by Deb Ng
We’ve had some requests. We’re all about a positive user experience here at Network Blogging Tips, so requests don’t get back burnered if we can help it. Our readers want to learn more about starting their own blogs and earning their own income in addition to working for someone else. What follows is the first in our new Blogging for Beginners series – how to choose a niche.
Why Get Nichey?
Not too many “personal” blogs do well. If you want to succeed it’s best to choose a niche and establish yourself as an expert or authority. Readers get confused by blogs that follow too many tangents and don’t have a specific focus. Moreover, it’s hard to get search engine traffic when you’re not blogging about a specific topic. You want a blog that has an easily definable goal. One that teaches, shares ideas, and builds a community around other like-minded individuals.
What’s YOUR Passion?
Are you a home brew aficionado? Can you identify every breed of tomato with a quick glance? Do you spend every spare moment rocking the knitting needles? If so, these are good things to blog about. Many network bloggers or freelance bloggers blog what their clients ask them too without having a passion and they quickly burn out. If you truly want your blog to succeed, it’s important to know and love your topic so you can share your enthusiasm with your readers.
Bonus Points for Originality
What do these topics have in common:
- Work from Home
- Make Money Online
- Freelance Writing
These are some of the most popular blog topics on the web. There’s nothing wrong with writing about being a work at home mom or making money online, but if you’re going to tap into an over saturated niche, think of some way you can set yourself apart from the rest. Readers want originality, not the same rehashed content found everywhere else. When Jennifer and I thought we wanted to blog about blogging, we wondered how we can do that without getting lost in all the other blogs about blogging. Then it hit us, both of us blogged for networks but no one offered tips specifically for network bloggers. Viola! There was our Niche.
What Are the Other Nichey People Doing?
Once you have a niche or two in mind, you want to do a bit of exploration. Read the other blogs in your niche. What are they talking about? What seems to be the types of discussions that get the most comments? What appear to be their most popular keywords? Why do you think certain blogs in this niche are so popular while others fail? How can you be different from these other blogs, yet still blend in with the community?
Nothing to Stop You Now
Now you know about the importance of choosing the right niche. Get yourself a pad and paper and write down everything you feel passionate about. Once you have a decent list going, make another list with bullet points under each niche listing the things you can talk about. Can you go on forever about said niche, or do you fall short after a few items? Having a list of things to blog about before you start will be helpful in defining your niche and also making sure it’s something you can talk about on a regular basis.
- Choose a topic you love
- Choose a topic you can write about every day
- Choose a topic you know a lot about
- Choose a topic that inspires a range of emotions
- Choose a topic that will stimulate discussion
Well? What are you waiting for….go make your list!