How to Find the Right Niche for Your Blog (2/5 WHSR Blogging Guide)


This is normally how a newbie starts a blog: they would write about their work on Monday, hobbies on Tuesday, movies they have watched on Wednesday, and political views during the weekends.

In short, these people simply write on a wide variety of topics without a prime focus.

Yes, these blogs would accumulate a steady following among their friends and families… but that’s about it. It’s very hard to have a significant number of loyal readers when you are blogging randomly because people will not know if you are a movie critic, food reviewer, or a book critic. Advertisers will also be reluctant to advertise with you because they don’t know what you are about.

So You Want to Start A Blog?

This is part 2 of 5 of my blogging guide for those who are serious about starting a blog and perhaps making a living out of it. Other guide in this series:

How to setup your blog from scratch
Things you can do to improve your blog
How to grow your blog traffic
Practical ways to monetize and make money blogging

To build a successful blog, you need to find a niche. To find the right blogging niche, here are four key points to consider.

1. Content that Fill a Need

If you’ve ever thought “I wish someone would blog about this”, that’s the a-ha moment. If it is a topic that you’d like to know more about, then it is likely a topic that other people want to know about.

What is your unique knowledge? How can you provide something unique to the topic that no one else can? It could even be through an interview with an expert.

Running a blog that fills a need is crucial because that’s what your target audience is already looking for.

Example – Adam has been blogging for a living and runs Blogging Wizard with his team – a blog that helps readers to build, grow, and profit from their blogs.

Understanding Needs with Simple Keyword Research

Keyword Research is usually performed in the beginning of an SEO or online marketing campaign. It provides you with specific search data that can help you answer questions like “what are people searching for” and “how many people are searching for it?”.

As bloggers – we can use the method to verify our idea, identify common search patterns, and then set a direction for our blogging journey.

As we are just starting off – I wouldn’t suggest you to dive deep into SEO and detailed keyword research. But a one-hour digging with free tools like Google Trends or Ahrefs Free Tool is definitely recommended. Try to understand:

  • Are others looking for the content I am about to blog?
  • What are the search terms people using?
  • What other relevant topics people are interested in?
Example - Google Trends
Example – Using Google Trends we can see that there are way more searchers’ interests in oil painting compare to water color painting.

2. Passion

Example – Gina is passionate about helping parents with kids with disabilities and autism. Her blog, Embracing Imperfect, focuses in helping moms raising kids with special needs.

Remember that you will be writing, reading and talking about your topic every single day for the next few years. If you have no interest on your blog subject, then it would be very tough to stick around constantly.

Plus, you’ll enjoy writing on those topics.

3. Topic with Staying Power

Example – Pinch of Yum talks about making delicious and beautiful food – evergreen!

While controversy is great, it doesn’t ensure that your topic will be here next week.

For example, if you’re very passionate about Vine and start a blog centered on it, when that falls out of fashion you’ll be out of content. It’s better idea to focus on a more a general topic, such as “cutting edge social media trends” or “image apps that rock”. That way, if a fad falls out of fashion, your blog can still keep a lookout for whatever replaces it.

4. Profitable

Your blog needs to be in a niche that you can make money from.

Ask yourself if it is a topic that will attract readers and create income – whether through advertising or sales. If you are blogging to support your existing business, does the blog bring in new clients? If you are blogging just because you are passionate about the subject, is there a way to monetize your individual blog?

So how do you find a profitable niche for your blog?

Follow the money

Why do most robbery cases happen in banks? Because that’s where the money is.

The same goes to finding a profitable blogging niche. We simply look for industries where advertisers are spending boatloads of money. It’s basic business sense. Advertisers would not invest that much money unless the ads are bringing back positive ROI.

Here are a few tools you can use to find out if the advertisers are spending money (and more importantly, how much they are spending).

Search Engines

Do a search relevant to your niche on Google or Bing. Is there any advertisers in your search result pages?

Generally speaking – if there are more than three advertisers competing for a key phrase – there is money to be made in that area.

Example Bing ads
Example: Bing search results for London florist.
Example Google ads
Example: Google search results for teak wood coffee table.

You can then use Google Keyword Planner to guesstimate the average price of a click for that search term and predict how much you can earn per Google Adsense click*; and hence how much you can earn via selling ad space.

Note that there are no clear rules written but rough estimation, Google pays 30 – 50% of cost per click to Adsense Publishers.

SEMrush

Another way to determine how much (and more importantly, where) advertisers are spending on pay-per-click (PPC) ads is via marketing tools like SEMrush.

Enter SEMrush’s Advertising Research – we can estimate how much advertisers are paying for ad clicks on Google. My logic behind this – if advertisers are paying thousands of dollars to Google Adwords, there must be money to be made in this particular niche. 

Images below are some examples I found using SEMrush free account. Each of these searches take less than 5 minutes to complete – and I can learned about the profitability of a niche by just looking at these stats. There are more valuable details if we go beyond the free search but we will stick to the free edition for now. To do your own research, simply key in a website domain (it can be your imaginary blog competitors or a well-known brand in a niche you were interested in) into the search bar.

Here are some examples:

Niche #1 – This is the ad sp ending stats for a cybersecurity company. They are spending millions of dollars in the United States according to SEMrush.
Niche #2 – This is the advert stats for an IT solution provider. There were roughly 15 other similar players in this niche. This company, in particular, advertise on 1,600+ keywords on Google and spent about $880,000 a month.

By using marketing tools like SEMrush – we can uncover opportunities in different niches and find relevant blog topics to build on.

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What’s Next?

Once you have selected the niche for your blog, it’s time to your journey to grow your blog traffic and monetize your blog.

Read More

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