The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Profitable Niche for Your Blog
As an online business, blogging has immense potential. Top bloggers can make six-figure monthly incomes, and even a moderately successful blog can generate enough income to replace a full-time job. Despite the significant potential to make money through niche blogging, a 2012 survey of 1,000 bloggers found that an astonishing 81 percent had never earned even $100 from their blogs.
If you want to join the minority of bloggers who earn full-time incomes from their blogs, you need to make sure you're choosing a profitable niche. Here at Postach.io, our mission is to help people just like you turn their Evernote notebooks into amazing blogs. To help you get started the right way, we've compiled the following guide to choosing a profitable blogging niche. If you've ever thought about making money by blogging but didn't know where to start, you've come to the right place!
Consider What You're Knowledgeable and Passionate About
One of the first steps in finding a profitable niche for your blog is to consider your personal interests, hobbies, and areas of expertise. Although your level of interest in a subject doesn't directly correlate with its profitability, your ability to blog in a niche that legitimately interests you will make you more likely to succeed. The reason for this is that blogging success takes a great deal of time, effort, and work. Working with a niche that doesn't interest you makes you more prone to getting burnt out on your blog. Blogging about something you're interested in also makes it easier to produce the large amount of content needed for blogging success, since you'll likely have a reasonably good base of existing knowledge in that niche.
At Postach.io, we believe that Evernote can be a powerful tool when it comes to blogging. If you use Evernote extensively, you'll discover how it can be an excellent way to identify some niche ideas that relate to your interests. If you're having trouble coming up with ideas, try going back through your notes in the app and seeing what types of topics you create notes about. Although there's no guarantee that any of these topics will translate into profitable niche ideas, revisiting your notes in Evernote is a reliable way to start brainstorming for possible niches.
Determine Competitiveness and Public Interest
While your niche should be something you are knowledgeable and passionate about, it should also be something that will interest a substantial audience of people. At the same time, certain niches are thoroughly saturated with well-established blogs, making it difficult for a newcomer to break in and create a profitable new blog. The niches that will give you the best chance of making good money from your blog are those with medium or large potential audiences but low competition. You need a niche in which the competition is low enough that a new blog at least stands a reasonable chance of attracting readers.
There are several ways to find out how competitive a niche is, and one of the easiest is to conduct keyword research. This research will tell you if there are search terms relevant to your niche idea that get a good volume of monthly searches but don't turn up many search results. To get a basic idea of keyword search volume and competition levels, you can use Google's Keyword Planner tool. For more in-depth information, you can also use a tool called SpyFu, which provides a more comprehensive set of keyword data.
Although the easiest niches to break into tend to be those with medium search volumes and low to medium competition levels, there are exceptions. If you find a high-competition niche in which most blog posts are too short or of low quality, you may be able to establish yourself in that niche by merely offering better content than your competitors. Similarly, some niches are so large that, despite stiff competition, there's always room for new content creators. Niches that are large and popular enough will have income potential even for smaller blogs, making it possible for you to succeed without becoming a leading authority.
Evaluate Ideas Based on Monetization Methods
Once you have a few niche ideas, you need to select one based on its ability to be monetized. Ideally, your blog's niche should give you the ability to monetize it in several ways. Having multiple types of revenue coming in from your blog will protect you from the failure of any single source, and it will give you more ways to capitalize on your site's traffic. Consider whether or not any niche idea you have will allow you to monetize your blog via two or more of the following methods, to ensure it can produce multiple streams of income.
Probably the easiest way for new bloggers to monetize their sites is through advertising. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads, such as those available through Google's Adsense program, are simple to integrate into your blog posts and pages. Although it's an easy way to get started, hosting PPC ads is a method with considerable limitations. Unless you have a blog that gets enormous amounts of traffic, your earnings from advertising alone won't be enough to generate a serious income. Once your blog gains an appreciable following, you can make more money from advertising by directly selling ad spaces to advertisers.
Practically any niche can be ripe for advertising, but if you want to maximize your income from advertising, it's vital to find either a moderately large niche or a smaller niche in which the products advertisers want to promote are high enough in price that they'll be willing to pay well to get their ads seen by lower numbers of visitors. Earnings from ads can vary, but a general average rate is $2 for every 1,000 visitors who view the ad.
Among the most profitable ways to monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing. In an affiliate marketing arrangement, traffic from your blog is directed to a sales website through unique tracking links. When that site makes a sale to one of the visitors sent there from your blog, you receive a commission. Affiliate commissions can vary widely, from low percentages on small sales to thousands of dollars for a single purchase of a high-priced item or service.
One of the absolute best ways to determine whether or not a niche is profitable for affiliate marketing is to look for existing sites in that niche that are promoting products as affiliates. Although you should be looking for lower-competition niches, discovering a complete absence of competition probably means that the niche isn't profitable. You should also check to see that there is a reasonably wide range of products you can promote in your niche. If you're selling physical products using a program such as Amazon's Associates network, you should look for higher-priced products to promote, since these will pay you higher commissions. You can also check sites like Clickbank for information-based affiliate products related to your niche. If you can't find a reasonably good number of products that will pay generous commissions, the niche you're looking into likely won't be profitable.
E-Books and Courses
Another effective way to monetize a blog is by selling digital products, such as online courses and e-books. To determine if a niche can be monetized with these products, try to find specific problems to be solved or skills to be taught that relate to your niche. If you can solve problems or teach skills in a niche, chances are that it's a good candidate for monetization via a course or ebook. For confirmation, search for existing digital information products relating to your niche, and find out if they're selling well. Selling these products not only gives you complete control over one of your income streams, but it can also be extremely lucrative. In fact, some online courses can sell for $2,000 or more, and even mid-priced ones can range well into the hundreds of dollars.
The Final Step: Getting Started
If you can find a niche you're passionate and knowledgeable about, is relatively popular with low to medium competition, and can be monetized in multiple ways, the chances are good that you've hit upon a profitable niche for your blog. To begin making money from blogging, though, you'll still need to set up your site and put in the time and effort to create content. Success as a blogger won't come overnight, but with dedication and consistency, you can realize a good side income from your blog within six months, and possibly even replace your full-time income within two years.
If you want to streamline the process, try using our Evernote-powered blogging platform. When you use Postach.io, you can publish articles to your blog by creating an Evernote notebook in which each note becomes its own post. Our user-friendly system makes creating, designing and populating your site with content as simple as possible, leaving you free to focus on building your blog and increasing its profitability.