Welcome to our guide to niche research and niche selection. Irrespective of whichever business you want to start, be it a blog, an e-commerce store, or an offline business, the first step in building a successful business is to identify the right niche.
What you will learn in this guide:
- What is a niche?
- Which niche should you choose: narrow or broad?
- The Five Most Important Aspects to Consider While Choosing the Niche
Choosing the right niche can significantly improve your chances of success. Before we talk more about identifying the niche and the strategies you should use, let’s first try to understand what a niche means.
What is a niche?
A niche is defined as a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service. In simpler terms, it is the topic that your business is about. If you are a blogger, a niche is the topic that you will be blogging about.
For example, your niche could be cooking, real estate, traveling, hobbies, etc. Your niche could be as general as wealth, Health, Hobbies, etc., or as narrowed down as Keto diet, Deep sea diving, Drones, etc.
Which Niche Should You Choose: Narrow or Broad?
This is one of the major questions to tackle while trying to identify the right niche for your blog. To find how narrowed your niche should be.
The best idea is to start with a narrow niche that has a scope to grow. It’s better to establish your authority on one particular topic first. And as your site gradually grows in reputation, you can start providing more relevant content in related areas to your readers.
The most important thing is to make sure that you do not go too narrow and get trapped. And also not go too broad and become unable to get rankings in that broad competitive topic.
Let’s assume that you are a fitness enthusiast planning to start a fitness blog. It would be hard for you to rank your website higher in search engines if you start by writing anything and everything about fitness. It’s better to take one sub-niche of fitness and start writing content on that topic.
Let’s assume that you have more experience in strength training compared to aerobic exercise, stretching, or balance exercises. In that case, you should first focus on creating more strength training-related posts.
Once you start ranking for strength training and improve your domain authority score, you could pick up one more related niche and start creating content on that. And gradually scale up your website over time.
The important part is to focus on one important sub-niche and grow your blog. There is nothing wrong with focussing on multiple topics. It’s just that it would be easier to start ranking higher on SERPs when you focus on a particular topic than having a wider range of topics.
Now, under strength training, there are more sub-types like agile strength, speed-strength, endurance strength training, etc. And there would be different exercise types under each of them.
It is up to you how narrowed down you want to go. But do not go too narrow that the sub-niche you chose doesn’t have enough readers. The niche you choose should be broad enough to get enough readers and start generating revenue.
Moreover, make sure that while choosing the domain name, you pick something a bit more broader. This will help you scale in the future without getting trapped.
The Five Most Important Aspects to Consider While Choosing the Niche
There are five major aspects that you must consider while choosing the niche for your blog. They are:
- Profit Potential
Let us look at each of them in detail.
The first step in choosing the right niche is to identify the topics that you are passionate about. You have to be interested in the niche that you have chosen for your blog.
Think of this example. You are an engineer who likes finance, travel, and cooking. You have heard from your architect friend that the design and architecture topics are trending in the blogging space and have generated many followers over the recent years. And that your friend was able to build a successful architecture-based blog.
You have decided to get in on the wave and start a design blog. A blog that covers topics of real estate design, landscaping, etc. In this case, you neither have the experience nor any interest in the topic. Your experience lies in engineering, and your heart lies in niches like travel and cooking.
How long do you think you could continue writing on these topics?
Think to yourself the questions like, “will I be able to write 100 articles on this niche with each article over 2000 words?”, “will I continue writing on the same topic two years from now?”
Being interested in the niche of your blog is highly critical for blogging success. Burn-outs are one of the biggest reasons for blogging failure.
Make sure that you are truly interested in and passionate about the niche you choose.
We have briefly touched upon this point in our earlier example. You are an experienced engineer planning to start a design and architecture blog.
You must have a deeper knowledge of engineering topics and have the ability to provide expert advice to your readers. Still, your aim, in this case, is to start an architecture blog.
Of course, there is nothing stopping you from achieving success from doing something unrelated to your area of experience. In fact, there are many people who got bored or flat out hate what they are doing and start out on completely new topics and achieve success. In such cases, passion and heavy determination to succeed would usually be the key drivers of success.
So, if you ask, just because you are an engineer, shouldn’t you start an architecture blog, no one could say “No” to you. Obviously, you can start. And you could succeed with the right effort and strategies.
But the point we are discussing is about optimizing the results. Achieving results faster. If you instead start an engineering blog, your chances of success are a bit higher. And your authority as a blogger will also be higher.
