Choosing the right niche for your blog can be a tricky thing. You have to pick a topic that’s popular and potentially monetizable. You should be able to write a great deal on the topic as well, so it’s necessary to pick a topic with which you feel totally comfortable.

This can be a taxing job for anyone, which is why we’ve provided 10 steps that’ll help you choose the perfect niche for your blog.

1. Make A List Of Topics You Know Well

Niche bloggers need to earn subject matter expertise in their chosen area and have the ability to research information. It’s important therefore to blog only on topics with which they are comfortable. Dig through your knowledge base, your hobbies, interests and pursuits and come up with a list of 15 topics for your niche blog.

2. Test The Topics For Longevity

Trendy topics such as current politics, policies and so on will not hold user interest over time. If you plan on monetizing your blog and building a name for yourself, you need a niche that will stand the test of time. Review your list of 15 topics and shortlist 10 or 8.

3. Perform Keyword Research To Check Niche Viability

Search engines index your site based on a number of factors, but primarily, they look for targeted keywords. Locate specific keywords that pertain to your niche topic shortlist using Wordtracker’s Keyword Tool.

4. Check If The Niches Are Popular Or Not

You need to know if people are going to like your blog once you’re up and ready. Run the keywords you isolated through Google Analytics to find out exactly how many people are searching for related topics. You can use this method to compare different topics and gauge the popularity of each one.

5. Check Out The Competition

Search for the most popular keywords from your isolated keyword list and check out the blogs that correspond to them. By doing this, you can find out two things; the popularity of certain niches, and the presence and density of competition in each area.

6. Fine-Tune Your Shortlist

Set aside those niche-specific keywords for which there are fewer competitors. Fine-tune your shortlist of topics based on these results; at this point you should have no more than 5 topics on hand. You know that your final shortlist of topics will work in the blogosphere. There are few competitors, but the niches are popular and there’s scope for interest.

7. Check If The Markets Are Buying Markets

After your keyword research comes market research. Find out if the topics you’ve shortlisted are part of the buying market. Many bloggers who started blogging years ago started their blogs on a whim but found that it takes hard cash to sustain their blogs over time. There’s no point in doing all this research if your niche is not part of the buying market. Who knows, doing this exercise might even open up a few new ideas of niches for you.

8. Check Out Market Segmentation

If you have a number of popular keywords for your shortlisted topics, find out how segmented the market is. One of the most important steps in marketing is to divide your audience based on their interests. You can then craft a customized, targeted message to grab more eyeballs.

For example, if you want to blog about movies, find out how many people are searching for “top movies 2011,” or “download movies 2011.” If more people are interested in watching movies and talking about them than downloading them for free, a blog targeting movie fans will probably get you more traffic.

9. Further Fine-Tune Your Shortlist

Review all your research up to this point. At this point, we suggest that you create a worksheet with the following columns: Niche Topic, Popularity (out of 10), Competition, Keywords, Audience Segmentation, and Monetizability Scope. Bring your shortlist down to 3 or 2 from 5. Make sure you document every aspect of your process in your worksheet. You never know when you might need to start another blog or take up a different niche.

10. Follow Chosen Niche Blogs ON Social Media Sites

Make a list of the blogs that correspond to your shortlist of 3 and follow them via social media. Find out how each blog is faring. Study their posts regularly and subscribe to their feeds. Take a few days time and pick the niche that’s most successful out of your list of three. Now you’ve done everything you could to pick the best niche. You know your niche is popular, the competition is bearable, you know your audience, you know the keywords to target, you know who your biggest competitors are and therefore who to network with. In short, you have all the info you need to start the blog.

December is officially here. Only 24 days until Christmas! Yes, I’m very excited. But, we can’t forget about Thanksgiving which occurred just a week ago. I had a great time spending it with family and friends, and I’m looking forward to doing the same here in the coming weeks.

I went Black Friday shopping for the first time ever. Got a Blu-Ray player and some movies, finally! I apologize for not getting the announcement up about the HostGator 50% deal going on then as I was busy. You can still get an amazing price on hosting by going here and entering “wordpress” into the coupon section during checkout. You’ll get your first month for one penny.

Enough about me, how did you spend your Thanksgiving holiday? Get any good Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals? Share in the comments below.

