One of the biggest problems people struggle with is trying to pick a niche topic for their blog or website. Despite the fact there are thousands of topics to write about, the good news is that it’s actually a lot easier to choose a niche than you might think. Often, your perfect niche is right in front of your nose.
The difference between picking the right vs. the wrong niche may make or break you – so how do you know what niche you should choose? The answer is you want to pick a niche you are extremely passionate about and love. Bonus points awarded if it is one that you are experienced in. If you are new to the niche, that is fine as long as you are excited about the topic. This is because you can blog about it from the novice perspective – writing as you learn and bring a fresh perspective to the market.
To save yourself a ton of time and frustration when looking for a niche, keep reading for some tips and tricks below.
What Do You Love?
This is the #1 question to ask before going any further. I have seen advice on the Internet that claims you can make money even if you aren’t passionate about a subject, and this is true, but overall it is a lot easier if you choose a niche you love and are excited about. There are a number of reasons why including:
1 – Choosing a niche you love makes the entire process easier and more fun. There are a lot of ups and downs, pitfalls and other frustrations that go along with building a profitable website, so picking a niche you are passionate about will help you get through the tough times.
2 – You will generate the highest quality content with ease. It’s a lot easier to write about something that you have a lot of interest in vs. one that makes you want to fall asleep. What subjects bring excitement or boredom vary from person to person. This is a good thing as it also helps minimize your competition. The best case scenario is to pick a niche that you can write about off the top of your head. This allows you to generate content faster and ultimately allow you to write more articles, which will help you maximize your traffic. Also, you will be able to produce higher quality articles compared to someone who could care less about the niche and is writing from mainly from research.
3 – Search engines want high quality, authentic content. In the early days, when the supply of good content was low and the demand was high, you could get away with shorter, average articles, but that is no longer the case. Search engines know it and people know it. If you don’t produce top notch content, people will go elsewhere. The easiest way to ensure your articles have the highest quality is when you are writing about a subject you love. Write about your passions and avoid the headaches and phoniness that go along with writing purely for the desire of money.
Make a List of Everything You Love to Do
So, take some time right now and grab a notebook or open up a document on your computer. Start building a list of everything that you love no matter how trivial. Examples could include: traveling, your pet Corgi, fishing, sailing, knitting, skydiving, stamp collecting, etc. Spend a good chunk of time writing down everything you can think of. Also include anything you think you might love to do but have never done. An example for me would be skydiving. I’ve never done it, but am curious about it, so could be a good topic that would suit me.
Once you have built up a nice sized list of ideas, take a break and go through it again and choose your top 10 – 25 things you love to do. Set this new list aside and we’ll come back to it later.
What Are You Good At?
Now it’s time to make another list. This time write down everything you can think of that you are good at. Many times the things you are good at will also be on your list of things you love to do. Go ahead and write them all down even if you have already included them on the other list. What are you good at? Landscaping? Painting? Writing? Swimming? Are you a great at sales? Good with computers? Good with animals? Like the previous step, write down everything you can think of until your list feels complete.
With this list you can also write things you would LIKE to be good at but are a complete beginner or have zero experience. The only requirement is that you have a true interest in it. Examples could include – I would love to learn how to speak Spanish. I want to learn how to juggle… how to surf… how to pan for gold, etc. Usually something you are already good at should take priority over something you are a novice at – but you want to write some ideas down as sometimes you may have more excitement pursuing a “blog as you learn” niche” than one you have already explored.
Just like the earlier exercise do the same for this list and take your complete list of things you are good at and narrow them down to a list of 10-25.
Make a List of Your Top 10 Niche Ideas
When you have finished making two lists – one of your things you love and the other things you are good at, go through them and see if you notice a pattern where a niche is mentioned on both lists. Keep eliminating ideas that are not that exciting until you have a final list of around 10 potential ideas. If you need to, take a break to refresh your mind and go back and try to pick your #1 favorite niche website idea based on your overall excitement you have for it compared to the others.
Now, you will have your tentative #1 idea you will work on. The next step is to do some basic research to see if it has profit potential.
Will my Niche Be Profitable?
Profit potential is a factor that you should consider before investing a lot of time and money into building a blog or website. Unless you already have a ton of money and are doing this for the joy of it, you don’t want to spend months/years of hard work if there is no money to be made.
There are a lot of variables that go into determining if your idea will generate revenue, so don’t get so caught up in the planning that it becomes an end in itself. Eventually you will need to start writing and hope for the best. But, here are a few things you can look research:
1 – Are there products/services sold to this market? Can it be monetized? Take a look on Amazon, eBay and other shopping sites. How many products are available? What is their price range? Are there affiliate programs you can join to promote these products? Are there services offered to this market? Is there a service that should be offered but currently isn’t?
Just make sure there are some products and services sold in the niche you are considering. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on this – just make sure some activity currently exists and it’s not a dead market.
You should also do some searching on Bing and Google to see if any ads are displayed in the results. A lot of ads is usually a good thing as it means money is being spent in that niche. Repeating ads mean someone is making money. If you want to monetize with advertising this is something to consider. If you want to make money with ads, you need to make sure there are companies buying ads.
2 – Will my niche website generate traffic? Predicting traffic isn’t easy, but there are several indicators that can help. Here are some in no particular order:
Google Trends – Check Google Trends to see what the current and past search trends are like for various keywords/phrases in your niche.
Reddit – Does a “subreddit” already exist for the niche you are considering? If so how many subscribers does it have and how active is it? You can also try searching around to see if there are forums in the niche you are considering.
Competing blogs – Are there other blogs in the niche you will be competing against? If so, at first it can be discouraging – but you shouldn’t let it get to you. This only proves that there is a demand in the market. Just put a unique twist on things, don’t be a copycat and stand out from the crowd. To look for competing blogs, the best way to do so is to simply start searching for keywords in Google. You can add the word “blog” if desired, but it’s not necessary.
Social media activity – Do a search on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites for keywords in your market to check the activity level. Right now a good example of a white hot niche would be Fortnite. You can see new updates about it every few seconds.
You can also use various keyword research tools if your budget allows. A really good one that many people use is called Ahrefs. I have personally tried it and can vouch for it. It’s a bit expensive, but they do have a 7 day trial that only cost $7 if you want to test it first.
As cliche as it sounds, you want to pick a niche that you are excited and passionate about… one that you love. This will help you get through the tough times. If you pick a niche you are lukewarm about, you’ll probably want to give up at the first sign of trouble. Another good reason to go with a niche you truly love is that it’s a lot easier to create content for. If it is a subject you love AND have a lot of expertise in, it will be even that much easier. A perfect niche is one that you can do a lot of writing for off the top of your head.
Also, if you want to avoid getting in a situation where you are hopping from niche to niche, before starting, see if you can come up with several blog post ideas first. If you come up with a bunch of ideas with little effort, this is a good sign. However, if you can only come up with 5 to 10 and start sputtering, you may want to rethink the niche.
Don’t worry too much about the specifics as far as judging your niche in the area of how much money it can make. You never really know. People have made a lot of money doing unusual things such as selling meteorites – where one man named Robert A. Haag has become a millionaire doing so.
If you’re still stumped and need help finding a niche, leave a comment below and I’ll try to help you out. Good luck!