So you want to start a blog.
Just go on and start one.
No? You think you need to know what niche your blog must be in before getting started?
See, I knew you were one of the smart ones and you’re correct.
The niche you choose for your blog is going to play a big role in how you make money and how much of it you make so it is kind of important to get this right.
Before I show you how to choose the right niche for your blog we need to talk about what a niche is.
A Niche Is an Audience
A lot of beginning bloggers fall into the trap of thinking that a niche is a topic. While a niche has topics it isn’t a topic.
It’s an audience.
What do I mean?
Whenever you write you are going to (hopefully) attract a specific group of people. This group is your audience.
You want this audience to stick around.
You want them to explore your site.
You want them to sign up for your mailing list.
If you have products or affiliate links you want them to make purchases.
When you know your audience you have a better chance of success. It’s as simple as that.
For example, you might say the niche of this blog is blogging. However, I’d argue that the niche is actually people that want to learn about blogging.
That might not seem like much of a distinction but it’s really huge because it changes how I write. If I know I’m writing to someone that is interested in learning about blogging then I’m going to make sure I make my content more thorough and cover all of the bases needed.
If the niche was “blogging” then I wouldn’t have as many ideas for the content that I need to write.
Writing for an audience means understanding that audience. Understanding that audience means that you have empathy for them.
There are a lot of bloggers out there that want to write about a number of things so they like to call their blogs “lifestyle blogs” because this gives you free reign to write whatever.
First, let’s get one thing clear.
Nobody cares what you label your blog.
Nobody that visits your site is going to check to see if your blog is a travel blog. They just care about whether or not you have the content that they want.
If you do then you’re good. If you don’t then they’ll leave.
And if that’s the case then what does it matter what you write about? You could write about every popular topic under the sun and get all of the audiences!
There is going to be a problem with that with regards to making money and we’ll get to that shortly.
First, I just want you to switch your mind from thinking that a niche is a topic and think about it as an audience.
A good question to ask yourself is what audience can you see yourself helping for the next 10 years?
Can I help people that want to start successful blogs so they can quit their jobs, spend more times with their friends and family, and possibly buy a better pillow for when they sleep?
I think I can.
Alright, now let’s move on to an important question that many people don’t seem to ask themselves when choosing a blogging niche.
How Are You Going to Make Money?
Seriously, how are you going to make money?
It’s important you understand how to make money blogging because otherwise you’re going to enter a niche and 6 months down the road be stuck wondering how you’re going to make money.
You don’t want that to happen.
Remember the super blog we talked about before that covers every single popular topic?
It’s possible to create something like that and make money from it but chances are you’ll only make money with ads.
Nothing wrong with that if you want some money but it’s going to be hard to scale your revenue up.
More importantly, it’s really hard to build an audience when you talk about everything.
If you love gardening do you want to get emails from the blog that only talks gardening so it seems more of an authority or the blog that has a post on catnip right next to the garden post?
You see, while ads are nice introverted way to make money with a blog because all you have to do is get people to your blog, it’s not the way that is going to make you the most money.
When you begin to make your own products then you’ll find that there is almost no limit to how much money you can make with your blog.
What about affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing follows the same principles as selling your own products. It’s much easier to get affiliate marketing conversions when you’re targeting a specific audience.
Let’s use this awesome blog as an example again. As you go through the different posts and learn more about blogging you might start to see me as an authority on blogging (you should because I’m pretty fucking awesome) and because of this you’re more willing to listen to my recommendations.
So when I suggest you use SiteGround for your blog hosting I have a better chance of getting a conversion then the person that is talking about desk chairs.
I can see the pieces starting to come together in your head right now.
Another question you need to ask about your audience (see, this is why we go with audience and not topic) is do they spend money and if so what do they spend money on?
What if you enter a niche where the audience doesn’t spend money? Then you’re stuck with using just ads as a revenue stream.
If you wanted to enter the gardening niche you could ask yourself the above questions:
- Do people learning gardening spend money? Yes.
- On what? Tools, supplies, and education.
That right there makes it seem like a solid niche when you just ask those questions but there is another question that you need to ask.
How large is the niche’s audience?
This is where things get tricky.
Let’s break it down using an ad example.
So you have a blog and you’ve decided that ads are going to be the only revenue stream that you’re going to pursue.
Again, nothing wrong with that as long as you understand the pros and cons.
Your niche is going to be for people that love Nigerian sandals. I don’t know if that’s a thing so please don’t look it up.
I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say that the audience for something like that isn’t large at all or at the very least the audience for people searching for Nigerian sandals isn’t very large.
But let’s say you get lucky and bring in 30,000 page views a month to this blog.
That seems like a lot but that equates to about $300 a month.
I don’t know about you but I have no intention of busting my ass for years on end to only bring in $300 every month.
Going back to the gardening example though, you know there are a lot of people interested in gardening so you have potential to bring in a 100,000+ page views a month.
AND remember, the gardening audience like to spend money on things as well.
This sounds more and more like a juicy niche to me!
So as you can see, how you plan on making money is going to play a big role in the niche that you choose.
You don’t want to have an ideal revenue stream that completely contradicts either the size of your potential audience or the spending habits of your audience.
Does this mean that you should always go for the biggest audience size possible?
Most definitely not.
Over at Dare to Conquer I teach people how to build what I like to call Brand Businesses.
These businesses aren’t concerned with getting a ton of traffic. They are concerned with reaching the right people.
For example, Simple Blog Framework is a Brand Business.
I have no expectation that this site will do more than 20,000 page views a month and that might make you think that there isn’t much money in it.
However, what happens if 15,000 people visit this site each month and 100 of them buy my blogging course?
That’s over $10,000 a month.
Again, that only works if this audience likes to spend money on educational resources which they just happen to do.
The audience (size, spending habits) has to match the revenue streams.
If those don’t match up and you still choose to pursue a niche then that’s on you.
So where do you go from here?
You have to do a bit of research to see what niche will work for you.
Do you need to enter a niche that you’re passionate in? Nope.
I have a couple of blogs in niches that I really don’t give a shit about.
Do you need to enter a niche in which you are an expert? Nope.
I have a couple of blogs in niches that I didn’t start off as an expert, I simply learned as I went along.
But to help you out I’m going to compile a list of niches that you should consider entering.
Blog Niches That Make Money
By no means will this list be exhaustive. There are dozens of niches outside of these that make money just fine.
Basically, don’t shoot the messenger.
Oh, and these are in no particular order.
Oh, and it’s up to you to figure out how these niches make money.
- How to make money
- Weight loss