March 12, 2022

How to Pick a Blog Niche in 2022: A Beginner’s Guide

by Julian

Are you having trouble choosing a niche for your blog?

No worries! We will show you the exact steps you need to take!

Count down from 3.

3...

2...

1...

Now say the first cool thing you can think of!

That is your niche.

I'm kidding!

But we're not far off.

If you're like most people, you likely thought of something you like. Perhaps something you're passionate about.

To some people, even the most successful niche site owners and bloggers, that's exactly what you should make your site about.

You see:

One of the most important factors on how to pick a niche is to choose something you like. Like a lot.

Why? One word:

Motivation.

When you create content about something you love there is no telling how successful you'll become. In a year or two, you could be known as the go-to expert on a topic. Like an industry expert or an influencer.

Let's say you have a golden retriever named Morty and you teach him cool tricks. You pour your heart into a blog and create the best website on training golden retrievers and now tens of thousands of dog owners read your articles and even more watch your YouTube and TikTok videos.

It could happen.

What do you like? What do you love?

Think about it. Go through your mind. Explore your passions and your interests. The perfect blog niche is in there somewhere.

If your brain is drawing blanks and you need a bit more help, no worries. That's why I'm here.

Before we jump into it, however, there's something I have to tell you...

The BIGGEST MISTAKES People Make When Selecting a Niche

i. If you pick a niche that's totally wrong for you, you won't get far.

ESPECIALLY if it's your first website project.

In the beginning, you will get a giant boost of motivation. But that tends to burn out quickly.

Imagine you decided to go into the personal finance industry because you saw some stat that showed you that it can be extremely profitable. However, you don't know the first thing about personal finance.

So, a month goes by. Maybe two. Maybe three.

You've written 25-30 articles. You hate researching topics because you're not interested in any of it.

And you say the heck with it. You're done. You just wasted three precious months writing content no one will ever read.

If you chose something you love you'd likely have written double that. Triple, even.

So if you're about to start your first blog, I can't stress this enough...pick a niche you're interested in. It doesn't have to be your ultimate passion. Your interest in the niche will keep you going long enough for your blog to reach some success.

Even if you're starting your second or third site. If you haven't built a site that generates traffic and revenue it's best to stick to a topic you know.

In time, you'll gain experience and perhaps create your own team of writers and digital marketers. And maybe one day you'll have a digital empire with hundreds of websites in every niche you can think of.

ii. Another giant mistake people tend to make is going too broad or way too narrow.

Let's say you are a sports lover. You start a website that covers all the major sports in North America. Football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and even soccer (sorry if you're from Europe).

A site about multiple sports would be considered way too broad. It would take years to be seen as an authority here unless you invested in a giant team of writers and reporters.

An example of going "too niche" would be a site about just hockey gloves. While there are several brands, you would likely hit a wall rather quickly.

A good example could be something like hockey goalie equipment. There would be more stuff to write about. But if you wanted to take it one more step further, a great niche idea could be youth hockey gear. That way you would cover equipment for both skaters and goalies.

...

The advice I gave you above is enough to choose a niche for some people. However, others will need more information and instructions. Below, you will find our 3 action steps to help you pick a blog niche that is absolutely perfect for you.

Let's dive in!

How to Pick a Blog Niche in 3 Steps

Step #1: Make a List of All Your Hobbies, Interests, and Passions

Let's start with something simple...

Think of something you're interested in. Anything. What do you like to do?

Write them all down in a spreadsheet or word doc.

Niche Ideas Spreadsheet 1

By the end of this guide, you'll find a niche that is "the one". Think of the following steps as a validation guide. For now, let's get some ideas out of your mind and onto paper.

One of the quickest ways to find general ideas is on Amazon. If you browse through their department page, you'll find dozens of categories on just about everything.

And you never know. Maybe they'll inspire some great ideas for a niche.

Amazon departments 1
Amazon departments 2

Another way to find niche ideas is to simply Google it. There are many blogs out there that giant lists of niche ideas. Some even feature hundreds of them.

Google niche ideas 1

One of my favourite ways to find niche ideas is to browse marketplaces where people buy and sell websites. There's nothing more exciting than when you spot a listing going for $100,000 and the website is in a niche you're interested in. Motivation nation!

A good place to start looking at website listings is on Flippa. It's probably the most popular buy and sell markets for websites.

Flippa screenshot

Image source: Flippa.com

$175,000 for a site about hammocks? That's incredible.

Another place to find great listings is on Empire Flippers' email newsletter. Every week they send out an email with all their new websites for sale. Like Flippa, they tell you which niche a site is in, how it's monetized, how old it is, and how much the site profits.

Empire Flippers screenshot

Image source: EmpireFlippers.com

Like I said...

Motivation nation!

Tip: You can find more buy and sell markets by simply Googling "websites for sale".

Step #2: Go Through Your List to Find Suitable Niches

Not every idea is a good idea.

There are a few factors that make niches suitable for a beginner blogger.

1. Try to avoid YMYL niches

YMYL stands for Your Money or Your Life. It's a concept Google introduced in their first version of the Search Quality Evaluation Guidelines.

Google takes YMYL very seriously. The concept is designed to protect their users from bad websites.

That's why it's so hard to rank high for YMYL topics.

If you want to compete in a YMYL niche you'll have to demonstrate a concept referred to as E-A-T:

  • Expertise - to have a high level of knowledge or skill in a particular field.
  • Authoritativeness - is about reputation, particularly among other experts and influencers in the industry.
  • Trustworthiness - is about the legitimacy, transparency, and accuracy of the website and its content.

Demonstrating E-A-T is one thing. But improving it takes time and a lot of hard work. That's why, as a beginner, it is best to avoid YMYL niches and focus on topics you can compete in.

