As a marketer, you know that blogging is an important endeavor that allows you to share what you know with the world safely and enjoyably.
More than that, it’s a marketing strategy that helps you cultivate a healthy relationship with your readers and positions you as an industry leader.
In the process of starting your blog, the step that can make or break your blogging success is choosing your blogging niche. The term “niche” refers to a specialty in a market that focuses on a particular product or service.
What is the importance of finding your niche in blogging?
Does it matter to be able to know how to find your niche in blogging? Absolutely.
Many aspiring bloggers start a blog and lose interest in it after a few weeks or months. Blogging has seemed to become a chore, and they begin to realize that they have nothing more to say in their niche.
Different things can happen when you’re managing your blog. If you can’t stand behind what you do because you’re not passionate enough to write, then blogging will always feel like a chore.
Also, focusing on a niche builds your online credibility and profile.
This begs the question, “Should you choose a niche based on passion or profitability?”
Should you blog for passion or profit?
Successful bloggers from different niches have their own opinion on the best reason to pick a niche. Some claim that writing for passion is best, while there are others who believe that profitability is the path to long-term success.
What’s the real answer?
Both. The niche that will produce desirable results for everyone is one that’s based on passion and the potential to make money. Strike a balance between profit and passion.
Blogging for a passion vs. blogging for a profit
Here are several reasons to consider each argument:
- Your enthusiasm for your niche will be the reason why you won’t run out of topics to write about.
- A genuine interest in something will lighten up the creative spirit within you.
- Passion keeps you working for a bigger purpose.
- You’ll be able to surround yourself with like-minded people who can help you grow.
- You avoid what many bloggers experience: Blogger’s burnout.
- Understand that not all passions are profitable.
- There’s a hole in a market that you can fill and monetize.
- Some profitable niches hold the interest of people indefinitely.
- Passion isn’t always the end all be all of blogging success. Simply having a baseline knowledge and understanding about something is good enough.
- Once you make money, things can get kind of interesting!
While these points are worth taking into account, at the end of the day, your process on how to find your niche in blogging depends on you. Whatever decision you come up with, remember that it should help you maintain a blog that thrives for many years to come.
Steps on how to find your niche in blogging
Now that we’ve discussed whether you must stick to a niche based on passion or profit, we’re finally going to explore tried-and-true ways to research a probable niche.
1. Check the popularity of keywords using the Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that’s originally designed for online advertisers. A free and creative way to use it is to find out the search volumes for keywords or ideas on a monthly basis.
Sign up for an account so you can start using the planner. After you sign up, head over to Tools > Keyword Planner. Next, select the option “Get search volume data and trends.”
Choose the specific location where you want to target your blog. You can enter a country, city, or region. Most bloggers enter “United States” simply because it reflects or represents all the activities (and spending) that are happening on the internet.
Let’s say you’re looking to start a blog about vegan diets. After entering the keywords “vegan diet” on Google Keyword planner, you get a monthly search volume of 10,000 to 100,000.
This tells you that there aren’t a lot of people wanting to adopt a vegan diet, though the awareness is increasing.
Remember that the Keyword Planner tool isn’t the most accurate tool to help you discover the competitiveness of a niche. However, it already provides you useful information on the ideas that people are interested in and demand to know more about.
2. See the performance of particular keywords over time using Google Trends
Another practical (and less utilized) strategy to do your niche research is Google Trends.
While Google Keyword Planner can tell you how popular your prospective niche is at the moment, Google Trends shows you the performance of a keyword or idea over a specific period.
This will help you predict how likely your niche is to survive shortly based on its stability over the past few months or years. After entering your niche keyword into Google Trends’ search bar, you should see a line graph:
Using the same keyword interest “vegan diet,” you will notice that the topic has spiked between April to August of 2017.
If you see keywords that get sudden spikes during specific times in a year, this does not immediately imply that the niche is profitable over the long term.
More importantly, try to figure out the reason behind the sudden increase of people’s interest on a topic. Was there an event that took place?
The perfect example of an interest that gotten a surge in popularity (and made a lot of money) in a short time was the selfie stick.
If you want to target your niche site to a specific geographical location, Google Trends shows you exactly where in the world is your topic of interest most popular. This information will help you maximize your SEO campaigns and get the highest possible ROI.
3. Visit affiliate networks to find products that are selling well
Bloggers looking for an affiliate niche can get inspiration by checking out physical and digital products on affiliate networks that are highly popular. These items are selling well.
In this step, remember that you’re not going to decide on definite products to promote on your site yet.
