At a certain point you will eventually have a notebook or computer document full of hundreds of possible niche ideas to consider.
Unless you have millions of dollars to hire a staff of writers, you won’t be able to take action on all of the ideas. If you are like most people, you are probably blogging solo or maybe as a husband/wife team.
This means you are going to have to go through all of your ideas, judge them and come up with a short list of perhaps your top 10 favorite blog ideas.
How do you judge a niche idea? How do you know which ones have the most profit potential and will be most enjoyable to work on?
The short answer is you must pick a topic that you are passionate about and one you are an authentic expert in. If you try to pick a niche where money is your main motivation, eventually a truly passionate competitor will come along and put you out of business.
Keep reading and we’ll explain this phenomenon in detail. The main factors to help you validate good niches from the bad ones will be revealed as well.
How to Judge Your Niche Ideas for Maximum Results
The goal you should have with your blogging career is to maximize your profit potential and make the journey as enjoyable as possible along the way.
As mentioned earlier, the good old days of the Internet are for the most part over. Back in the 1990’s and 2000’s for awhile one person could crank out fifty or more sites with low quality content and succeed.
In 2020 and beyond bloggers that provide high quality content and value will have the best chance of success. The further we go into the future, you may have to compete with well known celebrities in addition to providing a ton of value.
Since the blogs that provide the highest value always win, it’s important that you are passionate about the topic you are considering. You need to have some sort of energy and excitement on the subject, otherwise someone else may come around and take a big chunk out of your traffic and ultimately your profits.
The following are some judging criteria you can use to help narrow down your list of blog ideas, in no particular order:
#1 – Are you Passionate about Your Niche Idea?
You need to be honest with yourself here. How excited are you about a topic? Is this something you do in your spare time or are you more motivated by the fantasy of how much money it could make? The more you are truly interested in a subject the easier building a blog will be.
There are many frustrations and realities with blogging, you need to grease the skids as much as possible. By picking a topic you love, the entire process becomes more enjoyable and less like a job.
Go through your idea list and take note of which ones give you the most excitement. Which ones energize you? Which ones drain your energy?
Once you have put your list through this filter you may have eliminated several topics bringing you that much closer to your golden goose idea.
#2 – Do you Have Experience or are Skilled in Your Topic?
Another important factor is experience/skill level in a subject. The best topic is one that you could write about off the top of your head with little or no research.
Search engines also rely heavily on authority when ranking, so if you are viewed as one it will be that much easier to rank and get traffic.
It is possible to create content on a topic you are only partially skilled in, but again the true expert will likely beat you (assuming their writing skills are up to speed).
If you aren’t experienced but are still interested in a topic, don’t worry. The next step will give you an exception to the rule.
#3 – Are you Passionately Interested?
If you are excited about a topic, but have no experience, it is still possible to pursue it as you can write from the beginner’s point of view.
Some niches will have a continuous flow of new beginners entering the market. If you blog your journey from beginner to expert you may be able to cover topics that the “experts” never would have considered.
A novice reader may find it more inspiring to follow in the footsteps of someone that was in their shoes before.
Another bonus of taking this path is you can learn a new skill, master it and potentially make a living as a reward.
#4 – Is There an Audience for Your Ideas?
Make sure your idea has an audience that can be reached. Search and browse on social media. How active is your topic?
Are there other blogs, forums, Facebook groups, etc. on the topic? Print magazines?
Have books been written about your niche?
If you had to buy advertising for your blog, where would you advertise?
Spend some time researching your topic and try to find real people that might enjoy your blog.
Overall, just make sure there is some activity and it’s not like a ghost town.
#5 – How Big is Your Audience?
After you make sure there is activity in your niche, do some research to get a rough idea how big the potential audience is.
A rough estimate is good enough.
There are many ways to do so including:
Search Google Trends for keywords
Find competing blogs, Internet forums, Facebook groups and social media accounts on your subject. How big are they?
Find print magazines and take a look at their media kit and circulation size
Look on YouTube for videos on the subject. How many views do they have? How many subscribers does the channel have?
Make “draft” ads on Google, Facebook, etc. You can start setting up an online ad, choose the market you wish to target and usually get an idea of how much traffic your ad will receive. Don’t activate the ad and you will have received valuable data for free.
The bigger the audience gets the more you may want to niche down or specialize in order to stand out. For example a broad topic of “football” is difficult to penetrate. However, if you focus on “football kickers” you will be more valuable and perceived as an expert authority.
