There are a lot of bloggers out there who aren’t making money.
I mean, a LOT of them.
And, the biggest reason that they’re failing is that they haven’t properly chosen a niche. They’ve either decided to eat the world by choosing a niche which is SO broad that it’s unmanageable, or they’ve focused on a niche which is so tiny that there aren’t enough paying customers in it.
The happy medium is reached through strategic keyword research and the skill to analyze that research.
It’s no secret that the pro bloggers hone their niches long before the first words hit the screen. In fact, quite a lot of their work is done in the pre-planning, and keyword research is a small part of that.
While my Profit Blogging Blueprint gives you a start-to-finish blueprint of creating a six-figure profit blogging site, we’re going to talk a little more indepth about discovering your own profitable micro niche today.
Before the huge profits, the passion-based business, and the dotcom lifestyle, there was a niche. Before we discovered that knowing how to develop a gigantic email list in 6 months was the key to profits, there was a niche.
Finding a niche and building a foundation on that niche is where the real money is made. I’ve developed a simple 5 step process for finding those profitable niches and audiences.
Step 1: Find a Topic
This is where it all begins. After all, you can’t have a money blog about a topic if you don’t have a topic, right?
One of the biggest mistakes that new bloggers make when they’re searching for a topic is that they don’t narrow that topic down enough so that they can make money. While there are a lot of ‘tire kickers’ who will be satisfied with the general solutions, the ones who bring in the money are looking for specific answers to their specific problems and they’re willing to pay for those solutions.
Let’s start off with some industries:
* Weight Loss
* Personal Development
* Making Money
* Debt Reduction
All five of these topics are highly competitive but not very specific.
The person typing in these search terms could be looking for weight loss for their dog, making money with old socks, or debt reduction through the use of old fashioned methods.
Not only are the chances of getting ranked for these keywords fairly slim, but the likelihood of actually landing on what your customer specifically wants is fairly slim. The traffic for these keywords will be incredibly unfocused, which is why it’s best to dig a little deeper into the industry.
The other issue with creating a blog about these five terms (or any one of hundreds of general categories) is that it most likely will require a lot of money to compete with those who are already in the industry. With so much competition, you are fighting against both big fish and little fish.
This is why the topic needs to be honed down. While you might want to take on the world, you do want to eliminate as many contenders as you can even before you enter the playing field.
Narrowing down the niche will be your key to riches. While the search volume (we’ll talk about that in the next step) might not be as much, the pitch that you are making will reach people who are much more likely to purchase from you.
Would you rather have a million viewers and no sales or a 100 viewers and 10 sale?
How do you narrow down your niche?
1. First, pick a broad industry that you enjoy. You’re going to be immersed in this industry while you’re conducting your research, so you should be fascinated with it and otherwise have an interest in it.
I’ve found that if I’m passionate about the field or if the field has personal significance to me, the research that I conduct is more thorough. The more thorough research that I perform, the more likely I am to make money within the niche.
2. So, once you’ve got a broad category like weight loss, personal development, making money, photography, or any one of a hundred different industries, it’s time to narrow it down to a subset that fascinates you.
Perhaps you live in Arizona and want to learn about desert gardening. Maybe you live in a small house and are interested in container gardening. Perhaps, you’re interested in developing the entirety of your home into a greenhouse and are interested in indoor gardening or terrariums.
3. In many cases, finding a subcategory for your niche is enough, but sometimes you need to dig down a little deeper. For instance, if you’re thinking about debt reduction and you want to help eliminate credit card debt, you can focus even further on that topic with Visa credit card debt or wisely using your American Express card, or what have you.
Step 2: Discover a Need for This Topic
Is the topic that you chose in the first part something for which other people are searching? For instance, you might have found yourself curious about gardening in extremely tiny spaces, but are there people out there who are searching for ‘closet gardening’?
In this step, we will find out whether there are enough people searching for information in this niche to make it profitable. I have found that if there’s over 5,000 searches per month on a topic, there is a higher likelihood that money can be made.
How do you find out whether people are interested?
The easiest and most effective tool that I’ve found to discover the number of searches that a keyword has is Google’s Keyword Planner. It’s a completely free tool, one which can provide some very valuable information. Knowing how to use this tool effectively will save you both time and money in your searches and pinpointing viable (and lucrative) niches.
