Blog Niche Ideas: How to Choose the Right Blogging Niche
Almost every blogger who has started a new blog will have made this mistake…
You spend months researching blog ideas that you think are going to change the world. You work hard producing content for the blog, and the day comes to release your work to the world and guess what you’re faced with?
Yep, turns out nobody really wanted to read a blog about ‘The creative uses of chocolate sauce’, mad right? The truth is some blog ideas you come up with are going to turn out about as brilliant as a chocolate teapot.
It doesn’t just happen with the obviously bad ideas either, it can happen with those ideas which are really well thought out and feel like a sure fire thing. The goods news is there is a solution to avoid these problems completely, as long as you are ready to take action.
When you’re finished you’ll not only have some of the best blog post ideas since Columbo started his own WordPress blog, you’ll also know if your blog niche is going to sink or swim.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Step 1 – Understand What Makes a Blog Idea Brilliant
Before we can dive into helping you figure out what the perfect niche is for you and your blog, you first need to figure out what makes a blog niche so brilliant.
You see picking a niche for your blog isn’t just a case of thinking off the top of your head what you think will work. It’s about understanding and researching what is popular.
Define The Purpose of Your Blog
Before you select your perfect niche, instead of thinking about what you are blogging about, think about why you are blogging.
What is your blogging mission?
- Are you looking to make money blogging by earning a side-income
- Are you hoping to fully replace your income with a blog
- Are you just pursuing blogging for fun
Chances are if you’re reading this article, you’re not just blogging for fun, otherwise, you’d just be writing about whatever came into your head. No, you’re reading this article because you want your blog idea to be a success.
Now that we have established why you are blogging in the first place, it’s time to come up with the perfect blog niche idea.
Why Picking the Right Blog Niche Is Crucial to Your Success
When it comes to blogging successfully for money, you may already know that picking the right blog niche is an important step in the process. But you may not understand exactly why the right idea for your blog is so important.
When it comes to making money from blogging you have two ways you can go about it:
- Convert very highly on a small number of users
- Drive a lot of traffic to your site
While it may seem like a great idea to start blogging about your hobby for knitted vests for elderly people, unless there is an audience for your market you may have fallen for the common mistake of niching down to hard. The trouble you’ll find is you just simply don’t have enough traffic to make any significant money.
Selecting the right blog idea is important because the wrong idea could have a very small audience, the right idea could have a huge audience. The bigger the audience, the more potential traffic you could see.
Dispelling Some False Truths
If you’ve been researching how to pick a blog niche online you’ve probably come across these common sayings. These are often taken as gospel truth and if you don’t take warning you can be deemed an idiot or worse a newbie.
Here are some of the things you’ll hear:
The only way to be successful is to niche down, and then to niche down even further.
There are a number of people who have success with ultra unique niches, and it’s not terrible advice to give as this will help you to find a very specific audience to engage with. But is it absolutely necessary? Absolutely NOT.
Take a look at a blog like Chasing Foxes, yes it’s a huge site with over a million page views a month, but can you find a particular niche? Nope. What Chasing Foxes did (which was pretty smart) was write an absolute shit ton of listacle posts and how to posts, promoted them to hell through Pinterest and within a fairly short space of time, they have a hugely successful blog.
You need to pick something you’re passionate about when you pick your niche.
Again, not really. When you look back at the reasons for starting a blog there are only two reasons:
- You want to help people do something. That’s the ‘why’ that makes you feel good, the one you tell your grandma and ex-work colleagues about how you’re changing the world.
- You want to make money. Not just a little bit, like a truck-full of cash.
The thing you’ll find hard is making both 1 and 2 on that list work together. So how do people do it?
People get real passionate, real quick when you start to make a lot of money.
So how do you find out where all the money is?
The Profit Is in the Popularity
Instead of starting from scratch and testing the waters to see what’s popular, you should first try and understand the way blogging works.
Page views = Popularity
The more popular a topic is, the more people will view posts about it and the more traffic that page will get.
The profit is in the popularity – Ryan Reynolds
Just kidding, Mr. Reynolds didn’t actually say that, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t true. If you want to find out what the best blog ideas are, you need to find your audience.
If you know how to promote your blog posts in the right way, you will have no problem cutting through the masses of other bloggers out there and taking a slice of the pie for yourself.
After all, it’s better to take 1% of a 10 million dollar pie than 10% of a 1000 dollar pie.
So how do you get a slice of that sweet sweet pie?
