If you and I are really going to develop a strong relationship then it’s important that we are honest with each other.
So to be honest with you, I have no idea if 73% of people that get into blogging fail because they choose the wrong niche.
But I can tell you that it certainly feels like it!
When people begin to even think about the idea of blogging they usually jump right into the technology aspect of things.
This makes sense because blogging happens online.
- How do I set up a blog?
- How do I set up a website?
- How do I find a domain?
- How do I customize my website?
So many technological questions!
However, that isn’t where you should start with blogging and the reason why is because you need to know if you even stand a chance of creating a successful blog or not.
You don’t start an all-beef hot dog stand without knowing if it’s a vegan neighborhood or not.
You need a Blog Plan and for that, you need to find your niche.
Some bloggers will tell you that you need to follow your passion and somehow everything else will fall into place. I don’t know if that is true or not because I never follow that advice.
I’m sure it happens to some people but that feels more like luck than anything.
It’s easy for Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber to say that they followed their passions because they’re actually successful at them, but how many people are singing at a Chuck-E-Cheese and still trying to keep the dream alive?
I blog for two reasons:
- To make money allowing me to live the lifestyle that I want
- To help people
Neither of these things has anything to do with what I’m passionate about.
Don’t get me wrong, if I could find a way to monetize some of my passions I 100% would. Maybe my passion is helping people and therefore any blog that I start will feel great.
Instead, I choose niches based on whether or not others have found success within them.
Does it make sense to test the waters of a brand new niche or dive into one with an audience that spends money?
(Special Note: Having an audience spend money is going to play an important part in your blog’s success. We’ll discuss that later.)
I choose the latter over the former every single time.
It’s why the blogs I’ve started in the past 4 years have fallen under these categories:
- How to make money
- Health and fitness
- Personal finance
- Starting a home business
- Beauty and fashion
- Women’s lifestyle
- Home decor
- Party planning
These are all niches where people spend money.
My goal isn’t to blog for years on end building things up slowly.
I want to get a blog up and get to the money-making as quickly as possible.
I know you’re the same way.
Since I also want to make money I only mess with niches that have shown that they can make money.
If you’re considering starting a blog then the only niches that I would consider are:
- How to make money
- Personal finance (saving money, frugal living)
- Health and fitness
- Beauty and fashion
- Relationships / personal development
- Home decor / organization
- Irrationally passionate (we will get into that later)
I’ll mention this again but trust me when I say that the list above doesn’t limit your options at all.
The Four Horsemen of Niches
If you really want to improve your odds with blog success then I suggest only looking at the Four Horsemen of Niches.
Yep, I made that term up and I love it.
What are the Four Horsemen?
- Irrationally Passionate
Before you freak out it’s important to understand that these aren’t the only niches you can make money in but they are the ones that give you the best chance.
Did you think it was sheer coincidence that the big money bloggers all happen to be in the how to make money niche?
In fact, Irrationally Passionate opens the door to almost any niche so you’ll be in good hands.
If I can’t connect an idea that I have for a blog to one of the Four Horsemen of Niches, then I won’t touch it.
It’s not that I can’t build it up to be successful, but is it worth the effort?
For example, I might look into a blog on raising goats. It doesn’t fit the first 3 categories (love, health, wealth).
However, I might find that people are irrationally passionate about it and have no problem spending money on their goats and therefore it makes it a viable niche for me.
Of course, each of these very large niches can be broken down into smaller niches. So if you’re interested in health & fitness you don’t have to do a general health and fitness blog. You might do yoga for pregnant women.
A personal finance blog might only focus on frugal living and couponing.
Just because there are only 9 niches in this list don’t believe that your options are limited.
The Irrationally Passionate category probably has 1000s of sub-niches.
What is Irrationally Passionate? It’s when a group of people loves a topic so much that it doesn’t make sense to you.
And they have no problem spending money on that passion.
Bullet journals are a great example.
The people that love them REALLY LOVE THEM and will flock to anyone that writes about them.
If your true goal of starting a blog is to quit your job, support your family, travel the world, or do something better with your life then why make things more difficult by jumping into an unproven niche?
What I’ve come to learn is that I can become really interested in a topic once I start making money with it.
My passion is living a happier life and getting the most out of it. This isn’t tied to what I blog about but because blogging is meant to help get me closer to these goals then I need to focus on niches that produce results.
Otherwise, I’m just writing articles as a hobby.
Odds are that if you are reading this guide you have an idea of the type of blog that you want to start. Now go out and find a couple of other blogs that are similar that are making the type of money you imagine.
If you aren’t sure then shoot an email to the blog owner. They don’t have to give you exact amounts, but if you explain your story then most blog owners would be more than happy to let you know if there is money to be made.
Can you find any?
If you can’t that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible but why hasn’t anyone else done it so far?
If you can find some then that is a good sign.
Too often beginning bloggers are stubborn and believe that their passion is going to lead them to money.
“I am going to start a blog to help people fight depression.“
That’s great and when someone tells me they are going to start a blog like that I encourage them to do so. You should be helping people!
However…and I don’t say this to sound cold…is that type of blog going to line up with your financial goals?
Is it better to start a blog in a niche that you know you can make money in so that later on you can help even more people or does it make sense to start a blog in a passion niche that won’t make much money but will help some people now?
This is something you will need to ask yourself and you need to answer honestly.
If you wish to dive deeper into niche selection you can check out my thoughts on choosing the perfect blog niche.
When you come across an income report by a blogger who you admire are they in some weird niche? Probably not.
That doesn’t mean the bloggers in weird niches aren’t making money.
Plenty are and they don’t need to show income reports because their audience doesn’t care about them.
But if you think of this as a game then you want to stack the odds in your favor and this is how I do it.
Should You Niche Down?
- Get them to notice you
- Get them to pay attention to you
- Get them to trust you
- Convert that trust into money
You should have those memorized by now.
Why am I bringing them up?
Because this is where you’ll have your greatest advantage to doing well in blogging.
Let’s think of it like this.
You want to start a blog in Personal Finance. There are 1000s of sites talking about Personal Finance and they all want the people’s attention.
However, most of them are trying to get the attention of everyone that has a slight interest in Personal Finance.
They aren’t focused on a specific type of person.
Why is this important?
Let’s look at a car example.
The Red Compact Car
Let’s say you’re in the market for a new car.
It has to be a red car and it has to be compact.
There are no compromises there.
A number of dealerships hit you up to show you their cars. Unfortunately, they show you cars of all colors and all sizes.
However, one dealership is different.
They ONLY sell red compact cars. Nothing else.
That means they are the experts in red compact cars. They can tell you everything about them and they’ll know the best car for you.
You notice them because you don’t have to sort through any other noise.
You pay attention to them because they give you exactly what you want.
You trust them because they’re providing you with the info to help make the decision.
You buy from them because they did the first three things.
How does this apply to blogging?
If every Personal Finance blog is trying to cast a wide net and you decide that you’re going to focus on single parents fixing their credit score, then you should have an advantage when it comes to attracting single parents hoping to fix their credit score.
Because everything that you do can cater to that individual.
The content that you create. The emails that you craft. The way your messaging speaks directly to them.
You’re the car dealership that only sells red compact cars.
Now before you say anything I understand your hesitancy to this idea. It makes perfect sense, but you don’t want to write about one thing.
One thing is boring! Even one audience is boring!
But notice I never said that this is ALL that you do over the lifetime of your blog. I said this is where you start.
All that you’ve done here is started work on your micro-silo.
You still have many more to build.
Oh, that’s right, you have no idea what a Silo is so I guess we should talk about that next.