Starting a profitable blog takes considerable thought. If you are going to be successful, you’ll need to spend some time defining what your blog will be about, your unique spin on that topic, and whether there is a real market for it.
A well thought-out niche will enable you to attract an avid readership, and turn those readers into customers. But without it, you won’t have a strong voice, and your blog will fall flat.
Regardless of whether you are planning a brand new blog or you’ve been blogging for years, if you haven’t honed in on a niche yet then you should do that right now.
Let’s start with the basics. What is a blog niche anyway?
What is a blog niche?
A blog niche is a clearly defined topic (or topics) covered by a particular blog, and written with a specific audience in mind.
Finding the right niche size is critical.
If your focus is too broad, you won’t appeal to anyone in particular, your visitors will be confused about what is the point of your blog, and they will probably never come back.
On the other hand, if your niche is too small, there will be no one to sell to, and you will be frustrated by your lack of traffic, followers and income.
By the end of this guide, you will have a clearly defined niche for your blog that sets you apart from the competition, and attracts your target market. Your visitors will feel a strong connection to your content and to you, and they’ll be excited to learn more by signing up for your email list– a huge step towards becoming your paying customers!
Ready to find the right niche for your blog?
Great! Here are some tips for finding your unique niche, and ways to research ahead of time to see if there is a strong market for it.
Brainstorm a Blog Niche Ideas List
Choosing your best niche is a culmination of understanding what your background and interests bring to a potential marketplace. Your first order of business is to determine where you can craft a credible voice.
Follow these steps to brainstorm a blog niche ideas list…
Step 1. List Your Areas of Expertise
Which topics are you an expert on, or far enough ahead of others that you can draw people to you with content?
What have you studied? What are you studying in school and outside of school, including in workshops, mini courses and enrichment courses?
What are you so familiar with that if someone woke you up in the middle of the night you could spring into action with this topic? (That is sheer knowledge that is stored on your “hard drive” so to speak.)
If you don’t think of yourself as an “expert” per se, is there anything that you want to study further? You don’t have to be an expert to share what you are learning with your audience!
List all areas on a sheet of paper, and see if you can come up with 8-10 topics. Take your time with this and think about it over a few days.
Step 2. List Your Passions
What things do you love doing? What do you love to do every day? Are there any new things you have been studying that you are fascinated by?
If a friend asks you about this topic at a party, do your other friends smile and say, “Oh no, not that, she’ll talk for the next hour about that!”? (That is passion talking.)
Again, continue writing down all of your passions. How many can you come up with?
Step 3. Brainstorm Your Target Audience
Your blog niche is not only the topics you write about, but who you write them for.
Who is your potential audience? Are they male or female? How old are they? Where do they live? What is their income range? What professions are they in? What problem(s) can you solve for them?
Take a look at your lists of potential niche topics, and make a note of the ideal audience for each of those topics. Who would be your ideal subscriber for each topic?
You may feel more strongly about one audience over another. Make a note of who you really love to help, versus those you would rather not.
Step 4. Find Your Unique Angle
Now that you have a list of areas of expertise and a list of passions, and you know who you’d ideally like to talk to, you can start to “mix and match” them to create a unique angle on a topic.
Can you combine several interests or passions into one niche? For example, Persuasion Nation is a combination of persuasion psychology and digital marketing for entrepreneurs. This combination makes it completely unique, even though there are tons of other marketing blogs out there.
Or, can you combine your expertise with a specific audience? For example, if you are really good at cooking and you love teaching young adults, could you start a blog with cooking tips and recipes for young adults?
At this point, you may have no idea whether there is actually a market for these topics. Don’t worry– I will show you how to figure that out in the next section.
For now, this exercise is about discovering potential topics that you are not only good at, but also passionate about. The intersection between your passions, your strengths, and what the market wants is your sweet spot.
Remember: being passionate about a topic doesn’t necessarily mean there is a market for it. However, if your passion is evident in every aspect of your blog, people will be drawn to it because of that. You will know the “jargon”–the language of your audience–and your copy will be more persuasive as a result.
In addition, being truly passionate about a topic means you are always wanting to learn more and share that with your audience– this will give you staying power, and you’ll be less likely to experience “burn out”.
Ok, now that you have a list of potential blog niche ideas, let’s see if there is actually a market for any of them…
Research the Market for Your Blog Niche Ideas
Before you spend a lot of time developing a new blog, you want to be sure the market is broad enough to find enough of an audience, but small enough to be able to speak to them directly— a cornerstone of persuading people to become your followers and customers.
Here are some ways to get started researching your topic.
Step 1. Find Hot Topics
First, you can search on Google for a topic you are interested in. We’ll search for “hot new fitness trends in 2017”.
You can look for the newest information on a topic by using the search bar date feature. Simply click on “Tools”, and then click “Recent”. Choose a timeframe for your search from the dropdown menu (e.g. “Past month”) to see only the most recent posts.
