If you’re a talented copywriter with a knack for marketing, you can make serious money in the world of blogging. It won’t come fast, however it’s certainly a sustainable option (particularly as a side hustle). But the key to success lies in selecting the right niche.
Niches Get Riches
Let’s say you love real estate, so you go out and launch a blog about real estate. You know the industry is booming and there’s a high demand for content, so it’s a slam dunk, right? But after a few weeks, you realize that you’re in over your head. There are thousands of other real estate blogs and you can’t possibly differentiate yours enough to stand out. So you give up and move on to your next idea.
Your failed attempt to launch a real estate blog leads you to believe that you can’t build a successful blog. One of two things happens: You either quit blogging altogether, or it takes you years to return. And once you do return, you’re apt to make the same fundamental mistake.
Blogging might not be a good fit for you, but that’s not why you failed (in this illustration). You failed because you took a generalist approach when you should have niched down.
Rather than starting a blog about real estate, you should start a blog about a niche within the real estate field (such as property management, multi-family investing, rehabbing, wholesaling, listing optimization, property marketing, etc.). In doing so, you’re able to target a very specific group of readers who have tangible pain points, needs, and desires.
By niching down, you might have a smaller pool of potential readers, but you benefit from increased engagement. And at the end of the day, it’s better to have 1,000 engaged readers than 5,000 people who land on your blog by accident and quickly hit the back button.
How to Choose the Right Blog Niche
Deciding to pursue a niche over a general topic isn’t enough to guarantee success. You have to zero in on the right niche. Here are a few suggestions to help you select the right one:
1. Ask These Questions
It’s easy to make assumptions. They’re free and require minimal cognitive effort. But if you plan to pick a profitable blog niche, you need to be more analytical. This means asking inquisitive questions like:
- Does the subject matter interest me?
- Will I still want to write about this niche in five years?
- Are there enough people searching for this niche?
- What are some additional streams of revenue I could expand into?
It’s through precise questioning like this that you validate and nix ideas. Don’t skip this all-important step.
2. Think Like an Advertiser
There are a variety of ways to monetize a blog, but advertising is certainly one of the best long-term plays. It allows you to generate truly passive income without doing any more work than you’re already doing. So make sure you think like an advertiser when choosing a niche.
As blog expert Scott Chow of The Blog Starter points out, advertisers pay for exposure when they believe they can recoup a positive return on investment. In other words, an advertiser will be much more interested in a blog about golf (typically wealthy adults with lots of discretionary spending power) than a blog about Justin Bieber (typically teenage girls with no spending power).
3. Consider Profitability
You need multiple streams of revenue to support a blog over the long run. Advertising is great, but you won’t get wealthy off advertising unless you have millions of unique visitors. The real money is found in affiliate sales.
When selecting a niche, run a search on Google to find out if there are associated products that you could naturally market on your blog to produce additional revenue. If the answer is yes, you’re in business. If the answer is no, consider shifting.
Iterate to Great
You aren’t going to get things perfect on the first try. No successful blog has ever hit a home run on the first pitch and enjoyed sustained results for years at a time. In most cases, the first swing is a big whiff. You’re going to strike out a few times. Then you’ll hit a couple of singles. And as time progresses, you’ll slowly find out what does and doesn’t work.
You don’t need things to be perfect to get started. Just set the goal of iterating to great over time and you’ll eventually build a profitable blog that generates a steady stream of income for you and your family.