Blogging is an awesome side hustle, but it's not the blogging part of it that makes any money. The money comes from selling something people are willing to pay money for online.
Blogs are just the vehicle to deliver free traffic to your business.
That means when you choose a blogging niche, you need to choose a popular topic that people spend money on online.
If you choose the wrong niche, you're not going to make money blogging. It doesn't matter how hard you promote your blog or how many articles you write.
If you choose the wrong niche you will fail.
Picking the wrong niche is the number one reason people quit their blogs. So it's important to choose a profitable niche so you can start making money from the jump.
To pick the perfect niche you need to find a blog topic that interests you, that you're knowledgeable about, and that is profitable.
If you miss any one of these - you will quit.
With so many niches to choose from, I'm going to lay out the best approach on how to pick a profitable niche for your new blog right... now!
1. Find something you care about
I'm not saying you need to love this niche, but you do have to like it. Because over the next few months and years, you're going to spend a lot of time on it.
Choosing a profitable niche is great, but when you don't care about the topic (or the people you're helping) it can get tiring.
This is especially true in the first few months of blogging, when it's harder to make money.
Not only should you care about the topic, but you should also care about the people you will be helping.
And that is exactly what you're going to do on your blog: helping people take the next step in their journey. This is where the money is made.
This person you'll be helping, also called an avatar or ideal reader, should remind you of your younger self.
You will never tire of talking to or helping this person because you know their dreams, you know their challenges, and you genuinely care about them.
2. Look at what communities you belong to
One of the best ways to find a blog topic you care about is to look at what communities you belong to.
What type of blogs do you comment on? What Facebook groups do you belong to? Do you participate in any forums or subreddits?
If you can't find a community in a niche you're considering, find a different niche. That's because the money is in the community.
When there's a community who gets together to discuss their problems and find solutions, you know you've found a profitable niche.
3. Making the case against following your passion
When you choose a topic you're already interested in, it ensures you won't quit when time gets tough.
But don't mistake this for "finding your passion".
You don't need to find your passion.
When you blog about your passion, you're going to run into these problems:
You create a product because it's always been your dream. Instead of taking the better approach: researching the topic and doing competitor analysis to determine profitability.
You spend most of your time in your Facebook group, when your business needs you to focus on lead generation and conversion optimization.
You will stubbornly keep working on your blog - even when it's an utter failure and needs to be shut down.
In business, decisions always need to be made after looking at numbers - not following your heart.
You will confidently write about whatever you want, since this blog and topic is your jam. The better approach is to do keyword research to find the most profitable in-demand topics.
You will assume others have the same passion you do. This can lead you to assume people will spend money in this niche. But passion doesn't equal money.
Money is earned in fulfilling a need that's in demand - nothing more.
Your passion is your retreat, your escape from the day-to-day. When you turn your passion into your business, you may end up ruining it.
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4. Pick a topic you're knowledgeable about
Let me state this up front. You don't have to be an expert. But you do need to know what you're talking about.
See, nobody is really an expert on anything. We're all just in the process of learning more.
In your blog you are going to be taking readers from point A to point B. You don't have to be an expert to do this. You just have to be further along the path than where your readers are currently at.
While you may not consider yourself an expert, are you the go-to source for your friends & family on a particular subject?
- Look at your hobbies. Love flying drones? Taking pictures? Graphic design? Hitting the gym? Eating healthy?
- Look at look at your career. Are you in the business world, marketing, sales, a CPA, attorney,
- Finally, look at your life experiences. What do you have experience in? Motherhood, losing weight, overcoming self-doubt?
Your personal experience is more useful than anything you could learn in a textbook.
Not only do you not have to be an expert, it may actually work in your favor.
Would you rather learn how to lose stubborn belly fat from a dude who just did it - or from a fitness freak who never had belly fat to begin with?
Not being an expert makes you relatable. It means you and the reader speak the same language. It means there won't be a need to "dumb yourself down" to speak to your audience.
