Successful business owners everywhere agree that “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” And this also applies to how you find your blog niche.
The most crucial element of preparing a blog plan is first to identify your niche.
Do this correctly, and your blog will match your passions. It will also go a long way towards meeting your financial goals. Unfortunately, as a new blogger, I’ve already encountered plenty of women who have rushed headlong into launching a blog before narrowing down their niche. They seem very frustrated!
Before I continue, I think it makes sense to define what I mean by blogging. I’m going to share the best definition I have found. It comes from Ruth Soukup’s book How To Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul:
“blog: to produce & publish any form of content online for the sake of establishing credibility, building rapport, and expanding your customer base; also sometimes called content marketing. It can include written blog posts, videos, podcasts, social media, and email.”
Ruth’s definition of blogging hit the nail on the head. This blog is an online business. The blog posts establish credibility and build rapport. Readers become customers when they purchase my services or products.
Before You Find Your Blog Niche
The internet is jam-packed with easy to implement advice on how to start a blog. However, there is one thing you must consider before you find your blog niche.
How fast do you need to earn an income???
When you launch a blog, you are playing the long game. It could take 8 to 12 months, maybe even longer, before you start to generate a consistent monthly income of $1,000 to $2,000 per month.
Are you willing to consistently work 15 to 20 hours per week for a full year to eventually start earning a consistent income?
If you are just getting started on your entrepreneurial journey and need to earn a consistent income fast… let’s say $1,500 to $3,000 per month within the next 2 or 3 months… then start with a service-based business model.
Here is what Ruth says in her book:
“If your only goal in starting a blog or an online business is to make money, content marketing might not be the right fit…There are far easier and much surer and faster ways to earn money right away than by starting a content marketing-based business.”
Before I launched Today’s Home Business, I got my start in the online world as a service-provider. I enrolled in Abbey Ashley’s Savvy System and earned $1,800 in my first three months of providing Virtual Services. $1,800 may not sound like much, but I was only working 5 hours per week. So, I know from experience that services, not blogging, is not the fastest way to earn a sustainable income.
You can read my review of Abbey’s Savvy System here.
So, why blog at all? A blog is perfect if you want to create a plan for long-term passive income.
With a service-based business, you are still trading hours for dollars. Although it’s the perfect start to working from home and being a business owner, in the long run, it doesn’t contribute to work-life balance the way that blogging can. Cutting back on the hours I work with clients, while still earning passive income from a blog is a total win-win.
How Do I Find My Blog Niche?
If you don’t narrow down your niche significantly, you try to write content that will please too many people. This mass-market approach will leave you exhausted and frustrated.
When choosing a niche for your blog, you can also go too narrow. This can produce a minimal amount of traffic, readers, and customers. So, even if you become a leader in your micro-niche, you may find it hard to meet your financial goals.
7 Steps to Choose A Blog Niche
Here is a summary of the 7 steps I took to help me solve the “too wide” or “too narrow” struggle. Anyone can improve their odds of succeeding as a blogger dramatically merely by following the same steps.
- Enrolled in Suzi Whitford’s Free Blog Plan mini-course to get an idea of what I would have to do the first year of blogging
- Evaluated the niche that matches my knowledge and skills
- Assessed the niche for long-term passive income potential (affiliate sales)
- Brainstormed products (courses and printables) that would be a good fit for the niche
- Brainstormed memorable names that would be the right fit for the niche
- Researched which domain names were available and purchased a domain
- Purchased Traci Fobes Niche Planning Guide for $7 to help flesh out my avatar and blog categories
How To Evaluate Your Blog Niche Options
When you love your blog niche, you’ll be able to produce content effortlessly and improve your chances of success. The problem is discovering what niche matches your knowledge and skills.
To evaluate your blog niche options, start by identifying the following:
- What do you enjoy doing and talking about? When do you feel “fired up”? What type of blog would you be running if you were guaranteed to succeed?
- Are there specific hobbies or activities that you prefer to work on? What kind of projects do you look forward to tackling?
- What projects do you absolutely dread? Are there any types of blogs that you definitely wouldn’t get involved in? Even if those markets look very attractive financially, your chances for success diminish if you launch a blog you don’t really love.
- What do your friends and family members say are your strongest points and character traits? Take time to ask for input from those people you respect. The answers could surprise you.
- What are you good at? Does your particular expertise in a specific area match up with your passion or a sense of purpose? If so, you have found the perfect market for narrowing down your blog niche.
- Think about the people you surround yourself with. Who do you relate to effortlessly? What types of people seem to understand you very clearly? Look for similarities among these individuals. You could spot a need or desire those people have, which could make an excellent base for a niche market.
- When you think about your desires, is there something missing in the current blogging landscape? Is there content, product, or services you wish were available that is not being offered? Sometimes filling a personal need leads to the discovery of an overlooked niche that is practically begging for someone to provide a solution or service.
- What are the hot trends in your areas of interest? Can you spot where your niche is headed? Google Trends, Amazon and YouTube are excellent for uncovering hot current topics
Niching Down Your Current Blog
Perhaps you are not launching a new blog. Maybe you have a blog that is up and running. Whether your blog is successful or not, you could discover profitable new opportunities by narrowing your focus.
On the other hand, you may simply want to define your niche in a much clearer manner. This is an especially important consideration if you feel that you are up against Goliaths which have already established themselves as leaders in your niche.
