As with any project, the more things that you can get right before you start the better your chances of success. This is no different when starting a blog. But what should your new blog be about?
Note this article will go over picking a niche for a long-term project, though even if you’re an affiliate piecing together “rank and bank” websites some of the same principles will still apply.
However picking the correct niche is really much more important for a website that you will keep for say longer than a year, whereas many affiliate marketers really only care to develop websites to a certain point or expect them to be only successful for a short period of time. So again we are thinking about long-term projects in this article.
So now that we clarified, let’s first let’s swipe out the term “blog” for a more accurate term “authority site”. An authority site is just a fancy name for a large blog ie you’re going to be writing a lot about something and eventually with some luck your site will become an “authority” in the subject matter. Do not let the term scare you, even if you are not an expert in the field, that doesn’t mean your site can’t be one that provides useful or interesting information to the masses.
When picking your niche, you should consider the following:
1. Your own expertise and interest in the subject matter
2. The size and longevity of the niche (is it evergreen or not?)
3. Your short-term and long-term goals
4. The monetization opportunities available
5. Your competitors in the space
6. Outsourcing opportunities
Thinking about the above 6 items should start to guide you in the right direction. That doesn’t mean in the future that your site can’t change and move in a different direction, however again the more you do before you start the higher your chances of success. So let us break these factors down individually.
Your Own Expertise And Interest In The Subject Matter
Before you choose a topic for your authority site, you should consider areas that interest you or that you have an expertise in (these usually go hand in hand). Keep in mind that you are likely to be spending hundreds/thousands of hours creating content for your site, so ideally it should be something that you are interested in and possibly knowledgeable about.
Another reason this is a good idea is because if you are knowledgeable in the subject matter, then it is much more likely that you will be able to produce quality content. This will help you immensely later when it comes to the promotional aspects of your authority site. It is much easier to promote a website that has great content rather than one with mediocre content.
Just think of all the favorite websites that you visit. Most likely the content is written by experts in the field or at least someone with a high level of understanding of the subject matter.
Also if you’re knowledgeable in the subject matter that also helps with monetization. Perhaps you can sell an e-book or your own products/services through your authority site. This is definitely something you will want to consider when it comes to the profitability of your website.
We aren’t saying that you have to be a leading expert in the niche that you choose, however it will go a long way if you’re at least passionate and have a basic understanding of the subject matter. Some of the best authority sites are written by laymen, however their lack of expertise is usually more than made up for by their passion that comes through on their websites.
The Size And Longevity Of The Niche
The second and just as important consideration is the size and longevity of the niche. Ideally you will be able to grow your authority site to hundreds/thousands of pages, so the niche you choose better have a lot of subject matter to write about!
In general, authority sites should be created around “evergreen niches”. What is an evergreen niche? Basically it’s any niche market that you could probably still write about 50 years from now.
Some evergreen niches include the following:
Pretty much anything that will always have something to write about that people will always be interested in is an “evergreen niche”.
When choosing a niche for your site, you definitely don’t want to pick something that has a relatively narrow focus, because obviously eventually you’ll run out of things to write about and will have to recycle redundant content which nobody wants to read anyway.
Some examples of too narrow a niche:
Best Hairstyles Of 2020
Call Of Duty Blog
Blog about a TV show
In the above examples you could probably create a rather large site about each, but will you be still writing about this 5-10 years from now? Probably not. So don’t pigeonhole yourself from the beginning by choosing too narrow a topic.
Your Short-Term And Long-Term Goals
Related to the previous considerations, your short-term and long-term goals should be taken into consideration when picking a niche, and this generally falls into financial and effort.
First how much are you trying to make each month with this site? Some people are more than happy to make a few hundred dollars a month while others want to make $10,000+ each month. Obviously depending on the monetary goals, the niche and work effort involved will vary greatly.
For example, a goal of earning $10,000/mo is not unheard of for sites about business/finance, but that number might be not realistic if you choose to create a site around knitting or ice skating.
Also, obviously you’ll face tougher competition creating a site about business/finance rather than the latter mentioned topics as usually where there is more money, there is more competition, and thus more work will be necessary to crack that market.
Finally how long are you planning to work on this site? If you only plan on doing this for a year or two, you may want to choose a smaller and less competitive niche and create a site that dominates. If you’re not really sure, we recommend you choose a broader subject matter and keep things open ended.
The Monetization Opportunities Available
What are the monetization opportunities available for your niche? It should come as no surprise some niches have more than others. For example, if you choose to write about finance or fitness, there will be no shortage of products and services available for you to promote. However, if you choose to write about archery or bonsai tree trimming, it should be obvious your promotional opportunities will be much more limited.
Also note that some niches are more difficult to monetize than others. For example, more controversial content like Adult/Porn and Gambling, though quite a bit of affiliate products are available to promote these types of sites, later on if you want to get into pay per click advertising or even email marketing you may find that companies will not accept your business.
There are many people that have very profitable websites in these niches, but just keep in mind your advertising options will likely be much more limited if your site has controversial content in comparison to someone who has a site about finance or golden retrievers.
Your Competitors In The Space
Another thing you need to consider when picking a niche are your competitors in the space. Are you going to be the 5001st authority site on dog training or the 3rd authority site on antique stuffed animals of the 18th century?
Don’t be afraid if you’re entering a niche where there are a lot of competing sites, it just means there is a large audience and money to be made there.
If you’re entering into a competitive space just understand though there is money to be made, there possibly could be a lot more work involved to make it.
Conversely if you enter into a niche where there is low competition, you may be able to dominate it, but there might not be any money there either.
Later on as your authority site grows you may want to take some of your profits that you generate and begin outsourcing things, primarily content creation.
Can someone else take over the writing for your site or does it require too much expertise in the field?
This is definitely something to consider as maybe down the road you might not want to create content any more, but if you want to keep your asset, the show must go on as they say.
Also if later down the line you wish to sell your site, will the new owner be able to continue creating content somehow as well?
So think about whether or not if one day you decide to stop writing if it would be at all possible to pay someone else to do it.
Picking the right niche is going to be integral to the success for your website, so definitely take the time to really ponder the factors outlined above. The more that you get correct before even starting your website, the better your chances for success will be.
Finding the right niche is one of those things that you’re going to have to nail down correctly or you could end up wasting time on a website that goes nowhere. So make sure you do your best to choose wisely.