With more than 600 million blogs out there, one can confidently say: there must be a huge demand for blogs among the world's audience.
Indeed, 77% of internet users read blogs. It doesn’t surprise me. People are looking up instructions for how to do things on Google every day and blogs are a great solution to their problems.
People start blogs for various reasons. Some do it because they like writing, want to share their expertise, or want to bring attention to something they care about. But most bloggers are online entrepreneurs and they blog because this is a way for them to make money. In fact, many multi-million businesses started as a blog: an online education company Copyblogger, a graphic design marketplace 99Designs, web analytics software Kissmetrics, an e-commerce marketplace Groupon.
If a blog provides valuable information, it can drive a large amount of search traffic. And when there is an audience, there is always an opportunity for monetization. A blog can grow into a place where you can sell physical or digital products, consulting services, and online courses.
And now, let's figure out what you should write about.
There are many blogging niches out there, and you can literally start a blog about anything. So here are a few tips on how to pick out your topic.
Food, travel, health, self-improvement, technology, finance – write down everything that comes to your mind and then cross out the ideas that you are not genuinely interested in. You want to pick out an idea that will keep you motivated for years to come, something you can stick to.
Remember: you are not required to be an expert on this topic. Blogging is a great way to learn something you've always wanted to explore.
In other words, define your audience. Be specific here. If you want to start a blog about traveling, define what kind of travelers you want to reach. Business travelers? Holidaymakers? Cultural travelers? Backpackers? Pick out a narrow audience — this will help you differentiate from other blogs.
Keep in mind that your narrow audience should still be large enough, otherwise there is no point in starting a blog — it won’t bring any traffic.
A good way to check if you've picked a good audience is to research books and products on Amazon and ads on Google:
There are tons of blogs out there. Many of them have been existing for a very long time, so the niche you've picked out will most likely be very competitive. That's why you should start with something much more focused. Maybe instead of “finance,” you can pick a blog niche like “getting out of debt” or “financial minimalism." And instead of "weight loss" you can pick "intermittent fasting." Start with something small. You can always scale it in the future.
If you have doubts, try Google trends.
Let's say you want to start a blog about diets. Your narrow ideas are the keto diet, paleo diet, and intermittent fasting. Type in these terms into Google trends:
Here we go: intermittent fasting is probably the best idea to pick out for your blog – it's the most popular search term among the three, and it's trending upward. The Paleo diet is the least popular, hence it’s the least interesting niche from the blogging perspective.
The keyword search volume is another way to see if the niche you've picked is popular. Using a keyword research tool like KWFinder, Moz, Ahrefs, Wordtracker, Ubersuggest, Semrush, and others you can estimate a monthly search volume for keywords related to your niche.
For example, let's say you want to start a blog about mindfulness. Here is how many searches keywords related to this niche get:
The term "mindfulness" has 12,100 monthly searches in the US:
As you can see, it's a very popular niche, but a very competitive one too. That said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start a blog about mindfulness. If you want, you definitely should!
When you've figured out your audience and narrowed down your niche, you need to discover some trends, hot topics, and challenges that you can focus on in your writing. Find the most popular blogs in your industry and see what they are publishing. You can also research some groups on Facebook to find out what is currently being discussed and what challenges people in your field are facing. Write down all these ideas. You’re going to need them for your content plan.
If you've picked a good niche –– one that's popular among people and one that you're interested in – you should be able to come up with 10 or more ideas for your first blog posts.
At this point, you want to see if you have enough ideas to get started. If you run out of titles quickly, you either picked the wrong blog niche, or you need to do more research on your chosen subject matter.
We can talk for ages about how to choose a blog niche, but this won't help you pick one unless you take your laptop and begin typing. Your first blog posts don't have to be perfect, but you need to enjoy writing them. If you’re quickly bored, you might reconsider your chosen blog niche, and explore other ideas.
If you're still looking for interesting niches, let's explore a few currently trending topics with examples of blogs.
Healthy eating, spirituality, fitness meditation, yoga – the health and fitness blog niche is full of interesting topics to cover.
For example, DrAxe.com is a hugely popular blog on natural health with three million monthly visitors. Its main topics include nutrition, natural medicine, fitness, healthy recipes, home DIY remedies, and trending health news. This blog belongs to Dr. Axe, a clinical nutritionist and an author of many books about healthy eating.
