Any potential blogger will at some point learn or realize the importance of choosing a niche for their blog; it is the building blocks upon which you will build your blog and potentially, your online business. But for some people, choosing one can be quite difficult.
I have certainly been one of those people, especially when I just started, it was extremely frustrating, but now I know what steps to follow when choosing a niche (more on that later).
Choosing a niche for your blog is an essential step that should be taken before you even start your blog. It can be adapted and changed to fit your type of blog but it is important to know who you are targeting from the start.
You need a blog direction!
For those who are still confused about what a niche really is:
A niche is a specific and focused selection of a market; for example, the following are categories of interest in the market and their niches:
- Health: Fitness, Diets, Skin Products;
- Cars: Racing, Off-road, Formula 1;
- Food: Desserts, Barbeques, Food Competitions;
- Fashion: Women’s Fashion, Men’s Fashion;
- Music: Rock, Hip-Hop, Metal;
- Sports: Rugby, Soccer, Tennis; and much more.
There are so many different kinds of niches that you can choose from, each with their own unique aspects. But how do you go about choosing your actual niche for your blog or online business?
By following a few steps and guidelines!
1. Create a list of potential niche options
The first thing you should do is to write down a list of niche options that you are interested in. Using your hobbies or passions is a great way of choosing a niche that will help you in creating a successful blog or online business.
Most of the time your hobbies and passions are the best way to find a niche, as they are something that you are already familiar with and would love to blog about or be involved with on a daily basis. There are a lot of hobbies and passions out there that you can choose from, including:
- Painting, etc.
The options to choose from are endless!
Trends and problems
Other types of niche options to choose from are trends and problems. Trends and problems are quite different, as it is not necessarily something that you are involved with every day. Examples of problem niches are health problems and business problems, in these types of niches you would usually try and solve the problem for the selected market.
Trends are quite fun but they are also quite tricky, the reasons for that is that they can be hard to identify in some cases and they become less relevant over time. They are called a ‘Trend’ for a reason. Examples of trends include the recent ‘Fidget Spinner’ toy and ‘Vapes’ (E-Cigarettes).
Google Trends is a great tool that you can use if you are looking for trend related niches, you can find helpful data on trending topics by using this tool. As you can see below, I’ve used simple niche topic keywords and found great data on each topic.
A comparison of each topic by region and any related queries:
Google Trends allows you to explore any topic and see relevant data about each topic, such as:
- Interest over time;
- Interest per region;
- Related queries (or keyword phrases); and
- You can compare different topics with each other.
This is extremely helpful if you are trying to find niche topics that are more popular than others and to discover related topics that are also trending. Don’t forget to check out the featured insights and the trending stories for possible niche ideas.
2. Shorten your list of options
Your list of potential niche options should be kept short, at a maximum of 5 options. This is to ensure that you are only choosing the options that you are the most interested in and it makes your life a lot easier, I have personally made the mistake of choosing too many niche options that I wanted to pursue.
It doesn’t matter if you have less than 5 options or even if you just have 1 option, that just means that you have a better idea of what your niche will be and it will save you a lot of time figuring out which one to pursue.
Your main goal is to choose 1 niche out of all your options and create a blog or online business with that idea or topic as a focus point.
3. Niche down
One of the most essentials parts of choosing a niche is niching down or sub-niching. This is when you take a niche and break it down into smaller, more manageable and profitable niches. For example:
- Men’s clothing: For urban style, modern style, country style or fancy.
- Rock: Punk rock, Heavy rock, Alternative rock and Country rock.
- Muscle Cars: Muscle car races, collection, style, type.
- Rugby: International rugby, national rugby, high school and provincial.
- Diets: Gym diets, weight-loss diets, fast diets, green diets and water diets.
These can all by niched down even more. Sub-niching is the path to finding a niche that is not only profitable but will make you stand out from the rest of the bloggers and online businesses out there. Try to make a list of at least 5 options for each main niche that you are interested in.
4. Niche-market research
The next part is probably the hardest as it requires quite an amount of research, but trust me this will allow you to improve your chance of finding a niche that can help you stand out and be profitable in the long run.
You will need to do a few things:
Do a quick search for your niches in any search engine, preferably Google. This will allow you to see what websites rank on the first page of your specific niche. For example, Health Products:
Search results for Health products:
Health products for men:
Health products for women:
As you can see there are quite a lot of results that are shown. That means that there is a huge amount of interest on this topic and another thing that is important to notice is that for each different keyword phrase (health products, health products for men and health products for women), there are different results that show up.
That is why it is important to choose a specific topic and also why you should niche down.
Why do I recommend you search for your niche topics in search engines?
The main reason is to see what websites rank on the first page of any search engine, these websites will most likely be who you will be competing with.
The more focused your niche is, the less likely it is that there will be a huge amount of websites that will compete with yours. I can’t stress this enough.
The more focused and specific your niche is, the better.
Another reason why you should search for your niche in search engines is that you can see what type of content these competing websites are creating; this is a great way to learn from them and get ideas, but be careful not to copy them too much.
BE UNIQUE AND INNOVATIVE!
The next type of research that you must do is keyword research using a keyword research tool. An example of a keyword research tool that a lot of bloggers and online marketers use, is Google’s Keyword Research Tool. I also used this tool for research purposes when I just started out.
Just search for Google’s Keyword Planner or access it from (adwords.google.com), you may need to sign up for an AdWords account but it is absolutely Free to sign up and use, creating Ads, however, does cost money.
The keyword planner can be found in the menu under the tool option when you have signed in.
The Google Keyword Research Tool (Keyword Planner) allows you to search for a keyword or keyword phrase and see the following results:
- Average monthly searches;
- The level of competition; and
- Related keywords.
By using the results shown to you, you can evaluate whether a niche is popular or not and determine the level of competition. This is great if you want to sub-niche and determine which niche has a lower level of competition and a higher number of searches per month.
I recommend looking for a niche with a low or medium level competition and a high level of searches per month (10 000+ searches a month). Remember, the higher the average searches a month is, the better it is for you.
Other keyword research tools
Be sure to check out other keyword research tools, as Google’s Keyword Research Tool is quite limited; in fact, it is primarily used for Ad campaigns. Other keyword research tools that you can use, include:
I hope these steps will help you find your own blog’s niche and start your online journey the right way and remember to do careful research!
For my final thought, if I can give you personal advice on choosing the perfect niche, choose something you will love to be involved with; your passion!
This way it will never feel like work and you will certainly enjoy the journey to creating a successful blog and/or online business.
If you are still not sure what to blog about, check out this post: “What should I blog about?”