Remember, you don't need to be an expert - you just need to be one step ahead of your ideal reader.
The advantage of not being an expert is that you have more to learn on this topic. That thirst for knowledge is going to be what keeps you going through those rough early days of blogging.
That's why it's important to find a niche you're not only knowledgeable about, but one you want to continue to learn about.
To better help me write my content, I use Grammarly. And boy do I need it. My content straight up looks like a murder scene when I drop it in for final editing.
Grammarly works as a Chrome/Firefox extension, but they also have a standalone desktop app. It also works in Google Docs, Word, and within WordPress too. It's a must-have tool in your arsenal if you're starting a blog.
5. Make sure this niche is popular enough
Many new bloggers think they have to choose a niche that nobody else is doing. They shy away from competition. I advocate for taking the exact opposite approach.
If you find a niche that's popular and competitive, you have likely found a very profitable niche.
Another benefit of choosing a popular niche is that there's plenty of experienced bloggers to learn from.
While the audience size needs to be big enough, you shouldn't just start a general blog on any topic.
You do need to niche down, because the riches are in the niches, after all.
Successful blogs tend to laser focus on one specific topic. The goal is to become an authority in your space. And when you write about everything, you are an authority on nothing.
To start niching down, pick a broad niche and then find an angle to make this topic more focused to your ideal reader.
Here are some examples of how to dive deeper into each subject to find your perfect niche.
- Health blog > Nope, try Weight Loss > Go deeper, do Nutrition instead.
- Cooking blog > Nope, try Recipes > Go deeper, do Vegetarian Recipes instead.
- Finance blog > Nope, try Saving Money > Go deeper, do Frugality/Couponing instead.
- Fitness blog > Nope, try High Intensity Interval Training > Go deeper, do HIIT For Women instead.
- Relationship blog > Nope, try Dating Advice > Go deeper, do Millennial Dating Guide instead.
Now don't go overboard and choose something too specific. If you do, you will be shrinking your potential audience size too small.
One good way to know if you picked a good niche is to see how many categories your blog can have.
- If you can branch off into 5 sub-topics, that's great.
- If you can find 10+ sub-topics, it's too broad.
- If you can't find any sub-topic, it's just too narrow of a niche.
Rather than going nuts on finding the perfect blog niche, focus on catering to your ideal reader instead.
Think about this. If your niche is nutrition, wouldn't it stand to reason that your readers may also have interest in fitness too?
There's nothing wrong with trying different topics for a while. If you do, what you'll find is that oftentimes your niche will find you, not the other way around.
When you put your energy into solving the problems of your ideal reader, you can't go wrong.
You don't need to choose a sub-niche when you first get started. You can niche down later. The benefit of starting broad is that you can see what type of content gets higher audience engagement. Once you have this data you can niche down.
You can take this approach only if you choose a domain name that's not too specific.
6. How to choose a profitable niche
This one should really be number one on this list. If you do not choose a profitable niche, you will quit.
I've seen plenty of people tell you to follow your passion. But if you're not making money, your blog is just a hobby - and you will quit.
The problem is that many people wing it and start a blog before they have a monetization strategy in place.
As I answered in this Quora question, you don't need to have all the answers but you do need to know there's a path to making money.
Do a Google search for blogs in your niche. The first page of results will be the authority bloggers in your niche. See how the top bloggers in your niche monetize their blogs.
You will want to look at the following:
If you notice that the top blogs in your niche have multiple monetization methods, it's a good sign it's a profitable niche you should pursue.
7. List of profitable niches for a blog
Here are some profitable niche ideas for blogs in 2020.
These niches are great for display ads (high traffic):
These niches are best for affiliate marketing (plenty of products to promote):
These niches are ideal for working with brands (sponsored posts):
And these niches are best for selling digital products:
Once you find a profitable niche, the next step is to research other bloggers in this space, see how they do it - and do it better!
Ready to start a blog and make money? Search for a domain name below to get started.
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