Selecting a niche can be difficult for a new blogger. Perhaps when they read blogs like ShoutMeLoud, Problogger or other similar blogs, they become motivated to write about blogging, wanting to create a blog within the same niche. Or, sometimes when a new blogger reads about how a particular blogger is making money, he decides to blog in a similar style with the hope of also making money.
I have seen this trend over time, and while I have seen some who do well, I have also seen many blogs dying off in no time flat.
As a blogger myself, it is clear to me when a fellow blogger has chosen the right niche. In my own area of expertise, it is easy for me to see whether an article is original or whether it is simply a poor rewrite of a post from another blog.
Why the blogging niche is not for everyone
These days it is common to see new blogs emerging all the time claiming to teach you how to “make money online” or “make money blogging”. Sometimes the advice is coming from someone with very little blogging experience who is struggling to make money online himself.
If you are currently a blogger, I would love to know why you have chosen to blog? Are you seeking money or fame – or are you blogging because writing or teaching are passions of yours’?
I started ShoutMeLoud as a technology blog, and later transitioned more to WordPress related articles. After about a year I started covering articles related to blogging and SEO. I have never written about why I made this shift, and would like to share this part of the story. (For rest of the story, you are welcome to read my blogging journey.)
I started blogging from a sense of passion for technology. If you have a look through ShoutMeLoud’s old archives, you will find articles related to torrenting, software and various computing tips and tricks. I’m not a teacher, but I do like to teach and talk about things I understand well. It feels good to me to know that an article I have written has helped someone to learn something new. That has always been one of my USPs (unique selling points).
When I made my first move to WordPress, I was learning something new myself. I started like everyone else – learning about installing WordPress, finding and installing WordPress plugins (which were actually old but were new to me), and I started e about WordPress SEO.
The order of topics I covered when I started blogging were something like this:
Technology > WordPress plugin> WordPress in general > Facebook > Blogging > Making money online > SEO > Internet marketing > Business blogging > Social media > Branding
I worked hard, and I knew that one poorly constructed article could easily destroy the credibility and trust that I had earned over time. I also felt that I could not write about anything as an authority that I had not experienced or used myself. For example, how could I teach you about Dreamhost’s affiliate program until I made my first $47 from them and had the money in my hands?
If you look at the timeline of my niche growth, you can see that I started writing about things after I had learned a lot about them or experienced them. Even to this day I do not write about things until I’m completely comfortable with the subject matter. Surely at times I disappoint my readers by not writing about certain topics, but I believe it is better to say that I’m sorry I haven’t covered a subject they’re interest in rather than simply passing incomplete or incorrect information along to them.
Blogging is all about experience and passion:
As in any field, blogging requires experience. You can’t become an expert in one day after talking about how to blog or how to create a blog. Only after spending a significant amount of time blogging and experiencing various issues can you write as an authority on topcis like writers block, your blog getting hacked, issues like replytocom, Panda taking your site down, etc. You learn about all of these issues when you actually face them and have to work through them. Then you can teach others to do the same when they encounter similar issues.
In business school they teach you how about various facets of business, but you actually learn to run a business when you start one of your own.
So, a good way to choose a niche for yourself is to consider the topics in which you have both knowledge and actual experience. It could be anything – technology, mobile devices, dog care, parenting, finance – anything about which you are passionate enough to continually write content on, learn more about, and teach to others who will find what you write interesting because of the passion with which you deliver the information on your blog.
Niches like SEO:
One of the most common categories in a “blogging niche” is SEO. It is not easy to teach someone about search engine optimization. These can be difficult concepts to grasp. It took me 6 months to understand the difference between using Robots.txt and noindex tags to stop indexing a certain part of a website, and my education was based on trial and error, after making mistakes on my own blog.
Just yesterday I received a call from one of my blogger friends who writes about finance, and he wanted to start a career in web-development and SEO. He was quite confident about his SEO skills, because he was driving enough traffic from Google for his finance blog. We were having a friendly discussion about his future plans, and I asked him a simple question regarding Robots.txt and noindex tags, and he looked at me blankly, having little idea of what I was referring to.
My friend was not wrong to want to start a business in SEO, but when you take on the responsibility of doing SEO for someone, you are taking a big risk. Your responsibility is not only to improve the overall SEO of your client’s website, but also to ensure that nothing goes wrong as a result of your actions. My friend quickly realized that he still has a lot to learn and experience.
How to become a Celebrity of Blogging/SEO/make money online niche:
If you really want to get into this niche, give yourself sufficient time. Don’t try to jump into a field like this without significant knowledge as a foundation for doing so. Blogging is all about experience, and you can gain that experience by running a blog in any niche that you are passionate and knowledgeable about.
- Start 1-2 or 3 different blogs in a niche that you are interested in and passionate about.
- Learn new things such as SEO and monetization and see what works and what doesn’t. You will be amazed to find that half of the information you read on the internet is written by freelance writers, and is usually a re-write of someone else’s original content, and the information is often outdated. Share what you truly know, what you have learned deeply about, and what you are passionate about sharing with others.
There is no limit to your imagination and what you can do with it. All you need to do is be honest with yourself and be honest with your readers.