Amazon is a prospective affiliate network you can check for profitable niches that you like at the same time.
Enter your niche keyword into Amazon’s search bar to get ideas on great products. If the results show you some items marked as “Best Seller,” and with thousands of customer reviews, this tells you that your prospective niche makes a good choice.
Instead of entering a keyword into Amazon’s search bar, you can also proceed directly to “Departments.” There, you’ll see different categories that can be your potential niches. Try exploring each department and again, browsing through products to find best sellers.
In the screenshot above, you can see that I was able to validate the niche idea “weight loss” by checking out Amazon’s Beauty & Health > Vitamins & Dietary Supplements Department.
Other affiliate networks where you can validate your niche ideas are the following:
4. Find out the performance of top sites within your prospective niche
Are there top performing websites in your niche? Paying these sites a visit and monitoring their performance can give you a good idea of whether your niche site has the potential to make it big.
All you need to do is enter your keywords into Google’s search box to get a list of sites that rank high. These top performing sites exhibit signs of a high level of engagement. Engagement refers to how people are interacting with a website.
Figure out whether a site’s pieces of blog content have a high number of shares on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Do visitors care enough to participate in discussions by commenting on a blog post? Read people’s comments to gather their thoughts.
Take a look at when the most recent comment was written. Is it dated a year ago? A few weeks ago?
You may also want to visit the site’s social media pages to check on the number of their followers or fans.
Lastly, if a website invites other bloggers to guest post, you should be able to see a high number of guest authors. This tells you that there’s a chance you’ll be able to build strong partnerships with other blogger and business owners in your niche.
5. Discover the problems people are facing the questions that most people ask
One thing you need to know about most people nowadays is that they actively use the internet to voice out their sentiments and opinions on the things they care about.
Individuals who are passionate about something will make sure to discuss it with social media platforms and active communities like Facebook, Quora, and Reddit. They ask questions on these places because they want their pressing problems to be addressed fast.
For example, if you want to check Facebook for active discussions in your niche, access your Facebook account and type into the search bar your niche of choice.
Because these audiences have a need, they’re willing to pay for a solution. You can be that solution.
Put in mind that not all communities best represent a niche. That is why you’d better refrain from researching discussions on a single community. Explore others to be able to understand what works well.
Must-use tools to effectively help you find a blogging niche
There are plenty of available paid tools on the market that give you an in-depth understanding of a niche’s competitiveness, popularity in different countries, monthly search volume, and more.
The degree of specificity that these tools offer gives you the power to dominate your blogging niche.
Here are ways on how to find your niche in blogging and outperforming your competitors using three popular tools:
1. Long Tail Pro
Validate the profitability of a niche that you love (regardless of the kind of site you want to build) using Long Tail Pro.
Mainly a keyword research tool, Long Tail Pro provides insight into the competitiveness of a keyword.
Consequently, you’ll be able to quickly decide on a niche that has low competition. The tool does this by uncovering long tail keywords.
Long tail keywords are phrases comprised of three or more words. They’re more specific, thus helping you target the very customers who are more likely to buy from you.
Another tool to help you assess the potential of your niche blog to attract more audiences, SEMrush lets you spy on competitor websites in your niche. Among the things that you’ll be able to do is research keywords for a better SEO and higher traffic.
Knowing these traffic-generating keywords also enables you to target a sub-niche or a smaller segment of a market. Now this gives you a competitive advantage since you’ll be able to get past the competition by being very specific with your blog.
Not only that, but these keywords will also give you great ideas for future article topics that your potential niche blog is going to talk about.
This niche research tool makes sure that your niche blog stands a chance of ranking high on search engines. I consider Ahrefs an all-in-one tool since it goes beyond simply knowing whether a niche makes a good investment or not.
It does more by showing you the pages of other blogs in your niche that received a high volume of traffic. This is very important if you’re trying to decipher a site’s level of engagement.
With Ahrefs, you can set up alerts, so you get notified of keyword mentions which again, will help you assess if a niche is performing well.
After you create your blog, use Ahrefs to monitor your site metrics, including your competitor’s.
Wrapping it up
Blogging becomes more worthwhile if you’re able to find a niche that meets your interests and the needs of your audience.
Of course, no aspiring blogger ever wants to invest time, effort, and money in a blog that will only be abandoned later.
Since we’ve tackled all possible strategies on how to find your niche in blogging including the use of paid tools, start applying them to your new blog. Hopefully, your blogging venture becomes successful.