Okay, let’s get to last month’s blog posts…

November 2011 Blog Posts on ReplaceYourSalary.com

How to Streamline Your Business with Efficient Digital Asset Management

8 Tips for Using Facebook for Marketing

4 Tips for Keeping Up with Your Online Business while on Vacation

Top 10 Reasons to Like Google+

October 2011 Income Report

Business Lawsuits: How to Protect Yourself

5 Tips to Stay Motivated While Working from Home

TBTrack.com – A Legit CPA Network?

Can You Replace Your Laptop with a Tablet?

Blog Posts Around the Web

Here are some blog posts I’ve found from other bloggers I follow that I hope you will find helpful. I encourage you to take some time to read these as well.

Asher over at BloggersPassion talks about Google+ as a platform and how it’s making way into the social networking scene. While I’m not a huge fan of Google+ yet, I can’t ignore the SEO benefits that come from utilizing Google’s social site.

Over at DailyBlogTips, Elijah discusses some legal risks to be mindful of as a blogger. Definitely worth checking out as well, as people are more sue-happy as ever in this day and age.

Andrew talks about narrowing down a niche to make money online. As you may know, I’ve gotten into niche marketing, and I believe it’s a very viable means of expanding an online business to make more money.

Alex from HowToSpoter provides 7 ways to get backlinks that you may not have thought of before. I cover many different link building strategies here on this blog as links are an integral part of getting organic traffic from the search engines.

Jojo over at TechChunks offers 5 tips on selling ads on your blog. I totally agree with cutting out the middleman. A good portion of my monthly income comes from selling private ads and is a great way to increase the revenue of your site or blog.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more great articles coming soon.

As always, share your thoughts by leaving a comment below…

The time has come. The moment you all have been waiting for.

I am finally announcing the niche I have chosen to go into along with the actual site. A lot of planning and preparation went into this, and I’m hoping those efforts pay off.

No matter the case, I’ll be sharing every step of the process. And with that said, the very first step in starting a niche site, or any site for that matter, is choosing a domain name.

Before I get into the details, here is the domain I chose for my niche site…

*drumroll*

http://getbackyourexadvice.com

There it is in all its glory. I’m sure you can guess the niche I’ll be targeting. But if not, here’s a few ideas.

Couples who just broke up, boyfriend/girlfriend wanting their ex back, couples on the verge of divorce, etc.

You get the idea. Obviously there are niches within niches, but the main niche I’ll be focusing on is for those wanting to get their ex back.

I can either go broad and branch away, or I can go deep and narrow in on a specific group of people. the possibilities are endless really. Pretty exciting stuff, eh?

Why the Relationship Niche?

Before I get into all the domain name goodies, I feel I should answer this question for those wondering why I would want to get into this niche.

Truth be told, I’ve been through a bad breakup. As recent as June of this year. I was engaged. No need to go further into details. At the time, I wanted to get back together, but not anymore.

A lot of people were in my position, and you will always have couples who are breaking up for numerous reasons.

All in all, there will always be money to be made within this niche. People are desperate to get their ex’s back and will do anything, including paying for valuable advice on how to do just that.

So, that’s the why.

Let’s get into how I ended up with the domain name I  chose and the necessary steps I took to get there.

Preliminary Domain Name Research

It doesn’t sound fun, and you’d be right to think so, unless you consider the money you can make by getting it right.

It’s important to realize that when you’re building a niche site, it’s a little different than building a branding website, e-commerce site, personal site, corporate site or something similar.

Take my site for example. It’s more of a branding-type site, targeting a very broad and large niche. With niche marketing, you’re targeting a small niche, usually a specific keyword phrase.

This is the same as targeting larger niches, but the competition will be much less. So with that in mind, the keyword research is exactly the same. The only difference is that you’ll be looking for keyword phrases that get searched for less (but still have a good number of searches per month) and have little competition.

Another difference is that your domain name is going to include the keyword phrase you choose to target. As you can see by the domain I chose, my main keyword phrase I’m targeting is “get back your ex.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t get an exact match domain name with just those words, as it was already taken. That would have been ideal.

But what you can do, and what I did, was add a word to the end of the phrase. The word I added was “advice.”

Again, ideally you want just your keyword phrase as the domain name. But, when that’s not possible, add a word to the end.

So, how do we get to this stage?

Keyword Research

Like I mentioned before, the way you do keyword research never changes. The only thing that changes is what you’re looking for, and that is determined by the the niche you’re going into along with the amount of competition there is.

I’ve covered keyword research in previous posts, so I don’t want to get real technical here, other than to show you exactly what I did to land on the keyword phrase I’m targeting, along with the reason behind my decision.