#6 – Is the Market Saturated?
It’s a good idea to get an idea of how big the competition is before committing and setting out to build your blog.
If there are already 100 blogs in your niche, you will have to work that much harder to get to the top. But, the good news is all you need to do is put a creative twist on your idea and you can jump to the #1 position quickly.
An example would be the generic topic of travel. You could set up a generic travel blog, or you could specialize in something like solo travel, travel for “digital nomads” or people who travel with pets.
Ironically a niche with a lot of competition can actually be a good sign as opposed to a bad sign. Many people think saturated markets should be avoided, but many times the opposite is true.
The best thing about a “saturated” niche is that it proves there is money and activity in that market.
If you try to get too specialized you may find an audience, but it could be so small it will barely buy you a cup of coffee every month.
#7 – Can you Find a Good Domain Name For Your Niche?
This filter shouldn’t be given too much weight, but sometimes you may have to eliminate an idea if there are no good domain names available.
If you can’t find a good keyword domain name, have no fear as you can still create a catchy brand like name and possibly stand out more anyway.
In reality a brand like domain is best anyway. But, it’s always a good idea to try to have at least one keyword in your name that easily conveys what your site is about (without ever seeing it).
Sometimes it is almost impossible to find a good name, so if you keep running into dead ends you might want to move onto the next idea.
In addition to the domain name, you will want to get matching social media names, so keep that in mind.
However, sometimes you may simply have to pay a little extra to buy a domain name from a broker at a higher cost. Try searching on GoDaddy Auctions and you may find a good one for sale.
#8 – Is Your Niche Expensive to Accurately Blog?
Accurate, authority niches will usually require you to spend money on the topic from time to time.
Expenses may be from doing real, hands on product reviews and not ones that are simply compilations of other reviews out there.
A blog that does reviews on DSLR cameras will be more expensive than one about cookie recipes.
On a side note, a blog that is expensive to enter may also be an awesome one as the competition will be slim. An example would be a blog with reviews of exotic sports cars. Who will be able to compete with that?
Keep this in mind when deciding on a topic. Everyone will have a different budget, so only you know much you can afford to spend.
The great thing is any expense you incur (such as buying a product to review) can be legitimately deducted on your taxes.
#9 – Seasonal or Year Around?
You can use Google Trends to predict if your niche is a seasonal one or popular year around. Some are more obvious than others. Christmas topics will only have 2 or 3 months of interest, then be quiet the rest of the year.
Some niches are dependent on weather – such as gardening or snow skiing.
There are some advantages if you choose a seasonal topic. Since many people are aware of this, they will not pursue topics unless they have an interested audience every month of the year.
You might be able to do well by targeting several seasonal topics that add up to a large amount of overall traffic each year.
A good example might be seasonal recipes. Then do posts with recipes for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, #New Years, Valentine’s Day, etc. Or you could do a blog that is only about Halloween. Another blog that is only for the Thanksgiving/Christmas season. Keep doing this until you have enough to fill up the entire year.
So, keep this in mind when you proceed, otherwise you may have a blog that does well, but have to go through a several month long dry spell each time the season is over.
#10 – Make The Blog You Want For Yourself
In an earlier article titled “#1 Most Important Rule When Searching For a Niche Site Idea” I talked about how Steve Jobs once said “We make what we want for ourselves” when asked why he started Apple Computer.
I’ve found my most successful projects have always had this trait. Usually they are discovered by being immersed in something and noticing something that is missing.
If you are really lucky you can occasionally discover opportunities that fill a void and give you a large amount of excitement and motivation.
Have you ever desired a certain product to exist and then find that nobody is selling them?
Occasionally you may have this experience which results in wheels turning in your head and an overwhelming desire to take action with the hopes of making money.
Just like with products, you may spot a void in the market that needs filled by a blog. A blog that you would like to exist.
I hope these tips help you uncover your best and favorite ideas from your overall list.
There are many other techniques, but the above should be enough to help eliminate most of your weaker ideas out.
You will eventually get down to your top 10 ideas and from there may have to get that down to your top 3 and then go with your overall gut feeling.
Remember the end goal is to actually build a blog that brings in traffic and turn it into revenue. Don’t become so obsessed with the idea phase that you never take action!
If you ever need help finding a topic to blog about, feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to help.