blog. Are there enough of such people in the world who can land on your pages? If not, make a Facebook group.
I repeat; the internet is a harsh place. This time its due to its enormous population. It often turns out that your niche is already covered by several blogs, just like the kind you want to start. They show up first on google search results for most of the frequently asked questions in the world. So is there anything left for you to say that has not already been said?
If you are going to be producing the exact same answers that hundreds of other people already provide, your blog is not going to be seen for a long time.
But if you have something to say that has not already been said, all that competition suddenly disappears. Just make sure that what are saying is also being searched for. You can read here about how using google search console to see what search terms are bringing you clicks and impressions. Even in the non-digital world, the key to navigating through competition is to offer something different. It does not necessarily have to be bigger and better. Just different will get noticed at the very least.
All that said, blogging in a competitive niche is hard but also has high reward in terms of traffic. I won’t discourage anyone from picking a competitive niche as long as they have something new to say.
Think of niches in terms of industries, markets. As an example, lets consider the Automobile industry. Can you possibly write about the entire automobile industry? That includes manufacturing, dealerships, maintenance, accessories, insurance, models, parts, mechanics, driving, history, environment, and more? Do you realize how vast of a horizon you are dealing with?
Well, yes you can. But what’s the point? Your articles will just be drops in the ocean, dispersed to the point they become untraceable.
Now lets consider markets or segments within the automobile industry. The car accessories market. Car Maintenance. The used car market. Now the ocean has reduced to a more manageable lake and you can add to it with some impact. Your blog’s niche should be focused or specialized in a similar manner.
Also think about how your users will find your content. No one is going to search for “cars” hoping to find windshield wiper fluid. They would search for “windshield wiper fluid” if that’s what they are after. While windshield wiper fluid can be a niche on its own, you can expect to find it at a Car Maintenance and Accessories market. Now that’s a niche. Its a market large enough to have lots of things to explore, yet small enough for everything within it to be relatable.
Other examples of industries vs. niches can be food vs. desserts, sports vs. tennis, Music vs. Guitars. I hope you get the point.
Avoid overly specific niches
Being super specialized is risky business in the blogging world. If you pick an overly specific niche like “environmentally friendly motorcycle fuel tanks”, you are doing to have two problems:
- You won’t have very much to talk about.
- Your audience will be too small.
If you want to blog about extra-specific areas, consider having them as categories or sub-categories on your larger blog.
Similarly, avoid very specific and obscure topics such as “Sea Urchin Food”. How many people are really going to be searching for that everyday? If you are going to be very specialized, you need to think like a specialist doctor, who knows only one thing but that one thing is what thousands want to find out.
You cannot possibly be an expert in everything. At least that’s what google and other search engines think. Its no use trying to convince them otherwise to rank your blog for everything.
So before you make this fatal error and end up like beyond nothing .com, always remember that single niche oriented blogs are ranked higher and blogging about multiple unrelated niches will get you nowhere. You can read a more detailed explanation about this here.
Opportunities for Sales
If you have a long term plan for converting your blog posts into sales through affiliate programs or your own e-commerce platform, asses whether your niche will allow you to promote third party vendors or products.