How to Choose a Blog Niche in 4 Simple Steps

How to Choose a Blog Niche in 4 Simple Steps

This is a crucial moment, isn’t it? After you make THIS ONE decision everything will start to fall into place and your website will gradually grow.

That’s a little scary. But don’t worry, I’m here to help and tell you how to choose a Blog Niche that’s perfect for you.

But first, let me say…

If you choose the wrong Blog Niche now, it’s not the end of the world.

I know because it’s happened to me.

So, this is what we’ll be talking about today:


My Failed Blog Niche

My first website was called HowToRun5K.com.

At first, I got really excited by the possibility of writing to people that – like myself – enjoyed running short distances.

It seemed like the perfect idea:

  • A regular runner faces a variety of difficulties while training (injuries, bad weather, busy schedule, just to mention a few). And I would be able to address each one of them suggesting solutions.
  • Likewise, I could also talk about ways to improve their performance.
  • There were tons of products I could promote within that niche, tennis shoes, clothing, all types of accessories, books, movies, memberships.

But…

I soon realized that my knowledge about running 5K was somewhat limited and if I wanted to write quality articles (which I did!) I would have to do A LOT of research.

Well, after not too long, writing became harder and less joyful. The initial excitement was gone.

Don’t get me wrong, doing research was not the issue. I didn’t mind the hard work, in fact, I knew it was part of the process.

The problem was not being passionate about my niche.

Things just got too overwhelming for me. I was already focusing on learning a new skill set (internet marketing) and all of a sudden I also had to make an extra effort to write about something I discovered I didn’t like that much…

That’s when I realized I had made the wrong choice.

Failed Blog Niche

After this experience, I’ve been through this process of choosing a blog niche several times. Every time I was moved by something different: a passion, a money-making opportunity, a learning experience.

And now I can say – with no doubt – something that became clear to me: you don’t have to be PASSIONATE about every niche you choose.

But passion sure helps a lot. Especially when you’re just starting out at learning about Affiliate Marketing and are trying to figure things out.

The bright side of that initial failure is that I actually learned a few things.

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Common Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

  • Too broad of an audience – e.g. “runners”. It’s hard to communicate to all kinds of runners, young, old, men, women, long distance, short distance. Narrowing down usually leads to much better results.
  • Niches that are already too targeted, too competitive – e.g. “making money”. Although it’s not impossible to rank on these niches, the high competition makes it harder. The best thing is to try something more specific, like “making money through affiliate marketing”.

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A Winning Step-by-Step Process

Another important thing I learned was a simple efficient method to choose blog niches.

I made a few adjustments to it according to my own thinking and work ethic. You can do the same.

Let me share it with you now.

Choosing a Blog Niche - Step-by-Step

Step 1 – List your Areas of Expertise/Interests

Write down those areas you know a lot about and could help other people with.

If you’re not really an expert on anything, come up with topics you’re interested about, things you’d like to investigate, study about and eventually become an expert.

Step 2 – List your Passions

When you think of your Passions, list those things you don’t mind spending hours talking about. Or things you would have fun reading about (books, magazines, online articles), watching videos and documentaries.

This was my problem with my first blog niche, I liked running 5k, but not necessarily talking about how to have a better performance or reading books about successful runners.

Step 3 – Determine your Target Audience for each topic

Remember that you may not be an expert on something yet, but you will learn and gradually become one.

Until then, there will always be people who know less than you. They are the ones you should target.

You should also think about their ages, gender, nationality and every aspect that helps you identify who you’ll be writing to. Communicating in a way that lets them recognize themselves will help you get their trust and engagement.

Step 4 – Check if there’s a Real Market for each of them

Be realistic. Don’t just trust your gut. You know that phrase: “I have the feeling this niche is going to be a hit”?

That’s not good enough…

You need to do some research to find out if there really is a market for your niche. (Don’t worry, I’ll show you how. Just keep reading.)

Otherwise, you’ll soon get frustrated when you notice your blog isn’t getting enough traffic and there’s very little conversion.

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Let’s Do This Together

Let me show you each step of this process with a hypothetical example:

Step 1 - Expertise/Interests

  • Speaking a foreign language, Italian

Step 2 - Passions

  • Cooking desserts
  • Reading and recommending novels
  • Traveling on a budget

Step 3 - Audience for your Blog NicheI would teach, give tips, and promote products/services related to:

  • Speaking Italian fluently to English-speaking people.
  • Cooking desserts to beginners.
  • Reading and recommending novels to romantic teenagers.
  • Traveling on a budget to middle-class families with kids.