I don’t have any fancy, expensive keyword tools (yet). Honestly, you don’t need them. They make life easier, but you can get by using free tools. I use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool.

After spending around 3 hours searching various keyword phrases, I came upon the “get back your ex” phrase and chose to use it. Here’s a screenshot at what this looks like when using Google’s free tool:

It’s important to note that you must check the “Exact” tick box so that you get an accurate number of exact match searches per month. Otherwise, you get an inaccurate, normally much higher number of searches per month.

As you can see, the exact match shows 1,000 searches per month for “get back your ex.” This is a fair amount and will serve well when you’re just starting out. It’s important to start out small and then slowly start targeting more lucrative keywords once you’re already bringing in traffic.

To get an idea of the competition for the phrase you’ve chosen, all you have to do is use Google search and enter in the keyword phrase, without quotes. Here is the list results when I search “get back your ex” without quotes:

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&expIds=17259,24279,27731,27759,27867&sugexp=gsih&xhr=t&q=get+back+your+ex&cp=6&pf=p&sclient=psy&aq=0&aqi=&aql=f&oq=get+back+your+ex&gs_rfai=&pbx=1&fp=e18ec2db23988f7d

If you click on the link, you’ll see that there are 133 million websites that come up. Normally, that’s A LOT of competing websites. However, what’s important here is to take a look at the top 10 websites that show up. Look at what kind of sites they are, whether they’re article directory sites, news sites, etc.

Also, take a look at their Google Page Rank. The only real threat is the very first web page. It has a Page Rank of 4, and it’s promoting the exact same program I am. However, the site is boring, and it looks like a sales letter. I couldn’t get any traffic stats on it either.

The next two listings are article directory sites. Not saying it will be easy to out-rank these, but I’m pretty optimistic that will some strategic backlinking, I can pull it off. I think I can even get to the number one spot.

The Next Step

All these factors I mentioned are an important part of doing the necessary research to find a suitable domain name. You have to factor in the number of monthly searches and the strength of competition. Obviously this takes time, more so when you’re going the free route. This process can be quickly sped up when using tools like Micro Niche Finder or Market Samurai.

Like I said, it took me about 3 hours to finally come upon the keyword phrase I wanted to run with. That’s time worth spent in my opinion. If you also noticed, there are many related keywords I can focus on too. The screenshot shows you another one that might be suitable, depending on the competition, and there are close to one hundred more related terms from the complete list.

These are also factors to consider as well. No one said it would be easy, but with a little patience and creativity, finding a suitable domain name doesn’t have to be super difficult.

Now, once you’re set on a keyword phrase, the next step is to actually reserve your domain name.

Buying Your Domain Name

I use NameCheap to register all of my domains. They’re cheap, reliable, offer free Whois protection, and registering your domains with a separate registrar than your web host is a good idea for many reasons.

All you have to do is enter your keyword phrase into the domain name lookup and hit enter. You’ll be presented with a screen like this:

Of course, your choice should not be taken. You can choose as many domain extensions you want. .Com domains are the most popular, next would be .Net and then .Org.

Once you’re done, click the “Add to Cart” button and go through the checkout process. After that, your domain is ready. It’s all a matter of changing your DNS settings to point to your web host and setting up the new domain as an add-on to your existing web hosting account. If you need help with this, just let me know.

The next phase of the niche site building process is the overall design of the site. I will cover these aspects in my next niche site update, so stay tuned for that.

I realize I covered a lot of information here. If you have any questions or there’s something you’re not sure about, please feel free to ask. You can either leave a comment below or email me directly. Either way is fine.

One of the fundamental keys to making money online is being able to find a niche market to sell to. There are thousands upon thousands of niche markets out there, and some with very little competition.

For those just getting started and who want to venture into making money online, they usually face one of two problems:

  • Finding a low-competition niche that isn’t profitable
  • Finding a profitable niche with too much competition

This isn’t always the case, though. Some may have done their homework ahead of time (kudos to them), and others just get lucky (it happens).

However, for MOST people… they don’t have a prayer in the world. They find themselves stuck in one of those two situations, get frustrated when no money comes rolling in and give up.

It’s a real shame. Let me ask you this…

Do you know how to find a niche market?

Unless you’re already making money online, then the answer is probably “No!”

If that’s you, and you’re ready to give it a real go and make money online, then keep reading.

I just got done reading the e-book Nomad’s Guide To Make Money Online. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for me because I’m in the planning stages of venturing into other niches, as talked about in my recent income report.

