This post is part of my in-depth guide on How to Start A Blog. Finding your blogging niche is the first step when you want to become a blogger.
Most beginners love the idea of starting a blog but either fail to come up with an idea or launch straight into blogging about anything and everything that interests them. They don’t take the time to find their best blogging niche.
If you’re stuck, or just want to know why you need a blogging niche, I’m here to help. This guide will help you find the best niche for you so you can own your little slice of the internet and be one step closer to becoming a successful blogger.
What Is A Blogging Niche?
A niche is more than just a blog topic. It’s a topic that’s targeting a specific audience. Not just anyone who’s interested in your particular topic.
Let’s try an example. I write about blogging but that’s a huge topic. Some of the techy interests of pro bloggers starting their second or third blog will be completely different from the needs of the beginner blogger just starting out. Simply Hatch is a niche blog writing specifically for beginner bloggers.
When you start a blog you need to know who you’re writing for. It helps to profile your audience. Know their income level, likes and dislikes, needs, and desires. That way you’re carving out a distinctive niche you can dominate and own with your brand new blog.
✳️A niche for a lifestyle blog
It’s a little different for lifestyle bloggers which normally write about more than one topic. These blogs often fail because bloggers think they can write about anything.
I hear from students all the time who are going to start a lifestyle blog and then list three completely unrelated topics they want to write about.
Such as gardening, mystery novels, and relationships.
Now don’t get me wrong, you can write about more than one topic with a lifestyle blog but you need to niche down your audience.
If you write about three topics they need to be a good fit for your audience profile. All of these topics are potential money-spinners, especially gardening with its endless list of how-to subjects.
But write about all three topics and your audience size suddenly shrinks. I mean how many gardening, mystery novel lovers are there with relationship problems? Maybe just one – the writer of the blog?
A niche is about the audience.
Finding a niche is about finding an audience to write for. It needs to be a sizeable audience and it needs to be something you can keep writing about for years to come.
What do you know about this group of people? Their interests, the problems that keep them awake at night and how can you help them.
How do you get this audience to keep coming back for more? Ideally, reading all your posts and signing up for your email list? Buying your recommended affiliate products, your ebooks, and your online courses?
Some of you may know I have a lifestyle blog. People landing on my lifestyle blog are trying to get fit, maybe lose some weight, and take up running. They’re looking for answers and it’s my job to provide them. Writing for my audience.
Just like this blog. It’s aimed at people who want to start a blog. People who need real, honest answers to their blogging questions.
This is my audience. You need to figure out yours.
✅How to start Brainstorming your Niche
Simple brainstorming techniques are the easiest way to come up with your niche.
Turn off your phone, find a quiet spot, grab a pad of paper and a pen, and spend 20 minutes coming up with 20 ideas for your blog:
- What are you passionate about?
- What are you knowledgeable about?
- What experiences do you have?
Take these ideas and start validating your niche…
How will your Niche Make Money?
This is the big question. For some unknown reason, many new bloggers don’t nail this one before they launch their first blog.
If you don’t know anything about making money from blogging start by reading this post:
So many people launch their first blog and 6 months later wonder why it’s not making any money.
✅ Often there’s a big mismatch between the blogging niche and the target income. Go through your 20 ideas one-by-one and work out how each idea will make money.
Adverts – the ultimate passive income source…
You see a lot of new bloggers try to make money from ads. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against making money from adverts. I love making money from adverts on my lifestyle blog. It’s the ultimate passive income source.
The introverts dream; just blog away, have zero contact with your audience, and watch the money roll in.
At least that’s the theory. In reality, to make a living from ads you need a ton of traffic. Around 60,000 to 100,000+ pageviews a month to make $1000 – $2000+ dollars. That takes a sizeable potential audience and a fair bit of blogging know-how.
You either need to be really good at building social media traffic or learn some SEO (search engine optimization). It’s certainly a great way to make money but you do need a focused blog.
Going back to our example, gardening is one of those topics with a huge potential audience. Just don’t mess it up by talking about Megan and Harry, or how much you love cats.
You can only pull off talking about different topics if they’re related. My lifestyle blog talks about fitness and healthy eating. These topics are related and both interest my audience.
Making money with a small niche.
