If you’re going to start a blog, you need to choose your niche. (And no, that is not something you need a cream for) A niche is simply a fancy way for the word “topic.” How do you choose one and why is it so important?
You need to have a topic for your blog and you need to make sure it’s something you’re deeply, truly passionate about.
This is absolutely critical. There is nothing else more important than this. You may not be ready to hear this or think that it could happen, but the fact is sooner or later you’re probably going to be making a living at this. This will be come your job. This is something that is going to consume a great deal of your time. You’ll be talking about it constantly. It might as well be something that you love. Something that you eat, sleep and breathe. Because then, it’s fun. If not, well, what’s the point?
Another really simple yet profound thing to consider is this: is this just a hobby, or do you plan on making money off of it?
Would you like it to become a source of income at some point? If you’re just looking to vent about something or indulge in your inner nerd, or talk about your favorite pro wrestler than you probably don’t need to worry too much about your niche. Because it just won’t matter. If your blog is your hobby then all you have to do is indulge your passion to your heart’s content and not say anything too stupid that will get you fired from you “real” job (and yes, that has happened to people before).
But if your blog is something you’d like to make money off of, you need to consider the market place. Some niches monetize better than others. Some just don’t offer than much money. Some are already well covered (that is, there are already a great number of people blogging g on that topic), while some are completely ignored or relatively underserved. If it’s a crowded space, then you really might want to rethink it. It’s always better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond.
Once you’ve decided that, it’s time to jump right in!
Step one is doing your homework: research the blogs in your niche.
Learn the lay of the land. Find out who the players are in your space. Do all the research that you can. Google and other search engines are great for learning everything from how old the blogs are to who founded them, what kind of money are the generating, etc.
Next, make a list of the most popular blogs in your niche and study them closely.
At the end of the day, it’s all been done. There is not any reason to try to reinvent the wheel here. Just look at what other people are doing and copy what works, while placing your own personal spin on it.
Get to know the most successful authors in your space.
Read their blog, post comments, be part of the discussion. The more interactive you can become on their site(s) the better. Sooner or later, you will become known and that will lead people to becoming curious about you and what you have to say and ultimately lead people back to your blog. Increased presence means increased traffic which means increased revenue. For you.
Now go out there and do it! Get in the game people! You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Now you may be asking yourself “Should I even bother?”
“The niche I want to blog about is already so crowded and they say not to write in a crowded niche!” True, but then again, we started Ask Dan & Jennifer and that’s a love and sex site and that niche is about as crowded as it gets! And we do, in fact make a living off of it. So, it can be done. There are no absolute rules. These are only guidelines, so definitely, by all means go with your gut and your passion, but make it easy on yourself, too!