A blogging niche shows your readers that you’re an expert in your chosen topic, because it’s the only subject you’re covering. It can be very specific, like the food scene in NYC, or it can be very broad, like family travel.
When I first started my 14-year blogging journey, I agonized over the direction I wanted to take my blog. The very idea of having to pigeonhole yourself into a blog niche when you have so many passions is enough to make your head spin. This can cause what many describe as “analysis paralysis.” In this case, it’s when you spend so much time planning and debating about your blog that you hardly create any blog posts.
Keep in mind that you can always pivot down the road if you find your niche isn’t as much fun as you thought it would be. Your blogging journey can, and likely will, evolve over time as your passions, talents, and life stages change.
1. Write Down Topics You’re Passionate About
Sure, you can make money blogging about thermodynamics or quantum field theory, but will you actually enjoy it? The key to a sustainable blog is to write about something you genuinely love. Writing blog posts on a topic you dislike will take much longer and suck all the fun out of blogging. While you’re building your blog, your passion for the topic will have to drive you until you start making money from it.
Don’t be afraid to list obscure topics as you make this list. You’re going to narrow this list down considerably in step three. The key here is to focus on things you love to share about with other people.
2. Add Your Skills and Accolades to the List
Once you have a list of topics you love, it’s time to write down all your skills and accolades. The reason for this is because it will help lend credibility to your blog if you write within a niche you’ve mastered. Don’t worry if the skill is a bit obscure—this is no time to be humble. If you’re skilled in a certain area—write it down.
For some thought starters, think about any certifications you have. Perhaps you’re a Google Certified Educator or have your Project Management Professional certification. If you have a diploma, write those down, too. You’re building an arsenal of proof that supports why your readers should pay attention to what you have to say.
It’s important to understand that you don’t necessarily have to know everything about a topic to write meaningful content about it. Some bloggers have great success showing the journey from not knowing a topic at all to actually mastering it (or in some instances, case studies showing why or how they failed).
For example, Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income began sharing his process toward making money online, and now he makes multiple seven figures. Other examples include people blogging about their weight loss journeys or doing a thru-hike. It’s why I found success as a health and fitness coach when I was close to 300 lbs.—people loved to see the evolution as I lost 123 lbs.
3. Highlight the Topics You Can Monetize
You now have a list of your passions, skills, and accolades. However, your work isn’t done yet. Just because you love purple sequins, doesn’t mean you’d make money blogging about purple sequins. Similarly, you might not be able to make money writing blogging about travel quotes … but you could definitely make money blogging about travel accessories.
Go through both lists and highlight the topics and skills you can monetize. Be realistic here—you’re looking for the most monetizable options, not just something you could potentially monetize. You should also only highlight the topics you want to write about. Perhaps you’re a fantastic CPA, but when you’re home, you wish to talk about something other than tax laws.
Examples of Topics You Can Monetize
Examples of Topics You Can’t Easily Monetize
Keep in mind that while these are topics you can potentially monetize, some are very difficult to make money from. For example, travel, food, parenting, and personal finance bloggers have many affiliate opportunities. You won’t find a lot of affiliate opportunities in personal growth or theoretical topics. You can, however, make money with these topics by creating courses, digital products, and through advertising.
And just to reiterate as you’re narrowing down your topic ideas, once you select a topic, you’re not stuck there. A while ago, I launched a health and fitness blog. A couple of years later, I ventured away from writing about healthy things, but I kept my focus under the lifestyle blogging “umbrella” throughout my entire blogging journey. It’s really easy to pivot when you’re writing about topics falling under the same category.
For example, if you have a niche site focused specifically on tech reviews, your audience probably wouldn’t appreciate it if you transition to writing dessert recipes. However, if you begin writing ultimate guides on top tech products, it would just be an expansion of the work you are already doing.
4. Do Keyword Research on Those Topics
Before you can make money blogging, you have to get traffic to your website. One of the best ways to do this is to write content based on what a lot of people search for. To show up at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to conduct keyword research. You’re going to take your highlighted topics and do keyword research on each of these to determine a viable blogging niche.
There are many different variables that go into keyword research, but we’re only going to focus on determining search volume. I really like using Ahrefs.com to do keyword research because it’s comprehensive, yet easy to understand. The feature that gives search volume is Keyword Explorer.
You may need to make adjustments to the keywords to best match the search intent of readers. For example, I searched for “travel credit card rewards,” but didn’t come up with anything. I used the actual term of this practice, travel hacking, and found that phrase gets 7,500 searches in the US every month.
Out of each of your highlighted topics, you want to select a niche with at least 5,000 in search volume per month. Keep in mind this doesn’t mean that you’re only going to get about 5,000 page views per month. This is simply how many searches there are for that exact keyword or phrase in search engines per month. You’re going to write many articles under your niche, which could have significantly more or less searches than your blogging niche search term.
Each of the phrases I searched for are viable. Let’s take a look at search terms that aren’t viable. If you search for “orange sequins,” you’ll find that there are only 80 searches per month in the US. You know at this point that your niche is too narrow. If you search a broader term, like “sequins,” you’ll see there are 14,000 searches per month in the US. This is a viable niche based on search volume.
If you need help creating a niche specific blog (travel, music, parenting, etc.), from start to finish, click the drop-down box below.
Real Examples of Niche-specific Blogs
There are so many different blog niches you can choose from. Even when armed with a list of viable blogging niches, you may want a little inspiration to help narrow it down even more. Here are some examples of bloggers who are rocking their specific niches.
Food Blog: Cookie and Kate
Kate is a full-time blogger based in Oklahoma. Her blog, Cookie and Kate, focuses specifically on using whole foods to create delicious recipes. You might think that her blog’s name comes from Kate’s love of cookies, but it’s actually a nod to her canine companion, Cookie. Kate makes money as an Amazon affiliate, through an advertising network, and from cookbook sales.
Travel Blog: Y Travel
Follow Caroline, Craig, and their two daughters as they traverse the globe together. The family is on the road full-time, and the girls are home-schooled (or, as they like to say—lifeschooled). Y Travel does a lot of sponsored posts and the parents speak on stages all over the world.
Personal Finance Blog: I Will Teach You to Be Rich
Ramit Sethi is a master of personal finance and development. You won’t just find articles on making money. You will see articles on growing or changing careers, personal development, setting up systems and structures in your finances, and getting out of debt. Ramit makes money through book sales of his NY Times Bestseller, consulting, and through his courses.
Homestead Blog: The Prairie Homestead
The Prairie Homestead is a blog written by bestselling author, Jill Winger. She shares her family’s life on a 67-acre homestead. On her blog, you’ll find recipes, gardening tips, DIY projects, and ideas for your own homestead or farm. Jill makes money through an ad network, sponsored posts, and sales of her book.
Lifestyle Blog: FashionLayn
Alayna is a blogger covering fashion, self-care, and beauty. Hailing from Detroit, she is a proud supporter of body confidence and positivity. The blog makes money through collaborations and affiliate marketing.
When you’re just getting started blogging, you should pick a focus for your blog by writing specifically within your niche. There are many to choose from, but if you can focus on high-search-volume niches you love and are skilled in, you’ll be ready to start writing epic content.
When writing articles in your blog’s niche, you’ll also want a reliable web host. Bluehost is our best web host pick, because you get a free domain name, an SSL certificate, one-click WordPress installation, and free business email. You can get started for just $2.95 per month.