Simply Hatch doesn’t have a huge audience. Helping beginner bloggers doesn’t easily lend itself to high numbers of pageviews. It’s a smaller niche and extremely competitive. My often neglected lifestyle blog attracts way more traffic than I have on this site.
There are two ways I make money on this blog; affiliate marketing and selling my own digital products in the form of ebooks.
Affiliate marketing… not all products are equal.
The easiest way to start affiliate marketing is with Amazon Associates. You just need a blog to be able to sign up, link to your favorite products and away you go.
There’s just one problem. Making money from Amazon needs a ton of traffic.
It’s a great add-on if you have a high-traffic blog. Monetize with ads plus affiliate marketing with Amazon. Don’t get sniffy. It’s a tried and tested way to make a lot of money. 100,000+ pageviews a month and you’ve got a full-time income.
With a small blog, Amazon Associates takes a lot more effort. You need really focused posts and a high conversion rate. The conversion window with Amazon is just 24 hours and the commission rate is tiny.
How does affiliate marketing work for a small niche?
With a small audience, you need affiliate products with commission payouts that are worth the effort. These products will be harder to promote. You can’t just dump a link on your blog and expect a result.
I came across a small blog last summer making a tidy income from project management tools. This blogger was making 3X the average wage as a side income.
Now project management tools are a small niche but the commissions are high. The tools are both complex and expensive, with users searching the internet for reviews before they buy.
This blogger uses her experience to provide an in-depth review of each project management tool. Her blog is a mix of reviews and management advice and she promotes each new post to her sizeable email list.
Selling high-commission affiliate products will only work if you build relationships and the best way to do this is with email marketing. The money is in the list they say and for good reason.
This is why you need a coherent audience. If you’re the gardening, mystery novel lover with relationship problems it’s not going to work.
By all means, try and get people to sign up for your list but if you’re writing about Miss Marple solving a mystery one week and planting roses the next, no one will read your emails.
Selling products with a small niche.
Let’s say you’re aiming for a full-time income from blogging of $5000/month.
There are lots of different ways you can get to this figure.
An audience of 100,000+ pageviews/month could get you about $5000/month from ad income or maybe more with some Amazon Associate commissions.
An audience of 10,000 pageviews/month with highly targeted affiliate marketing for high commission products. Earn 100 commissions at $50 a referral will earn $5000/month.
Sell your own digital products; 100 online courses at $50 or 10 online courses at $500.
If you’re selling just 10 courses a month you don’t need a big audience but you do need an audience of raving fans.
Your Niche Size Matters
I’ve seen lots of bloggers falling into the trap of writing for a very small selective niche and failing to understand their income streams.
It’s hardly their fault! There’s so much advice about finding your unique niche. An audience where you can really stand out. Often this niche is really small.
Now that might be just fine if you’re promoting $10,000 golden retirement courses to Fortune 100 Company CEOs. These are wealthy people who love to spend.
It’s not so great if your tiny niche is bog snorkelling and you’re selling $10 how-to guides. Yes, bog snorkelling is a real sport and even has a World Championship. There were 160 participants. Maybe one or two of them would buy your guide.
See how this niche thing can go badly wrong? You need to know the size of your niche and their spending habits. You can’t flog expensive courses to people who can’t or don’t like spending money.
Likewise, it would be a huge mistake to pitch low-priced products to lavish spenders.
Work out the size of your niche and how it will make money before you start.
Getting your niche right at the start can be a difficult judgment call.
In the beginning, you’re just really pleased to grow. And it’s a lot easier to engage a really specific audience. For example, you could be really successful selling who done it mystery dinner party guides.
But what happens when you’ve sold your guides to every person in your niche? Do you have to start over?
Blog Niches that Make Money
Now, this is really sticking my neck out. I’ve written about 10 Types Of Blogs That Make Money. You can read about my 10 suggestions in the post but here’s the list:
- Personal Finance And Making Money
- Health And Fitness
- Diet And Nutrition
- Food And Healthy Eating
- DIY And Crafting
- Home Decor
- Beauty And Fashion
- Personal Development
It’s not a complete list and there’s no guarantee that if you blog about one of these niches it will work for you. There’s far more to being a successful blogger than just finding an angle for a niche.
There’s a few obvious omissions. Gardening is one of them. Probably because I’m just not much of a gardener!
Do you need to enjoy these topics to be able to blog about them? It’s not essential.
