The first part of our journey to blogging success is selecting what to blog about.
Your blog niche is the subject you’re going to concentrate on. It will be the focus for all your content, the topic of all your blog conversations and be the driving force behind everything you do on your blog.
You may be one of the lucky few that are creating a blog to write about a passion or pastime you have. Alternatively, you may be one of the many that has the desire to write or create a blog but have no idea what to blog about.
It is for those in the latter group that we wrote this guide.
This page will discuss why you need a niche, selecting a niche, how to identify competitive areas to write about, generating your own blog topic ideas and the benefits of working within a niche.
Why You Need a Blog Niche
Before we get into the detail of identifying your niche and exploring competitive topics to blog about, let us first cover why you need one.
After all, if we’re going to all this effort, it makes sense to know why, right?
First off, let’s preface this by saying, you don’t have to have a niche. If you just want to experiment with writing a blog, or explore writing, develop your personal style or just want to learn a blogging platform, you can do all those things without a niche.
For everything else, you’re going to need to know exactly what you’re going to be writing about.
Identifying what to blog about should be the first step you take into the world of blogging.
Unless you have the resources of the BBC, CNN or other multinational media organization, blogging about world events and covering every conceivable subject isn’t going to work.
You’re going to need a niche.
It Helps Identify Your Target Audience
A niche helps you identify your likely target audience. While blogging is about you, it also isn’t about you. Everything you write for people to read should have that reader in mind at all times.
Knowing who you’re writing for will help frame everything you write and even how you write it. It will also help you create a relationship with your audience and help build loyalty.
A Niche Helps You Maintain Focus
Focus is essential when blogging. It helps you build an audience, deliver on their expectations, maintain momentum and can help monetize your website.
There is a huge world out there with millions of things to write about. If you don’t select a narrow focus for your blog, you will find yourself writing about all kinds of stuff. If that’s where you want to go, there is nothing stopping you but if you want to make the most of your platform, becoming known for one specific topic or area of expertise is far easier than mastering many.
We Visit Websites for a Reason
You have favourite blogs or websites you visit all the time, right? Ask yourself why. Is it because of great quality content? Because you learn a lot? Because the site entertains you? Because the blogger is funny or clever?
All the reasons you visit the same websites over and over again are the elements you want to build into your own blog.
For example, if you’re a PC gamer, you’ll visit PC gamer websites to keep up with new releases and reviews. If you’re into interior design, you will likely have specific design websites to keep up with trends and generate new ideas.
Your audience will want the same thing from you.
Jack of All Trades, Master of None
We have been in our own niche for over a decade and we still don’t know everything. If we kept our niche broad, we would know even less. As it is, even specializing in WordPress means we are not experts on every single topic.
Instead, we keep things more focused. We concentrate on WordPress themes, plugins and how-to guides like this. It allows us to learn, to become an authority and to deliver high quality content you can rely on.
You’re going to want to do the same thing for exactly the same reasons.
Stand Out From the Crowd
There are hundreds of thousands of blogs out there and somehow you have to compete with them. You do that by selecting an area of expertise.
For example, there are thousands of blogs out there about WordPress. There are fewer about WordPress themes and fewer still about Astra WordPress themes. We could write all day long about the wonders of WordPress but so do thousands of others. It would be hard to stand out in such a crowded market.
If we specialized in ease of use, of making WordPress accessible and about attracting new audiences to WordPress, we stand a far higher chance of standing out.
Which is exactly what we did!
Gain Authority in Your Chosen Niche
Becoming experts in a field means you can write with authority in it. Most of us can recognize when someone knows what they are talking about and when they aren’t.
Who are you going to believe when you read something? Someone who obviously knows their subject and can communicate it to a wide audience? Or someone who is learning the subject as they go?
We know who we would believe!
Authority is everything online. You have to know your subject and know it well. Selecting a niche makes that a whole lot easier.
If your audience doesn’t know what they are going to get when they visit your blog, they will soon stop coming.
Humans are creatures of habit. We quickly get used to seeing certain things in certain places and we gain comfort from that. It’s the same with a website. Your favourite blogs will be written in a particular way, have a particular layout and design that provide comfort and predictability. They will also likely have a particular niche.
A niche provides predictability, in a good way.
Your audience will know what you’re going to be writing about and not be disappointed. Those interested in your niche will add your blog to their bookmarks and visit your site frequently just like you visit your favourite websites.
Niches Make Monetization Easier
If you’re planning to monetize your blog at some point, being known for a particular subject will make life so much easier.
Most bloggers begin making money through Google Ads and affiliate marketing. You will find monetizing much more lucrative if you can focus on a very narrow market.
On the flip side, if you know about Google Ads already, then you know that competing for common keywords is incredibly expensive. Focusing on niche terms and long tail keywords is much more competitive.