If you have a current list of email subscribers, ask their opinion. Tell them that you are looking to provide value with your future blog content. Ask them what they would like to read. If you have several ideas already in mind, ask them to rank those ideas.
You should also consider a demographic survey. This is where you ask your email subscribers to answer a few basic questions (age group, geographical region, income level) and see what they have in common. These questions may provide valuable insights into your current blog readers, uncovering a new and fresh blog category.
What’s the difference between a blog Niche or Micro Niche?
By now, you understand the benefits of narrowing your blog focus. But when should you stop “niching down” and launch your blog? The opposite question is also a valid one. How do you know if you have narrowed your market enough?
To help you answer these questions, you need to know the difference between niche marketing and micro-niche marketing.
For me, I started with the work from home niche. A very broad niche. This contains all products and services related to helping people work from home. One specific niche market, which is a subset of work from home is helping someone become a small business owner.
Becoming a small business owner could include topics like selling products on Shopify or Etsy ( e-commerce), become a blogger, becoming a course creator, or starting a service-based business. Those would be considered micro-niches.
For a new blogger, I believe it’s best to start somewhere in the middle of a niche and micro-niche. My blog content is 80% centered around helping women launch a service-based business. The other 20% centers around mindset, balancing work time with family time, and my adventures in blogging and earning passive income.
I do not write about e-commerce or helping people break into the gig economy/freelance. You won’t find many tips about finding your next job on Upwork, Fiverr, or Craig’s list.
My goal is to help women transition from employee to entrepreneur. Once again, Traci’s Fobes $7 Niche Planning Guide was super helpful for me.
Once you recognize your knowledge, skill, and ability, you will know if you are on the right track. Just remember two things:
1) No matter what anyone says, there is no “one-size-fits-all solution” when you are just launching your blog and narrowing your focus.
2) This step in the blog niche selection process will take some time. But, it is time well invested.
Evaluate the potential for success in your niche
Up to this point, much of the focus has been on identifying your own skills and interests. That step is crucially essential to launching and maintaining a blog you love. When you are passionate, it’s easier to write content that will help your readers.
Now you need actually to pinpoint whether your niche is profitable or not. The following considerations will reveal if the niche you selected can be profitable:
Is there an existing demand for content, products, and services in your niche?
If you find blogs with content, services, and products similar to what you want to write about, then you know that you can tailor your content to an audience that already exists. But keep in mind that you will need to add inherent value and differentiate your content from the competition. Simply creating content that is identical to other blogs is unlikely to lead to success.
What to do after you find your blog niche
Google is far and away the most popular search engine in the world. However, did you know that former Google Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, stated that, “Really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon.” You may have heard that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. This is true, but here is something you may not have known – Google owns YouTube. So the largest competitive search engine as far as Google is concerned isn’t YouTube. It is Amazon.
That means you should type your blog niche into Amazon and see how many products, services, and books are listed. Several thousand listings reveal a potentially profitable market.
The same is true for YouTube. The YouTube search engine provides video tips, strategies, product specifics, and service ideas you can use in your own blog. Again, you want several thousand YouTube search engine results to identify a niche where customers spend money.
Quora is a question-and-answer site that is full of excellent niche market information. You can ask your questions and receive email notifications when you get a response. That could take time, however. The smartest way to use question and answer sites is to enter niche market keywords and phrases into their search engines and study the results.
Another simple way to research your niche is to use the power of Facebook. People speak freely on Facebook, so ask their opinions regarding specific niche markets, products, and services.
What type of questions should you ask? You get the most relevant and revealing information on any topic when you ask someone about the pains they are experiencing in that area. Ask people about the challenges they face. Look for common responses. This will provide a treasure chest of potential blog posts for you to write.
Once you find your blog niche, get to know your Avatar
If you don’t know who your blog readers will be, then your blog business plan will be based on chance and luck. When you know everything about your reader, you can develop a precise blog marketing plan aimed directly at the needs and problems your readers have.
I love how Ruth sums this up in her book. She says, “You can’t write to everyone, nor do you want to. Because when you are writing to everyone, you are really writing to no one.”
This is why you should create a blog avatar. At the very least, you should know your blog readers:
- Gender and age
- Level of education
- Affiliations (social, religious, etc.)
- Hobbies and interests
- Geographical information
- Spending habits
- What is your blog avatar struggling with today?
- What does your blog avatar hope to accomplish in the next year or two?
- When you identify your blog avatars traits and characteristics, you begin to discover your niche and successfully narrow your blog focus even more.
The Final Word on Finding Your Blog Niche
I think it’s easy to fall in love with your blog! You can truly achieve all your personal and financial goals by focusing on a niche you are passionate about.
You now have an overview of how I found the blog niche that was perfect for me. Now it’s time for you to take action:
Check out Suzi’s Whitford courses. I love to learn and Suzi’s courses are affordable. I’ve taken her FREE Blog Plan course as well as her signature Blog By Number course.
And before you dive into starting a blog, you can also download my free quick-start guide Employee to Entrepreneur, this will help you evaluate if a service-based business is the right model for you.
Hello there! I’m Jill, thanks for visiting my blog. I help women create work-life flexibility and financial stability by building a profitable online business they love. Feel free to send me a message and let me know how I can help YOU!