Want to start a blog? Find your ideal blogging niche with these 5 key steps. Learn the top questions you need to answer, the pros and cons of different choices, and the Action Items in each step. Plus awesome niche blog examples that can help you decide yours.
They say that no (blogging) niche is too small if it’s yours.
If you want to blog as a hobby, you can choose any topic that you are passionate about. But it’s more involved if you want to take it further, build serious readership and even monetize the blog. Then you also want to focus on what your audience cares about. And for that, you need to identify the niche that suits you, that can you can write a lot about and can be profitable in the long run.
What is a blog niche?
Your niche defines your blog topic in clear and specific words. Think of it like a tagline or slogan. It starts with identifying what you know and want to write about. To select your niche, pick the main theme (e.g. budget travel), idea source (e.g. personal experiences), format (photo blog). Plus, you also need to know your audience (so you’re not writing for everyone) and the existing blogs that you will compete with.
Does my blog need a niche?
Choosing your blogging niche is the first step when you want to start a blog. It can make the difference between a swift success or an uphill struggle to build an audience! So even before you create your new blog, decide a name or buy a domain, finalize your niche first.
As a blogging beginner, you need to answer these 5 questions to discover the best niche that fits you.
What do you want to blog about?
Will your focus be wide or narrow?
Who will be your readers?
What will be the (main) blog format?
What does the competition look like?
Follow these 5 essential steps to choose your blog niche.
A. Pick a core theme or blog category that you want to write about
Identify the main idea for your blog. Write down a list of words and phrases that describe your future blog. At this stage you can brainstorm and express freely. We will get more specific later.
Where is your inspiration coming from?
These are the top 4 main kinds of blog categories. Many blogs are a combo of these, and yours can be too. See what fits you and browse the examples of niche blogs (marked with a ) too.
Based on your experiences – a travel blog, personal accounts, Mom blogs, spiritual content, lifestyle and shopping fall in this category.
Money Tamer is a personal blog by Steffa Mantilla on managing financial goals through saving and earning.
Kara Allen turned her love for Party Planning into a successful Kara’s Party Ideas blog.
Sharing your expertise – e.g. a food, crafts, wellness, education, business, passion projects… The list of blog possibilities is endless.
A cookbook author and recipe developer shares her ideas on Allways Delicious
The Healthcare Hustlers provides ‘tools for better healthcare choices’ based on the creators’ insights in the health industry.
In her style blog, Gabrielle Arruda combines her style outlook with her expertise as a designer.
Opinion blog – non-personal themes like politics, religion etc.
Here’s a lineup of popular political blogs.
Collated content blog – this is more like an e-zine or content sourced from different writers or experts.
It started as a personal journey blog, but Diabetes Strong is now a multi-contributor community blog.
Action item: Write down your main blog idea. What will be the source of your ideas and how will you find material for future posts?
B. Pick between specific or wide-ranging niche
What do you want to focus on?
You might select a core theme and write about a range of topics, then your blog would fit into a wider category. Or you might choose a specific niche based on your experience or expertise. Each choice has its pros and challenges.
A wider niche like a motherhood blog will have a broader appeal but you will be competing with a lot more blogs that are well established. Many lifestyle bloggers also cover multiple areas like travel, food & shopping in one blog.
Examples of blogs with a wider focus
With posts on a range of motherhood topics, The Mom Friend offers both information and resources.
Similarly, The Keele Deal has individual tabs on the blog for Family Life, Travel, Food, DIY & Crafts etc.
In her blog, Rachel Tedoro has a diverse collection of posts categorized as Real People, Real Projects & Real Life.
On the other hand, a focused niche blog will bring an engaged audience to your blog but the numbers could be smaller. Say, if you write about high-risk pregnancies, you will get motivated readership from prospective parents who fall in this category.
Examples of blogs with specific niches
Making Midlife Matter is a successful niche blog that covers issues relevant to women over 50.
You Could Travel bills itself as a ‘soft adventures couples travel blog.’
Here are 5 examples of niche blogs in the extensive food blogging category.
You can find Gluten Free and Dairy free recipes from the Caribbean in the That Girl Cooks Healthy blog.
A retired chef blogs about ‘budget-friendly, tasty and easy’ keto dishes in Keto Cooking Wins.
Nut Free Wok is a blog about Allergy Aware Asian Fare with recipes, techniques and ingredients.
InstaPot cooking with recipes and pressure cooking tips on Corrie Cooks.
This Healthy Kitchen has plant based recipes with wholesome ingredients, kept under 400 calories per serving,
Here’s an example of a ‘super niche’ blog – I love Painted Rocks with tips, ideas and supplies for turning rocks into works of art.
Most experts recommend specific, narrower categories to create a blog. But go with what works for you. As a rule of thumb, one gives you a larger choice of blog posts to write, and the other will grow engaged readership and relevant traffic faster.
Action item: Write down the criteria that make your niche more specific. How will (or won’t) they make your blog more engaging?
Find Blogging Checklists, Guides Content ideas and more…
C. Define your reader persona
Who are you writing this blog for?
Knowing your ideal reader is a great – and vital – starting point, particularly if yours is a small-niche blog. That way you can speak to their needs and challenges. Importantly, if you decide to scale up or monetize, focused content does better. You are providing in-depth answers to a certain demographic, instead of a wider readership.
