It’s time to write about blogging again! This post is for anyone who’s interested in starting up their own blog, or anyone who’s curious to know more about how to start a blog – just in case you might be interested in starting your own! Today, I want to help you to choose your blog niche.
First things first – if you’d like a general overview of the process of starting a blog and what’s involved, check out the first ever post I wrote on the subject, How to Start a Blog in a Month. It’s written for complete beginners and will give you an honest insight into what you’ll be letting yourself in for! And, if you’d like details of some of the most useful resources I talk about in that post, you can scroll down to the bottom of this article.
So with that said, let’s get down to it! We’re going to talk about how to choose your blog niche…
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Let’s start with the real basics – when I started Slightly Sorted, I read a lot of advice about the process of starting your own blog (some very good advice, and some advice which I now know was terrible advice!!). Right at the very beginning, the word ‘niche’ confused me slightly! So, just in case you’re confused, it just means ‘subject’. So we’re going to be talking about what subject your blog is going to be based on. Also, you can use the ‘proper’ pronunciation of the word – neeshh – or the modern adaptation (especially in the U.S.) – nich.
So, how do you choose your blog niche?
You can take one of two approaches when deciding on your niche. First, you can think about what you’re really passionate about and really enjoy, or you can write about a subject that you know is popular and therefore, in theory, you stand a decent chance of being successful in. If you’re lucky, you’ll be passionate about something popular, then you’ve covered all your bases!
Before we go any further, I want to tell you that some of the advice I’m going to give you here is based on the best advice I’ve come across throughout my own blogging adventure so far. That advice came from a guy called Paul Scrivens who writes on Billionaire Blog Club – I’ve found his writing to be the most honest and well informed that I’ve come across, and I’d highly recommend checking out his free 12 day email blogging bootcamp if you decide to take things further.
Back to business – what on earth are you going to write about – how do you choose your blog niche? Well, just to get the wheels turning, here are a few niches I’ve come across during half an hour of random on-line browsing!:
- Home decor
- Bullet Journaling (which features quite a bit on Slightly Sorted!)
- Being a Stay At Home Mom
- Working from home
- General Lifestyle
- Writing/Freelance Writing
- Financial/How to save money/Frugal living
- And, of course – How to Start a Blog!
So you get the idea – there are lots and lots of niches to choose from! And many of these niches can be further broken down into sub-niches, for example ‘parenting’ could be specifically about babies or toddlers, and fashion could be about fashion for over 40’s, or fashion on a budget. My own blog, Slightly Sorted, falls into the category of general lifestyle, but even with a general lifestyle blog it can be a good idea to keep a ‘model reader’ in mind so that you keep within a certain range of subjects. So far with Slightly Sorted, I’ve written a lot about bullet journaling, and also talked about fashion, crafts, and home. In the future, I’m planning to add more posts on blogging into the mix, since lots of people see a blog they like (like mine!), and wonder whether they could create their own blog.
So then, what’s the best advice when it comes to how to choose your blog niche? Well, I think that following your passion can be a good idea, because you’ll never be short of things to write about and your enthusiasm will come across in your writing, which readers love. But there is something really important that you must keep in mind if you’re thinking about a very specific subject that’s quite unique – if you can’t find many successful blogs in that niche, there’s probably a reason for that! You might have the most sparkling writing style and be publishing new posts everyday, but if there’s hardly anyone interested in the subject you’re writing about, you’re going to have a hard time getting readers to your blog. Which is fine if you just want to blog as a hobby (it can be lots of fun!), but it’s not good if you’d ultimately like to make money blogging.
There are three great ways to find out how popular and successful different niches are. First, head over to Pinterest and do a search on the subject (Pinterest is an incredible resource for bloggers, but more on that in a future post). What kind of pins come back when you carry out the search? Are there loads of pins on the subject, or just a few? Are they high quality pins that look professional? What are the websites they link to like? Attractive and professional, or not so much? This can be a great way to get a general feel for how other blogs in the niche are doing.
The second resource you can use to help you choose your blog niche is buzzsumo.com. Just type in the subject you’re interested in, and it’ll show you some of the most popular posts on that subject. Check out those links to see how the sites/posts are doing. You can also use Buzzsumo to search on specific websites, to find out what the most popular posts on that site are.
Third, you can read the below list of niches which have been proven time and time again to be successful (these categories are listed by Paul Scrivens on the site I mentioned above):
- How to make money
- Personal finance
- Health and fitness
- Beauty and fashion
- Lifestyle (can cover quite a lot)
- Personal development
As you can see, these are broad categories and, if you already have something in mind that you’re passionate about, it’s quite likely that it’ll fall within one of these niches. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go with that subject for your niche, but do think really carefully about it if you’d like to make money from blogging.
If you’re feeling stuck, try googling the seven niches listed above and just spend some time browsing the results. Can you see any blogs that ‘feel’ good to you? Could you see yourself writing any similar posts to those you come across? A couple of things to keep in mind as you’re doing this…
1) Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can’t choose a certain niche because there are already loads of blogs on that subject – this just shows you that it’s possible to find success in those niches. You will add your own spin and unique voice to your own blog.
2) Don’t think that you have to be an expert in whatever field you choose to write in. Yes, of course you do have to know what you’re on about, or it’s not fair to your reader (plus, it’ll probably be obvious that you don’t know what you’re talking about). However, as long as you’re one step ahead of your reader, you will have something valuable to tell them. Say you’re writing about yoga – you don’t necessarily have to have years of yoga experience under your belt. If you started learning about it six months ago, then you have lots of valuable information to pass on about how to get started with yoga and the best ways to start off as a beginner.
So there we go! I really hope this has helped you in thinking about how to choose your blog niche. A final tip? Try not to worry too much about being specific within a niche. So say you want to write about food, and you’re wondering if you should narrow things down and just focus on cakes. My advice would be to consider not doing that right away (unless you really want to). You can start broad and get a feel for what works. You might find that your posts on cakes are your most successful, and decide to keep writing about cakes. Or, you might find that your readers love it when you give them great ideas for meals on a budget, so your blog evolves into one that focuses on that. Starting broad can give you a bit of freedom to experiment and see what works, so don’t feel that you have to know exactly what you’re going to write about straight away.
I would love to help you if you have any questions for me – get in touch and ask away!
Essential resources for starting your own blog
And finally, here are the links to those resources I mentioned…
- My own post on how to start a blog in a month.
- Best free blogging advice I found when starting my blog – Paul Scriven’s free 12 day email blogging bootcamp.
- Resource to get two free WordPress sites to experiment with – Wealthy Affiliate (note that, if you’re serious about blogging, you should purchase your own site for your blog, but these are great for having a play around to see if you enjoy the process of building a website, and there are some beginner’s video tutorials on there too).
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