Over the past few months, I’ve noticed a number of people contacting me asking for support in certain areas of blogging and running their small business online.
This has prompted me to run a series of blog expert posts answering their queries.
The blog expert series of posts will all be focused upon finding your niche market and sticking to it, to support new, existing and bored bloggers to land upon their ideal subject for blogging, and develop the perfect products to make a profit online.
This blog expert post is the first crucial decision in blogging and I am astounded by the number of bloggers who get it wrong.
Their chosen niche. i.e. the subject they are going to blog about.
The very first lesson in our Income Blogging Membership Course covers this subject in great detail as it is so fundamental.
If your aim is to make money…
…Get the niche wrong and you NEVER will.
So let’s start the blog expert series:
This week’s article is about identifying what you want to focus upon, and finding your way to the perfect business idea for your blog.
Finding your niche in the busy blogosphere
The bottom line when it comes to working out your niche market comes down to two very simple considerations.
What do you want to write about?
More importantly, what do your potential customers want you to write about?
Without these two questions being properly addressed, you won’t be any nearer to working out what your best option is when it comes to choosing your niche area for an online blogging business.
The first consideration is important – what do you want to write about?
This is because, if you choose something for which you feel ambivalence or a distinct lack of excitement, you won’t be able to sustain an ongoing enterprise when it comes to writing your blog.
The best blogs out there have a healthy dose of passion involved in order to transmit ideas, enthusiasm and overall quality to their customers. Choosing something which you care deeply about means that you will continue to be inspired by your blog long after the initial launch, and this passion will carry you through the dull, dark times when the last thing you want to do is write an engaging update.
However just because you are excited about a particular subject, it doesn’t mean you should choose that niche.
Secondly, working out what your customers are looking for is critical.
Without regular readers coming to your site to hear what you have to say, you don’t have a functioning and workable blog. By establishing what people are searching for when they go online, you maximize your chances of success for your business.
Working out where there is a space for you and your blog
Despite all the blogs already up and running on the web, I am a firm believer that there is always room for another one, which has as much chance of success as the best ones out there.
To find your personal niche, look to yourself.
What would you like to read about, when it comes to your business?
What would help?
How many times have you searched online about your favourite subject, only to realise that there is nothing out there that meets your needs?
By capturing these moments, when you seek out information online and fail to find it, you can discover what your personal niche area should be. You are an expert in your chosen field. Use this expertise and your own experience to find your area of focus.
Once you have discovered what it is, there is very little standing in the way between you and blogging success.
In the next Blog Expert Series we shall discuss whether or not there is a strong market for your chosen niche.
Have you found the perfect niche for your blog?
Please share your views in the comments below.
When I started out I was naive enough to believe that all I had to do was write some great articles (more like a “magazine column”) and put some ads up to rake in the cash. My intent was to entertain and encourage as much as anything and have a little extra income from it.
Although I really love golf, I don’t think that I have what it takes to make money with a golf blog so it’s gone stale for now while I work on other niches. It’s a bit sad though. I really enjoy writing stories about my golf adventures, real and imagined.
Perhaps you need to find a niche within golf. Like golf for left handed people or something like that?
Since I’m currently focused on personal development and fitness, I have been moving towards the golf fitness niche a little, but it is very much a back burner thing for now.
I still wish that I could just write fun stuff about golf without having to look at how I can sell something on the side, but the only way that will work is with advertising and hundreds of thousands (or millions) of page views a month.
I have the same problem with my humour blog — I enjoy writing funny stories but there isn’t a good way to monetize it without mega traffic.
So for now I stick with personal development, fitness and dabble a bit in internet marketing niches. Once I’ve got a bit of “auto-pilot” income flowing then maybe I’ll be able to go back to the pure writing blogs.
Yeah – I can understand. Just running a couple of blogs takes up a lot of time.
Solid advice there Andrew and real good content for those bloggers just starting out.
I started blogging two years ago, and have just now started to (I think) get a handle on some of the finer points. You’re right. It’s not just about passion, or even knowledge in the subject. It requires developing a level of expertise in everything from blog design, writing, and relationship building. It’s not for the faint of heart…
…but it is for those who work hard, learn, take action and want to work from home!
Dear Andrew –
I chose personal growth as a topic because I thought it was broad enough to cover a wide range of topics.
Was it too non specific?
I am in my 4th year of blogging. Just the thought of starting over with something new is exhausting.
Any suggestions? I think you are pretty familiar with my blog.
A new subtitle?
You’re the professor.
I’ve had almost exactly the same issue. I started my blog writing about experiences and techniques of personal development that I found useful.
Currently, I’m trying to refine my approache down to meditation and how to use it in personal development.
It seems to be getting results, but it is a slow process… and I find it very difficult to stick with only one topic.
Maybe Andrew can give us both some sage advice on this (because I am in desperate need of it)!
I like the fact that your blog concentrates on meditation. If I want to know about meditation I know exactly where to go…your blog.
As I said to Corinne, personal development can be too generic.
I think most people will NOT think, “I want some personal development”.
Then tend to think / know what they want.
“I need to relax more”
“I need to improve my public speaking”
Both deemed to be personal development but completely different…although you might say meditation can help me improve my public speaking!
Personal Growth does allow you to write about a wide range of topics.
That may be good for you but perhaps not so good for your visitors as you are writing about subjects too generically.
I remember starting 4 years ago and discussing topics with my internet mentor at the time.