For example, trying to compete for ‘WordPress themes’ would be impossible for the beginner blogger as competition is just too fierce. However, try competing for a narrow niche such as ‘WordPress themes that use Elementor’ or ‘WordPress themes for non-profits’ and you stand a far higher chance of competing.
It’s the same for affiliates. To gain affiliate income, you need website visitors on your affiliate site. To get visitors, they need a reason to visit. You see where we’re going here right?
Avoid Common Mistakes When Deciding What to Blog About
If you read ‘How to Start a Blog in 2023’, you will remember we said we wanted you to learn from our mistakes. That’s what this section is all about.
We are going to list some common errors people make when deciding what to blog about. Some we have made ourselves and some we have seen others make.
Either way, don’t make the same mistakes we did!
Mistake 1: Not Being Niche Enough
Not being niche enough means you will find it more difficult to find an audience. You may appeal to a much wider audience but you will have a genuine challenge delivering enough quality content to satisfy everyone.
It is much better to cultivate a smaller, narrower audience at first and expand later if you need to.
A wide niche will also mean you’re competing in a much larger market. Remember our point above about standing out from the crowd? That’s what could happen if you try to appeal to a wider audience.
Mistake 2: Being Too Niche
You need to strike a balance between being niche enough and being too niche. Too niche means a potentially tiny audience and minimal chance to monetize later on.
It also means you’re going to struggle finding things to talk about.
When considering your niche, see if you can come up with 52 different ideas for a blog post. Most beginner bloggers will write once per week which is why that number is important. That’s just one year of posts.
If you struggle to come up with enough for a single year, how will you survive over the longer term?
Mistake 3: Writing for Money and Not for Passion
You can make money from a blog but ideally you should not create a blog purely to make money. You have to be interested in what you’re writing about. If you’re not, it will come through in your writing.
We have all read articles that sounded as though the writer was half asleep or watching Netflix while they wrote it. Those articles never perform well.
We want to read passion. We want to read interest. We want to read someone who speaks with authority and genuine enthusiasm for their chosen subject.
Only with these qualities will you gain an audience. Only with these qualities will your blog survive.
Mistake 4: Not Having a Plan
There is absolutely nothing wrong with launching a blog and writing as and when you feel like it. However, if you want your blog to be a success, you’re going to need a plan.
That plan needs to happen right now.
You need to come up with your niche of course but also blog categories, a content schedule (when and how often you’ll write and post), a social media marketing plan (how and where you’ll promote your blogs on social media), a comments plan (how and when you’ll engage your audience in the comments section) and a regular blog update and maintenance plan.
These plans don’t need to be very detailed at first. You can outline each of them and build them up as you go. But you do need a plan.
Mistake 5: Writing for Yourself and Not Your Audience
A blog can be a journey of self-expression but a successful blog will appeal to the audience too. You’re not just writing for yourself, you’re also writing for your audience.
Will your audience get your meaning? Will they understand what you’re talking about? Will they want to know as much about your niche as you do? Will they know more than you? Will they understand technical terms or abbreviations?
All these things need to be taken into account when writing a blog.
Mistake 6: Not Looking Ahead to Monetization
Making money may not be your initial goal when you start your blog but you should plan for that eventuality anyway. After all, if there is an opportunity to make a little money out of doing something you love, why wouldn’t you?
Your choice of niche feeds into that. It should have commercial potential and enough of an audience to make ads and affiliate links work. You can move to sponsored posts and other monetization options later, but first you’ll need that audience.
As you’re selecting a niche, ensure that you’re looking for business opportunities that a particular niche can bring.
I’m sure you can think of other pitfalls of starting a blog but those are some of the more common ones we can come across!
How to Choose a Winning Blog Niche Idea
When developing blog ideas, the end goal is to find that sweet spot that marries something you’re passionate about with an audience, the opportunity for profit, enough scope to still be blogging in a few years’ time and that you think people will want to read.
Here are a few actional tips we recommend using when trying to come up with blog niche ideas:
Consider Your Passion
Do you have a hobby you’re enthusiastic about and want to share? Are you passionate about a particular subject and want to enlist an audience? Know a lot about a subject and want to share that knowledge?
All would make excellent choices for your blog niche.
Writing about something you’re passionate about has several benefits:
- It will come through in your writing – People know when someone is enthusiastic about what they are writing about and will engage accordingly.
- It will require less willpower to maintain the blog – Do you know the saying ‘Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life?’ It refers to the fact that working in an industry you love feels a lot less like work than if you didn’t like what you did. It’s the same for your blog.
- You should never be short of ideas – Passions sparks an area of creativity we can leverage to keep your blog going forever. If you’re passionate about something, you will be full of questions and want to share your knowledge with the world. All great fuel for your blog.