Step 2 – Understanding What People Want
After finishing section one you should have a base understanding of what makes blog niches popular:
- Having a clear purpose
- Targeting a large enough audience
- That a super-specific-niche isn’t the only way to success
- The more popular your topic, the more profitable it can be
Now that you know what a good blog idea looks like, In step two we are going to delve deeper into understanding more about what people look for when reading blog posts.
We will then look to see how we can fit your blog around that idea.
Why Following Your Passion May Not Be the Best Advice
One of the biggest pieces of advice you’ll hear from people is to follow your passion. It seems to be something that people who:
- Aren’t successful bloggers – They will tell you to blog about your passions even though they may have under 100 views a month doing just that
- Are super successful bloggers – They may tell you the same thing but aren’t telling you the real truth; that there are really only a few niches that you can make a good living from while blogging
Now that second point might be controversial, for the record I do think it’s possible to make money from any niche, however, it’s been proven that some niches are A TON easier to build up an audience and make a living with than others.
Why do super successful bloggers want to make it seem super easy to grow a blog of any idea into a successful blog that you can make $1000’s from every month? Because they are selling you the idea, they make money from you signing up for your own blog, just like me, except I try and be a little more honest.
Find a Problem and Make Your Blog the Answer
One of the best ways to look at your blog and your business is to make your blog the answer to a question.
For example, you may find that one of your blog ideas was about fitness. What kind of problems do people encounter that they may look to a blog for an answer related to fitness?
- How to lose weight
- How to get rid of pain
- How to get fit on a budget
There are a TON of different questions that people are going to be asking about fitness, it’s one of the biggest niches out there. Understanding what people want and finding their problems is one of the best ways to figure out what content you are going to deliver to your audience.
How do you find out about what problems people are searching for and what’s popular? More on that in step 5, keep on reading.
After discussing this with a lot of people, the next heading is probably one of the biggest questions that I get asked.
Step 3 – The Most Popular Blog Niche Ideas For Traffic
So at this point, you can probably point out a blog to me that has done well in the niche that you have been considering up until this point when I turned your idea on its head.
The question you want to ask yourself is: Is that blog the exception, or the norm?
It’s also important to remember that when you look at other people’s blogs or websites, you often are looking at a finished product. How long did it take them to get to that stage? You may be trying to replicate something that took them three to five years to create.
Remember not to be too romantic about the idea of your blog. You can ignore all of the how to make money blogging posts and focus on pursuing your blog about wildlife trails in Denmark because you know it’s something the world will need.
You can totally go for that, someone else will just do something more obvious and make the money that they want out of their blog.
So in no particular order, here are seven of the most popular blog niche ideas that get crazy traffic and can make you some cold hard cash.
#1 – How to Make Money
If this isn’t the most obvious blogging niche for making money out there I don’t know what is. Many beginner bloggers will ask themselves this question.
Do I need to start a blog on making money, to actually make any money? – Every new blogger.
It’s a killer question, and you’ll find the internet and Pinterest awash with bloggers who are claiming to teach others how to make money blogging. They’ll often tell you that it’s possible with any blog niche yet they themselves only run a ‘how to make money’ blog.
As you’ll see from the rest of this list, it’s not the only niche that you can make money blogging from. What makes it appealing to so many people is it can be one of the easiest ways, providing you can show you are making money yourself.
This type of blog leverages social proof and often will use income reports to show people what is possible.
The biggest problem with bloggers who’s blog ideas are focused on how to make money is they go about it in completely the wrong way. They pretend to know all the answers of how to blog, without having done it themselves.
Here’s the thing, people aren’t stupid.
If you try to launch a blog like this and don’t know what you’re talking about, people just aren’t going to buy into your blog or your products. That’s why so many people are posting fake income reports online, claiming crazy high numbers of income, to try and fool people.
The thing is, that just doesn’t work. Not to mention it’s unethical as hell.
So as a brand new blogger should you avoid this niche all together? HELL NO. You can still go into this niche, that’s what I did!
What you want to do if you choose to create a blog around the how to make money niche is to document your progress and be open and honest with people from day one. Tell them what works, what doesn’t work and everything in-between.
If I could turn the clock back and do it differently would I choose a different niche? Yes, I think I would. I’d focus on something like personal finance or lifestyle, more on those in a minute.
- Easy to monetize
- A huge market as most people start blogs to make money
- Blogging is constantly changing and growing so new ideas can always be well received
- Hard to make successful if you’ve never blogged before
- Other niches may get traction quicker and more easily
- Can be hard to stand out without making a lot of money
Blogs Who Operate Within This Niche
- Smart Passive Income
- Melyssa Griffin
- Pro Blogger
- Entrepreneurs On Fire
- The She Approach
#2 – Personal Finance
This niche is usually a strong companion as far as blog ideas go if you want to create a ‘how to make money’ blog but don’t know where to start. A lot of personal finance sites focus on frugal living and saving money.
