So you decided to start a blog?! Yay! Exciting things are about to happen if you take this any further.
Make sure you read the 7 Reasons Why I Started a Blog and Why You Should Too.
This will make it more clear how blogging can change your life and how to understand your own personal reasons behind starting a blog.
Finding your why is what will keep you going when blogging gets tough. If you are set on making money blogging, it is ultimately what will make you successful down the road.
Once that’s done and you’re sold on starting a blog, you’re ready to narrow down the topic (or niche) and decide on a name for your site (or domain).
I’m going to help you figure out your blog niche if you want to start a money-making blog. If you are not thinking about earning an income from your blog, then a lot of what I have to say may not apply.
Choosing a Topic
This may be simple for some and very difficult for others.
The ultimate goal of developing your niche (topic) is to find a topic that you are passionate about or very experienced in and is also popular and commonly searched for.
First things first, what is a niche?
You’ll hear this word a TON in the blogging word, so I just want to make sure you get it.
A niche is just a fancy word for your blog topic and the main theme of your blog. It is also the audience that you will be writing to.
It’s important to consider both when you are deciding on a niche and narrowing it down.
If you already have an area of expertise
You may have decided on starting a blog because you have a specific interest or passion that you want to share with the world.
In this case, you probably already have your blog niche.
Maybe you have a child with a disability and you want to offer support and tips for other moms of children with that diagnosis.
Maybe you just lost 65lbs with your own strict plan of diet and exercise and you want to share your tips and tricks to help others do the same.
Maybe you built an awesome garden with different varieties of fruits and veggies. You could have made a lot of mistakes along the way, so you want to teach others how to grow a beautiful garden and harvest their crops for fresh, homemade recipes.
If you already know the area that you would love to blog about, you’re one step closer. However, you still may need to narrow it down, which we will get to later.
If you don’t feel that you have a strong interest in anything
Many people have a different reason for starting a blog and that’s ok too.
Maybe your big reason is that you’re burnt out from your career, need a complete change, and are ready to start your own online business.
Maybe you have heard about a lot of successful bloggers and how much money they make and you want a piece of the pie.
Maybe you’re a stay-at-home mom that just needs to contribute to her family’s finances while she watches Sesame Street on repeat.
Maybe you want to travel a lot more so you need a side hustle for those expenses, instead of dipping into your regular household income.
Do you see now why it’s important to find your why for starting a blog? It will help you to understand so much more about the blog you will inevitably create.
In this case, you may not know off-hand what you can blog about. You may be thinking that you don’t know of one specific area that you are passionate about or an expert in.
However, every person is bound to have an area that they have tremendous interest, success, or experience in. It may not come to you right away, but it’s there.
Regardless of the reason, step one of starting a blog is so important: Choosing a Niche and Narrowing it Down.
Read on and I’ll help you figure it out.
How to choose a niche
In order to choose the niche of your blog, you want to analyze yourself; your strengths, experience, expertise, passions, and interests.
1.Choose a blog topic that you care and know about well
In my opinion, this is A MUST at least when you first start out. It should be a topic that you know a good deal of information about and are interested in learning even more.
You want it to be an area that you can write and write and write about because there’s so much to say and you really enjoy talking about it.
Blogging can get tough. There will be times where you’re tired, bored, frustrated, and want to quit.
Choosing an area that you are passionate about will help you to stay in the game and not give up.
Just because you have knowledge and experience in that area doesn’t mean that needs to be your blog topic unless you really love it.
You won’t want to come home from a long day of work to just write about the same stuff that you do at work, do you?
However, it could be a place to start to hone in on your area of expertise. Remember, not everyone knows all the things you do that you learned on the job or in college on that subject.
Do you think every blogger chooses a topic that they are absolutely passionate about? No.
It’s like the investor that buys a McDonald’s franchise. Do you think he genuinely loves fast food?
Of course not. But he knows that other people do and that will make him money.
This is not how I want you to think when you first start blogging because you will do your best learning about something that interests you.
