In the last Blog Expert Series post, we looked at ways to identify your ideal blog opportunity by landing upon a perfect idea for your small business online.
In this Blog Expert post, we’re going to explore this further, by identifying whether or not there is a gap in the market that means it will be worthwhile for you to set up your site and move into your niche.
Although most people find it relatively easy to work out exactly what they want to do when it comes to running and writing their blog, it can be tougher to establish whether or not there is a strong market for the business which will make it lucrative and successful further down the line.
Check out what is already there
In the same way as people put together a research plan for a grant allocation, or propose a subject for a degree, you need to establish whether or not your preferred area as a blogger is already taken.
Spend as much time as possible online researching your chosen topic. If someone out there is already doing what you have in mind, perfectly, is this really a viable business opportunity?
Having said that, creativity and business are all about different angles. If we were all deterred by the fact that an expert had been there before us, novels probably wouldn’t exist. We’d take one look at Shakespeare and realise that comedies and tragedies were already covered, so there would be no point in trying our own creative adventure.
With each year that passes, new angles and approaches open up and allow us to position ourselves in a unique place. Shakespeare never wrote about the pitfalls of online dating, or what it means to run a successful blogging business.
As time goes on, new technologies, social networks and changes mean that opportunities are forever presenting themselves to the intrepid blogger.
Ask what people really want
This may sound simple, but it’s amazing how few people actually ask their customers what they want to read about online. There may be a thousand blogs out there online talking about software, for example, but it could be that no-one has yet blogged about the pitfalls of freelancing with Joomla, or backing up your data with Carbonite.
Specialist subjects leave scope for your personal passion and enthusiasm to shine, so work out what yours is, and then canvass opinion among user groups to determine if it would be welcomed by them.
Conducting comprehensive market research achieves two things. It establishes what the market reception will be when you launch a new product, and it alerts potential customers to the fact that you are about to embark upon a new business venture which may alert their interest.
By asking people what they may want to see online, you are opening new avenues and promoting your new business in a positive, proactive way.
In the next Blog Expert Series we shall discuss what have you got, that’s different.
Here’s the link to the previous Blog Expert Series post:
Blog Expert Series: The Surprising Decision 77% Of Bloggers Get Wrong
How do you provide what people want?
Please share your views in the comments below.
Shakespeare photo by Ell Brown
Some pertinent points made here Andrew. I know that as I have continued blogging I have learnt what my readers want and now I am about to monetize my blog it has been about what they want; not just what I thought they did.
Patricia Perth Australia
Many people who start on-line THINK they know what their potential customers want. Very often they are wrong and hence get it wrong, make no-money, give up and say “no-one makes money on-line!”
Good article, but I think that you can add something like:
“Do what you like. Do what you know ho to do.” That’s a pillar of successful personal website or blog. If the person is not interested in the niche, is not fan of that he will never be successful, will never provide interesting and relevant information.
Look at all successful bloggers, they are fans, they are ill of the chosen niches.
Perhaps you missed the first part of this blog expert series that talks about passion:
There are so many blogs out there, you do need to research different niches. You don’t want to get into a flooded niche.
The truth is that we can only succeed if we give people what they really want
Writing with heart .. writing with passion and about something that you are really passionate about, and doing it consistently will over time turn you in a top blogger. I prefer to be a blogger that people trust and syndicate .. more than a one that people envy 😀
You say, “Writing with heart .. writing with passion and about something that you are really passionate about, and doing it consistently will over time turn you in a top blogger.”
Sorry to disagree but it won’t if you write about stuff your customers don’t want to read.
I did mean ‘envy’ in a positive way.
I would just add that if you have a real passion for something, don’t let competition stop you from getting into that niche. Just stay true to your passion and use that as your voice in your field. People will be able to tell that you have a true love of your subject matter.
Agreed – if you can offer something different.
Like the part two to this series as well, I am always tweaking and working on writing in a different style that i think my readers will enjoy. I like the above advice of just polling your audience about what they would like, very good advice.
Financially Elite Blog dot Com
Asking your visitors is a great way to find out. It’s just a matter of doing it!
The key is finding a good niche. If you can find keywords that get a lot of traffic but don’t have a lot of content surrounding them, you will be doing a pretty good business in no time. The only downside is that you really have to have some knowledge about whatever field you choose, which narrows down the possibilities exponentially.
You are right – knowledge, experience, passion, a demand and little competition.
You’re onto a winner!
Hi Andrew, I agree that asking people what they really want may sound simple enough to do, but only an amazing few get to do this in reality. If there is a new product launched in the market, of course most people would love to hear the great things about it, but there would be some who would also love to hear about the “possible” negative comments or complaints about it; and that’s where one might get a very interesting yet truthful story to write about! Thank you for sharing!
If you ask…you open yourself to be on the end of negative comments / responses. But you have to accept that and go with it.
I like your point of asking what people want to read online. It is true that even in an overcrowded niche, there’s just something that’s not been touched yet. Hmm, I might consider having a survey on my blog to find out what my readers want or if they like to see any changes.
My other difficulty is of finding out what hasn’t been talked about yet. Hmm, something to consider..
Thx for writing this post.
Asking them is a very important step.
Asking what they don’t want as well!
“Ask what people really want” Yes People will return to your blog if they like what you write about a specific subject and they like your writing style.
I’ve kind of gone against the grain. I just get so many thoughts about what I could blog about I figured why not do them all in one. I’ll have to see how it goes.