This approach to helping others to both save money and make money can tie in neatly with making money from blogging. You can also focus on topics like investing or side hustles both online and in the real world.
You only have to look at sites like Making Sense Of Cents to see that you can do both. Michelle who runs the site makes the bulk of her money from Bluehost referrals and her affiliate marketing course.
The best idea and strategy for this kind of niche is to throw a wide net around our audience. Both frugal living and making money can tie together nicely and bring back an audience to your blog. Sites can vary from savvy investing tips to coupon cutting frugal living blogs.
- Ties in closely to a ‘how to make money’ blog
- Don’t have to show ‘proof’ of making money to be successful
- A huge audience of people at your disposal
- Unlike the first option, you can research many money saving techniques and get them correct online
- If it’s not something you’re passionate about, you’ll get bored FAST
- You have to be careful about giving financial advice
Blogs Who Operate Within This Niche
#3 – Health and Fitness
Health and Fitness can be one of the best blog ideas for traffic out there, however, if you don’t know how to monetize that traffic, things can get a little tricky.
There’s nothing fun about getting 50,000 monthly website hits and making little to no money.
Jobless Nation Note: Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize a health and fitness blog. Amazon affiliate links to relevant products through posts can be a great way to help your user solve their problems.
You’ll find that there are a ton of these blogs throughout the internet that are run by big teams of people or fitness trainers. One of the best things about this niche is that it is very versatile.
You can cross over between other topics and niches with relative ease. For example, you could run a site based about your lifestyle at home, within that you could talk about dieting, yoga, and nutrition (health and fitness) and then also talk about home decor topics.
As with a lot of different types of articles that you will write, it can be best to target your particular niche by completing listicle articles. That’s articles that are comprised of lists.
Especially in the Health and Fitness niche, these work particularly well.
- Huge Audience
- A wide variety of topics you can delve into
- Most of these sites look to solve problems, this makes writing content easier
- With no experience, it can seem daunting
- Can be hard to stand out when there is such a big audience
Blogs Who Operate Within This Niche
#4 – Food
Food blogging is well known for being very difficult to make money from. You should know already that primarily your audience is looking for free recipes and it can be difficult to get money out of these type of blogs.
The approach most people use when food blogging is to build up as large an audience as possible and use ads to bolster your income. Many bloggers combine food blogs with other niches to reach a wider audience.
This can mean bringing in higher levels of traffic and then making money out of the other types of posts that they target, instead of the food-based posts.
If you can successfully launch a food blog that gets high levels of traffic you can use that as a springboard to launch a ‘how to make money’ blog, or even a ‘how to start a food blog’ site.
- Large audience
- Very Pinterest friendly content
- High re-share rates and traffic can be easy to acquire
- Is very easy to write listicle posts for and grow a user base
- Very difficult to monetize
- Ad revenue is very minimal until you hit at least 25,000 page views a month (expect to hit around $400-$800 at those kinds of page views, depending on which ad company you go with)
Blogs Who Operate Within This Niche
#5 – Beauty & Fashion
The majority of uber-successful beauty and fashion blogs you will find online are typically hitting up YouTube as their primary source of an audience. To grow one of these blogs can be the holy grail of blogging as not only can it provide you great income but also access to exclusive events.
The issue is, this niche is incredibly TOUGH to break into. The other niches will mostly rely on great written content, quality pin creation and a good head for promoting your posts through Pinterest marketing.
Your success (and failure) of your beauty blog can instead come down to your personality and how much you put yourself out into the world. That’s what makes it one of the hardest blog ideas to master.
Instagram is also a great marketing tool to use for these types of blogs alongside Youtube content. You’ll often find then types of blogs shift into lifestyle blogs that will often touch on wider topics than just beauty and fashion.
This is because the beauty & lifestyle niche is all about the life that you are living.
- Can get access to cool events
- Can almost reach celebrity status if super successful
- Wide audience access through other platforms alongside Pinterest
- Success relies heavily on your personality
- Very difficult to create a successful beauty & fashion blog from just writing alone
Blogs Who Operate in This Niche
- Sincerely Jules
- Fishnets and Rainbows
- Hello Fashion
- The Atlantic Pacific
- The Sunday Girl
- Pint-Sized Beauty
#6 – Lifestyle
Lifestyle blogs are super hard to pin down as a blog niche because they can be so broad. You’ll find many a newbie blogger coming to lifestyle as their favorite blog idea, however, there are some areas within this niche which can see more success than others.
