With over 150 million blogs on the internet, starting one that stands out enough to gain followers and earn an income certainly isn't an easy task. Before the big blogging boom, it was much simpler to gain a readership, but with so many blogs out there, the first step to starting a blog is to find a unique niche—a topic that you can comfortably write about, that a lot of people want to read about.
One WAHM reader took to the forums to gauge interest and get some insight on choosing a niche for her blog, potentially on the topic of frugal living in a high cost area. But the feedback that came back could help out anyone looking to start their own blog—so counting the feedback and adding a few more tips, here's what to consider when coming up with a niche for your own blog.
Is there a big enough interest for the topic?
Blogs that earn an income have a very high number of daily visitors. Are there enough people interested in that topic to generate that kind of traffic? The trick is to make your topic broad enough to interest a wide range of people, but narrow enough that you're “not just another _____ blog.”
Do you have enough experience to write on the topic?
What information can you offer readers? If you are researching the information yourself and simply regurgitating what you read elsewhere, it's probably not a good topic for you. On the other hand, if you have quite a bit of experience in the area or are living through it as in a frugal living blog, then you may have found the right topic for you.
Can you write a lot of different articles on that topic?
If your goal is to turn your blog into an income, it will take many, many hours of work. Don't pick a topic you are not passionate about—you'll end up burnt out months down the road. If, on the other hand you can't stop talking about your topic and love anything related, that passion will come in handy managing a blog.
What kind of competition is out there?
Small blogs don't have much chance ranking in the search results behind large companies that have entire teams devoted to search engine optimization. What other blogs cover the same topic? Are there many, or just a few? Do they cover it in a similar manner, or is there something to set your blog apart? Once you've scoped out the other competing sites, take a look at the Google AdWords Keyword Tool and type in a few potential topics you might write about, click the keyword ideas tab, then click the competition tab twice to arrange the ideas from low to high. Are there related keywords that rank low? If all the keywords you come up with are ranking high, it will be extremely tough for your blog to show up in the first few pages of the search results.
Can you pinpoint an audience?
Writing a blog involves reaching out to an audience—do you know who that audience is? Sure, your blog can have one main audience and a few smaller audiences, but you should be able to pinpoint who you are writing to. Are you reaching out to moms? Dads? Businessmen? Teenagers? A frugal living in a high cost area blog would have a very defined audience, yet that group of people is probably big enough to work with.
Is it easy to monetize?
There's more than one way to make money from a blog. How would your blog make money? Selling ads with a program like AdWords is a popular option—you'll just need to ensure your topic reaches to an audience businesses also want to advertise to. Blogs can also make money by selling ebooks or products, or through affiliate links. It's a good idea to build an audience before monetizing, but you should still consider just how your topic can be monetized before you get started.
Blogs can be an excellent home-based businesses, if you have the passion, knowledge, writing skills and time. But every successful blog also needs a niche—consider elements like competition, interest and audience before venturing out into the world of blogging.
Join in on the conversation in the forums.