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.