Now, just because you’re a mom, does not mean that you have to blog about motherhood. Sure, it’s something that you have experience in, however, if it doesn’t drive your passion, don’t start a whole blog about it.
Not saying that you’re not passionate about your kids, but if you don’t feel like you have a lot of expertise and advice to offer your audience or that you would get bored writing about smelly diapers and toddler tantrums, don’t pick it.
2. You don’t need to be an expert
Confidence when blogging (or through life in general) will get you far.
You don’t need to be an expert at a subject to write about it. Just have confidence that you know as much as you need to offer your advice to others.
There’s something called unconscious knowledge which means that we don’t think we know as much we actually do.
The truth is that so much of what we think everyone else knows, they actually don’t. This is where you can help.
I struggled with this when I started blogging too. I thought that everything I knew about motherhood, pregnancy, and babies was just common sense.
I thought that everyone read the books I read up on and everyone got the same advice from their doctors, nurses, and friends that I did.
However, my mom blog is very successful and I’ve gotten so much great feedback from other moms who I have helped along the way.
I felt like just because I’m not a pediatrician or lactation consultant, that I couldn’t write about pregnancy, breastfeeding, or childbirth.
I’m just a mom.
Am I the perfect parent? No.
Did I get a PhD in parenting? No.
But I got my baby sleeping through the night. I’ve healed my cracked nipples after breastfeeding. I weaned my baby from the pacifier. I potty trained a 1-year-old.
I didn’t need a doctor or textbook to tell me how to get my toddler to stop biting or how to think positively during pregnancy.
So that’s what I had to offer other moms.
The real-life experience of what I did. What worked, what didn’t work, and what they can try.
If 1 out of 100 moms say ‘oh, I didn’t think of that‘, then I think this blog is worth it.
Your reader wants to hear about the real-life experiences, not just what the so-called experts have to say.
3. Your blog topic should have the ability to help people
It doesn’t have to cure cancer or help someone fight depression, but it does have to offer the reader advice or knowledge that they may not already know.
Successful blogs are ones that help someone. People are coming to your blog to get a question answered and you need to do just that.
You’ll learn about how to give your readers help and advice when we go offer writing content, but it’s very important to make sure the niche allows for that before you get to writing.
This is one of the most important pieces of advice I got when starting out.
It helped me to think of my blog as not just an outlet to share my life or experience but to use it as a teaching tool and always offer something that the reader can take away with them.
For example, maybe you want your blog niche to be about family photography because you have great photos that you want to display and talk about the vacations that you were on when you got these beautiful shots.
That blog will not do well unless you just want your mother-in-law and Uncle Larry to read it.
If you want it to be a profitable blog that gets a lot of traffic, you would need to tell your reader the exact lighting, focus, and aperture that you were using, tell them where they can buy the camera and lens, and focus the posts on tutorials and how-tos so they can basically imitate everything that you did to get those beautiful photos.
If you’re the best source of information, they will keep coming back and share it with others.
And that’s what I strive to do for all of you!
4. Be sure the topic is popular enough and has a large audience
Just because a topic or interest is a large part of your life, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is popular through the entire world.
(Yes, your blog will be read all across the globe! I still find it amazing that I have reached so many people from different places.) I digress…
If you want to make a profitable blog, it needs to get a decent amount of traffic (depending on how you want to monetize it, which you’ll learn later on).
Your blog is going to get the most traffic if people are searching for your topic.
Therefore, if you want to blog about DIYing wooden clocks, that may not get a lot of traffic because it is so specific. Only maybe a handful of people are searching for that at any given time.
If you expand that topic to be about DIY all types of wooden projects, there is most likely a much larger audience for that.
Check out Google trends which shows the consistently average traffic for DIY wooden …. and the volatile, sometimes nonexistent traffic for DIY wooden clocks.
So how do I know what’s popular, you might be asking.
Here are some of the most favored, money-making niches. If you’re in one of these categories you should have no problem getting traffic if you market your blog in the right way.
