The very first step before setting up your blog is to choose your blog’s topic or ‘niche’.
With blogging you want to go after the MONSTER niches! You want to get involved in the niches that have massive amounts of traffic already. If there is already a ton of competition and traffic in the niche that means that there is money in that niche!
That also means that there are a ton of people who would be more than willing to write for your blog.
List of the top niches:
- Weight Loss
- Entertainment & Celebrity Gossip
Try to choose something that is both something you’re passionate about (or at least have some interest in) and something that’s profitable (something that other people are passionate about and are willing to spend money on).
Obviously it’s really important that you have some knowledge on your niche so you know what you’re talking about when making blog posts. If you are knowledgeable on your topic, visitors to your website will perceive you as an expert and someone they can go to for advice.
The information you will be providing on your blog must be helpful and informative in order for you to build credibility and make money. People will only pay for information that is genuinely useful.
However in saying this, you don’t actually have to be a qualified expert in your field, just as long as you know just a bit more than the average Joe. Even if you’re unsure whether you’re someone who can come across as being knowledgeable and credible in your niche, it’s nothing a little research won’t fix.
So the first thing you should do is think about your interests and what you are passionate about. Something that is a big industry, that has a lot of money in it e.g health and fitness.
Next, you will need to break this down into a sub-topic. For example, the health and fitness niche is very profitable, however it is swamped with competition, so you will want to narrow it down to a smaller sub-niche such as ‘raw food diets’ or ‘pilates for rock climbers’ etc.
Even if the niche is small and obscure, it can still be extremely profitable and under-monetized with big potential. However don’t go too small into sub-niches with absolutely no competition because chances are there’s not much money in them.
Topics that are always popular and profitable are:
Relationships and Dating
Health and Fitness
Remember: People pay for solutions to their problems. It’s really just as simple as finding out what your target market wants and giving it to them.
Here’s the 3 step process:
- Identify your target market’s problems
- Find solutions for their problems
- Give them your solutions to their problems.
So, the first thing we need to do is to go out into your niche and do a little research.
You should look for:
- What kind of people they mostly are?
- What do they spend most of their time talking about (and probably thinking about) in regards to this topic?
- What are they most passionate about and why?
- What are their main concerns/problems?
- What are they currently doing to solve their problems?
- What can you do to offer a solution to these problems?
The best places to go to find this information out is the places where your niche/target market hang out; forums, popular websites, social sites etc.
Find Forums In Your Niche
Do a search on Google for “(your niche here) forum”) and if your niche is popular there will be sure to be plenty of results. Sign yourself up for these forums and start interacting with your target market. Look through and study the most popular threads and find out what everyone is mostly talking about. You are sure to come across popular sub-topics.
Find out what are the most burning issues and problems in your niche that people are talking about. Find out what they are most passionate about. This is where the money is. If you’re still unsure, or want to cut to the chase, you could simply just straight out ask these questions on the forum and you’ll be sure to get some good ideas.
Also, another great thing about forums is just by looking thought and reading people’s posts you can find out where else people in that niche hang out and what websites and resources are popular to them. You can also find out what kind of products they use and enjoy and what kind of material they read/watch.
Social Media/Web 2.0 Sites
Social sites and community sites are also popular places for groups of people passionate about the same thing to hang out and share ideas.
Websites like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Digg, YouTube, StumbleUpon all have plenty of people constantly discussing and sharing ideas and info on their interests, passions and problems. Of course, I’ve only mentioned just a few of the web 2.0 sites you can go to; there are literally dozens out there. Simply go to these sites and do a search for your niche or sub niche and you’ll get plenty of information and ideas!
Get Ideas From Yahoo Answers
One of the best places to find the hottest questions and answers in your niche is Yahoo Answers (http://answers.yahoo.com). Here you will find people asking all sorts of interesting (and shameless) questions on every topic you can imagine. It’s extremely popular and is a great source for finding out what people are having trouble with and what they really want and need.
Not only will you find ideas on what sub-niche you should choose, you’ll also have plenty of questions and answers you can base your blog posts around!
Google Alerts: Get Knowledge and News Automatically
Google Alerts is a great tool that’s designed to automatically alert you to information you’re interested via your Gmail account. You can request to receive alerts of the latest news and information on your niche and choose how frequently you want to receive them. It’s so handy!
First, I’d recommend you set up a new Gmail account specifically for receiving alerts on your topic. So go to http://www.googlemail.com and create a new Gmail account.
Next, go to http://www.google.com/alerts to set up your alerts.
For example, if I was setting up a blog on ‘raw food diets’ I’d enter it into Google Alerts as the ‘search terms’:
Next, select the type of search you want. Select ‘Everything’ because then every time your search term is mentioned in news, blogs, groups, and videos, you will receive alerts.
Now select how often you want these alerts and how many results you want. I suggest selecting to receive alerts daily, but it’s up to you.
Lastly, enter your email address you want the alerts sent to.
Once you’ve done some keyword research (we’ll get onto that next) you could also enter your keywords into Google Alerts to see what comes up.
This entry is part 2 of 12 from Complete Blogging Guide