Some of the favorite blog ideas within the lifestyle niche:
- Homesteading (This one is MASSIVE)
- Home Decor
- Organization (Did somebody say bullet journal?)
These are some of the best topics within the lifestyle niche that you can target which have been proven to have huge audiences and of course the potential to make massive revenue.
You will find that within the lifestyle niche the way most people monetize their blogs is through ads or printables.
A lifestyle blog can be one of the best types of blogs to start of with as a brand new blogger, you can try a variety of different topics, and see what takes off through your Pinterest efforts. If a particular topic starts to do well, you can then elaborate on that further.
- Potentially limitless traffic opportunities
- Huge audience
- Pinterest caters very well to the sub-categories in this blog niche
- Unless you niche down and focus on a singular problem to overcome, can get lost in the noise
- Can be difficult to stick to a few categories
Blogs Who Operate Within This Niche
- Chasing Foxes
- Printable Crush
- The Confused Millennial
- The Skinny Confidential
- The Prairie Homestead
- Digital Travel Guru
#7 – Personal Development
Personal development blogs can be a challenging blog idea to work with. People who come up with blog ideas around personal development rarely target a specific problem.
I’ve run into this mistake with my own blog. I’ve got a category I write for which is personal development, but the issues I target are so wide and varied, I’m not very consistent with what I’m offering.
If you want to create a successful personal development blog you want to get ultra-specific. Blog’s that target specific issues will be a lot better received, for example:
I’ll help you reach a wide audience as an introvert.
I will help you overcome procrastination.
If you are offering a personal development blog that just focuses on ‘a better life’ that isn’t going to help anyone. By being specific in this niche you’ll help your reader identify a problem, and help them to overcome it.
- Can get great feedback and loyalty from your audience for helping them overcome a single issue
- Like self-help books, this category can be wildly popular
- There are no end of different personal challenges people face which you can blog about
- Can be hard to focus on a specific area
- If you aren’t focused can be hard to get traction
Blogs Who Operate In This Niche
Step 4 – Delivering What the People Want
Now you should understand some of the most popular blog ideas and what makes a blog niche successful. The next step in the process is figuring out how to deliver your content successfully.
One of the biggest challenges with any new blog is knowing what to write about. You may come up with a ton of different ideas for blog posts, but how will you know if they will be successful and people want to read them?
Luckily, there is a way in which you can find out what blog post ideas are already popular in your niche. Once you’ve done that, you can begin to craft a plan for what content you will deliver to your audience.
Let’s take you through that process.
Research the Most Popular Blog Post Ideas
Picture this; you’ve gone through the list above, you’ve picked out your blog niche and now you want to know what content you should write to get the most out of traffic and readers.
How do you go about doing that?
By researching of course! Now there are a number of different ways in which you can do your research in what is popular.
You can go to popular blogs and see which posts have been shared the most. You can ask bloggers which is their most successful posts, or you can follow the Pinterest Skyscraper method.
Out of all the ways to get a better understanding of what is popular, there is none better than the skyscraper method.
The Skyscraper Method
The process is simple enough:
- You search Pinterest for your selected keywords
- You identify which blogs posts are the most popular by looking at the re-pin count
- You make a secret board to keep track of these popular pins
- After you’ve gotten around 40-80 of the best-performing pins for your keywords you can analyze what topics they talk about, then write your blog posts around that topic.
By looking through Pinterest, you’re able to identify what posts are popular. Understanding what other people are repining gives you killer insight into what posts are going to do well.
Instead of guessing that people want to hear about ’17 ways to cook broccoli’ and it not getting any traffic after you spent hours writing it. You can instead focus on a topic you know is already popular and elaborate and expand on it.
Repackage What’s Popular into Your Own Content
After you’ve done the research and you know what topics are popular, it’s time to begin crafting your own content. This part is important, I’m not suggesting to just rip off somebody else’s blog post, although a lot of people do just that.
What I’m suggesting is to understand what posts are doing well, and then to elaborate, expand and ultimately write your own take on that topic (and try and make the content even better than the one with a shit load of pins).
How Can You Improve On Existing Content?
Chances are if a piece of content has already been shared and pinned a lot on Pinterest, it’s already pretty good, so what ways can you expand on that piece of content to make it even better?
You Can Include High-Quality Images & Accompanying Copy
You’ll find a lot of Pinterest posts are full of listicles, articles which are a list. When you look at what the article actually includes, a lot of the time you’ll see an article with 27 baked pie recipes which has 27 pictures, but only a sentence or two after each picture.
