So you have decided that blogging is right for you. Congratulations! It’s almost time to take your shoes off and get your feet wet. There are just a few more things you have to do first though. In order to start blogging you have to have an idea of what to start blogging about. This should not be taken lightly. As I have said before, your blogging niche be the difference between success and failure.
Luckily for you I can help. I have outlined the process below for how to select a niche.
Personal Interest in the Topic
Probably the most important thing is that you have an interest in the topic you choose. When I was just beginning my first blog I picked a topic that I only had a little interest in. After only a few posts I was already bored with it. So my blog and I had a little chat together. We decided it wasn’t working out and went our separate ways.
You should not pick a topic because you think it will be profitable or because you think it will be easy to get visitors. Without a personal interest on your topic the chances are that your blog will not go far.
Deciding your niche is one of the most important decisions you make when starting your blog.
You will not have the motivation to keep making new posts. You won’t want to bother going to other blogs and commenting. You won’t want to write guests posts about a subject you don’t like. Therefore, your blog simply will not last.
Blogs are for the long term. If you have a topic that will keep you entertained, happy and interested then you will find it much more enjoyable on a day to day basis.
Just ask yourself what you really enjoy doing. If someone asked your best friend what your favorite thing to talk about or do was, what would they say? Look inside yourself and figure out what motivates you. What do you enjoy? What do you want to learn more about? What do you want to teach others?
Answering these questions will give you a topic that will not only inspire you to write more but will also make your writing more engaging to your readers.
Popularity of the Topic
Your personal interest is a great start on choosing a blogging niche. However, that should not be your only deciding factor. You need to find out if other people share your interest.
If you absolutely love ancient history and want to blog about the Mayans, chances are you are not going to have too many readers. The subject just isn’t popular enough.
The flip side of this is that you should not choose a topic that is too popular. Take the weight loss niche for example. This is a niche that is so over saturated with websites and blogs that it’s nearly impossible for anyone to get noticed.
Looking for the “sweet spot” in between can be a challenge sometimes. It is usually obvious what is too popular and what subjects aren’t popular enough. To get some ideas you can do some searches on Google Trends, you can use paid tools like Market Samurai, or you can just look at the world around you.
Newspapers, magazines, T.V. and many other sources are around you. Pay attention and you could just find the exact niche you are searching for.
Will Your Topic Stay Popular?
It is well known that not everything lasts. Many things become a huge fad and then fade away a short while later.
If you’re blogging about a topic that is growing steadily in popularity, then that is fantastic. The only thing you need to keep in mind is if the niches popularity will decline later.
Predicting the future of topics isn’t exactly an exact science. You are just going to have to use your head. Try and ask yourself if “your topic” is still going to be talked about 6 months in the future. What about a year? 5 years?
Competition for the Niche
Some beginning bloggers will dive right in without even testing the waters yet. Choosing the most popular topic with no regard to what kind of competition they are up against. This is very dangerous to the success of your blog.
Very popular niches tend to have extremely strong competition. You can work for years and you probably will never be on the front page of Google for “weight loss” or “make money online”.
Researching your competition can be difficult if you don’t know what you are looking for. Just doing a Google search on your topic can show you how many people are writing on that topic. However, this does not show you the strength of your competition.
Popularity generally has a lot to do with competition. This is why you want to find a niche that is not too popular but also not popular enough. Simply narrowing down your topic can usually help.
For example, let’s say that you are a personal trainer and the topic you want to blog about is “exercising”. Since this niche is extremely crowded and has a high amount of competition, chances are you will not get any readers or make any money.
If you narrowed your topic from “exercising” to “training for marathons” you would have a much higher chance of success.
I’ve read this saying around the web many times – It’s better to become a big fish in a small pond rather than a small fish in a big pond.
Does Your Topic Have Enough Depth?
Producing new and unique content on a constant basis is key to becoming a successful blogger. When choosing your niche you will want to be sure you have enough to write about. Many blogs die because the blogger runs out of things to say about the topic. Here are some things to keep in mind.
- Will you have enough ideas to continue producing unique content? No matter how good of a writer you might be, having too narrow of a topic is going to lead to certain disaster. Try doing 10 to 15 minutes of brainstorming and see what ideas you come up with. Do these ideas come easily? If you find yourself struggling to come up with ideas then you may want to rethink your niche.
- Are there plenty of other sources for ideas on content? Are there other websites or blogs that you visit that inspire you? Are there enough updates in your niche to keep you writing years down the road? Try checking out Google News or Technorati and see.
- How will the future affect the topic? Will your topic still be relevant down the road? Is your topic versatile enough to keep up with the times? For example, a blog about Xbox 360 games will have plenty of new stuff to write about…up until the new next-gen system comes out. Always try and think ahead when selecting a niche!
Do You Want To Monetize Your Blog?
Making money off of your blog may not be your goal. If this is the case then you don’t need to worry about this part. However, if your goal is to make money from your blog, you will want to make sure your niche is profitable.
Think about how you want to monetize your site. If you want to put ads on your site, think about what kind of ads will show up. If you can’t think of anything then advertisements may not be the way to go.
Do you have a blog that you want to promote affiliate products on? See if you can find some products you would like to promote. Clickbank has a huge variety of online goods you can look through.
If you plan on selling your own product to make money you will want to make sure that you have an idea for your product in mind. Chances are if you cannot think of a product to create for your topic, then you are probably focusing on the wrong niche.
A great way to check how you can monetize your blog is by checking out your fellow bloggers. Do a Google search for blogs in your niche and see how they are monetizing their sites. Are they selling ad space or promoting affiliate products? Also you can check out what kind of products they sell themselves and get ideas of what kind of products that you could create.
Time to Decide On Your Niche!
Take your time while deciding your niche. Don’t just pick something because you like it. You need to have passion for the topic. It is highly improbable to find a niche that fits all the criteria above. That’s okay!
As Long as you can identify what your blogs weak point is you can figure out ways to strengthen it.
The most important thing to remember is that the success of your blog is ultimately up to YOU. Creating content regularly and never giving up will take you a far way.
Want to know the only difference between a successful blogger and a failed blogger? The only difference is that when the successful blogger was down and wanted to give up, he didn’t.
Can you think of any other factors that come in to play when choosing a niche?
If you have a blog, what are some of the considerations you thought about when deciding your niche?