Being someone who has learned about the topic or as someone who has worked as an engineer, people would trust you more and would be more accepting of your content.
Think through this point while you are thinking about choosing the right niche.
Now think of this: Could you find a niche that is an intersection of the two points we have covered?
A topic that you have experience in and is passionate about.
Those are the topics that you need.
But do not stop here. There are a few more aspects that you must consider before finalizing the niche.
Let’s move ahead.
Please do not misunderstand this section for nature, climate change, and sustainability of resources, the pressing issues which we should actually talk about! Anyways, that’s not the sustainability we are talking about in this post.
We are talking about the sustainability of businesses. Sustainability of your blog.
There is an important terminology that every blogger should know about. It’s called evergreen niches.
What is an evergreen niche?
An evergreen niche is a niche that will stay relevant throughout the years. They are topics that were relevant in the 1900s, are relevant today, and will be relevant 100 years from today.
The four most popular and evergreen niche categories that you can target are:
- Health (Fitness, Yoga, Meditation, Cooking, Dieting, etc)
- Wealth (Finance, Saving Money, Trading, Investing, etc)
- Hobbies (DIY, Travel, Home Decor, Technology, etc)
- Relationship (Wedding, Parenting, Dating, Pets, etc)
There are topics that stay relevant for a few years and then disappear completely. Like how fashion changes over the years, there are niches that go through the up and down cycles.
For example, think of topics like Christmas, stock market bubbles, etc. Christmas is a highly cyclical niche where you will get many visitors coming to your website late in the year and nearly no one visiting the first 8 to 9 months. And stock market booms and crashes are things that occur once every few years.
Think of products like CDs, DVDs, phone books, handwritten letters, etc. If you had a blog that was talking about CDs and DVDs, the chances are that you would find yourselves struggling at present unless you were able to pivot to a relevant topic.
And then there are topics that will stay relevant throughout the years. Take health and fitness for example.
These topics will not disappear fast or go through cyclic changes. They were, are, and will always be relevant. And the chances are that these topics will only have an increased follower count in the years to come!
That is the third most important thing you must consider while choosing a niche.
To choose a niche that is sustainable.
To choose an evergreen niche.
The fourth aspect to consider while choosing the right niche is the competition in the industry. The more the competition, the tougher it is to succeed.
You have to identify niches with low competition.
Please note that at times less competition could be due to the ineffectiveness or low follower base for the niches. Choosing such niches will not help you.
You have to find the untapped niches. That is, topics that have a good follower base and growth potential but haven’t yet become extremely competitive. Those are the type of niches that you should look for.
The important part is to identify a niche with less competition and start building your authority. Once you are known as a reputed source of information, scaling the business becomes much more easier.
And it’s better not to compete head to head with titans in your industry. The time for that will come soon. In the beginning, the aim should be to find a vacant space and solidify your presence in that niche.
Also, understand that competition could be a boon as well sometimes. When you have a successful counterpart, it reduces our need for trial and error. We could copy what worked for our competitors and implement them directly in our blogs.
Say, you are starting a cooking blog. And you find that salad posts are highly viral amongst your competitors. Most posts on salads get shared a lot and receive a lot of traffic.
Now that you know the posts related to salads are doing well for others, your job has become much easier. You can directly start your blog by writing about salads. If this wasn’t the case, maybe you would have published recipes for burgers, sandwiches, pizza, and many others before finally writing about salad and see an uptick in traffic.
Once you have successful competitors that you could analyze and take inspiration from, your whole job becomes much easier.
This is one of the crucial strategies employed by successful bloggers. When a particular topic is working well for your competitors, it means that there is an increased readership or a temporary viral-ness in that topic. The best thing to do in such a situation is to take advantage of the opportunity and publish posts on those topics.
If you are wondering how you could analyze competitor websites, there are several highly popular competitor analysis platforms that will tell you a whole lot about your competitors. Insights like the traffic your competitors receive, the posts that are doing well for them, where most of their traffic is coming from, and much more.
There are both free and premium services that you could make use of. A few of the free competitor analysis platforms include:
One more thing that you could analyze to identify the competitiveness is to look for available keywords. Keywords are how we rank the blogposts.
Good niches have good availability of low competition keywords with high traffic potential.
You could make use of keyword research tools to identify potential niches with several low-competition, but high traffic potential keywords. SEMRush is a popular keyword research tool you could make use of. UberSuggest also provides a free keyword research service.
