It seems like everyone is trying to find their niche on the social web, particularly when it comes to blogging. In simplest terms, a niche is a very specific area of focus, and a niche blog is one that is tightly focused on one specific subject.
The web has become a very cluttered place, and it’s hard to compete for traffic for broad keywords (such as parenting or business) against larger, well-established sites with deep pockets. However, you can stand out from the noise by choosing a niche and offering authoritative, reliable, and shareworthy content and conversations related to that niche on your blog.
The first step is to define your niche by asking yourself the following questions:
1. What subject can write about frequently?
Define your area of expertise that you want to use as the core of your online reputation. Your niche should be a subject that you can write about a lot and that you actually have something worthwhile to discuss. Once you identify the subjects that you can write about extensively, then break that topic up into smaller, more focused subjects. In other words, define the niches within that broader topic.
2. Is my niche viable today?
Take some time to learn who else is publishing content related to your possible niches, and make sure there is an active and engaged audience already seeking information about and talking about your potential niches. Also, use a tool like the free Google AdWords Traffic Estimator to get an idea of the traffic a niche blog might attract.
3. What keywords should I target?
Do some keyword research to further research the potential audiences niche topics could generate to your blog, and ensure your content is optimized for search engine referrals and effectively attracts your target audience using tools like Wordtracker, Keyword Discovery, or the free Google AdWords Keywords Tool.
4. How can I differentiate my content and make it valuable?
Niche blogs are highly focused, therefore, it’s important that you learn who else is publishing content related to your niche to ensure you add value to the online conversation. You don’t want to simply republish the same kind of information that other bloggers are already publishing. Take the time to create amazing, shareworthy content related to your niche to fully leverage the compounding effect of blogging.
5. Can I make this niche work for the long term?
While it’s important that your niche is viable today, you also need to make sure that you set your business blog up for long term success. Make sure you can create enough content for your niche blog for years to come while remaining passionate about your subject matter. Also, don’t choose a trend niche that is hot today but is likely to fade into oblivion in the not too distant future. For example, writing a blog about a popular television show might sound like a great idea today, but if you want your blog to be successful indefinitely, then a television show that could be canceled in a year or two might not be the best niche topic for your blog. Make sure your niche topic matches your short and long-term blogging goals.