The key to, and probably the most difficult part of running a successful blog, is to figure out what it is you’re good at – what you can write about with authority, your blogging niche. Ask yourself, who do you want to help? Who can you help? It’s a fundamental question when starting any business, and it’s the most important thing you can ask yourself about your blog.
It’s daunting, I know. Where do you even start with choosing just one thing? Easy. Start with what you know.
Brainstorm your strengths and weaknesses
Okay, so you’re just getting started trying to turn your blog into a business, or maybe you’re already successfully running your blog as a business but you want to cater to a new demographic by expanding what you write about. But how do you find out what your blogging niche should be, or who that demographic is? You have a wee brainstorming session, that’s how. Pen and paper is my favourite way to do this, but you can do it on anything – the back of a napkin, a word doc. Start writing ideas down.
Keep in mind this is brainstorming – it’s not your final ideas and nothing is off limits here. The most important thing it to stay open minded with yourself and not judge or censor yourself. There are no bad ideas at this point!
There’s so many things you can include, but here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- Things you learnt during your education – what was your favourite subject in high school? university?
- Past jobs – you’ll have amassed so much knowledge from previous jobs that can certainly help others in your field
- Hobbies & Interests – Sure, you may not be the editor of Vogue, but maybe you have enough of an interest in fashion & lifestyle that your blog could serve this demographic!
Find your Sweet Spot
Once I’ve done the above, I personally like to break these things down into the following categories; What I’m Interested In, What I’m Good At & What I’m Not Good At.
It may sound silly, but just because you’re interested in something doesn’t mean you’re going to be good at writing about it, or that it’s a niche you’ll be able to turn into a successful blogging business (that’s the goal here, right?!).
So this is the point in the process where you need to do a bit of self-reflection. The best part of this, though, is that any interests that find themselves in your Not Good At column can go out the door – boy, bye! But – anything that’s found it’s way into both your Interested In & Good At columns is your sweet spot. This is a topic you have enough interest and knowledge in that you’ll be able to consistently create quality content for others who have an interest to read and be engaged by!
Weedle out the dead weight
Personally, I like to do this by going through my list and narrowing down to two or three ideas by crossing off anything I don’t think I could spend a whole work day researching and writing about. The thing is, you’re building a new business here and it’ll be so much more fun if you’re really passionate about the topic and the audience.
You’re going to be creating multiple products and writing pages of content, but you’ll also be spending time reading about and researching and thinking about your new blogging niche. If you go for something you’re not truly passionate about, you’ll despise it and it won’t last.
Hobbies + Interests aren’t Profitable
Okay, they can be. But not always.
Next, it’s time to work out which topics on your list have the potential to bring you a profit. We’re trying to turn our blog into a business here. This is quite an easy step, especially if you’ve got an interest in the topics – you’ll probably already know the answers to some of the key questions you should ask of each topic.
Do people spend money on this? Do they buy products or information? Do people advertise within this niche?
Look, if you aren’t ticking all three, but at the very least two, of those questions for a topic on your list strike it out. They’re all great topics, but that doesn’t mean they’ve got the potential to be a profitable business.
By now your list should be significantly shorter. If it’s still too long, go through it again, cutting out anything that you’re not excited about or that doesn’t show good profit potential.
Choose potential: Can you really see this through?
Now that you’re list is a good bit shorter, and you’ve got a handful of potentially profitable blogging niches in front of you, think about what you want to know about the most. Where can you be the most helpful, and make the biggest impact? A great thing to ask at this point is which of the topics are you most opinionated about – if you’re strongly opinionated about something then you probably have a lot to say on the matter!
Once you think you’ve found the one from your list of possibilities, go back to your pen and paper and see if you can brainstorm a list of 10 interesting blog post ideas, and ideas for a new product you can create and promote. If you’re able to do this and come up with topics you know people will love to read about, you have your winner! Congratulations!
If not, that’s okay. Put it on the backburner and try the same with something else on your shortlist!
Get creating content for your new niche!
This is a super simple process, but it can help you come up with a few new blogging niche ideas based on the knowledge you already have in your head, from your own experiences – in my experience, these are the niches that we can make most fruitful. But more importantly, it can help you figure out which of the things you’re good at can help bring in a bit of side income for you – on your journey from blogger to business blogger this is the most important factor!
Did you find this helpful? What was the hardest part of deciding on your niche? Let me know your story in the comments!