Step 4 - Real Market for your Blog Niche

For the matter of this exercise, I’ll choose one of the niches in Step 3. Let’s say “teaching Italian to English-speaking people“.

>> First, let’s do a simple search on Google to come up with ideas of keywords (terms used by people to search on Google, Bing, Yahoo etc). Start by typing “Learn Italian”, Google makes some suggestions: “Learn Italian fast”, “Learn Italian in Italy”… These suggestions are all based on real prior searches from people using Google.

Google's suggestions to "learn italian"

I like “Learn Italian fast” and “Learn Italian online” because they make sense of what I’m going to talk about at the blog.

Okay, I know now that there are people checking these keywords. But how many people? Are there any other websites exploring these same keywords?

>> That’s why we need to check the keywords’ Search Volume and Competition.

There are quite a few keyword tools online. Unfortunately, a lot of them are not very reliable.

I use one called Jaaxy that gives me a complete set of information that other tools don’t, like the quality of the keyword, the probability of ranking on the first page, and if the website is available if I want to buy it.

Just choose one that you trust, or – if you want to try for yourself – you can access Jaaxy now and get 30 FREE keyword searches.

Check out the results it shows when I search for the 2 keywords:

Jaaxy results for Learn Italian Online

  • Avg (average number of searches for month): 633
  • QSR (competition): 163
  • KQI (quality): Great
  • SEO (probability this will rank on the first page): 82%
  • Domains (available if I want to buy now): LearnItalianOnline.net and LearnItalianOnline.org

Jaaxy results for 'Learn Italian fast'

  • Avg (average number of searches for month): 352
  • QSR (competition):  144
  • KQI (quality): Great
  • SEO (probability this will rank on the first page):  91%
  • Domains (available if I want to buy now): LearnItalianFast.org

As we can see, both seem to be good options with great potential.

First one gets more searches per month (633 vs 352) but it also has more competition (163 vs 144).

I would go with the first option for 2 reasons:

  1. it’s got a lot (80%) more searches per month.
  2. people searching for “Learn Italian Online” are definitely looking for a digital solution (which I intend to offer).On the other hand, someone searching for “Learn Italian Fast” could not be interested in blogs, ebooks, and online courses. This would result in some of those 352 searches leaving my website the minute they realize its online nature instead of a local school, for example.

>> The last verification you need to make is if there are profitable products/services to promote. There’s no point in building an affiliate blog if there won’t be anything interesting to promote, right?

Just Google “your keyword” + affiliate and look at the results.

Here’s what I got when I googled “learn Italian + affiliate”:

Google results for 'Learn Italian + affiliates'

Not bad! And these are just a few. There were more results there.

You can also access Amazon and do the same search. If you find good opportunities there, you can apply for Amazon Associates (which is Amazon’s Affiliate Program).

Other Affiliate Programs you can check directly are Commission Junction and ShareASale.

I personally would not go on with this blog niche simply because monetizing would be difficult. Commissions on books, dictionaries, and even language courses wouldn’t be enough to make this a profitable website.

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Before You Make Your Final Decision

Once you have all the numbers (search volume, competition, the probability of ranking on 1st page, product commissions) take a closer look at your niche idea. Do the numbers show the reality of facts?

I suggest you watch this video and listen to these guys’ arguments when they say if a niche idea is a good or bad one.

They speak from their own experience and there are some pretty good insights.

That’s the kind of thinking you’ll want to have when analyzing the numbers, before making your final decision.

Pay attention to things like what they say around 9:54 about a “General Golf” niche idea. “If I’m a total beginner, maybe I’ll buy a set of clubs online.” You see the importance of knowing who your audience is, advanced, beginner? And where are they buying?

Another example: when they talk about the Technology niche and TV Reviews (“the big money makers”). At 4:54, they mention that there are “huge websites” reviewing TV’s, so it’d be tough to rank for those keywords.

I agree, sometimes numbers indicate not a lot of competition but when you check who is ranking on the first pages of Google you only see Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy… Hard to compete against these guys!

So, yeah, take a close look at your competition not only the numbers before making your decision, okay?

