Want to start a blog? Is it going to be just an outlet for your creative energy and more in the lines of the “thinking aloud” timepass? Is it because you have a certain way with written words and have the ability to express your innermost feelings and the abstract and almost-surrealistic thought processes in your mind that easily connect with the readers and you want a blog for it?
Or are you considering starting a blog with business in the mind? Like earning a revenue through the creative pursuits of writing, which is your forte.
A blog could be started on any topic and there’s no restriction on the topics you could base yourself on. But if it is a business blog you are looking at, then it pays to consider certain things before blindly following your desire. You are seeing a few successful blogs does not mean they are the only ones out there on the topic that you are looking for. The really successful blogs constitute only a very small percentage of the total number of blogs in the wide internet space. The small success rate is enough to discourage any aspiring blogger.
Why do people make searches on the internet?
Most people search the internet for one reason – to find the solution to a problem. People are information-hungry and the search could be anything – an entertainment, books, scientific research materials, or simply, how to lose belly fat. It could anything on the unimaginable number of problems we face every day. So our task as a business blogger is cut out – to solve people’s problems in a particular niche. Yes, in a particular niche only. We cannot be thinking of trying to solve each and every problem that people face in their daily lives. That is not possible and so what we do is provide solutions through our blog in a specific niche when people make searches in that small segment of interest. But if we are not giving any valuable information to our readers and if we are not providing the solution that people are seeking for in our blog, then our business is not going to be successful. Nobody has the patience to read ramblings on random topics that seem to have no correlations and, sound pretentious at best. Why would anybody spend time reading your long-winded writings on their computer monitors or mobile screens?
Why niche blogs are popular?
Niche blogs are popular and loved by audiences and there are many successful ones out there that have thousands of followers. It’s because they cater to a category of people who want to stay updated and be informed on the niche they are following. Be it fashion, entertainment or academically-oriented blogs, people follow them because they keep them educated and help them solve their problems. If you want to spruce up your writing, you could visit any number of blogs on creative writing. If you want better information on your pregnancy-related anxieties, there are many blogs that answer to most of your queries. Or if you want in-depth information on music systems because you are planning to buy one for your living-room, there are blogs written by serious audiophiles that will not only keep you enthralled with the techie stuff but also give extensive reviews on some popular home stereo systems. So, a niche blog defines your target audience but if you are able to provide them valuable information and tidbits on the latest trends, they also keep coming back. They are your potential business clients.
Why should blogs be on topics we are familiar with?
Sounding almost cliched, but it is advisable to limit yourself to an area of interest that you are familiar with. Or better still, something that you love or are passionate about. You love gardening; it could well be the niche you should be catering to. You are more knowledgeable than the rest of common folks in the gardening area and many people could be profited by the genuine information you provide in your gardening blog. When there’s a passion, your content shines through and the honesty in your writing immediately strikes a chord with the readers and keep them engaged. There are many things that work in your favour when you have the passion in the niche you intended to blog on. You will always have something to talk about and will not run out of ideas often. Further, you are more willing to do your own research and put more effort on your blog if you are passionate about it yourself. But most importantly, when you talk about something that you genuinely love, it shines through your writings and people could feel the sincerity. You have the “voice”. You become more convincing.
Profitable niche as opposed to something we are passionate about
There’s another school of thought that urges you to follow a profitable niche saying very much the opposite of what has been said before. They say profit isn’t in passion but is in popularity. While this is not entirely incorrect, it is also a fact that when we choose a niche purely on profit considerations, then it will not be long when you meet dead-end alleys, when manufacturing a content becomes an endeavour. When this happens, you yourself are completely dissatisfied with your own content and not surprisingly, the conviction is lacking. Even people with an average IQ could feel that you are not comfortable in your own voice. This becomes more pronounced when your replies to people’s comments are almost perfunctory and you get stumped with even the most basic queries from the readers. If you don’t know what you are even talking about, it is hard to imagine why people would read your blog posts. However, the proponents of the profitable niche argue that once you start making money in a niche, you could well learn or teach yourself to become passionate about it. The idea is to find solutions to a problem that is agreeable to an audience.
What are your strengths? Your competitive advantage?