Few other keyword research services you should explore are:
5. Profit Potential
The final and most important aspect to consider is the profit potential of the niche you choose.
It doesn’t make sense in doing a business if you are not making any money. The ultimate aim of starting a business is to generate profit. Be it a blog, software development company, or an offline retail store, better and bigger profits are what we strive for.
How do we find the profit potential of a niche?
It’s simple. You have to perform a basic market research and look in detail at four major things:
- The potential follower base of the chosen niche and most popular sub-niches. Also, compare it with other popular niches as well.
- Check for the availability of affiliate products to promote. The more the products available, the bigger the market size. You could visit websites like Amazon, ClickBank, etc to look more into the availability of affiliate products. Also, see if the affiliate commission margins are higher. The more the merrier. And if products are less, then it’s better to brainstorm for a new niche with more market potential.
- Research the customer’s Willingness To Pay (WTP). If WTP is higher, it means that people are ready to spend more on the products in that particular niche. Which will in turn increase your potential for profits.
- Research the marketing costs. As your business starts growing, you will have to perform marketing functions as well. Some niches tend to incur a really high cost of marketing and do not necessarily provide satisfactory results. It’s best to eliminate such niches.
To sum up, make sure that the niche you choose has a high potential for generating profits. Make sure that there are enough people to buy products in the niche, there are enough people reading about and following the niche, and there are enough vendors selling a wide array of products in your niche.
As an example, let’s suppose you are a wildlife biologist specializing in Koala bears. In this case, you must be passionate about writing on Koala Bears, have good expertise about the animal, and the overall competition would also be much lower.
But the important point is that you will never make enough money writing about Koala Bears. You might have the passion, expertise, and low competition going on your side. But the market size for Koala Bears is extremely small.
- How many people do you think consistently read about Koala bears?
- How many products catering to Koala bears do you think are available?
- And how many people do you think would actually buy products that cater to Koala bears?
The answer to the above three questions would tell you that it’s probably not a great idea to start a blog about Koala bears.
Now let’s take a different situation. You are a wildlife biologist specializing in Koala bears, but you also love dogs and have two lovely dogs, Matty and Jerry at your home. You now start a blog related to dogs, writing about dog behavior, pet products, dog training, your experience with Matty and Jerry, etc.
As a biologist, your blog would still be highly authoritative. It’s okay that you aren’t writing about Koala bears. At the end of the day, you are a biologist who loves animals and have studied them closely. Your advice about dogs would still be better and more authentic than a thousand other blogs on the web.
And above all, the profit potential for dog market is significantly higher!
There is an extremely large reader base for pet-related topics, there are thousands of high-quality products that you could promote, and there are millions of customers buying pet products on a daily basis online.
A dog blog would be a much better idea than a blog on Koala bears, which happens to be your specialization.
Please do keep in mind that the potential for profits is of the utmost importance. It doesn’t matter how much time and effort you put into your blog if you are not able to generate profits or drive traffic.
Even if you come across niches that you are passionate about, have experience in, are sustainable, and have low competition, it doesn’t make much difference if the niche has low-profit potential. If that niche doesn’t have enough readers, buying customers, and products, the chances of you making money is extremely small.
Always make sure that the niche you choose is profitable.
With that, we have come to the end of this post. The aim of this guide was to help you identify the most important aspects to consider while choosing the niche for your blog.
Picking the right niche has a significant role in defining your success. Irrespective of how much time and effort you put into your blog, choosing a poor niche could completely ruin your chances of success.
To summarize, keep these points in mind while you are choosing the niche:
- Think about the niches you are interested in and are passionate about.
- Identify niches that you have experience in and could provide expert advice.
- See if those niches you are interested in are sustainable and fall in the “Evergreen Niche” category.
- Check the competition in the industry, see if there are several leading websites that are hard to compete with.
- Verify if there are enough low-competition keyword opportunities in your chosen niche
- Check if there are enough customers, products, and money in the niche you chose.
If the topic you choose aligns with the above aspects, it means that you have identified the perfect niche for your blog.
Please do not worry if you are really interested in starting a blog on a certain niche, but it doesn’t align with all of the above aspects. It’s okay. As long as you are passionate enough to keep going and there are enough people who are willing to buy products and read your content, you will do just fine.
The more the aspects that align with your chosen niche, the better. But in no way does that mean you will fail if you choose one that doesn’t match these aspects.
There are no hard and fast rules defined for achieving success. As long as you keep going and strategize every step of the way, you will start seeing the blog traffic and profits growing consistently.