While it's obvious that many health and fitness blog owners are certified doctors, nutritionists, and personal trainers, anyone can run this kind of blog. In fact, people often get the idea to start a blog about health after they've achieved some progress in their own lives, such as lost weight, reduced stress, or improved well-being.
For example, Love Sweat Fitness is a popular women-focused blog about living a healthy lifestyle. It was launched by Katie Dunlop who had suffered from overweight and hypothyroidism before she developed her own personal nutrition plan and fitness method. She started posting workout videos on Instagram and Youtube, which then grew into a full-fledged blogging business with an e-commerce shop and a mobile app.
If health and fitness sound like an interesting niche for you, here are some topics you can focus on:
If you're a freelance writer or a marketing agency, starting a blog on copywriting can help you attract new clients. Besides, a blog on copywriting can grow into an online school. Copyblogger, for example, is one of the world's most popular schools for writers that started as a blog.
Blog niches in copywriting include:
I also have a blog on copywriting – Readstoleads.com. It's an educational blog that helps writers improve their writing skills and knowledge of content marketing. I started it after I published a book for writers called "From Reads To Leads" last year.
A pretty popular blog niche today, personal finance includes such topics as:
Here are some good examples of blogs on personal finance:
Afford Anything is a blog that talks about investing, travel, lifestyle design, and financial independence and belongs to Paula Pant. She was a self-employed freelance writer who started investing her money to be able to live freely without having to go to the office and work from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. She eventually turned into a real estate investor and created an online community with more than 60,000 members.
Jonathan Ping has another inspiring story to share. He had a well-paying solid 9-6 job when she started MyMoneyBlog.com. Eventually, he transitioned to half-time employment, grew his investment portfolio, and kept sharing his discoveries about money. MyMoneyBlog is a member of the Amazon Associate Program. Jonathan's been running it for 18 years now. On the About Me page on MyMoneyBlog, Jonathan says: "I still don’t consider myself an expert."
The niche lifestyle is full of interesting topics to cover: fashion, beauty, design, food, parenting, gardening, home, dogs, cats, pets, and life hacks. I'd say pretty much any topic that represents an author's everyday life and interests, can be considered a lifestyle blog.
Let's look at a couple of examples.
Goop is a blog run by well-known actress Gwyneth Paltrow. She grew it from a weekly newsletter about healthy eating that she started in 2008. Today, Goop talks about beauty, travel, style, wellness, health, food, and has about 2 million monthly visitors. It also has a large shop with fashion items and beauty products without toxic ingredients from Gwyneth Paltrow's own product line.
The Blonde Abroad is a blog run by Kiki, a California native, who left her career in corporate finance to become a world traveler. She has traveled to over 70 countries sharing her adventures with readers. Now she has a six-member all-female team and her The Blonde Abroad blog has become a multi-level business with various revenue streams including affiliate programs, consulting, social media marketing, all-female travel tours, and digital content creation.
Personal development is another nice niche where you can succeed.
Zen Habits is one of the most popular blogs in this niche. It's run by Leo Babauta. It has two million email subscribers. Here is how Leo describes himself: "I am not an expert, or a doctor, or a coach. I haven’t made millions of dollars and I’m not the world’s greatest athlete. All I am is a regular guy, a father of six kids, a husband, a writer from Guam." Leo quit smoking, became a runner, started waking up early and eating healthy, wrote a novel, lost weight, and achieved a bunch of other things. By sharing his tips on how to curb bad habits and adopt good ones, Leo made Zen Habits a top blog within a year.
Mark Manson's blog is another inspiring example in this niche. Mark Manson is the New York Times Bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope. His blog attracts thousands of readers every day.
Mark Manson became a blogger in 2007 when he started sharing his thoughts on what makes relationships work. That blog became very popular and helped him become a best-selling author when he published his first book.
If you want to build a blog on personal development, here are some topics you can choose to focus on:
See more examples of blogs here.
There are many more topics you can pick as your blog niche. Unfortunately, I can't cover them all in this blog post. Anyway, I hope my article has inspired you to start a blog and even helped you choose a niche you can stick with for years to come.
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