Larry was web surfing one snowy afternoon when he found an article called Rock Your Blog with These Sixx Content Hooks.
Something about the article made him feel alive. Excited. Bold.
With visions of blogs dancing in his head, Larry couldn’t wait to get started. But there was something he needed to figure out before launching his new blog…something Larry didn’t even know he needed to figure out.
Here’s what all new bloggers like Larry need to know before they start…
What’s My Blog Niche?
Crystallizing the blog down as specifically as possible up front saves a blogger tons of time and money. That’s why you should give this some thought early.
Let’s start with defining the term “blog niche.”
A blog niche is the specific audience you want to reach. For example, having a blog about dogs is a broad topic. But if your blog focuses strictly on Doberman Pinschers, lovers of this breed will read your blog. A blog that covers baseball is broad, while one covering the Oakland A’s is a niche blog that caters to A’s fans. Blogging about mobile devices is broad. Blogging about Samsung Galaxy products exclusively is a niche blog for anyone looking for specific information.
Does this make sense?
Narrowing down your blog audience (niche) will put more oomph in your blog’s launch. This may seem counter intuitive at first…
Have heard the saying “don’t try to be all things to all people”? Just as this applies to conventional business, bloggers also need to apply this to their blog.
You Need More Than Just a Good Idea
Even if you have a totally awesome idea for a blog, that doesn’t guarantee success. First, answer these questions…
1. Am I passionate about this blog topic?
Passion for your blog is what will keep it going and make it grow. If you don’t really have much passion or interest in the blog topic, despite the income potential, your blog content will come across as bland or awkward. This will lead to blog failure.
2. How Much Earning Potential Does this Blog Topic Have?
Consider how popular your topic is…what are the chances for long term growth? Is your blog idea based on a trend that will quickly fizzle out? Like the Pet Rock or Vanilla Ice?
Now don’t rule it out if it’s not for EVERYONE. It only takes a small audience of people interested in your blog to generate a lucrative income when the product meets a need for some people.
3. Can This Blog Produce Lots of Good Content Over a Long Period of Time?
You don’t want to run out of things to say on your blog. That’s like dead air on the radio…make sure you have enough interest in the blog that will provide you with the energy to create lots of content. If you enjoy researching on your blog topic, that’s a good sign you are picking the right niche blog for yourself.
If you need some help finding new content ideas for your blog, there are many different tools you can use for help in finding new trends or the latest news on your industry.
These are some of the best and easiest to use:
Okay, so these are all beneficial steps to take right away to determine your niche. Here’s another thing to look at in the niche finding process…
See How Much Competition Your Blog Niche Has Out There
Many bloggers get excited about their blog idea (which is good) but don’t do any research to see how much competition the niche has waiting for them. They mistakenly think choosing an already popular topic will lead to easy money.
Did you Google your hot idea? There might be high demand for your idea, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll end up being a small fish in a huge pond.
The laws of supply and demand apply to blogging as much as any business. In the crowded world wide web, a blog niche that doesn’t have a large supply available can be a great choice for a blog. No competition!
There could be a huge demand that few have recognized…go for it and be a leader! Some of the simplest and seemingly mundane topics can be blogging gold.
For example, how much interesting content can you find on snow blowers? When you do a search on “snow blowers”, you find the well-known retailers like Sears, Walmart and Amazon, along with others, listed on the first five SERPs. Not until page five do you find an independent review blog on snow blowers. This indicates that a blog covering snow blowers could be potentially profitable.
But relying on this data only to invest in a snow blower review blog wouldn’t be a prudent move. What you need to do next is some research using something called keywords.
What Are Keywords?
The website Technopedia gives a good definition of keywords in this context: A keyword, in the context of search engine optimization, is a particular word or phrase that describes the contents of a Web page. Keywords are intended to act as shortcuts that sum up an entire page. Keywords form part of a Web page’s metadata and help search engines match a page to with an appropriate search query.
For instance, if you own a blog that’s all about southern cooking, then having the words “southern cooking” sprinkled throughout your blog copy will help the blog to rank in search results. You just need to make sure you don’t “stuff” your blog with keywords just for the sake of better search results. This old school technique is frowned upon today and could even get your blog penalized or banned off of Google search results.
As Technopedia further explains: The role of keywords was once very central to the function of search engines. Search engines could crawl sites and, if the keywords were accurate, serve those sites up as search results. However, people began abusing the keyword metadata in an attempt to show up higher in searches, and even to rank in completely unrelated searches. For this reason, the importance of keywords in search engine optimization has been greatly reduced. Keywords are arguably still an important factor, but they are not the only factor in SEO.
Keywords uncover untapped niches, expose what your competition is doing, and open doors to reaching the audience you are meant to connect with.
But you have to know how to use them effectively. That’s why you’ll not want to miss the next blog post.
The next blog article is going to go more in depth on keywords and how you use them to research your potential blog niche. I want you to spend the next few days going over what we covered here. Spend some time thinking about the three questions posed earlier here and write down your thoughts.
To further help you understand keywords at a beginners level, I highly recommend Chapter 5 Keyword Research from the Moz eBook The Beginners Guide to SEO.
So you don’t miss the follow up article available later in the week, why don’t you go ahead and join my mailing list in the Get Exclusive Tips box on the home page.
Matthew Kaboomis Loomis is the owner of Build Your Own Blog. Connect with him on Google+