Now, these are broad categories in which you can have a blog that has many different focuses or you can break it down into one of the popular subcategories listed.
- Personal finance– saving money, couponing, frugal living, paying off debt
- How to make money– starting a blog, work-from-home businesses, side hustles, career-specific advice, becoming an entrepreneur,
- Health and fitness– healthy eating, fitness exercises, reaching weight loss goals, targeted body parts with exercise
- Food – healthy recipes, dessert recipes, keto/paleo/diet-friendly recipes, vegan recipes, recipes for food allergies
- Beauty and Fashion – makeup, clothing, accessories, everyday wear, special occasion wear
- Personal Development– relationships, self-help, career development
- Home – decor, organization, interior design, renovations, specific style decor (farmhouse, modern, bohemian)
- Travel – specific destinations, family-friendly travel, solo travel, Disney travel, romantic/exotic/serene destinations, nomadic travel, worldwise/domestic travel, hobby traveling for hiking/scuba/hunting/leisure
- Family – pregnancy, breastfeeding, motherhood, parenting, raising babies, toddlers, and school-aged kids, children with disabilities
- DIY/Crafts– wood projects, vinyl projects, projects for kids, seasonal crafts, home decor DIY, party decor DIY
- Tech– latest inventions, computer help
- Lifestyle – can include anything that’s part of your daily life
5. Get inspired
There’s nothing wrong with visiting other blogs to get inspiration. It’s the best way to see what works and what doesn’t.
It’s not copying (well, unless you are actually copying), it’s merely doing market research.
Take a look through Pinterest or Google and search for topics that you would write about. Then, visit those blogs and see what jumps out at you.
You’ll know it when you see it, what you can strive to be.
Some of those top sites that you will find in searches will be the ultimate #goals for you, but you may just surprise yourself and be better than that blog one day!
6. Don’t be afraid of the competition
So you think the market is oversaturated with mom blogs and fashion blogs?
Who needs another blog post about packing your hospital bag or gift guides for the woman in your life?
You need to lose that way of thinking because there is still so much space on the internet for any given topic. It’s merely because no one tells the story like you.
Your unique perspective, experience, and knowledge is something that no one else can offer.
In actuality, if you find 495 posts about what you shouldn’t eat in your first trimester of pregnancy, chances are that topic does very well.
If people are consistently looking for information, they are bound to find you too.
7. Make sure it’s a niche that makes money
You may not know this initially, but a good first step is to brainstorm ways that people spend money in this area.
Do you think they just want to read to get information from the internet? Will they buy products that you can recommend? Would they buy a course or ebook on this subject because there is a lot of information? Would they pay for one-on-one coaching services from you once you prove that you are very knowledgable in this area?
We’ll get to monetization (how you will make money) later, but it’s important to think about this while choosing your niche.
This way you’ll have an idea if this is a profitable blog idea and how to gear your posts in order to make money.
For example, I have a lot of posts about the best toys and activities for babies at certain ages. I recommend these products directly through an Amazon Affiliate link and I get a small commission when someone buys.
The fact that my blog post offers other information and tips that moms are looking for, they feel confident buying something that I recommended.
So when I was deciding on my niche, that was one of the money-making ideas that I had.
8. Niche down
Niching down simply means to narrow down your blog topic. This is typically done because it’s not possible to blog about everything and know enough about all those areas.
This is something I heard a lot about when I was starting my blog and felt like I HAD to get more specific with my niche.
However, I chose the lifestyle motherhood niche (which is very broad) because I honestly didn’t know where to start.
That gave me the ability to write content on all things home, motherhood, pregnancy, babies, DIY projects, toddler activities, etc.
Of course, they are all interconnected and my audience would still be the same person: a mother.
The pros of niching down
In some cases, you want to narrow that down in order to be considered an expert in your topic.
For example, there are blogs only about breastfeeding and only about activities for toddlers.
Not only does this give them a narrower scope, but it makes them seem very knowledgable in that area because they have sooo much content on one subject.
