Choosing a focus for a blog isn’t easy, and because of that, some people opt to write generalized blog posts that encompass many subjects.
However, there are some clear advantages to being a niche blogger and writing about specialized topics.
For starters, niche blogs tend to generate more traffic than blogs with random subjects, and that’s important if you’re aiming to use your blog as a money-making platform.
Additionally, picking a niche can allow you to build a reputation as an authoritative source on a chosen subject, which has many advantages in its own right.
Keep reading to learn some actionable strategies that can help you discover which topics you were born to blog about.
Finding Blogging Niche
1. Figure Out What People Want to Read About
There’s a good chance your expertise spreads across several areas. Maybe you’re a child care professional who raises purebred dogs and builds furniture during your spare time. If you can knowledgeably write about all those varied topics, it can be difficult to determine which, if any of them, are worth pursuing through blog posts.
One way to figure that out is to use a free keyword tracking tool that gives insight about how people are conducting online searches. For example, try the Keyword Planner within Google AdWords, KeywordSpy or KeywordEye to do keyword research.
Those websites and services have options that are completely or partially free to use, so they’re good starting points if you have a shortlist of possible blog topics and want to know which ones are most in demand, not to mention highly profitable.
2. Choose a Time Commitment
Are you ready to be a long-term niche blogger, or would you rather capitalize on topics that are buzzworthy now, but might not be so hot in two years?
The latter category of blogs might be those that are dedicated to a TV show that’s currently topping the ratings, or all about an upcoming Olympic Games.
However, you can also decide to write in an evergreen niche, meaning one that’s not likely to go out of style when trends change. Blogs about easy-to-make Italian cuisine, therapeutic horseback riding and teaching foreign language learners are a few examples of possible evergreen topics that you could write about for years, provided you had enough motivation.
3. Look at Existing Content
Maybe you’re a business owner who already has a general company blog, or there’s a personal blog you’ve been contributing to for a few years, but you’re ready to do some things in an effort to boost readership. There’s no need to throw out an existing blog and start completely from scratch, although taking that route is sometimes tempting.
Instead, look at any blogs or content you’ve already created and see if you can spot some signs that people particularly liked topics you previous covered. You can also host informal polls and ask readers what they’d like you to write about.
In some cases, launching a niche blog may be as simple as rebranding a blog that began as a more generalized venture. That’s often a good approach if you already have a name that readers recognize.
4. Adopt a Long-Term Mindset
Some people choose what seems to be an excellent blogging niche, then realize they’re stuck for new ideas after writing only 20 posts. Writer’s block can happen to even the most dedicated bloggers, but it’s essential to envision yourself writing hundreds of posts on a given topic, and doing so with ease. Thinking about the workload involved in that feat can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to blogging.
However, realistically ask yourself whether you could write at least 100 posts about a possible niche topic. If not, consider another subject altogether, or see if there are ways to broaden your focus a little so you still have a niche blog, but one that’s not so limited.
For example, maybe you own a small local guitar shop and had initially intended to write a blog that was geared towards basic guitar maintenance tips. That topic can be widened to include product reviews for guitar polishes and fretboard conditioners or ideas about how to preserve vintage instruments. As you start blogging, those initial ideas should soon become jumping-off points, helping to consistently nurture your creativity.
5. Come Up With a Mission Statement
Some established niche bloggers write mission statements for their websites. Those descriptions not only let new readers know what to expect, but also give writers something to look back on when they feel like straying into a new topic area. Revisit the blogs of writers you admire most. Even if they don’t have a published mission statement you can read, it’ll probably still be obvious that the posts are very purposeful.
6. Try to Fill a Need
Because there are so many blogs published online, many would-be niche bloggers get discouraged and think that every topic they’re familiar with has already been covered by someone else. Fortunately, that’s almost certainly not the case. Try to think like a publisher to identify a content strategy that is relevant and useful by knowing your audience and then tailor your content to their needs. As you check out the blogging landscape to see what people are already doing, look deeper and try to find out what hasn’t been covered yet, or perhaps isn’t being tackled as thoroughly as possible.
Maybe you’re a wheelchair user with a very active social life and would love if there was a blog that discussed and rated popular restaurants, bars and music venues in your area based on how accessible they are for people with mobility impairments.
Writing such a blog not only requires an excellent awareness of what there is to do in a local scene, but a willingness to go and personally try to navigate those establishments, then report back on your success. A blog of that sort wouldn’t just be helpful to fellow wheelchair users who live in your town, but also people who are coming for short-term visits and want to do research before they arrive.
Now that you’ve read these ideas for settling on your blogging niche, take the next step and try some of them for yourself, then start writing and see if you get the kind of readership you expected. If you don’t see better traffic levels and recognition within a month or two, it might be time to tweak your topic further. No matter what, don’t get discouraged. Once you find a niche that works for you, blogging can become extremely rewarding.