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20 Awesome Niche Ideas

Here are some ideas (in no particular order) for you to explore.

If you see one that you like, go through the Steps above and get to your own decision.

  1. Make Money Online
  2. Business
  3. Kids toys
  4. Beauty & Fashion
  5. Decorating
  6. Faith
  7. Personal Finance
  8. Food
  9. Healthy & Fitness
  10. Travel
  11. Dating
  12. Music
  13. Parenting
  14. Organization
  15. Self-Improvement
  16. Sports
  17. Technology
  18. Web Design
  19. World languages
  20. Books

Please note that these are all Broad Niches and you can easily think of Sub-Niches within each of them.

There's an Overview at the end. And one more thing, remember to write To your Audience. It’s all about them and How you can Help them.

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There you go, a lot of things to think about and start taking action!

I know this list doesn’t cover all the possible niche ideas. There are a lot more. Any other ideas? Please share in Comments.

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Eliane

Eliane is a Wife, Mother, Entrepreneur, Laptop Lifestyle Enthusiast, and Internet Marketing Support Coach. Ever since she started her Online Business she works from anywhere and whenever she wants to. This means being closer to her kids as they grow up. And she LOVES it!

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6 Responses

  1. Jeff says:

    Thank you for the wealth of information you have on your website, Elianet. I have been thinking about starting an Affiliate Business from home as my hours at my Workplace has become very unsteady.
    In your opion, how long would it take to start seeing regular income comming in if I spent a good 5 hours a day working on my site?
    Thanks, Jeff.

    • Eliane says:

      Hi, Jeff and thanks for the compliment on my website.

      Fist, let me say that starting an Affiliate Business while you already have a regular job is a great start for most people. It brings a sense of financial safety. And then, when you start earning your online profits on a regular steady basis, you would say goodbye to your boss and really start living the laptop lifestyle.

      Now, as to how long it would take to start seeing a regular income, there really isn’t one right answer for that.

      It really depends not only on how many hours you spend on your online business but also on:

      * how productive you are in those hours

      * how competitive your niche is

      * the quality of your website content

      * your strategy (I believe in using winning strategies, the ones other successful people have used before. That’s why I’m a member of Wealthy Affiliate, the platform I learned almost everything I know about affiliate marketing)

      * the tools you’re using (there are some pretty amazing tools out there that make affiliate marketing much easier nowadays. Jaaxy – the keyword search tool I mentioned in this article – is a great example of that)

      At the end, it’ll be a combination of these factors. So it varies a lot.

      I’ve seen people earning their first commissions in 2-3 months or even earlier. But for a consistent good income, I’d say it would be more prudent to think in terms of 6 months to 1 year.

      I hope this helps and I wish you all the best!

  2. Jeff Lewis says:

    Your advice here is spot on!
    Speaking from personal experience, choosing your niche is one of the most important tasks when building a new website.
    I also share in the disappointment of failing in my first 3 attempts, mainly due to the lack of passion and expertise. My first website dealt with candles, which I started mainly for my wife and daughter but after a few months, I found that writing about candles became a bit nauseating, lol.

    I am now on my 3rd attempt with a new niche and after a month find myself still going pretty strong.

    Thank you for all the advice and information, I know a lot of people will definitely find this useful!

    • Eliane says:

      Hi, Jeff, thanks for your comment.

      I can imagine that writing about candles could get a bit boring after a while.

      That’s actually one thing that has to be investigated before choosing a niche – and those guys on the video mentioned it – how much content is there to write about the topic you’re considering as your niche? If there isn’t a lot, you should go on to the next possible niche.

      Hey, good luck with your new website. With the experience you got from the previous ones, I’m sure that this one will be a winner!

      All the best.

  3. Rab says:

    Thank you for this informative yet simple to understand article, Eliane! I, too, was always jumping from one niche to another even though it had a ton of money making opportunities and it required me to gain experiences to finally realize that one does need to be all that passionate about a niche. I have finally found a niche that I am not enthusiastically passionate about but I actually enjoy writing articles and blog posts and I think that is what matters.

    • Eliane says:

      Thanks for your words on my article.

      My goal here is to help anyone starting a blog niche, including beginners. So I’m glad you think it’s simple to understand. 🙂

      Being passionate about your niche will definitely help you to be productive while writing content and growing your website.

      I wish you lots of success.

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