Even if you don’t know all the posts you are going to write in future, knowing the direction and your future audience will be immensely useful when you sit down to pen those posts.
Start with questions like what problem can you solve for your readers. Or what questions will they find answers for?
Plus, the top elements of creating your potential readers’ profile is – age, gender, location, work, income levels, life events (married, empty nester). The distinguishing elements will usually be based on interests and circumstances.
Defining your audience clearly is the key step in building an engaged readership and a profitable blog!
Finding your ideal reader can be difficult or confusing. But with the right questions, it doesn’t have to be.
Here’s an example of the ideal audience profile for Maroon Oak’s blog
Women, Age 25-60, Located worldwide
Business Owner, Entrepreneur, Mompreneur, Blogger, Professional, Realuncher
Interests: Growing a business, finding freelance work, networking,
Challenges: Needs answers on business, digital and soft skills, work life balance
Goals: Looking to grow a business or find work, add skills, network with peers
Habits: Comfortable with tech, engaged on social media, learner mindset
D. Choose your blog format
Is your blog mainly word-based or will it be media focused with pictures or videos?
Regular articles are mostly prose, and those do best on SEO (and hence traffic).
Blogs with visual content will have a lot more pictures or even videos. Some examples of the latter are travel, craft or food blogs. Most ‘word blogs’ will also have images, infographics and videos in them as well.
Example of blogs using different kinds of media
A luxury travel blog for Millennials, Mona Corona has each blog post with loads of photographs showing different elements of the destinations.
Tit bits and Wine is from a home decorating blog that features lots of pictures and even videos.
The Impatient Gardener has tons of videos on her YouTube Channel which she has integrated into her blog in the Videos tab.
A media-rich blog, Homebody Hall has lots of videos and images to create different kinds of art.
Every post has a video, process shorts and a recipe in the Flavors Treat blog.
Before you go in any one direction, here are some questions that can help you decide.
- Are you prepared to write regularly and do you possess skills to write engagingly?
- Do you have access (or ability to take) to high-quality, original images? You can also grab our extensive list of 20+ websites to get high quality, free stock photos for your blog.
- Are you good at creating, editing and uploading videos that are engaging?
Action item: Write down your choice of format(s). Rate yourself on your skill with it.
E. Research competition – what does your audience want?
While writing about what you know is the best place to start, make sure that it is also something that your audience wants. Else, your readership will be limited to family and friends who read the blog because you wrote it rather than because of the quality of the content.
If you are not sure about your idea or want to gauge reader interest in a topic, see the section below on researching content.
How to find out what’s out there and what people are reading?
a.Start by looking it up online.
Start with a simple Google search, and then refine your search terms to see exactly what is there. Become more specific with each search.
Here’s an example of when you start searching with a broad term -> Wellness Blogs. See the image below on how to search for blogs ina particular category.
You can use Google’s Related Searches (bottom of search page) for ideas on what people are looking for in your niche. Here’s an example of another search in Wellness Blogs.
Wellness Blogs -> Women’s Wellness, which gave me so many options (like in the image below).
Typically, in most blogging niches, a simple search will give you a list of blogs rather than individual ones – that’s how many blogs there are out there. As a newbie, this helps you figure out what’s already there and what is doing well (or ranking higher on Google)
Here’s an example of 2 search terms and what I got for them.
I searched for ‘arts and crafts blogs.’
Search blog categories to explore the best ones!
And this for ‘business and career blog for women’
How to do a competitor analysis for your blog.
Once you narrow down your competition, here’s what you need to do.
- Read extensively through the blogs that are in your niche.
- Determine the kind of posts they have e.g. how-to’s, listicles, tips, reviews etc.
- Check how frequently they publish, say, once a week, or 8-10 a month.
- Look for posts that got a lot of engagement like comments and shares.
- Make a note of the format(s) they used to create blog posts. Maybe they use video in creative ways that you hadn’t thought of.
- Look for any content gaps that you can fulfill with ease.
- Sign up for their newsletter or mailing list. This will also tell you about how they are communicating with their readers.
Action item: List the top blogs in your niche, type & no. of posts, and engagement for each. Also, how much do they overlap with yours?
Conclusion: Niche down to gain!
Once you know your blog niche, creating your blog will be so much easier. You can write content that you know and enjoy, that will offer your readers value.
And even better, your efforts will bear fruit quickly in terms of a consistent, loyal readership and profitable returns.
Once you’ve done your homework and your research, go ahead and shoot the arrow. Then paint the target around it.
That’s how smart bloggers build their niches.
Take Action Now: Refine your awesome ideas with clarity for your ideal audience. Each page has prompts and printable worksheets so that you can ‘brainstorm with focus’!
Grab the Blog Tool Toolkit today – the FREE offer ends soon!
Pooja Krishna is an Entrepreneur, Business Mentor and Mom. She has worked both in large corporates and managed startups over the last 20+ years.
She’s a co-founder at Maroon Oak, and is founded Win Thinks, where she writes, speaks and teaches about Digital Media, Brand Building and Future Ready Businesses. A day trader for over a decade, Pooja launched Trading Paces to educate amateur and pro stock traders. As a classroom mentor, Pooja loves teaching students across the U.S. about job skills and entrepreneurship. Read about her on Huffington Post and Forbes.
A trivia buff and yoga & hula hoop enthusiast, she’s discovering the pleasure of drawing Zentangle patterns for ‘creative mindfulness.’