Someone just starting out their blog, or looking to start another one, will want to know how to find a niche for their site that isn’t too competitive and can make them some decent money. Is there a process to help them do this?
The key to finding a successful niche for a blog is to hit the “sweet spot” between a niche that isn’t too competitive but is also profitable. In other words, you need to find a niche topic that not too many other big sites are covering in detail, but which also has sufficient interest and search volume worldwide that you can get sufficient traffic to make a good profit on your work.
We need to add a third element to this, namely that the topic of your site ideally needs to be something you are knowledgeable about and interested in to the point where you can write a batch of good content on it. This is not technically essential but is strongly preferable to writing about something you are not so into, since being interested in the subject matter is crucial to keeping up the motivation to keep going in the early days.
Let’s look at how we can combine these three factors to find the perfect niche online that matches your interests and personality and can also make you some good money.
Income School on Researching Keywords For Your New Site
Pick Something You Are Interested In
The best way to make money creating blogs and affiliate sites is to monetize a hobby, interest or passion of yours. Writing about something you are interested in is so much easier than learning about something you’re not from scratch, even if it’s more profitable.
It helps keep motivation up in the first months when traffic is slow to come and also makes the whole process of writing content easier, since if you know about a topic already you will know the answers to certain questions and will just be able to write the content on it without doing much research.
So pick a topic you are interested in, and then even niche down further to a subcategory within that topic if you think there is enough interest there. For example, if you thinking of building a niche site on vintage cars, but find it too broad and competitive then try for vintage ford cars instead, or some other make.
If you cannot find a niche that you’re interested in that isn’t already dominated by big sites, then pick something you would like to get into or have always been interested to know more about and spend a month becoming an expert on it, watching Youtube videos and doing searches on Google.
if you save all your Google searches, you can always go back and answer all the questions you had at the start once you know more about he topic. If you can’t think of anything here then you will just need to pick something thats profitable and devote a month or so to research it and write 30 articles.
Some people can put forth the effort to research something for a month even if they are not that interested in it. In fact a more aggressive strategy is to go after niches which are more profitable even if you are not interested in them and research them. This approach will likely be harder for most people though; try and find a passion or interest if possible.
See Income School’s niche site ideas article for some good topics they know from their extensive experience could be profitable niche sites.
One you have found a niche that you are preferably interested in, it is time to dig a little further into it to see if it is a) has decent search volume online and b) isn’t too competitive or saturated. Let’s look at each of these factors in turn.
Be Careful With Keyword Research Tools
It is also important to not be too reliant on what Keyword research tools are telling you on search volumes for certain topics. As the Income School guys go into in the above video, the figures these tools give are often not accurate and will lead you to make incorrect decisions if you go on them alone.
See our articles on keyword research and the Keyword Golden Ratio for more on this. Put simply, no one except Google knows the true search volumes for different phrases, and they don’t make this information public. So the figures keyword research tools like Keywords Everywhere are giving you are estimates, some of which may be accurate but others will be way off. You cannot rely on them alone.
That is why it is better to take a more intuitive, common sense approach to discovering good search terms to write on, just using Google itself. Let’s look at this in more detail.
A Better Approach to Determine Competition and Search Volume
A better and totally free method of researching articles to write for your site is simply to look at the phrases already being typed into Google on your niche topic. The Google autocomplete feature finishes off certain terms part way through, which tells you people are already searching these terms, or else why would Google have suggested it?
This is a more common sense approach and delivers good results compared to keyword tools, whose figures are not always reliable. If Google is suggesting a certain term related to your niche when you are only halfway through typing it, then it is a sign that search volume is probably decent for that term.
Then it is a question of looking at the quality of the results for that term. If the results for longer tail (five words or more) searches in your niche are returning average or poor quality results, and you think you can do a better job, then there is an opening there for you to produce some content and rank for it.
In the video above the Income School guys simply recommend going through the alphabet and doing the same thing to nail down search phrases within your niche that are not too competitive at the moment and where you can write content that better answers that search term than the articles currently showing up in the search results.
Shorter search terms which are already covered by bigger, more authoritative sites that have been around a long time should be avoided, since they will be harder to rank for. Longer tail searches which have less authoritative results are openings for you to write content for. Some examples of results to target are:
- Searches which have forum posts as the top results.
- Very short articles for the top results when you could easily write more.
- Smaller, non authoritative websites like blogs. Again check the quality of the content though.
- Searches where the results do not contain the full search phrase or only indirectly answer the question. Tangiential or related results show up but no one is yet directly answering the exact question asked.
- Go through the alphabet looking for search terms in your niche that match these criteria. Eg. “sail boating a”…., then b, c and so on, seeing what comes up that isn’t too competitive.
Using this method, it can be very easy to draw up a hit list of at least 30 articles going through the alphabet with different Google search terms. If one term seems too competitive, move onto another one.
By the time you are done you can probably find a lot more than 30 possible articles to write and it is simply a matter of producing the content and getting it ranking on Google. See our article on producing good, lengthy content for more on this.