Examples of YMYL:

  • News and current events
  • Civics, government, and law
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Health and safety

2. Go for TOPIC rather than PRODUCT

Choosing a niche that is product-focused would be ideal for affiliate marketing. However, ranking for product-related search terms has become more difficult since Google rolled out the Product Review Update in April and December 2021.

If you want to your affiliate content to rank high, Google wants you to provide users with a very high quality review article.

The first step to write great reviews is getting your hands on the actual product. But if you can't afford to buy every product you review, there's no worries...

You can focus on informational content.

With info content, you will have more topics to write about. This type of content also tends to get more traffic than single product reviews.

But don't get me wrong...

Product-focused content is one of the best ways to generate affiliate sales.

You can choose a topic-focused niche and still write product reviews and roundup posts.

3. Pick an EVERGREEN niche

Let's pretend we're back in 2017.

You start a site on fidget spinners. Your website is doing good. You're getting a ton of traffic and you're earning a few thousand bucks a month from a sponsorship and from affiliate sales.

But now it's 2018. What do you think happens then?

Creating sites on fads can be a quick-win type of deal. But it's nowhere near sustainable.

Now...

Go back to your niche idea spreadsheet and add 3 new column for the 3 points discussed above. It should look something like this:

Niche Ideas Spreadsheet 2

Be sure to fill yours out.

Step #3: Find Out If It's Profitable

After you've compiled your list and have gone through the 3 points we outlined above, the next step is to find out if they're profitable.

To find a niche's profitability, you'll need to look at 2 key points:

1. Audience Potential

The first thing to find out if a niche is profitable is to see if people are actually interested in it.

You can start by doing a quick search on Google Trends. I will use video gaming setups as an example.

Google Trends 1

As you can see, the search term for "gaming setups" started rising in popularity in 2020 and peaked somewhere toward the end of that year and the start of 2021. It's kind of lost some popularity, but it's still very popular.

Now let's validate this.

When a niche has a large group of people in it, it usually has communities scattered across the internet.

One of the best places to find these communities is on Reddit.

Head over there and see if there's a subreddit for your niche idea.

Subreddits 1

You can check Facebook Groups, too.

Now it's time to see what people are searching for on Google.

You can do this by using a keyword research tool. There a dozens out there. But for this example, I'll use Google's Keyword Planner because it's free and fairly easy to use.

Here's what I get when I search for "gaming setup":

Google Keyword Planner 1

Right off the bat, the keyword tool shows 5 relevant search terms the receive between 1,000 to 100,000 searches every month.

I'd say that is pretty good.

Niche Ideas Spreadsheet 3

Before moving on, make sure to fill out your spreadsheet.

2. Monetization Options

Let's be honest:

The reason why you want to start a successful blog is make money.

To do that, you'll have to get good at monetizing your site. It won't matter how much traffic you have—you could be getting a million pageviews a month. Without a good monetization strategy in place, you'll have problems making money.

But luckily for us, there are many ways to make money on our blogs. Some of which are easier than others. Which brings us to our first monetization method:

i. Display Advertising

Running ads on your site is a surefire way to make money. There are always companies out there that will pay good money to get their brands or products in front of internet users.

To make money with ads, you'll have to join an advertising network. The most popular ad networks include:

These networks, however, usually have requirements for their members. Mediavine, for example, requires websites to have 50,000 pageviews per month.

However, there are some ad networks that allow new sites or sites with low traffic. Google AdSense and Ezoic are two options for that.

With all that said, making money with paid ads is still a tough task. Ad networks typically pay websites pennies per view or impression. So you would need tens of thousands of monthly visitors to earn decent money.

Note: Ad networks do not allow websites that publish touchy subjects.

ii. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize your blog because it's a very lucrative money-making strategy. It's where most bloggers start.

So, what is affiliate marketing?

It's where companies pay people (aka affiliates) to promote their products and services. And when an affiliate makes a sale, they earn a percentage. This could be anywhere between 1% to 50%, sometimes even higher.

Let me give you an example:

Let's say you're starting your gaming setup blog. You'd ask yourself "what kind of products do gamers need to complete or improve their setups?"

The basic gaming setup includes:

  • Desk
  • Gaming chair
  • TV or monitor
  • Console or PC

Then there's accessories like a custom controller, custom keyboard and mouse, and LED lights.

So, how would you make money promoting these products?

The first thing to do is to find an affiliate program that has quality products. You can do this with a quick Google search:

"product" + affiliate program

Google Search Affiliate Programs

You can also browse affiliate networks like CJ Affiliate and ShareASale. Affiliate networks like these run affiliate programs for hundreds of companies.

There's also the Amazon Associates program. But I'd recommend that to be something like a last resort because of their low commission rates.

When you find affiliate programs in your niche, be sure to mark it in your niche idea spreadsheet!

Niche Idea Spreadsheet 4

How to Choose Your Blog Niche

Now that you've gone through the 3 steps above, you'll have the data you need to choose a niche.

When you're done filling in your spreadsheet for each niche idea you listed, you'll understand which niche ideas are great and which niche ideas are bad.

You will likely find multiple niches that are great to go for. So which one should you choose?

My last piece of advice:

Choose a niche you're most interested in.

Conclusion

Choosing the perfect niche is crucial to your blogging success.

Once you've compiled a list of all your hobbies and interests, you can find suitable niches by weeding out YMYL topics, product-focused ideas, and ones that aren't evergreen.

You can then explore the monetization options for each niche idea. If there are possibilities to monetize with ads, affiliate marketing, info products, and more, you've got yourself a profitable niche.

If you need more help with picking your blogging niche, do not hesitate to post your questions in the comments below.

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