Picking a niche… It kind of feels like you’re picking a marriage partner for life, doesn’t it?
Sure, you might not work on your niche website “till death do you part.” But whatever niche you pick, you’ll be spending a LOT of time on research, writing, and marketing for it!
So, what’s the best niche for blogging? How do you pick something that’s REALLY worth your time?
In this post, I want to briefly talk about how to choose the right niche for you, and then I’ll share several of the best niches for blogging in 2019!
Picking the Best Niche for Blogging
Before I get into finding a profitable niche, I should point out that there’s NO such as thing as a single best niche for blogging.
While it’s true that some niches are more viable than others, the only “best niche” in practice is the one that successfully matches your unique strengths with the demand in the marketplace.
With that said, there are definitely a few things to keep in mind from the very beginning:
- The niche you choose should have existing (and preferably growing) traffic.
- You’ll need a way to make money from it (ie in-demand products and services to sell).
- You want an evergreen topic with minimal seasonality.
- Micro-niches are easier to rank for quickly, but may be harder to monetize or expand upon later on.
- You should find an angle, audience, or unique selling proposition that differentiates your website from the competition.
- If you decide at any point after starting that your niche isn’t workable, you can always go through the same process again with a new niche.
Later in this post, I’ll point out some of the most profitable niches, but first, let’s walk through the right approach in finding the best niche for you!
There’s already a great post on picking a niche here at Niche Pursuits, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here.
Rather than diving too deeply into the technical details – like search volumes and the nitty-gritty of keyword research – I want to share the 10,000 foot view for niche selection, which is this:
Virtually ANY niche can work.
The process is pretty much the same whether you’re selling gardening tools, cryptocurrency, or courses on playing the piano:
- Provide valuable content that helps people solve a problem or inspires them.
- Target profitable keywords where your site has the best chance at ranking.
- Monetize with ads and affiliate products (or your own products) to an audience visiting your site and following your brand.
Eventually, you’ll need to do some competitive analysis using a keyword research tool like Long Tail Pro, but in this early stage, just start thinking about which niche(s) you’d actually excel in.
Most importantly, think about this: Where can you add more value than anybody else? Offering the greatest value in your niche is key for a successful business, because value leads to consistent traffic, and traffic can be monetized.
Adding the Most Value in a Niche
Obviously, since you’re reading this post about blogging on Niche Pursuits, your goal is to make money from your niche website.
That’s why I want you to stop thinking about “niches” simply as topics for an internet website, and start thinking about them holistically – as business opportunities!
In effect, even if you just own a blog, you’re still operating a business, and you need to understand your unique selling proposition (USP) so you can differentiate yourself in a crowded space.
It’s no different from the real world. For example, if you find that you’re amazing at barbecuing meat, it might make sense to consider opening a barbecue restaurant – but if there are TONS of great barbecue restaurants in your town and you’re not sure how yours could one-up the competition, then your new restaurant’s odds of success aren’t that great!
Similarly, your niche website’s success is relative to how competing websites are performing in the same space. Your success also is dependent on whether the overall niche is growing, flat, or shrinking – you can see the general direction of a potential niche with Google Trends.
But just like with any business, you should strive to deliver the most value possible for your niche and effectively communicate that value to your audience.
Ways to Differentiate Your Niche Website
In terms of a unique selling proposition, SOMETHING about your brand has to stand out. Here are a few possibilities:
I’ll elaborate briefly on each potential differentiator:
- Your background. Your existing background has an impact on the potential success of any project – this may include your reputation, reach, work experience, skills, credentials, awards, and successes.
- Your connections. Getting influencers and experts to promote your content and appear on your website can give you a huge credibility boost.
- Your target audience. Are you able to target your content to a different audience than your niche generally does? (An example is NerdFitness teaching fitness to “nerds” and 9-to-5 professionals.)
