Guest Post by Joshua Lee
Finding a niche is essential to success in the blogging world, especially if you're writing a blog by yourself. Too often, I see people with great ideas set out to make their blog. And you know what happens? Nothing. They fail, even though their ideas were sound.
Why does this happen? Most often, it's because proper research wasn't done on the subject beforehand.
Let's take a common blog topic: Politics. You decided to make a politics blog. So, you get a nice sounding domain, some snazzy themes, load it up with great WordPress plugins, and start pumping out quality opinion pieces and news analysis every day. On top of that, you even advertise it on other blogs and do excellent SEO.
Is it going to work?
Well, it's certainly possible to succeed with this strategy, but it's like trying to climb up a steep cliff covered in dry ice without using your hands while blindfolded.
What's the problem, even after you did everything right?
You didn't focus on a niche! Sites that focus on the entirety of politics, such as The Huffington Post [on the Left] or RedState [on the Right], are not really niche blogs at all. Politics is a huge subject matter, after all. They have dozens of writers and editors working together to ensure huge amounts of quality content. Trying to compete with dozens of people working together, all by yourself, is just plain silly.
So, instead of a politics blog, let's look at a more closely targeted the audience, a niche if you will. For the sake of argument, we'll say I live in Colorado. I'm going make a niche blog, not about politics, but about progressive Colorado politics.
Notice how I'm putting in two qualifiers that focus who I'm targeting. I'm only looking for readers from Colorado, and only those that are interested in progressive views.
Huge national political blogs generally skimp on local state politics to focus on the big national issues, so there's certainly a lot of open space to grow. With this niche, you now know immediately who your audience is. What's the next step? Determine the market and the competition.
Obviously, the market for such a niche blog is smaller than a national political blog. Nevertheless, there are millions of progressive Internet users in Colorado, so there's certainly a big enough market.
What about the competition? Well, a simple Google search shows me only about a half dozen true competitors. This makes success much more easy.
There are thousands (if not millions) of political blogs all competing with each other to dominate the term politics. But, through restricting our niche to Colorado Progressive Politics instead, we've already eliminated a lot of that competition. With so much less competition, hard work, quality content, and solid SEO will put you on the front page results relatively quickly.
Focusing on a niche makes Google AdWords much more effective, too. For those that use it, now you have some specific search terms to use with it. Instead of trying to get traffic by targeting the term politics (a hotly contested and expensive item to get Google ads for), instead focus on your niche (Colorado progressive politics) and specific, related topics.
I hope this guide helps you on your way to creating a successful blog.
Josh's blog is primarily focused on making money online in a thorough and intelligent manner. It also delves into SEO, Google, Freelance Writing, and other topics. If you enjoyed this post, feel free to subscribe to his RSS Feed or visit Josh's blog @ The Brainy Money Blog.