How to Find your Blogging Niche (And Prove it can Earn Money)
I was once a naive, beginning blogger who wanted to make money online. It wasn't long until I ran experts saying "You gotta find your niche" and "Niche down to make more money!". At the time, I had no idea what this meant, but after creating a few websites and profitable blogs, I'm here to teach you how to find your blogging niche with this article.
What is a Niche?
A Niche is a category of ideas in one topic. Niches can be huge or small. For example, the bodybuilding niche is quite large, while the art of adding muscle mass to your bicep is a much smaller niche.
If you want to create a successful and profitable blog, you need to find a niche that's not overly competitive, yet has enough fans to earn money. Keep reading this article and I'll show you exactly how to do just that!
But first, here are some common blogging niches that have a giant pool of traffic awaiting for some content to consume:
The health and fitness niche is a rare bird. Mostly because it's probably the easiest to get traffic, but the hardest to monetize. Check out my friends at avocadu.com, they're crushing it while earning over $10,000 a month selling their digital products.
Also, on advertising networks, the CPMs of health and fitness ads are usually pretty low, which means less money from this source. However, because it's such an important aspect of life, and people are scared of being overweight, in danger of dying or getting cancer, or desperate to get a six pack... it's also very easy to sell stuff to them.
2) Making Money Online
This niche has been around since caveman times, because it inspires hope. If you're starting a blog about this topic, I highly recommend having some background experience in something that's not just making money online.
For example, the creators of Avocadu.com also have started a new blog CreateAndGo, which is very similar to this blog. As another example, I have started 3-4 successful blogs and a Youtube channel with over 1,500,000 subscribers before creating this blog. I knew how to make money online and with blogging before I tried to show off as an expert.
You can ask me all kinds of questions about opt-ins, lead magnets, sales funnels, conversion rates, search engine optimization, backlink strategies, and I'll know more than the average guy who is also trying to start a "make money online" blog.
The food niche is known for getting tons of traffic, but not making any money. "Why?", you might ask... Because searchers are looking for recipes, and not to buy anything. This makes it difficult to monetize.
4) Personal Finance
On the flipside of food blogs, there's personal finance blogs. A bit more difficult to get traffic, but you can monetize even an audience of 300 viewers. The ad CPMs for this niche are usually $10+ and if you can create an eproduct like an eBook or online course... chances are you'll hit the 5 figure mark with a launch.
In a sense, I mean lifestyle as a niche blog that can be very brandable and the audience is super dedicated. For example, blogs that talk about gardening, survivalism, getting rid of pests, or motorcycle tricks are all lifestyle blogs.
Here are a few examples:
How to find a great niche with Keyword Research
Finding a great niche (if you're starting a blog to make money) consists of two properties:
1) Enough interest from your audience
2) Methods of monetization
There are tons of ways to check for the interest of an audience, but I usually check more than one place. Two great places to start are using Google Trends and the Google Ads Keyword Tool.
First, Google Trends will show you the growth and decline of a specific keyword over time. If the result is over 70%, you've got a decent keyword. Beware of fads or seasonal topics like the infamous "Fidget Spinner" or "PlayStation Portable". To show the growth of an upcoming fad, check out the "KSI vs Logan Paul" keyword, and I urge you to check it in about a year!
You can also scroll down to see related keywords that might have more or less traffic. Since Google has tons of data, I'd definitely trust them on this data. However, I wouldn't choose my niche solely because of one data source, so let's continue.
Another great tool to use is the Google Ads Keyword Tool. This tool was created for advertisers, but can also be used by publishers to get an idea of the keyword amount and average price per ad. Here's a quick search of "How to make money online":
As you can see, anything with more than 10,000 monthly searches would be perfect to write a post about. The downside of this niche is that the competition is high. This means two things. One, this niche is obviously working and earning money. Two, it'll be hard for you to stand out and reach the first page of the search results within your niche.
Test out this tool with other words or niches you might be thinking about and try to pick one where the average monthly searches is above 5,000 and the competition is medium or low.
Write about what you're passionate about
Writing what you're passionate about, or at least something that interests you is important because after you write about 10 blog posts, you'll get bored and unmotivated from the lack of traffic.
It happens with almost every blogger. In fact, 80% of blogs only have one blog post. People fantasize about what plugins they are going to add, how their theme is going to work, and calculate how many pageviews they need to earn $1000/month, but never get past the first article.