You see, I chose to go into the ‘work from home‘ niche, which is by far one of the largest and most competitive of all the niches. What this means is that it’s very hard to get ahead and beat out the competition and make serious money online. Hard… but not impossible. It’s a long road for sure, and I’m still traveling. The ride is fun, though. 🙂

But… I want to venture into smaller, less competitive niches. There will be less work involved, and the rewards can be just as good.

That’s where this book comes into play. I know that it will help you out tremendously just as it’s going to help me. I’ve already gone through it and can tell you that it’s the most complete guide I’ve ever seen that shows you how to make money online by finding niche markets. That speaks volumes considering there is so much information out there. Normally, the information you need is either scattered far and wide or is incomplete, or even inaccurate.

This book is different, though.

Nomad’s Guide To Make Money Online

The book is written by Janet Smith, whom you’ve probably never heard of before, and that’s because she prefers it that way. Janet is a “digital nomad,” able to travel the world while making money online at the same time (hence the name of the book). She specializes in making money with small niches, and was quietly doing so until she decided to write her book and share her knowledge.

The book is so in-depth that it took a solid two days to absorb the information. A two days well worth spent, might I add. Unlike a lot of people that talk about making money online, who always seem to leave out a little bit of important information here and there, Janet doesn’t hold back one bit.

Her approach is honest and straightforward; she starts from the very beginning of the process of how to find a niche market and walks you through step-by-step exactly what you need to do to make money online.

Here’s what you’ll find inside the e-book:

  • The Mindset of a Digital Nomad
  • How to Make Money Online
  • MMO Vocabulary Terms
  • Finding Niches & Conducting Keyword Research
  • 3rd Tiers, Content, & White Hat SEO
  • Backlinks, Black Hat SEO, 1st Tiers, & 2nd Tiers
  • Monetization Methods & Maximizing Your Income
  • How and Why to Get the Right Traffic
  • Tips for Getting Started
  • Helpful (Optional) Tools
  • Free Resources
  • Using the System for an Online Business

The guide is 179 pages long, jam packed with exactly the information you need to understand in order to implement what Janet teaches so you can begin making money on the internet. Let me just say that you don’t need to know this stuff from the get-go. You could be completely oblivious to this stuff and not have a clue what I’m talking about… and you will still be able to understand what is taught in the guide.

Janet goes out of her way to explain everything so that complete beginners can understand and grasp the concepts. The “MMO Vocabulary Terms” in Chapter 3 will immensely help if you fall into this category.

Final Thoughts

I could go on and on, but that would be pointless. The simple fact is that if you’re looking for a way to make money online, you need this guide. I have yet to see another “MMO” guide out there that comes even close to the value of what Nomad’s Guide To Make Money Online offers.

This book is going to be my make money “Bible” when it comes time to start my new niche sites. It’s just that good, and I can’t thank Janet enough for the time and effort she put into writing it.

I highly recommend grabbing a copy for yourself if you want to make money online…

Get your copy today. Version 2 is now out and even better.

I know it’s been awhile, but if you remember from my previous post, I told you to write down your interests and hobbies. I hope you did just that because today we’re going to take that list and narrow it down to just one interest.

This one interest will become your perfect niche. And, by perfect I mean the one niche you have a vested interest in and will make you money. I don’t know what could be more perfect than that. 😉

There are many… literally… MANY different ways to pick a niche that is going to be profitable for you. If you’ve been a long time reader of mine, then you might remember a previous post I did about finding a profitable niche. I’m sure that post will provide some useful tips for you.

However, there’s a “scientific” approach you can take to find the perfect niche. While I was drumming up ideas for this post, it just so happened that Court Tuttle of The Keyword Academy came out with a killer post on this exact topic.

Talk about great timing.

Court provides a very detailed and mathematical approach to finding specific keywords that are going to bring in income and be profitable. As long as you don’t mind doing some simple research and crunching some numbers, this is a sure-fire way of knowing whether or not your interest could become your perfect little niche.

Take the time to check out Court’s article on Analyzing the Profit Potential of an Online Market.

To better understand this, you’re going to want to associate keywords with your interests. Come up with some broad keywords that describe your interests. Take your list of interests, along with the associated keywords, and put them through the test using Court’s methodology.

I haven’t had the chance to use this myself yet, but I can assure you that I will be when I decide to start my next niche blog.

If you have any questions about Court’s method, chances are someone may have already asked it on his blog, so read through the comments first before you shake your head in confusion.

What do you think about this method? What do YOU do to find profitable niche markets?