Easier said than done, but it is always good to test the waters before taking the plunge. Things like the domain name you register for your website cannot be undone and it is only advantageous if we consider our niche carefully. Is there anything that you could talk for hours at end and are willing to invest time and energy going into more research if need be? What do you enjoy reading or learning about? Given the freedom, what would be your ideal activity for earning money?
Go by your first instinct and try creating around 10 post titles or headlines on that niche. If you are unable to do that, then it’s probably not the niche you should be going after. Going with this exercise, try to find your other areas of interest and see if you could create, like before, 10 sets of blog titles or headline ideas for each niche. And if by any chance, you are able to zero down on a niche, just see if you could create 10 different draft copies of potential blog posts. If you could, without running out of ideas, then this could be your niche blog. See? This didn’t cost you anything. If you are raring to go ahead with more posts in the same niche, then you are on the right track. Congratulations! Time to register for a good domain name.
Has everything been touched upon already?
Time to drive home the point now. Well, no matter what topic we write about, what solution we intended to provide to the people, the probability is there is already a blog (or hundreds of blogs) somewhere on the very topic providing very much the same solution we are espousing. This, however, is no reason to get discouraged because it is safe to imagine that not every crevice has been filled in the market for the niche. There’s no limit to your imagination and it takes insight and your innovative spirit to find holes in the market.
Blogging on money making niche to make money!
Ironically, many blogs on how-to-make-money-online are run by people who are trying to make money online themselves! People make lots of money by creating blogs on money-making niche and some of them are the top blogs in the world and are ranked high in search pages for different keywords. Though this isn’t the only ‘profitable’ niche out there it is certainly one of the easiest to start with. Many of us are already passionate about learning the ways to earning a good income through our online activities, and if we could relate our own experiences through our blog posts, we could be more convincing. The thumb rule is not to pretend you have the full knowledge about making money online. However, it’s not necessary to reveal to the audience that you are a novice yourself. It could only be driving them away to many better choices. Remember, the audience isn’t stupid and if you can’t show them you know what you are talking about, forget about dreaming of a successful venture. The idea is to write blogs chronicling things that worked for you and also on things that didn’t work. All the while without letting them know that you are a beginner. And with your passion in place, you are bound to provide valuable information and the common mistakes made by beginners from your own experiences!
Join a community of bloggers in your niche
There are many online communities of bloggers – Facebook groups, Pinterest ‘tribes’ or simply online courses that teach you most things about creating a successful business online. The advantage of joining an online community is that you get to learn from the experiences of other fellow members, their mistakes and success stories and also the latest trends in the industry. And if the community comprises members who are already successful, the nuggets of information shared by them is priceless. In an online community, you are guided at every step of the way and your focus is more intensified. What you could do is consolidate your niche by making it different and better than the present players. It’s much easier to get an idea of the existing holes in the market within the community. Your effort will be to plug those holes with your content by understanding the niche properly. Inside the community, from the blog post or updates from other fellow members, you get a sense of where you stand as an authority. You also know the areas you could be improving on to make yourself more authoritative. Your network of people with similar interest widens and it’s a win-win situation for both sides – the one who’s teaching and the taught.
Understand what people want
You need to understand what people want. Most people searching for information on the internet are those who want to make improvements in the situation they are in. Be it health-related issues, lifestyle problems, stress-busting techniques, or simply, ways to earning good revenue by monetising their hobby or passion. People listen more intently if you show them the ways to become better versions of themselves. This is the reason you need to be specific about how you are going to help them. Though it has been said any activity or passion could be monetised, the truth is there are some niches that are too small (too niche?) that growth peaks early and having reached that point, it becomes extremely difficult to increase the traffic. You need to consider the competition too. Having competition means there are many potential customers but if the competitors are extremely popular, then the competition might be just too strong that it is difficult to sneak in.
Blogging is a serious business and it takes time for the results to show. If you intended to start a niche blog, be prepared for the long haul. It is important that we pick the right niche for our blog. Picking a wrong niche would only bring disappointments and frustrations, and you could actually end up wasting a huge amount of money and time. Analysing your passion and your strengths while at the same time, assessing the profitability potential of the niche you are intended to blog on will save you from unnecessary stress and could put you on the path to success faster.