- Your mix of niches. Similarly, you can find a sweet spot by combining two or more niches from different categories, such as time management for entrepreneurship. (See later in this post for a list of different niche categories you can mix and match.)
- Your original research. Great content often comes down to actually having something NEW to say! This makes case studies like Niche Site Project especially valuable, because the data has never appeared elsewhere on the web before.
- Your content quality. In addition to the importance of what you have to say, HOW you say it matters too. A higher level of writing craft can keep more people engaged.
- Your visual presentation. A carefully crafted brand – along with a great website layout and design – can dramatically improve user experience.
- Your production values. How good are your multimedia elements, such as audio, graphics, video, and animation? Are they original and custom, or sourced from stock websites?
- Your writing style. It’s somewhat subjective, but the voice and tone of your content should be appropriate for your niche and audience. Are you being authoritative, serious, neutral, friendly, conversational, funny?
- Your personality. Some people are just plain likable and trustworthy. A good personality can make all the difference, especially if you’re good on video – don’t underestimate the value of a strong emotional connection with your audience.
These differentiating factors may not be an exhaustive list, but they should help you start thinking about your site in terms of its brand. You probably can’t be 10/10 in every single category – so figure out which ones are the most important and focus your energy on them.
Differentiation Through Greater Value
Remember, there are two parts to this equation if you want your content to be discoverable online:
First, you need relevant keywords that you have a decent chance of ranking for.
Second, you need your content to be the MOST helpful and thorough response to a user’s search query, so that Google thinks your article deserves to be at the top of its results.
That’s why those differentiating factors are important! After you find keywords to rank for, that’s only half the battle – valuable content is what helps your website endure in the rankings and really build some momentum.
When you’re considering what might be the best niche for blogging for you, it’s essential that you evaluate all of the top players in your space. This is about more than keyword research – you need to evaluate your competitors in terms of these factors and figure out where you might have a competitive advantage.
Can you find at least two or three areas – and preferably three to five – where you can really stand out in comparison?
Uncover an Underserved Niche
One of your best bets in finding the right niche is seeing where there’s a lot of potential room for newcomers like you.
Do you see websites with low domain authority routinely ranking at the top of Google for many long-tail keywords in your chosen niche? That’s a GREAT sign that you’ve got a niche where you can come in and add more value than what’s already there!
But that’s not the only consideration. You might be the world’s most knowledgeable expert in raising baby sea turtles – which is undoubtedly a great icebreaker at parties – but if people aren’t searching for baby sea turtle parenting, or aren’t willing to pay for anything when they do, then it’s not a good niche.
Remember what I said before? Any niche CAN work, but you risk wasting a lot of time if your niche idea is unproven. For your site to have a shot at success, you want to find a niche that already has a decent amount of traffic and monetization potential.
Ask yourself this:
“Can I offer a solution to the problems people are having in this niche? Are there enough people with this problem who are looking to spend money?”
If the answer to those two questions is yes, then you might be on to something. See if your gut is telling you whether a niche might be worth looking into, but don’t forget to follow through with in-depth research to make sure you’re actually right!
Should You Follow Your Passion?
After you’ve narrowed down your list of potential niche ideas to just a handful, you’ll be confronted with how to decide WHICH you should pursue.
If you’re brand-new to niche websites and affiliate marketing, I highly recommend you focus on just ONE website at first. (Once you’re more experienced, you might be able to manage a handful of sites at the same time.)
Since you’re going to pour all of your efforts into just one site, here’s the million dollar question: Should you go with the topic that’s your biggest passion, or the topic that looks like the best business opportunity?
Well, there are many schools of thought on pursuing your passion for a living.
On the one hand, when you’re committing so much of your time to a project – especially if this is something you work on in your off-hours after a long day at work – then passion might be the only thing that keeps you going.
But ask yourself this: is the passion for your topic, or is it for the lifestyle you envision after you start to succeed?
Why Passion is Overrated
I still remember this podcast episode I heard with a guest named Cal Newport, who wrote a book in 2012 called “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love.”