I thought about Time Management. His response: “Time Management for teachers, as an example, would be better”. His advice was smaller the niche the better.
Now I know I’m generic on this blog – discussing all things about blogging rather than just writing or seo or traffic or…
But I did ask my visitors / customers and they wanted me to stick with generic.
That’s one way to find out – ask what your visitors / customers want.
Boy ..where can i start..I have found so many niche markets in my 10 yr career as a marketer..it hurts my head to think of them. But it’s easy to find an good niche..you just got to do the simple research.
“TrafficColeman “Signing Off”
Might be easy to find…harder to make money?
Great post mate – and a good start to the series. Can I also add – intriguing title! Well done there 🙂
I struggled with this aspect but found that ironically by simply doing a bit of everything I soon discovered what I wanted to do and where my skills and passions were. Ironically I am making money blogging even though that is not the actual niche I specifically set out to be in, but there you go.
quickly – is that the new digg digg? because when it upgraded for me – I could not figure out how to make it work?
Sometimes you do just ‘fall into’ your niche, I agree.
No it’s not Digg Diig – it’s hardcoded.
Thank you, Andrew… this is another great post.
I’ve done surveys, blog posts, and sent e-mails to my list… I’ve even offered ethical bribes… 🙂 … and I have a very hard time getting people to respond with what specifics they would like.
I do get some response, and I do base my new content on those responses.
Do you have any thoughts on getting people to be a bit more responsive?
(of course, this could be the nature of my market)
The response you get does depend upon a number of different factors.
My best response was to one open question:
“What are the top three things you’d like to know more about to help your blogging success?”
I did give away a free guide to everyone who answered…as a bribe!
Have you thought about asking your visitors / list via one of you short videos?
Niche blogs work better with contextual ad networks like AdSense. AdSense is getting better at providing ads that are related strongly to the content on a specific page of but there have also been instances where blogs covering lots of different topics attract ads that don’t always relate to content on a particular page.
Most bloggers start, so they thought it would go easy and will make it through the night. And when they realize that it’s not as easy as they thought, that it takes a lot of work, effort, knowledge and happiness, of course, most give up.
You are spot-on.
The ones who continue to provide great content that their customers want are the ones who make it.
Also you should use certain SEO techniques in order to grow your audience. I have several blogs, that one in profile – yes it is non nude erotic and that’s only the project. 600 users a day coming from google. Good result for one month?
I try to optimize every single post on that blog to specific keywords, niche keywords, less frequent ones. 1-2 keywords per post. Strong tags, meta keywords, description and title are optimized as well.
Social media – you can use twitter, myspace, facebook, youtube, dailymotion and whole bunch of other sites in order to promote your blog. How? That’s your imagination, but be sure it’s possible to do for any kind of blog.
Satelite network – do wordpress.com blogs and post announces. WordPress.com gets indexed very fast and gets a lot of users from it’s homepage search function – cover this.
Ok, comment goes pretty long, hopefully I wrote something interesting
Some of what you say is right but this blog post is nothing to do with seo.
I missed this post! Read the next 2 so don’t know how it happened. As always some great advice and tips for the newbie blogger and those having difficulty monetizing their blog.
I’m so glad I had good advice right at the beginning of my blogging journey. Thanks again.
When there are bumps on the journey; having passion to continue is so important. Knowing that people want my products that I’ve just sourced helps too. 🙂
Patricia Perth Australia
Sounds like you have a great niche and are providing exactly what your customers want.
Very useful tip for monetizing our blog.
At first i blogged, i didn’t expect to earn money from it, but being active in blogging community, such as commenting, i soon learnt other bloggers made and are making money online.
Honestly, i did not believe it, because i don’t earn much with adsense lol..
But then one time, i have some people hire me for this and that, plus affiliate marketing, and now i am earning money from a blog.
Indeed, good work, hard work, persistence, and patience help alot.
Keep the awesome posts coming, Andrew, thanks.
Great news you persevered and now starting to make money on-line.
Hi Andrew, thanks for writing about this kind of topic. I do wonder how newbies get to decide about their chosen niche, if they are able to stick with it all the way. You’re right, it takes a healthy dose of passion to be able to pull off the first stages in starting a blog.
One question to ask is:
“Can I see myself blogging about this subject / niche for the next 2 years?”
Hi Andrew, very relevant points there. I’ve been blogging for a couple of months now and I wouldn’t say I’m an expert but I know that for my blog to survive, I have to identify what my readers are looking for, how can i product content of value to them and also standing out of the BIG blogging crowd.
I think the most challenging part for me is to try and stand out cos there’re so many bloggers talking around the same topic and covering very broad issues. Feels like everything has been talked about already you know what I mean?
Whatever you blog about WILL HAVE been written / mentioned somewhere else before. You have to provide your own slant / story to make it yours.
hmm, providing my own version of the story. that’s interesting. thx andrew for clearing that up
I have been blogging for awhile now. During my first months in blogging I have no niche, I just write anything that I wanted to write and my visits did not increase at all. So I started to write about Wholesales and related topics for awhile their is an increase in my site visits. Having the right niche is really important.
Thanks for sharing your experience. It shows finding the right niche really works.
Bot can I speak from experience on this one.. One of my first blogs was created for the sole purpose of making money.. Two years and two hundred dollars later, I think it’s safe to say that didn’t go over too well.
Fast forward to passion.. Let’s talk MUSIC.. and voila!
Only 200 dollars? Doesn’t sound a lot.