So, you’re going to start a blog – congratulations!

Have you decided on the niche for your blog?

Have you chosen wisely?

Choosing the right niche for your blog is very important.

It is fundamental. It is the foundation to a successful blog.

Get this step wrong and you’ll feel totally miserable and frustrated at having wasted so many hours doing the wrong thing.

Better to suffer a little pain now, and more gain at the end, right?

In the next few sections you’ll discover the step-by-step method to choosing your perfect niche. Along the way you’ll examine plenty of different options. Most of them will be trashed, leaving you with the perfect niche for your blog.

Before choosing your perfect niche let’s take a quick look at what the word actually means.

Ready to start your blog? Check out our step-by-step tutorial to find out how. Plenty of bonus tips inside.

1 – What is a niche?

It’s a funny word – niche.

Not as in funny, ‘haha’, but funny as in ‘off-beat’.

It’s probably not a word you’ll run into everyday unless you happen to be talking about blogging or internet marketing.

When Pat Flynn talks about a niche he’s referring to a specific area of the online market:

An area of the market specializing in one type of product or service.
Source: Urban Dictionary

When it comes to blogging it’s a similar definition:

A niche – in simple terms – is the general topic matter that you write about. It’s the passion or main theme of your blog. When you have a niche, all your posts revolve around that main theme, and that’s essentially all you talk about.
Source: Blogging Wizard

Here at WP Superstars all our posts revolve around WordPress. Whether its plugins, themes or hosting, it’s all geared around WordPress. That’s our passion!

A great place to see lots of different blog niches is on Alltop.

If you click on ‘Topics’ from the menu you’ll get a drop-down menu showing some general blog topic areas; e.g. Work, Health, Culture, Interests, Tech, People, News, Sports, etc.

These general blog topics are quite broad, so pick a topic and drill down a bit further. Take a look at Health, for instance, and you can see loads of specific topics; e.g. Acne, Cancer Diabetes, etc.

2 – How do you choose your perfect niche?

Passion is definitely an important part of the selection process, but it’s not the only thing.

2.1 – Purpose

The first question to ask yourself when choosing the niche for your blog is, “What is the purpose of my blog?”

In other words you need to decide:

  • Is my blog just for fun, a hobby on the side?

Or

  • Is my blog something I want to make money from?

This is quite a fundamental question that you should not skip over lightly.

There is absolutely nothing wrong in having a blog as a hobby, and whatever you decide, you need to enjoy doing it otherwise it will just get neglected and eventually abandoned.

(…Like your gym membership…you remember the gym membership don’t you? Sore point? Let’s move on…)

If you definitely want to make money from your blog, then there are other considerations which we’ll come to later on.

But making money varies, and for some people it might mean making a full-time living from it, whilst for others it might mean making some pocket money, or at least enough money to cover the costs of running a blog; e.g. domain, hosting, theme, plugins, etc.

So, ask yourself the question now, profit or pleasure?

2.2 – Passion, expertise, content

Whichever type of blog purpose you choose, profit or pleasure, there are 3 other things you need to consider when choosing your niche:

  • Passion
  • Expertise/profession
  • An endless supply of ideas/content

If you get things right, you’re going to be blogging for a number of years. The more you write on a topic the more you will become an authority in that niche. And if you want to make money from your blogging then you will need some authority.

If you don’t address these three points then you will sink – guaranteed!

You need to be writing naturally about your chosen topic. If you’re straining then it will show in your writing, and frankly, nobody will be interested.

  • What are you passionate about? What inspires you? What do you like to read about?
  • Do you want to write about your profession or do you want to write about something totally different?

OK, time to get thinking and writing.

I’ve got a couple of exercises here that will help you get some clarity on exactly what your niche is going to be.

Ready? Let’s go!

Exercise A: Passion & knowledge

Step 1: Get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side, write down anything and everything that you enjoy. On the other side, write a list of things you are at least semi-knowledgeable about.

Step 2: From your list, circle 3 things on each side of the line that are related in some way.

Step 3: On another piece of paper, write the 6 things down that you circled and do a brainstorm from each of these 6 things.

For example, if you had Plugins then offshoots of that could be Reviews, Tutorials, Sidebar Plugins, List Building Plugins, etc.

When you’ve completed this exercise you’ll have an idea of what your blog should be based on. You’ve got a mixture of things that you are both passionate and knowledgeable about.

Pro Tip

It’s very important to choose the right-sized niche.

+          Go too broad and you will have no target audience

–           Go too narrow and you will run out of content

=          So start small, but in a niche that can expand as you grow

Here are some examples:

Too broad

The niche of Tech would be too broad – only the large magazine style blogs like Techradar or Techcrunch can succeed here.

Too narrow

The niche of WordPress Plugins might be too narrow. Although there are thousands of them you might become bored just choosing this.

Expandable

But the niche of WordPress gives you the scope to expand even if you started with Plugins and then expanded into Themes, Hosting, etc.