As great as chasing foxes site is, they do a lot of these type of posts. They can get away with it because of the sheer brute force amount of articles the site produces. To give you an idea in under 3 years they’ve produced nearly 7,000 blog posts, yikes!
Make your article stand out by not just collating a variety of pictures, but include well-written copy, make it funny, engaging, personable and put your own spin on it.
If an article topic is very copy heavy (lots of written words) search for high-quality images to include in your blog post, or better yet, create your own brand new images.
Add Video & Make The Content Engaging
Sharing videos within your blog posts has a number of benefits. It not only boosts your chances of successful SEO for your blog post but it also helps to engage your audience better.
Videos can be something as simple as a quick tutorial, a 1-minute overview of what the blog post will include, or simply a small quick win that someone watching the video can implement straight away.
Deliver Your Blog Ideas and See What Fly’s
When you are starting out a brand new blog, your blog post ideas may not do very well for the first few months, as your site is just getting discovered. What I suggest for new bloggers is to put out different types of content and follow a solid strategy to promote your content through platforms like Pinterest.
Over time, you’ll discover which content performs better than others, as you begin to get a better understanding try and focus on creating those types of posts that your audience respond well too. If you have a health and fitness blog, and your yoga topics are the blog post ideas that are most successful, write more of those posts.
Your blog is going to change dramatically over even just the first year of you launching it. It’s important to not box yourself into a small niche that you later discover your audience responds to different content better.
Try to keep your audience as wide and open as possible to start off with, as you find your feet, your audience, and your style.
Step 5 – Analyse What People Love, Rinse and Repeat
If you’ve reached up to step 5 and have implemented everything from step 1-4, you are already going to be miles ahead of where I was, and where many other bloggers are going to be at the start of their blogging journey.
By understanding the purpose of your blog, what blog ideas are the most popular and writing highly popular content based on highly shared posts you are creating the foundations for huge success with your blog.
The next step is to continue delivering what your audience wants by analyzing what is going well and doing more of that.
In business, we call this the Pareto Principle or you may have heard it referred to as the 80/20 rule. With your blog, you’ll find that 20% of your blog posts will be bringing you 80% of your traffic.
Step 5 is all about identifying which posts are doing well (your 20%) and then doubling down on those types of posts for maximum effect. Here’s how to go about doing that.
Track Your Most Popular Posts
Google analytics and Pinterest are going to be your best friends when it comes to tracking which posts are your most popular. If you are using a social sharing plugin like Social Warfare, you can go to your WordPress dashboard, select posts, and filter your blog posts by shares.
This will give you a list, top to bottom, of your most shared posts.
Alongside WordPress, you can also use Google Analytics to identify which posts have been receiving the most traffic. Simply select a date-range (I’d suggest 90 days or more) and go to the behavior tab.
This will show you off all the sessions on your blog, which posts have been getting the most traffic. Keeping a close eye on your Google Analytics will become a habit you’ll find hard to break as your blog traffic increases over time.
Pinterest also offers in-depth analytics features which can show you which posts are doing well, but generally, by pinning to Pinterest on a regular basis you will be able to see which of your pins are getting the most repins.
Figure out What People like About Your Blog Post
So you’ve identified three different posts on your blog that are outperforming the rest of your posts. In fact, these three posts combined are generating nearly 10X as much traffic as the rest of your posts combined.
It’s important at this stage to figure out what people like so much about these blog posts. Is it the topic that you’re writing about that is popular, is it the way the article was written, was it the page title, was it the quality of the pins you created, was it the group boards you shared it too, was it that you created a video for each piece of content which people loved?
Really dig deep into your most successful posts and try and analyze what you did well. You can go one step further if you have an email list and you can even reach out to your audience to ask them.
Ask Your Audience What They Think of Your Blog Post Ideas
I’ve found asking my audience for feedback to be one of the best ways to deeper understand what my readers really think. Instead of guessing ask the audience.
You can pretend you’re on an episode of ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’ and give them a survey option to choose from or simply just ask them to hit reply and give you feedback.
I’ve found asking for direct feedback with a reply to be one of the most effective ways to get people to respond.
Time to Put Your Best Blog Ideas Into Practice
Now you’ve read through the guide, it’s time to put the necessary steps into action. By understanding what blog niche ideas are popular, you can focus on delivering content that is going to do well on both social media and Google.
We already know these sites and blog niches get amazing traffic, so it’s a great place to start.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re clearly interested in making your blog the very best it can be. Why not sign up for my 30-Day Blogging Bootcamp, while it’s still free!
If you haven’t signed up for your own blog, you can check out this guide to starting your own blog.