Blogging can be a great way to earn money while doing something you enjoy. You can get started without a significant investment, work from home, and be your own boss. It sounds fantastic; that’s precisely why so many people are doing it. But this creates an oversaturation of the market – being successful at blogging becomes a lot more complicated as competition grows. If you want to break through, you need to find the right niche for your blog. This is the first step toward monetizing your writing talent.
Many beginners in the world of blogging, SEO, and marketing, in general, believe that appealing to as many people as possible gives them the best chances of attracting a large audience. This is simply not true. Trying to appeal to everyone sends a confusing message that typically doesn’t appeal to anyone in the end.
While this is fine for a personal blog that you use as an online diary, you need to monetize your blog by marketing to someone if you’re looking to make some money as a student. That someone is typically a specific group with specific interests – interests that your blog needs to match. If you can find the right niche, you’ll build a loyal base of readers who keep coming back for every new post; that’s much better than relying on one-time visitors.
How can you find the right niche for your blog?
One of the best things about blogging is that pretty much anyone can start a blog for free and just start posting – it’s that easy. But if you want to do more than post for friends and family, you’ll need a more long-term plan first. The first step is deciding on a niche.
The first question you need to answer is this: What do you want to write about? If your blog is successful, you might end up writing hundreds and even thousands of posts over several years. So, you have to choose a topic that you actually can talk about that much. This is why your first step should be to write down a list of ideas you can imagine blogging about. Ultimately, your passion for a specific topic and knowledge about it is what makes you stand out.
Don’t worry if you can’t invest in extensive market research; you can still learn a lot about the blogging landscape in different niches using free Google tools. Start by simply searching a few key phrases related to each of the topics you’re considering. This will show how many people are writing about the same things and which blogs are doing well. Then, check out Google trends as well. This will show you how consistently popular different topics are, which of your topics are becoming more relevant, and which might not be the best idea if you’re planning on running a blog long-term.
Make sure it’s profitable
Not all blog topics are equally likely to bring in profits. To up your chances of making money with your blog, you’ll need to pick a niche with higher monetization potential. Unfortunately, this won’t be a straightforward choice – some blogs strike gold in niches that aren’t profitable. At the same time, some profitable niches have too much competition for a new blogger to break into them.
But you can usually make an educated guess about what’s going to work by looking at some popular blogs in a niche you’re considering. Do they have any paid collaborations with businesses in the same niche? Are they a part of an affiliate program? Do any ads come up in Google results when you search for related keywords? Travel, fitness, technology, and parenting blogs are typically a safe bet for monetization.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when blogging is to choose a niche that’s too broad. The problem is the same as when you don’t choose a niche – you’re trying to appeal to a too large and diverse audience. So be specific:
- Don’t just blog about film, blog about superhero movies.
- Don’t just post about traveling; post about international traveling on a budget.
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Check out the competition
The future success of your blog depends in large part on your competition. So when you’re choosing a topic, make sure to check out the blogs that already exist in the same niche. The sheer quantity of them is essential – the fewer blogs there are on a topic, the more likely yours is to become popular. But you also need to know how popular the most popular blogs are. If you’re up against blogs that have been running for years and have tens of thousands of dedicated followers, your odds of success are not high.
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to blog about, it’s time to set up the blog itself. WordPress is currently the most popular website builder, so it’s a pretty safe choice to make. Its intuitive interface is excellent even for complete beginners. You can even choose themes to create beautiful, professional-looking blogs without knowing anything about web design. Given that appearance is an important factor in blog appeal, you’ll definitely want to consider this option. So take a look at some popular blogging themes and find something that suits the general aesthetic you want to build; you may even want to consider investing in a premium theme if it particularly fits your blog.
When you find the right niche for your blog, getting started is not too difficult. You have thousands of topics to choose from since you’re at the beginning of your blogging career, and you won’t be repeating yourself. So think about your first post – how do you want to introduce yourself to the world? It’s unlikely your first few posts will garner much attention, so use them to improve your SEO and writing skills. Then, start thinking about topics that can improve your rankings and get you trending. Talk about things that are relevant to your location or the season. All you need after that is a good, attention-grabbing title!