Use Your Life Experience
Have you led a particularly interesting life? Have experiences to share that might help others? These would make excellent blog niche ideas.
Some of the most emotive blogs around are from people who have overcome challenges, have experienced amazing or traumatic experiences or learned valuable lessons from a career or situation.
If you have any of that and think you could write long term on the subject, this could be the perfect blog niche idea!
Think About the Blogs You Read
Do you visit blogs regularly? Is there a blog you look forward to visiting? If so, consider using something similar for your own blog niche. Don’t copy the blogs you like, but feel free to use them as inspiration and take it in your own direction.
If you read a particular blog, other people likely will too. If that’s the case and you’re interested in the subject, it’s fertile ground for your own blog niche.
If you can take that topic and do something new with it, you could even partner or cooperate with your favourite blog!
I Want to Teach the World to…
Are you a Six Sigma Black Belt? Have a degree in consumer psychology? Work in AI? If you have extensive expertise in something and want to share that knowledge, that’s the perfect niche to work in.
Even if you’re not the world’s authority on something, if you know a subject well, you will have knowledge to share. That’s ideal for a blog.
We are WordPress experts but we know we don’t know everything. We don’t pretend to either. We are passionate about it and love sharing what we know though. We hope that comes through in our blog.
It could be exactly the same for you.
What Are They Missing?
Does one of your favourite blogs miss something you think is obvious? Do you follow a blog but really wish they would cover the subject from a different angle? Do you think you could take the subject in a different direction or cover topics someone else misses?
Those are all great blog niche ideas.
You can use a blog you read as inspiration but take things in a different direction. You can build your own authority, your own audience and your own community. All while staying true to your interests and offering your audience something different.
Offer Solutions to Problems
Some of the biggest blogs in the world began as small blogs answering questions or offering solutions to people’s problems. Maybe you could too.
Are you an IT technician or Windows expert? Start a blog solving common computer issues. Are you a confectioner or chocolatier? How about a how-to blog covering sweet deliciousness?
The great thing about solving problems is that you can combine teaching with passion, the desire to communicate and deliver value to your audience in one go!
Give Them What They Ask For
If you want to be more commercially minded about your blog, you could find out what people are searching for and fulfil that need.
- You can perform a basic search to find out the most successful blogs.
- You can use Google Trends to use who is searching for what.
- You can use Twitter Trending Topics to see what people are talking about.
- You can use Amazon or eBay to identify industries that sell well and that you could be interested in.
- You can put random terms or blog niche ideas into a keyword tool and assess their viability.
The upside is that you could jump onto a niche with huge demand. The downside is that there is likely to be a lot of competition in that niche.
You also have to be sure you can write with sufficient enthusiasm to grow your audience and blog for 52 weeks per year for many years to come!
If you can do these things, blogging in popular niches is a good way to start.
Popular Blog Ideas You Could Use
By now, you should have lots of blog niche ideas you could use. Or you may not. If you’re still struggling to find a niche you like enough to write about and can learn enough to build authority, this section should help.
We have collated some of the most popular blog niche ideas around and compiled them into a list for you to use.
- Online Dating
- Home Décor and DIY
- Baby Products and Services
- Musical Instruments
- Tech and Gadgets
- Real Estate
- Social Media Marketing
- Loans and Financing
- Making Money Online
- Weight Loss
Once you have your subject, you will need to break it down further to find a focus for your niche.
For example, let’s take self-improvement. We’re sure you’ll agree that the subject is just too broad and not specific enough to be a niche on its own. So, we would break it down further into:
- Physical health
- Mental health
- Food and nutrition
- Having children
- Weight loss
- Professional development
- Career development
- Life hacks
- And so on…
That’s still quite a broad niche to compete in. So why don’t we break it down some more.
- Let’s take physical health:
- Physical fitness for the time poor
- Overcoming injury
- Coping with disability
- Vegan nutrition
- Celiac nutrition
- Coping with a specific illness
- Getting fit as a senior
- Exercise for the older generation
- First aid for beginners
- Homeopathic remedies
- Natural medicine
- Coping with hair loss
- Managing menopause
- Becoming an elite cyclist
- Training for Olympic gold in canoeing
You get the idea. This process can be refined even further if necessary until you get to a very narrow focus. Just make sure that there is an audience out there that will want to read what you’re writing and that you can learn enough about it to speak with authority!
Deciding What to Blog About
If you’re not one of those lucky few who already know exactly what they will be blogging about, we hope you now have a better idea of a potential niche.
It still won’t be easy but hopefully by now you appreciate just how important it is to nail down some kind of niche early on. It defines the rest of your blogging journey so the earlier you settle on a niche, the better!
Join us next time for Chapter 2: Naming your blog!
Did you have trouble settling on a blogging niche? Have any ideas to help others settle on theirs? Tell us your thoughts below!
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