While choosing the right niche certainly isn’t the only thing that makes a successful blog, it’s an important first step.
It’s not rocket science, either, like some of those guides make it seem.
Here are six basic tactics to help you select a profitable niche for your blog.
1. Your Own Interests
While it’s possible to choose a niche based solely on it’s money-making potential, it extremely difficult to compete in a niche that doesn’t hold your interest.
A blog is all about the content and engaging your readers.
You need to post high-quality, useful information regularly and consistently for the life of the blog, and that may be years.
If you’re not really interested in the topic it’s difficult to keep up the pace for the long-haul.
Most successful bloggers will tell you that even though the niche they’re in may not be the most profitable, it’s the best niche for them.
They’re interested in their topic and it shows in the writing, which makes their content more engaging for their readers.
And a blog with a loyal following will always be more successful.
2. Popularity Of The Topic
Personally, I think it’s possible to make a profit in just about any niche, but some niches will be harder than others simply because there’s less interest.
Choose a niche that has at least some level of popularity so you won’t be blogging to yourself.
You can use the Google Adwords tool to help gauge popularity.
Do a search on some of the keywords surrounding your topic and see how many people are conducting online searches for those keywords.
You can also check Google Trends.
Again, use a few of your keywords to see how those topics are currently trending, and how popular they’ve been in the past.
Another way to find popular niches is to look at your local newspaper, or visit your library or newstand to see what the headlines are today and see what niche magazines are currently popular.
3. Long-Term Sustainability
If you choose a niche that’s too narrow you could potentially run out of things to write about, and if you choose a niche you’re not really interested in you run the risk of burning out on your topic before you even start making money.
Another thing to consider is the sustainability of the income.
You might be able to make a lot of money in a short period of time if you’re blogging about something like a Pet Rock, but how long will that trendy item be sellable?
Most bloggers just plug their keyword into Google Search to see how many competing pages come up and let that be their deciding factor.
While I firmly believe it’s possible to compete in any niche, you do need to take into consideration the strength of your competition.
For example, if you choose to blog in the Make Money Online niche you’re going to come up against some pretty stiff competition no matter what topic you choose to zero in on.
Visit competing sites to see how they’re marketing themselves.
- What type of content are they providing?
- What audience are they marketing to?
Look at social proof like comment activity, number of likes and shares and the number of RSS subscribers.
Then, look to see how you could be unique.
If you decided to blog in the same niche, how could you make your blog and product offerings different from your competitors’?
5. Monetization and Profitability
I really do believe you can monetize any niche, even if you have to create your own products.
But, gauging profitability is important before you choose your niche.
Do a simple Google Search using your keywords and see what sponsored ads come up on the right side of the page.
This will let you know if there are advertisers willing to pay to promote in this niche.
If they’re willing to pay for advertising then it must be a popular niche and they feel there’s a potential to make money.
This will also let you know what type of products they’re promoting.
Some of them may be affiliate products that you could use to monetize your own blog.
It also lets you know you could make money with AdSense on your blog.
6. What Do You Bring To The Table?
You don’t want to be just another cookie-cutter blog. It’s important to put your own twist on things.
- What are you bringing to the table that you could leverage?
- Do you have industry experience?
- Are you an expert in this niche?
You can also consider some of the following things:
- Maybe you already have some contacts that you can use to help promote your blog.
- Maybe you already have some content you can use for your blog.
- Or maybe you already have some similar blogs with established subscriber lists.
It’s not necessary to choose a blog niche and start building your blog this afternoon.
Trust me, I’ve done that a few times and it never works.
Do the research and then take a day or two to think about it.
Remember, you’re going to be working with this topic for a very long time.
If it’s a good idea today it’ll still be a good idea tomorrow – after you’ve had a night to sleep on it.