If you’re reading this, I assume you want to make money blogging for a living or just as a side income. Finding the right niche for your blog may well be what makes or breaks your blog even before you start writing.
What’s a niche then?
A niche is simply a topic or category that you plan to write on your blog, i.e. what your blog will be about. It can be anything at all, from movies, reviews, blogging, how-to’s, finance, travel, food and anything imaginable.
The only problem is how do you find the right niche for your blog?
Do you stick to one or multiple niches, or do you write on anything at all?
This article is aimed at giving you suggestions on finding the niche that suits you and whether to go with a single niche or multiple niches.
1. What are you passionate about?
The easiest way to identify what you can blog about is your passion. You need passion in writing because your blog is like an online journal that stays for years. You need to keep updating your blog consistently every week if you want to see some success. That is why passion is quite important.
Having said that, there are people who may not be very passionate about a niche yet does well because they are persistent, hardworking and smart. Not many can pull it off, so it may not be advisable for new bloggers. Start with something you’re good at first.
I do have to give a caveat. Passion doesn’t always equate to success. It has to have a market. If you’re passionate about something so remote that people don’t even search for it, then chances are your blog won’t have traffic. It has to be something rather popular. Hence, what you’re passionate about has to be something people actually search for as well.
2. Is your niche big enough?
If your niche is a micro-niche (too narrow), you may find yourself running out of ideas or writing on unrelated stuff. It happens when you choose a super small niche. You may want to go for a bigger niche because you’ll be required to write consistently.
Consistency is really important both for Google traffic and your readers. You need to write at least once or a few times a week to keep your readers engaged. Hence, choose a niche that is wide enough for you.
3. Choose a profitable niche
If you’re here to make money, you clearly have to choose a niche that pays. Most of the niches in the world are rather profitable. Some say you should go for a competitive niche because that’s where the money is. For e.g. health and finance. There’ll always be people interested in topics like those, so it’s a matter of whether you can compete with established blogs. It may be too difficult for new bloggers though.
I recommend a niche that isn’t too competitive if you’re new, but a niche that is known to be profitable. One way to find out is to check out your competitors. Do they have a lot of traffic? Are they making money from it? You can get a very rough estimate of their traffic from some tools like Alexa’s search ranking.
There are also different ways to make money in a niche, so what works for others may not work for you and vice versa. Some prefer to use advertisements, others maybe sell their own products or generate revenue via affiliate marketing. Different niches have different ways to make profit. For instance, news blogs normally earn through advertising while finance blogs may use affiliate marketing.
4. Single niche or multiple niches?
This is a huge headache for most of the new bloggers including myself who has been blogging for awhile now. I still face this dilemma.
The reason why most bloggers recommend starting with a single niche is that it’s easier to manage a single niche blog and at the same time you can be the authority in the niche. For e.g. if you’re looking for travel tips, you’ll normally look for blogs specializing in travel rather than a huge website that writes on everything.
A single niche blog has a better chance of ranking well in Google and subsequently drive targeted traffic. It’s also easier to sell products or do affiliate marketing because your readers are targeted readers.
On the other hand, multiple niches require much more work. If you write on 4 different niches, you’re advised to write frequently on all 4 niches. This means you have to put 4 times the effort. Google tends to see how often you write on a niche in determining how well you rank. If you write on all sorts of stuff and you’re competing with a single niche blog, you may lose out.
There are of course exceptions to this as you can see with Forbes, HuffPost and other huge blogs. They’ve already reached the stage where they’re so big and have many writers that they can rank well for most of their articles.
I myself started with a multiple niche blog so I know how hard it can be to run a multiple niche blog. I’m not that successful yet so maybe I should have opted for one niche. One thing I didn’t like about single niche blogs is that you can run out of ideas or get bored with it (that’s where passion comes in).
In a nutshell, you can succeed with both types of blogs but they all require immense effort. If you’re totally new, maybe you should start with a single niche and add other niches when you’ve seen some success. It might be easier that way. It takes time to discover the right niche for yourself so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work out.
5. Do a search to see how popular a niche is
If you’re writing on huge niches like travel, money, relationships and health, then you already know they are popular so you can skip this. You only need this when it comes to writing blog posts.
If you’re writing on something rather narrow, you may want to check first to see if people actually search for it. You can use keyword search tools. If you don’t have the budget, you may want to use Google’s Keyword Planner which is free (but you need an Adwords account).
Otherwise you can use KWFinder or other tools that have a free trial. That will give you a rough estimate on how much traffic there is in the niche. If there’s too little traffic, then you won’t get much traffic even if you’re on the first page.
Finding a right niche for your blog has a lot to do with what you’re good at and whether there are enough people searching for the niche on Google or other search engines. Your first blog may fail due to choosing the wrong niche but it’s okay as it’s always a learning experience. You need to experience failure before you can succeed.
If you haven’t started a blog yet, why not try it with Bluehost? I’ve been using them for over a year and it’s still good for me.