Writing about your passion makes it easier to come up with ideas. Knowing what really makes your readers tick. I can’t imagine how you can write about trail running if you’ve never run up a hill but I guess it’s possible.
There’s a lot of bland blogs about that still make money. If you think you can write every day about a topic you hate I’m not going to stop you.
Just don’t make me write about gardening…
Conclusion – Find the Best Blogging Niche
I have two takeaways for you:
- Make sure you understand your blogging niche size and spending habits.
- Know exactly how your blog will make money before you start and match your audience to your money-making method.
Get these two things right and you’re on your way to starting your successful money-making blog.
Frequently Asked Questions
A niche is an audience your blog is aimed at. Most people talk about a blogging niche being a topic but it’s better to think about who you’re writing for. You want to know how big is your audience, what are their interests, pain points, and spending habits and how can your blog help them.
Blog topics aimed at our needs and desires always have potential such as personal finance, health, relationships, and survival. Some of the most successful blogs recently have tapped into huge audiences such as food, fitness, parenting, DIY, home decor, beauty, and gardening. Writing about popular topics is a good way to grow a blog rapidly.
A good starting point is a topic you’re passionate about or at least can see yourself writing about for the next 5 years. Next research your niche audience. Is it big enough and does it match your intended money-making methods? What are their spending habits? If you want to make money from ads you need a large audience – 100,000+ pageviews/month for a full-time income.
Siobhan Haniffy Parsonage, RN, BSN
Thursday 1st of July 2021
Hi Alison! I’ve been enjoying your tips on starting a blog which I plan to follow. I want to start a blog on Health (Physical and Mental) and Personal Development for women over 50. Is that too broad and is my audience too specific (women over 50)? The name I thought of is “Feeling Fabulous After 50”. Is that too long? I have been a Registered Nurse for 30 years and am still passionate about everything medical and science related and always working towards personal development. I’ve also had the unique opportunity to work as a RN in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Australia. That is just a side note but interesting all the same. I’ve struggled with depression due to trauma throughout my life and have learned a great deal about psychology and mental health. I have a lot to share. Help!
Thursday 1st of July 2021
Hi Shobhan! I reckon that's a clearly defined topic and audience. Just make sure you're strict about targeting relevant keywords when you write your posts instead of randomly writing. Success is all about hitting long-tail keywords you can rank (usually 3 to 5-word phrases). That may seem restrictive when you're writing but the alternative is struggling to find an audience. I suggest you come up with a different name - there are a lot of blogs using fifty and fab (or fabulous) in their name so there's a possibility of copyright infringement. How about Siobhandoesfifty? A name doesn't need to be brilliant just good enough. Just make sure picking a name doesn't stop you from starting your blog!
Friday 4th of December 2020
Thanks for this post. I enjoy reading your blog posts. They are engaging. I am a reader and a lot of things you outlined in this post will be useful for others new to blogging.
I eventually narrowed down to focus on personal finance (main theme: how to build wealth simply) for busy professionals. The three sub topics are managing money, simple investing and building wealth. I find that with a narrow niche, it is easier to focus on speaking to the audience in a relatable way.
According to this post, do you still consider this to be a small niche or a niche that is too narrow? After reading this blog post, I started thinking: Is my audience of busy professionals going to be too busy to read my posts?
I would love to hear your thoughts!
Friday 4th of December 2020
Hi Gift, Your topics relating to personal wealth are a big niche for the simple reason just about everyone is interested in having enough money and building financial security. Personally I would focus less on trying to define who your readers are. Why state your blog is for busy professionals only? People will find your blog via your posts not your homepage. They may enjoy reading one of your posts then take a look at your homepage and be but off because they don't match your pre-defined audience. On the whole people follow blogs where they can relate to the reader. It's enough that you've written about your story. Let your readers decide if your blog is for them.
Saturday 8th of February 2020
Haha thanks Kelly! Always love it when there's someone out there enjoying my sense of humor! It's really quite hard getting your niche right. - and knowing when to quit or change if you don't get it right the first time! Sometimes it's not your writing that doesn't work - you're just going after the wrong people.
Saturday 8th of February 2020
I love your writing voice! "There were 160 participants. Maybe one or two of them would buy your guide." lollllll. On top of the sense of humor, these are really solid tips and you're correct - often looked over when choosing a niche. Thanks for the post!