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.
@Princess, you’re absolutely right! Thanks for adding your thoughts to the conversation!
@Kurt Parekh, I’m glad you liked the post. You can also check out my book, Blogging All-in-One for Dummies, which includes almost 100 pages about niche blogging.
Is there an expanded version that possible goes into more detail about this? Kinda like an e-book but otherwise I def like the advice provided. Thanks a lot!!
Not in that sense, we have not published an ebook around that topic here at Performancing but there’s lots of awesome information to be found in our archives and that information will allow to place your claim on your niche.
I will definitely use this advice for creating my next blog. Let’s not forget that if you are not passionate about your chosen niche or topic, it will be hard for you to come up with worthy content on a regular basis, and your readers will surely notice your lack of passion in your writing.
@Susan…. I agree with you but its always hard to find good keywords to target.
@ Jared: that’s why the first thing on this list is “what subject can you write about frequently”. Your niche really has to be something that interests you aside from being something that you can write a lot of articles about.
Great guidelines because if you don’t like what you’re blogging about it’ll be a hard blog to keep going and get excited about.
@Jared, you’re absolutely right. If you’re not passionate about your blog topic, readers will notice!