He basically said “following your passion” isn’t a great idea. This stuck with me, because I’ve long been a writer with different creative passions, and I always heard that advice about following your passion so you never have to work a day in your life.
But in his writings, Newport argues that there’s a “passion trap” where people place too much of an emphasis on finding work they love, and less on the kinds of factors that truly make someone satisfied with their work.
These factors include:
Notice that belonging, autonomy, and purpose have very little do with “passion” in the traditional sense, but all three of them can lead to greater passion for your work over time.
In addition to those factors, there’s another real-world factor that seems to matter… money.
Personally, I tend to be happier when I can afford to eat. Everyone has their own opinion, but I believe it’s worth having a good living, even if the work isn’t always EXACTLY what I would choose to do with my time.
Plus, it’s pretty idealistic to think that you’ll love EVERY second of a project that you’re “passionate about” – at some point, work is work! Even if you choose to write posts about your love of fly fishing, does that mean you don’t do boring work like cold outreach to promote your website, or optimizing old posts, or tracking your expenditures for tax season?
Picking Between Passion and Profit
So, what do you think? Is an unprofitable passion better than a profitable niche that you’re not super excited about?
Newport makes another interesting point: it’s often easier to find passion in the work you’re already good at than try to turn your passion INTO something marketable.
In the end, you have to decide whether you think passion or profits are the ultimate deciding factor in choosing a niche. But here’s the bottom line:
- You definitely need some level of interest and experience in the niche you choose, or it’ll be very difficult to stick with it.
- As you start to see success in the niche you choose, you’ll often develop more passion for it.
- If your goal is making money, then your TOP priority should be choosing a niche with a strong monetization strategy.
Sure, if your blog is just a hobby, passion might be all you need to worry about.
But if you want to build a money-making venture, you need to consider how your passion intersects with real-world opportunity and your own available skills/knowledge.
Eventually, it’ll work best if your business represents a combination of passion, opportunity, and expertise – how you get to that point is up to you!
A Comprehensive List of Niche Categories
Have you narrowed your choices down to a short list of possible niches? Are you still trying to think of ideas?
One handy way to get a very general list of website categories is through resources like the SEMRush Sensor tool, which tracks search engine volatility for 25 categories of websites.
This gives you plenty of jumping off points for niches you might want to investigate further.
Each of these categories contains countless potential niches in it, which might help get the gears turning.
However, I think it’s helpful to have a more concise list you can refer back to, so here are 10 relevant categories for online niche ideas:
- Money and wealth
- Health and fitness
- Personal development
- Food and drink
- Fashion and beauty
To come up with your best niche for blogging, I would start with a category in that list and burrow down to more narrow subtopics.
For example, the “money and wealth” category includes anything related to earning income, saving money, and growing wealth, with niches like day trading, starting an Amazon FBA business, financial independence/retiring early, and frugality.
The money and wealth category also includes the “building niche websites” niche, an idea that’s admittedly kind of out there – but hey, someone’s probably making it work!
“Fashion and beauty” includes niches like developing a personal style, creating a minimalist wardrobe, and applying makeup.
“Hobbies” are another fantastic category for niches, because they tend to have very specific keywords, lower overall competition, and in many cases, a lot of specialized knowledge or equipment that people are willing to pay for.
That’s the key as you evaluate possible niches for yourself: are there any existing products you would be able to sell in your niche, or a product you could create to solve people’s problems?
High-Demand Blog Topics in 2019
Now that we’ve seen some broader categories for niches, let’s look at which niches are popular and in demand in 2019. If you haven’t checked out our post on the 15 best niche markets that you can make good money from, it has some great ideas on evergreen profitable niches as well.