Because it's work! It takes your time, thought, energy, and effort to actually write another blog post. And then another one. Plus all the keyword research and editing you have to do. Don't forget about adding relevant images.
This whole blogging process is much easier when you're passionate about the niche you're blogging about.
Write about what you're knowledgeable about
Writing about something you have experience in, or a ton of knowledge is important because when it comes to writing the firs 10-50 blog posts, you won't really have to do much research.
For example, when I started my blog on getting rid of things, I wrote about getting rid of ants, getting rid of spiders, getting rid of back pain... literally everything you could think of! However, I had to first go to Google and do some research before even starting on the article.
For this blog though, I'm already on the 6th blog post and at a total of 14,000 words typed for this blog in under 14 days because I know what I'm talking about and I'm confident teaching it.
If you don't know what niche to blog about, write down everything that you're knowledgable about. Here are some things on my list:
- Making money online
- Creating online courses
- Ford Mustangs
- Self-Improvement Books
- Laser Pointers
- Penetration Testing
- Basic programming languages
Write about what you can monetize
The last part of this niche trio is to write about what you can monetize. Ultimately though, if you can help people with your blog, then you can monetize it. Honestly, you can monetize just about anything.
Here are some simple ways to monetize a blog, but I have a whole post if you're interested in more detailed information:
- Display advertisements
- Affiliate Marketing
- Books, Speaking Gigs, or Freelancing
For the first 8 months of my Youtube channel, I spent hours upon hours creating videos, animating and reaching out to other creators. I didn't even earn a single penny until around month 4. Then it started growing.
I told myself "If I make more money from Youtube than from my part-time job, I'll quit my job". September 2016, that happened. So I quit and during the next few months I earned over $10,000 from Youtube.
The next year, of 2017... I earned a total of around $74,000 from my Youtube business. It was mostly sponsorships, affiliate marketing and the largest chunk came from my the Google ads that displayed on my Youtube videos.
Now, I'm almost through 2018. So far I've earned $140,000 from the same business, but over $100,000 have been from selling online courses (something I didn't even start until this time last year). I'm very grateful for the opportunity to make a living teaching, and also the ability to help others get what they want through these online courses.
How to become an expert in a niche
The key to really growing a blog with your specific niche is to become an expert. Now, you might think becoming an expert is a thing that takes years and tons of research. In a day of online education and knowledge at your fingertips... becoming an expert only takes a few Google searches.
Better yet, if you read 5-6 books on your topic, you've already surpassed 90% of everyone in your niche. Most people never read a book on a niche that they're interested in, and even fewer pick up more than two. Becoming an expert in a niche can be as simple as reading 5 books and spending 40 hours learning about your topic.
For example, I'm by no means an academic expert at psychology... in fact I don't even have an associates degree in any major. However, I have read around 10 psychology textbooks and hundreds of other great books on the topic of psychology. Because of this deep domain knowledge, I know more than the average person on the topic and can use it to teach. You can copy this simple formula and use it within your niche to become an "expert".
Note: I also don't claim to be expert, but if I have knowledge that can help someone... I'll teach them. If you teach enough people, they start calling you an "expert".
The psychology knowledge I use has helped me in many ways, including:
- Preventing procrastination in myself and students
- Marketing my courses, videos, and content better
- The ability to set goals and achieve them
- Mastering my work mindset
- Improving my relationships via social skills
Niche Website vs Authority Website
Most blogs usually fit into two different categories: niche or authority.
Niche websites are usually smaller blogs with less than 30 highly-targeted pages with a focus on a super specific topic.
The main method of monetization is simply ad revenue and affiliate income. Most niche blog creators choose Amazon Associates as their affiliate network and create pages designed to convert buyers.
Authority websites are usually large blogs with more than 50 pages and are usually respected by people in the industry because of the vast and credible knowledge they offer.
Sometimes Authority blogs have a team of writers, a marketing budget, and plenty of eyeballs due to their time in business. Authority blogs are more prone to monetize their website with things like author-created books, their own courses or products, and more sponsored posts. Authority websites also have a much broader range of categories and topics included in their pages.
From an SEO perspective, authority websites usually rank much higher because they have more backlinks. Of course, more backlinks usually correlates to "better content" and thus Google will rank them higher. Also, a higher budget is correlated with better graphic design and user interface, something very important to Google's RankBrain algorithm.
On the other hand, Niche websites are usually very detailed in what they write about... sometimes writing 2-5x more on a single topic. This means that a searcher will have a better user experience on a niche website because they'll find all the information they're looking for - and more!