I’m seeing a lot of results related to “HIIT” (“high intensity interval training”), so that looks like it might be a hot topic.
Having found an interesting topic that we might want to create a niche in, let’s keep studying how much interest there is in it…
Step 2. Check Monthly Search Volume and Competition
To see how much interest there is in a particular topic, you can conduct keyword research in the Google AdWords Keyword Planner.
(Reminder: a “keyword” is what people type into Google when they are searching for information. Lots of people searching for a particular keyword means there is a lot of interest in that topic.)
To navigate to the Keyword Planner, you’ll first need to create a Google AdWords account (free).
Here’s what the Keyword Planner looks like once you are logged in:
From here, click on “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”. Then type in your keyword.
Here’s what came up for “HIIT”:
As you can see, the average monthly searches related to this keyword are 10M – 100M. That’s pretty good! Also, the competition for “HIIT” and related keywords is low, so that’s great news.
Step 3. Check Google Trends
My next stop is to check Google Trends. This will show me the interest in this keyword over time.
First go to Google Trends…
Then, type in your keyword…
This will show you a graph of the popularity of this keyword over the past few years.
As I suspected, HIIT this is a hot topic, as shown by the increasing interest.
From here, I decided to view the past 12 months.
Then, I further refined the graph to show only growth in the United States.
Next, I added in related keywords, such as “high-intensity interval training” all spelled out. By doing this, I learned that if I were to spell it out, I’d get massively more traffic than if I only used the abbreviated version. (The red line is the spelled out keyword, and the blue line is the abbreviated keyword.)
You can also further refine the location by cities to see where a topic is most popular, related keywords, and the breaking trends for this industry.
Compare 4 or 5 keywords/topics/industries side by side to see which getting more traffic, and what the trends are. It will even tell you which topics are rising and “breakout” topics.
Step 4. Read Amazon Book Reviews
Amazon is a wonderful place to research as it is such a vast and complete marketplace. Researching your topic in best-selling books is a great place to start. Type your niche idea into the search bar and see what comes up.
Let’s see if there are any books on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). I have a hunch there are some books that are popular… Let’s see what people are saying about them!
When I typed in HIIT, I found this recently published book.
When you do this it will be worthwhile to research 5 to 6 books to determine what is lacking in the books that the readers will want to learn more about, and see if that could be a new “hole” to fill.
So taking notes as you look at books in your area of interest will be helpful, to see what people are saying about the available information on this topic. If you are knowledgable about it, maybe you can start your niche in this industry and add your own spin on it.
Here are the reviews for this book on HIIT:
As you can see, the book reviews are very uneven, and you will learn a ton if you read about 10 or more comments (both positive and negative).
If you can preview the book, check out the table of contents. This will give you some great ideas for blog post categories.
For even more ways to conduct market research and find blog niche ideas, check out my free resource library, chock-full of great tips and cheatsheets.
Ok, now you know how to brainstorm blog niche ideas, and you know how to conduct market research to determine the popularity of those topics. However, you may still be looking for validation that your chosen topic isn’t going to go away anytime soon.
Some topics may be trending now, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to be popular over the long-term, or that they have the potential for making money. Thankfully, there are several blog niches that are solid choices because they tend to attract large blog followings.
21 Popular Blog Niche Ideas
Here is a list of 21 blog niches that make money, and/or tend to be the most popular. If your blog falls under one of these topics, then there is likely to be a good sized audience for it. (Niches with a 🌶️ symbol are particularly hot topics for blogs.)
- Business & Startup 🌶️
- Creative, Decorating & DIY
- Finance 🌶️
- Health & Fitness
- Lifestyle & Travel
- Love & Relationships
- Marketing & Social Media 🌶️
- News 🌶️
- Parenting 🌶️
- Self-Improvement 🌶️
- Technology 🌶️
- Web Design & Development
Finding the right blog niche comes down to these three things:
- It’s something you’re good at, or able to learn
- It’s something you’re passionate about
- There’s a market for it
To find your own unique spin on a popular niche, see if you can come up with a specific topic that serves a lot of people. You can always expand into related topics later. This is a great way to stand out, while also having the potential for a lot of traffic.
For example, Jon Morrow decided to focus his blog (BoostBlogTraffic) on the topic of blog traffic. That’s a very specific niche, but with a huge potential audience. Later, he rebranded as SmartBlogger, and now covers a variety of topics surrounding blog traffic and growing your blog.
If you decide to take this approach, just make sure that your niche is deep enough that you can come up with at least 4-5 categories to write about. That way, you’ll never run out of ideas to fill your content calendar.
That’s it! We showed you how to find the right niche for your blog, plus 21 blog niche ideas.
Now it’s your turn. Go ahead and brainstorm your blog niche ideas list, and then do your market research. By taking the time to do this now, you’ll be lightyears ahead of most people who start a blog, and you’ll know you have a winning idea.