Anyone can start a business on anything. However, picking the wrong niche, or picking a niche for the wrong reasons is a reason why businesses fail. It's important to choose a profitable niche from the start.
Being profitable is not the only reason to pick a niche. You want a niche that interests you, that you're knowledgeable about, and of course one that is profitable.
Choosing a niche has a few variables: passion, community, popularity, knowledge:
You may not LOVE your niche but you have to like it. Passion will motivate you in the months and years to come.
When you choose a niche just because it's profitable, when you don't care about the topic (or the people you are helping) can be tiring and a real energy suck. You are setting yourself up to fail specifically in the first year when it's harder to make money.
Not only should you care about the topic, but you should also care about the people you will be helping.
The money is made - especially in blogging when you help people. They come to your blog for help.
Liking your ideal client means you will never tire of talking to or helping this person because you know their dreams, you know their challenges, and you genuinely care about them.
One of the best ways to find a blog topic you care about is to look at what communities and groups you belong to.
What type of blogs do you comment on? What Facebook groups do you belong to? Do you participate in any forums or subreddits?
If you can't find a community in a niche you're considering, find a different niche. That's because the money is in the community.
When there's a community who gets together to discuss their problems and find solutions, you know you've found a profitable niche.
Finding a community means you already have a built in audience and people ready to buy.
Many new bloggers and business owners think they have to choose a niche that nobody else is doing. They shy away from competition. I promote taking the exact opposite approach.
If you find a niche that's popular and competitive, you have likely found a very profitable niche.
Another benefit of choosing a popular niche is that there's plenty of experienced bloggers and business owners to learn from.
While the audience size needs to be big enough, you shouldn't just start a general blog on any topic. You need to niche down (read more for more details).
Passion May Not Be Enough for A Profitable Niche
When you choose a topic you're already interested in, it ensures you won't quit when it gets rough.
But don't mistake this for "finding your passion". When you choose a business based solely on passion you run into the following problems:
- Letting your emotions make business decisions - You create a product because it's always been your dream. Instead of taking the right approach: researching the topic and doing competitor analysis to determine profitability.
- You will spend time doing what's fun, not what's important - You spend most of your time in your Facebook group, when your business needs you to focus on lead generation and conversion optimization.
- You won't use the data - You will stubbornly keep working on your blog - even when it's an utter failure and needs to be shut down. In business, decisions need to be made based on numbers - not following your heart.
- You'll write about the wrong topics - You will confidently write about whatever you want, since this blog and topic is your passion. The better approach is to do keyword research to find the most profitable in-demand topics.
- You will think others have the same level of passion you do. This can lead you to assume people will spend money in this niche. But passion doesn't equal money. Money is earned in fulfilling a need that's in demand.
- Your passion becomes your work, instead of your work becoming your passion - Your passion is your retreat, your escape from the day-to-day. When you turn your passion into your business, you may end up ruining it.
30 Ideas in 30 Days - Find Your Niche
Use this workbook to find the perfect niche for you in 30 days.
You don't have to be an expert. But you do need to know what you're talking about. Nobody is really an expert on anything. We're all just in the process of learning. If you want to have a successful blog you will need to share what you learn. For a successful retail/e-commerce business you need to know the ins-and-outs of the products you are selling.
While you may not consider yourself an expert, are you the go-to source for your friends & family on a particular subject?
- Look at your hobbies. Taking pictures? Graphic design? Hitting the gym? Eating healthy? Crocheting?
- Look at look at your career. Are you in the business world, marketing, sales, a CPA, attorney?
- Finally, look at your life experiences. What do you have experience in? Motherhood, losing weight, overcoming self-doubt?
Your personal experience is more useful than anything you could learn in a textbook.
You don't have to be an expert. Not only do you not have to be an expert, it may actually work in your favor.
Would you rather learn how to lose stubborn belly fat from a dude who just did it - or from a fitness freak who never had belly fat to begin with?
Not being an expert makes you relatable. It means you and the reader speak the same language. It means there won't be a need to "dumb yourself down" to speak to your audience. You don't need to be an expert - you just need to be one step ahead of your ideal reader.
Choose a topic you want to learn more about. The advantage of not being an expert is that you have more to learn on this topic. That quest for knowledge is going to be what keeps you going through those early days of blogging.
That's why it's important to find a niche you're not only knowledgeable about, but one you want to continue to learn about.
You do need to niche down, because the riches are in the niches, after all.
Pick a niche that's not too broad. Successful blogs tend to laser focus on one specific topic. The goal is to become an authority in your space. And when you write about everything, you are an authority on nothing. If you are going the e-commerce route look for niches that you can provide complimentary products and services.
To start niching down, pick a broad niche and then find an angle to make this topic more focused to your ideal reader.
Here are some examples of how to dive deeper into each subject to find your perfect niche.
- Health blog > Nope, try Weight Loss > Go deeper, do Nutrition for Vegans instead.
- Cooking blog > Nope, try Recipes > Go deeper, do Keto Vegan Recipes instead.
- Finance blog > Nope, try Saving Money > Go deeper, do Couponing instead.
- Fitness blog > Nope, try Kettle Ball > Go deeper, do Kettle Ball For Women instead.
- Relationship blog > Nope, try Dating Advice > Go deeper, do Senior Dating Guide instead.
But don't pick a niche that's too specific either
Now don't go overboard and choose something too specific. If you do, you will be shrinking your potential audience size too small.
One good way to know if you picked a good niche is to see how many categories your blog can have.
- If you can branch off into 5 sub-topics, that's great.
- If you can find 10+ sub-topics, it's too broad.
- If you can't find any sub-topic, it's just too narrow of a niche.
Rather than going nuts on finding the perfect blog niche, focus on catering to your ideal reader instead.
Think about this. If your niche is nutrition, wouldn't it stand to reason that your readers may also have interest in fitness too?
There's nothing wrong with trying different topics for a while. If you do, what you'll find is that oftentimes your niche will find you, not the other way around.
When you put your energy into solving the problems of your ideal reader, you can't go wrong.
This one should really be number one on this list. If you do not choose a profitable niche, you will quit.
I've seen plenty of people tell you to follow your passion. But if you're not making money, your blog is just a hobby - and you will quit.
The problem is that many people wing it and start a blog before they have a monetization strategy in place. It's ok if you want to have a hobby blog but if that is not your goal you should have a path to making money.
Do a Google search for blogs in your niche. The first page of results will be the authority bloggers in your niche. See how the top bloggers in your niche monetize their blogs.
You will want to look at the following:
- Do they sell physical products?
- Do they sell digital products?
- Do they make money selling affiliate products?
- Do they work with brands? (sponsored posts)
- Do they make money via display ads?
- If you notice that the top blogs in your niche have multiple monetization methods, it's a good sign it's a profitable niche you should pursue.
List of Profitable Blog Niches
Here are some profitable niche ideas for blogs in 2021.
These niches are great for display ads (high traffic):
- Food (recipes)
These niches are best for affiliate marketing (plenty of products to promote):
- Healthy eating
- Diets (keto, paleo, etc.)
These niches are ideal for working with brands (sponsored posts):
And these niches are best for selling digital products:
- Freelance writing
Once you find a profitable niche, the next step is to research other bloggers in this space, see how they do it - and do it better!