Now, taking ‘Exercise A’ a little further we’re going to stretch your mind on those topics you brainstormed.Exercise B: An endless supply of ideas/content

Step 1: On a new piece of paper, or a Word doc, or an Excel sheet write a list of blog post topics to keep you going at least 6 months. Therefore, you’ll need at least 25 blog posts.

(Here’s the math: 26 weeks in 6 months. 1 post a week and 1 week holiday. I’m kind 🙂

So, taking the Plugin example a stage further:

  • The Top # List Building Plugins
  • The Top # Contact Form Plugins
  • The Top # Related Post Plugins
  • The Top # Social Sharing Plugins
  • Thrive Content Builder Review
  • Divi Page Builder Review
  • How To Grow A Monster-Sized List With OptinMonster

…you get the idea

When you’ve completed this exercise you’ll know that you have an endless supply of content and ideas, for at least 6 months.

Pro Tip

Remember: once you start blogging to keep your ideas list topped up.

** I like to keep my ROLODEX (aka Swipe File) on my desktop so I can quickly add new topics as and when I see them.

** Or you could use a tool like Evernote to write your ideas in. Great for when you’re on the move as it’ll sync across devices.

** Or you could use Pocket when you read an article that you think you can use as an inspiration.

Always be on the lookout so that you can quickly switch from consumer mode to producer mode.

2.3 – Profit

Those first two exercises were valid whether you had decided to blog for either profit or pleasure.

If you decided you wanted to make money from your blog then you need to consider your niche a little more.

You see, if you chase a niche because you’ve read that it’s a money-making machine, but you don’t love writing about it, then guess where you’ll be in a few months.

Yep, back to square one, feeling grumpy and certainly no richer!

On the other hand, if you love a topic and can write all day every day about it, but there’s no money in it, then guess where you’ll be in a few months.

Yep, back to square one.

It’s a conundrum…

  • Profitable niche, but don’t love writing about it
  • Love the topic, but no money in it

So, how can you check if your niche is profitable?

There are a few factors you can check to determine whether your chosen niche is going to be profitable.

2.3.1 – Are there any affiliate schemes for your niche?

If you plan on writing about products you could check to see if any affiliate schemes exist.

Let’s stay with our Plugin example.

Some plugins are free, whilst others are paid. The vendors of those plugins often have affiliate schemes to help them sell the product. If you had a specific plugin in mind you could check the vendor’s website – there will most likely be a menu option labelled ‘Affiliates’ or ‘Partners’ – go check them out.

Here are two popular plugins:

Thrive Themes

At the bottom of the page you can see the link for the affiliates program:

Thrive Themes Affiliates

Affiliates Page

Warfare Plugins

At the bottom of the page you can see the link for the affiliates program:

Warfare Plugins Affiliates

Warfare Plugins Affiliates Page

For a general search why not go to the Affiliate Marketplace websites where plugins might be sold, like Clickbank, JVZoo, or ShareASale, etc.

Here are three examples of plugin vendors on ShareASale:

Soliloquy – Slide In WordPress Plugin

Soliloquy

Max Foundry – Max Galleria Plugin

Max Foundry

ThemeIsle – Themes and Plugins

ThemeIsle

2.3.2 – Are other people making money in your niche?

This may seem counterintuitive at first because if other people are already making money then how will you be able to?

But you need to flip it on its head. If people are making money in your niche then it is highly likely that there is a profitable market out there.

  • You need some healthy competition – it shows that there is a market for it
  • If there is nothing out there – it shows you the market is dead

Exercise C:

Step 1: Go back to Alltop and find the top blogs in your chosen niche.

Step 2: Check each blog to see if and how they are monetizing it.

When you’ve completed this exercise you will have a good idea if the niche is profitable.

Pro Tip:

Remember; you will be writing your blog in your own way. Some people will prefer to read your article more than another blogger writing on the same article. You only have to do a Google search on a topic to see many articles exist with a different slant.

For example, both WP Superstars and Byte Of Data have a review on Thrive Leads. They are both good. They both cover the same topic. But they offer a different perspective.

And finally, thinking long-term…

2.3.3 – Could you sell your own product or service?

If you establish yourself as an expert in your chosen niche then there is the possibility to start selling your services or products. It’s another way to make money from your niche.

Summary

We’ve covered a lot of ground so let’s have a quick recap.

Finding the perfect niche for your blog is not something to skip over lightly.

If you spend a huge amount of time creating a blog in the wrong niche, you’ll have wasted a lot of time – avoid this, and other blogging mistakes where possible.

Invest the time now to research the points above and complete the Exercises to validate your ideas.

By the end you should have a clear idea of the perfect niche for your blog. A niche you will enjoy writing about with an endless supply of content. And one that will potentially make you some money.

Hopefully, you can start to see why choosing your niche is so important. It is the foundation to a successful blog. Take the time to pick your perfect niche.

And once you’ve decided on a niche, it’s time to choose a domain name for your blog.

Posted by David Hartshorne

David Hartshorne is a freelance writer helping solopreneurs and small business owners build their online presence through friendly, engaging and shareable web content. When he’s not writing about WordPress and the latest digital marketing tools, you’ll find him chilling with a thriller in Spain.