The cons of niching down
Although yes, you’ll have a wealth of information about one small topic, you also may get burnt out on that topic very easily.
I’ll be in a pregnancy mode where I’ll write a few posts about pregnancy. Then I’ll get bored of that and write a couple of posts about toddlers. Then I’ll switch back to childbirth.
This gives me so many options so I don’t get burnt out.
Also, when I’m having a writer’s block, I tend to brainstorm things that are going on in my life right now to find inspiration.
My toddler is in a biting phase, so I’ll write about tips to stop your child from biting. My baby is refusing to breastfeed so I’ll write about tips to get your baby back to breastfeed. Christmas is coming, so I’ll write about cute ways to wrap gifts.
You get the point. It opens up so many more avenues of writing and lets you write about the current things that are going on in your life without having to make sure it stays within one specific category.
NICHING DOWN IS NOT A MUST.
I was told over and over again to niche down, but I went with my gut. Do you know what happened? I ended up niching myself down by accident as the process went on.
I figured out the content that got the best views, that people were searching for most, and that I had the most ideas and passion for.
Don’t think about this too much because you might end up niching down by accident too down the road.
The truth is, you won’t know that until you get started.
In this area, my advice is not to listen to what other people say about niching down. Plenty of ‘lifestyle’ or broad topic blogs do very well (as did mine).
9. Be Wary of Trends
It’s not necessarily a bad idea to pick a trending topic for your blog, however, just know that it may not stand the test of time.
Your blog is something that you should want to remain relevant for a long time and choosing a diet or fashion trend may give you some great traffic right now, but not in a couple of years.
You can use the Google Trend tool to get an idea of how many searches some topics receive over the past 5 years.
For example, take a look at the Google Trend for Keto Diet over the past 5 years:
It had a big rise in searches from 2017 through 2019, but nothing before that and it’s slowly dipping. Once the next new fad diet comes out, the Keto searches might be nonexistent and the next new diet trend will begin.
Therefore, it’s probably not a good idea if this blog is a long term goal for you.
Now take a look at the Google trend for Pregnancy:
It shows a consistently high amount of searches over the past 5 years. Now, that’s a topic that will stand the test of time because women will always be getting pregnant!
How I chose my niche:
I started a blog with the intent of bringing in money for our family so I didn’t have a specific topic in mind yet.
I was an occupational therapist that worked with children with special needs. My area of expertise and passion was always in child development.
I didn’t have many other hobbies outside of the home, so I wanted to just write about all things mom.
All through pregnancy through raising my babies, I was always reading blogs for tips from other moms.
After going through my second pregnancy, I realized, wait, I have the same knowledge and experience as these moms do. Let me write about it and give other new moms my tips and advice too.
But, I wanted to think of something that I can offer my audience that not every mom blogger could. That would be my knowledge about baby’s milestones, motor development, and strategies to work on these things through my career as an OT.
I thought just focusing on one area (baby development) was way too narrow and that I would run out of things to write about very quickly.
That’s when I realized that I could have a lifestyle blog (blogging about all things life-related), but baby development would be my selling point.
So starting out, I wrote about anything that came to mind from pregnancy through childbirth, babies and toddlers, mixed in with a little home decor and family.
As the month went by, I realized what topics were most popular with my audience, as well as the things that I was most interested in writing about. That’s how my blog got a little more niched down.
So as you choose your niche, remember these tips:
- Brainstorm topics of interest to you. Topics that you are passionate about, have experience with and are willing to learn A TON about.
- Be confident that you know enough about the subject to write about it
- Make sure you have something to teach someone, solve their problem, or help them in some way.
- Look for a topic that is popular and has a good size audience
- Do market research to figure out what does well and what kind of blogs you strive to be like
- Just because there are a million blogs on your topic, does not mean yours will not be just as good.
- Think about how and if people spend money in this area
- Try to narrow down your topic or think of how you will break it down into categories & subcategories
- Don’t pick too trendy of a topic
Once you have your niche or topic picked out, you can move on to the next step, choosing your site or domain name.