Here are 25 different trending niches. Hopefully, these point you in the direction of your own personal best niche for blogging:
- LED lighting
- Smartphone/wearable accessories
- Home automation
- Tiny homes
- Video games
- TV and pop culture
- Career advice
- Freelance design
- Airbnb rental tips
- Learning an instrument
- Arts and crafts
- Home decor
- Financial independence
- 3D printing
- Online dating
- Web development
Remember, these are just a starting point.
Any of these can be further narrowed down by target audience or combined with other niches to create a more manageable topic. There’s a big difference between a blog offering YouTube tips for makeup vloggers and YouTube tips for niche website owners.
Take the time upfront to define your niche, and the keyword research that follows will be much more focused.
Final Tips to Pick the Best Niche for Blogging
So, where do you go from here?
Well, I didn’t forget about the original question in this post: what’s the best niche for blogging?
Hopefully by now, you can see that there’s no such as thing as one perfect niche, and even seemingly “bad” niches are totally workable – in fact, with enough time, money, effort, and ingenuity, almost ANY niche can be great!
However, there are still several considerations, including traffic, niche popularity, topic seasonality, the competition, and your unique differentiating factors.
As far as how broad your topic should be, I’ll remind you of this gem: “The riches are in the niches.”
Some of the least obvious niches do the best, because quality competition in a tiny space may be practically nonexistent. Take the website “Succulents and Sunshine,” a blog that teaches readers one incredibly specific thing: growing succulents.
You might be surprised to hear that “Succulents and Sunshine” is a six-figure blog that’s been featured on BuzzFeed and Better Homes and Gardens!
I think one of the reasons it’s so successful is because it’s incredibly focused and was able to dominate a narrow micro-niche that happens to have a sizable audience.
On the other hand, some larger websites do quite well too. Niche Pursuits is an example of a website that actually covers a WIDE range of topics. It might seem like the idea of making money through niche websites is pretty specific, but the site could easily have focused on just one or two specific affiliate marketing or niche topics. The name Niche Pursuits left plenty of room to grow and expand into different smaller niches on the same website.
To an extent, the breadth and depth of your niche website is what you make of it – but never forget that you’re writing both for Google and for humans. If search engines or readers get confused about what you’re talking about and who you’re writing for, you’ll find it difficult to pick up steam.
Filling in the Gaps With Outside Talent
As far as more obscure niche ideas like succulents that you may know nothing about, don’t forget that you don’t always have to be the authority! Spencer has successfully managed a mom blog, but wisely chose to outsource the writing to actual moms.
As you get more comfortable with the strategy and research aspect of niche websites, you can rely less on your own direct experience and skills related to that niche – which means that list of differentiators I mentioned becomes more powerful.
For example, say you’re investigating the baking niche, and you decide that there should be high demand for a site with professional-quality graphics, photography, and video.
Even if YOU aren’t a baking expert or a professional photographer personally, you can still hire people with that experience and take advantage of a good opportunity you’ve uncovered.
Most niche site owners start out by doing most of the work on their own, but eventually, that list of differentiators can apply to a whole TEAM of people with their own qualifications, backgrounds, and skills.
Take Massive Action
Don’t be discouraged if you’re not sure which is the best niche for blogging yet!
Take some time to really go through the process of brainstorming niche topics you’re interested in, doing some competitive research, and analyzing your own potential differentiators.
Once you’ve finally picked a niche, put the blinders on and go all-in for at least six months. If your site is brand-new, it generally takes at least that long before Google really starts to notice and rank your site. In that time, you’ll be producing content, doing keyword research, marketing your site, networking with influencers, and finding ways to add massive value to your space.
This is a numbers game, so the best thing to do is pick something you can stick with and dive right in. Once you’ve decided on your best niche for blogging, grab your domain and hosting with Bluehost.
Finding a niche isn’t easy, but it’s actually pretty simple. It helps to remember that you’re not married to any one niche – so pick something that sounds good and just see what happens! You can always try again with a new niche later.
We also have an active readership right here on Niche Pursuits website, so leave a comment below – we’ll be happy to discuss your potential niche ideas with you!