The quickest and easiest way to start and grow a successful blog is to choose the right niche for you and your blog, from the beginning. Let this post guide your thinking as you choose a niche for your new blog – and, be sure to try out the 5 Minute Formula For The Perfect Blog Niche at the end of the post!
What’s A Blog Niche?
Have you ever heard someone say, “She’s really found her niche in life?” This refers to someone discovering a career, job or pastime that perfectly suits that person’s values, goals and abilities. The same is true for a niche in blogging. A blogging niche is nothing more than a very focused interest or market.
A niche blog may be relevant to a specific industry or age group. It could focus on the needs of a particular ethnic group, geographic area or future goals. If you are someone who relates to hard definitions, and you want to develop a blog that makes a difference and is truly helpful, here’s what you need to remember:
“A niche market is a subset of a larger market on which a specific product or service is focused.”
So a blogging niche might be scrapbooking for beginners with a passion for scuba diving. Scrapbooking is the large market. Scrapbooking for beginners narrows the focus, and by further narrowing your marketplace to scuba diving enthusiasts who want to take up scrapbooking for the first time, you have an excellent niche marketing opportunity for an authoritative blog.
Niche marketing is far from a 21st century concept, it has been around forever. Blogs are certainly not new, though they are relatively new in comparison to niche marketing. When you put the 2 together, you can create an authoritative web presence which can help people answer big problems in their lives.
Authoritative niche blogging is different from running a website where your goal is to simply get people to click on ads that earn you money. Yes, you may have some type of monetization on your niche blog, but that is not the main intent. Successful niche blogs inform, answer questions, provide solutions and work to develop relationships with their readers and followers.
When choosing which niche you want to blog about, think about a specific problem in a tight marketplace. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. When you have a laser targeted approach, you can quickly become an authority figure in your niche.
So think of a marketplace where you want to really make a difference. Then niche down until you have identified a very specific area of focus. Inform, answer questions, help and care about your audience, and your niche blog will never be confused with a spam blog (splog) or autoblog intended solely for revenue generation.
Does Competition In a Niche Really Matter?
You have probably heard from so many people that you need to “niche down” when starting a blog. An extreme example would be focusing on “underwater basket weaving for seniors” rather than the larger “basket weaving” marketplace. And for the most part, that is great advice. This drastically lowers your level of competition, lessens the amount of research you have to do, and introduces you to passionate prospects who are closer to making a purchase decision than those in larger markets.
However, you can also find your niche (pun intended) in markets with lots of competition as well. Sometimes a lot of competitors is a sign of a healthy marketplace. So, how much competition is too much? Conversely, how do you know when your niche is too small, when a lack of competitors is a sign of no profitability or traffic? The key is realizing how you approach any marketplace, and the enthusiasm level of the prospects in that market.
Build Something That Lasts
One way to build a successful web presence is to really care about who you are talking to. Aim to build something that lasts. Don’t focus on short-term profits. Be patient and reach out to your prospective customers and followers. Solve big problems in their lives, make a difference, and you can create a successful piece of Internet real estate regardless how much competition you have.
Provide Food For the Hungry, Water For the Thirsty
There is an old marketing lesson which has been attributed to any number of marketing, business and sales gurus. An expert in marketing is giving a class on niche selection. He asks, “If you could have one thing to ensure the success of a business selling hamburgers, what would it be?”
Some answered that they would prefer the recipe for the best hamburger. Others said location was key. Dozens of other very good responses were given. However, the instructor told everyone that their answers were incorrect. He revealed, and rightly so, that the one thing you should look for before anything else if you are selling hamburgers is a “starving market”.
Competition really does not matter if you are selling food to people that are very hungry. Choose a niche where people are extremely receptive to the products and services you offer. This “starving market” will ensure success, whether you are competing with thousands of bloggers or websites, or just a few.
4 Ways to Test Whether A Niche is Profitable
You have an amazing idea for a blog. You are certain that becoming an authority figure in this niche will be a cinch. You envision yourself being interviewed as an overnight success, and can’t wait to get started. Even though you are virtually sure in your mind that you will be a success, is there some way to measure if your niche will be profitable? The following 6 methods will help you discover if your “guaranteed success” will be exactly that, or an all but certain failure.
1 – Is There Any Competition?
Too much competition can be a bad thing. There are so many web properties already entrenched in a market that is very competitive, that it will be tough for you to be a success. However, no competition is a bad sign as well. Type your niche name into Google. Are there ads at the top, bottom and to the right side of the search results? If so, that is a good sign. That means companies are profitable enough to spend money advertising to your market.
2 – Check Amazon
Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer. Type a potential niche into the search engine at Amazon. Are there thousands of results, or less than 100? You may think you have a sure-fire idea for an authority blog or website. However, if the biggest retailing web presence doesn’t show too many items for sale in your prospective niche, you should probably move on.
3 – Is It Trendy?
Some topics trend reliably at certain times every year. Some markets are poised to explode in popularity, while others may be popular now, but ready to fall flat. Checking your niche with Google Trends can reveal some surprisingly informative data regarding whether your niche is trending up or down.
4 – Plan on Selling Information? Check Here
JVZoo, Clickbank and CJ.com are just a few of the most popular sites where information is sold. If you plan on offering information products, checking to make sure that your market is healthy on those sites is imperative.
The 5 Minute Formula To Finding the Perfect Niche
Have you ever noticed that Google tries to finish your sentences for you? This is annoying when it happens in the “real world”. You have probably run across one of those people that thinks they know what you are going to say next, and they continue to interrupt what you are saying.
Google attempts to do this, too. Billions of web searches are performed on Google each and every day. Over time, this information can reveal which niche markets are more popular than others. Doesn’t it just makes sense to let one of the world’s largest data mining corporations do your niche market research for free?
Of course it does!
Here is a 5 minute keyword research trick that can reveal several niches and microniches which contain topics that people search for each and every day.
Head over to Google.
Type in a keyword or phrase relevant to a large industry. For example, you could type in “natural remedies”. That is a billion-dollar industry, but much too wide for a successful niche website or blog.
Enter your request without quotation marks surrounding it, and don’t hit enter to begin your search. What do you see? Google has given you a list of likely words and phrases that combine with your search request, like …
- natural remedies for constipation
- natural remedies for UTI
- natural remedies for ADHD
In many cases, these are actual problems people are trying to solve. In other cases, the Google auto-complete feature shows popular sub-niches and untapped markets where you could quickly become an authoritative figure. Write down these results, and and repeat with another word or phrase relevant to an industry or market you are thinking about entering.
In 5 minutes or less you have uncovered the actual search terms that are used thousands of times a day in relationship to a particular market.
Are you still having trouble nailing your niche?
One simple way to ensure you will enjoy working on your new blog is to choose something you are passionate about.
When your marketing efforts are focused on something you really believe in, a pastime, hobby or activity you truly care about, you enjoy working. The time you spend on your niche business is rewarding and fun.
You also come across as a unique and knowledgeable individual in a particular field. It doesn’t matter what type of topic interests you either. There is a market full of individuals who are devoted to the same things you are, and they can’t wait to connect with a like-minded person.
Also, when you decide to start a business dedicated to something you love, your passion is contagious. Think about it. You’ve probably heard someone speak about a topic that was very important to them. Their speech stimulated and excited you, if for no other reason than to find out what could make someone feel so energized and aroused!
Take a pen and a piece of paper right now, and make a quick list of the things that motivate you the most.
These are things that get you “fired up”, topics you could speak about all day. In other words, if money was not an option and all of your bills were paid, what would you do for a living?
How did you decide on the perfect niche? Share your thoughts in the comments below!