When you first open the Keyword Planner, you only truly need the first two options:
• Search for new keyword and ad group ideas
• Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups
Where it says ‘Enter one or more of the following: Your product or service’ enter the keywords that you have. Leave the search for ideas broad for right now because you want to find out if there is enough general interest in the topic to blog about it.
Google will also be kind enough to give you ideas about other search terms which have to do with your topic. This is great for understanding what key words that you’ll need to use in your advertising, your blog posts, and more.
One of the better ways to see if the topic is lucrative is to turn the keyword phrase into a question. Instead of ‘how to get rid of credit card debt’ or ‘how to do container gardening’ try ‘how do I get rid of credit card debt’ or ‘how do I plant tomatoes in containers?’
Along with the number of searches, I also use the PPC amount to get an idea of whether the topic itself will be valuable. PPC stands for pay per click, and is the amount that advertisers are willing to pay for each click on a link. The higher, the better, as it’s an indication of how lucrative the term might be.
Step 3: Pinpoint Your Demographic
The next step in finding out whether you have a profit blogging niche is to research the audience of that niche. You want to be able to form a mental picture of the people who are in the niche that you’re pursuing.
Knowing who you’re talking to, what their pain points are, and other information will allow you to develop an emotional bond with them. The moment that you are able to create an emotional bond with your customer is the moment that they will treat you as an authority and let you in.
Go to Alexa.com and input your keywords. You will get a list of websites that are at the top of the field for those keywords. Take a good look at the results that come up for your keywords. This is your competition.
Here’s my view on competition:
You and an acquaintance spot a bear coming after you. You stop to put tennis shoes on. “What are you doing that for? You’re never going to outrun the bear!” says your acquaintance. “I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you.”
After you go to Alexa and find out your competition and people who are doing well in the niche, you also want to go to quantcast.com and discover the demographics of the sites that you received from Alexa.
When you put in ‘credit card debt relief,’ these are just some of the sites which come up as results in Alexa.com. You can see who the players are within the field that way.
After you discover the sites which are within the field, your next step is to find out who’s going to your competition. You can find out some of this information on Alexa, but you can also discover insights when you use Quantcast.com and Compete.com.
Creating a combination of the three will give you a better idea of the makeup of their visitors. Remember that different demographics each have different motivations. For instance, the 55+ male will have different reasons to get his credit in order than the 20 something female. Focus on only one demographic to start.
As an aside, Google’s Ad Planner is good for quite a number of other functions. You can find out the best approach to take if you decide to run a pay per click campaign. You can also take the time to discover the types of phrases that you want to use for your ads. It’s extremely useful, and it’s free.
How Did I Come Up With Blogging Business Tips?
Like you, I wanted to make enough money so I could provide for myself. I didn’t want to follow the same route that some of my friends did by joining the corporate culture.
So, the overall industry is ‘make money.’
If you look on Google, you’ll see that ‘make money’ gets a lot of searches every single day, but there are LOTS of ways to make money. There’s everything from mushroom composting to alpaca farming. I needed to hone it down.
I would rather work from home or from the place of my choosing, rather than being forced to go into a physical office every day. So, to be more specific, I wanted to make money online.
There are still thousands of ways to make money online. You can make money online by being an Amazon reseller. You can make money online by being a Google site rater. You can also make money online by selling products. You can make money online through a lot of methods. I still wasn’t providing enough value to my readers, as the ‘make money online’ niche is too broad.
While I was searching for my niche, I kept finding sites which detailed how I could make money online through blogging. Unfortunately, all of the tips and tricks that I found online seemed to conflict with each other. There was no easy system.
The people, in the comments and everywhere else, were clamoring for a single, steady voice to teach them how to make money online through blogging.
After performing a lot of keyword research, I discovered that there were thousands of people who wanted to make money blogging. These were the people who had created blogs and they weren’t profitable. These were the people who had been told that millions would be at their fingertips as soon as they created a blog. They were frustrated. That’s when I knew that I had found my niche and Blogging Business Tips was born.
It’s not enough just to have the niche for which people are searching. If you’re wanting to make money without having to use advertising on your blog, you need to have products to sell to that finely honed niche.
In the next blog post, we’re going to talk about Steps 4 and 5 which are finding products to sell to your niche and some ideas that will make your life a whole lot easier when it comes to discovering micro niche markets.