What do I like to talk about with friends a lot?
Identifying what you are passionate about is of course the first step in choosing or narrowing down a niche. Are you an avid fly fisher, sculptor or sky diver that gets super excited when discussing these activities with others? If so, you may have the beginnings of a beautiful niche blog.
Challenge: Write down three things that truly excite you when you talk to others.
Can I come up with at least 10 subtopics off the top of my head right now?
Now that you’ve something that you’re passionate about you need to determine if you can sustain a blog with that focus. I hope you were able to come up with 10 subtopics, because you will have to develop a lot more than that! Think of your niche as an umbrella and under it area all these rain drops of information. While a niche blog should have a very specific and focused topic, your subtopics will be even more narrow. You will have to develop these often as publishing consistent content is a major component of building a profitable blog. Think about it, even if you post weekly you’ll still have to write 52 post.
Challenge: Since you came up with 10 subtopics, challenge yourself to think of 100!
What is my knowledge level on this niche?
It isn’t a requirement that you be an expert on the subject you choose, but you will have to be knowledgeable. If the focus is new to you, then just be prepared to do a plethora of research.
Is this niche something you went to school for or have been doing for years? Then you probably are closer to the expert level. On the other hand if you just delved into the topic recently or within the past 6-12 months then you could be more of a novice to intermediate depending on the subject.
Challenge: Where would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10? Find out how 5 other people who know you well would rate you?
Will anybody really be interested in reading my blog?
You have to get to know your audience, where they can be found, what they like, how to reach them and if they will be at all interested in what you have to say. Now, if you’re a negative thinker or self-sabotager then your answer will probably point more towards no, preceded by a defeating bug hopeful sigh.
But can I key you into a little secret? There’s probably an interested audience waiting for you to put your blog out there regardless of the subject, they just don’t know it yet. Blogs are like relationships, there’s one out there for everyone. So even if your niche is about raising pet snails to make slime face masks, I’ll bet your tribe of facial slime lovers will find and fall in love with your blog (people really do this by the way)!
Challenge: Make a list of 10 places where your people hang out and be specific, it could be online or physical locations but find your tribe!
Is this idea profitable?
Now that you know where your people are, it’s time to see if your idea is profitable. Through research you should identify the likelihood of being able to make a significant profit from your blog.
You’ll want to do a good deal of key market research prior to starting your blog. This is unless, you are okay with forging ahead with an idea you’re in love with regardless of the monetary outcome.
Don’t let the words key market research scare you, basically you’re going to do key word searches, questionnaires and needs assessments. Doing assessments and questionnaires can be as simple as polling some friends on social media or people in an online group to see what their needs may be. There are also plenty of free keyword search tools available to determine the saturation level of your desired niche and sub-niche topics.
Challenge: Poll 3 different places (an online group, friends, coworkers etc.) with your topic idea and see how many people would be interested. This is also a great opportunity to determine what they would want to hear.
Keep in mind the more narrow and focused your niche is, the quicker it will probably pick up, as your people can easily find and identify your blog as valuable information. A blog that is all over the place or in has an extremely broad focus will probably have a more difficult time with picking up speed. So take some time to narrow down your niche and get to writing. If you need some information on keeping your post organized check out my blog post here.