Niche Blogging: Turn Your Passions To Profit

I’ve been blogging since 2000, long before anyone considered blogging a viable business activity. I always knew that the instant publication possibilities of blogging were endless, and assumed that blogging would go mainstream sooner or later.

Some four years later, blogging did. These days everyone has a blog.

Of course, from chatter about “Blogs are amazing! Everyone and his business needs a blog!” every six months or so you hear the call: “Blogging is dead!”

Yes, whatever… :-)

Of course blogging isn’t dead. Of course you can make money blogging. I can’t see that changing, as long as trade continues.

I’ve been thinking about the longevity of blogging because last week a writer called me about setting up a niche blog. He wanted to know if niche blogs “still made money”.

Of course they do, as long as you’re in it for the long haul, and as long as you’re careful about choosing a niche.

A couple of years ago, I wrote this blog post, Angela Booth’s Writing Blog: Writing for Money: Generate Cash With Niche Blogs, about niche blogs, and how to choose a niche:

1. Is the Niche Popular — Are People Spending Money in It?

Firstly let’s look at what a niche is.

‘Niches’ are topics. Almost anything can be a niche, but in the way we’re using the term a ‘niche’ is a topic for which there are online advertisers.

There are niches and sub-niches. For example, dog training is a niche. A sub-niche of dog training would be dog training classes. Other sub-niches include: dog training equipment, dog training collars, and dog training online.

Although niche research can tell you a great deal, your own experience,  intuition and knowledge of a particular topic will tell you a great deal more. Therefore, when researching niches, try not to become too dependent on online search tools, remember that they’re all historical, and can only tell you what people searched for in the past, not what they will search for in the future.”

Nothing has changed since I wrote those words. For several years, I created new blogs regularly. Over the past couple of years, I haven’t done that, because my creative energies have flowed into my fiction.

That doesn’t mean I don’t get ideas for WONDERFUL niches. I think about how easy it would be to buy a domain name, and set up a new blog… my fingers twitch. Then I slap my hand very smartly and tell myself that I can do that AFTER I have my series of novels published and selling. :-)

If you’re passionate about something or other, and want to set up a blog, don’t let anyone tell you you shouldn’t do it. Go ahead. You’ll be thrilled you did… Excuse me, I’ve got another great idea for a niche blog… ;-)

Blogging Success: Focus First

It’s too easy to create a blog. You can create a blog in minutes, and then, months later, wonder why you’re not getting traffic.

Here’s the short answer: you’re not getting traffic because your blog is not FOCUSED on a specific audience.

Forget your own blog for a moment, and think about what happens when you land on a blog which is new to you.

Your FIRST thought is orientation: am I in the right place?

Your blog’s focus must be obvious at a glance. “Don’t make me think” is not only the title of a book, but it’s advice you must keep in mind if you want to be successful online.

What do I mean by focus? In the sense we’re using it, we mean: maximum clarity or distinctness of an idea.

To create a successful blog, you must be focused on one audience, and the needs of that audience. Not only must that focus be obvious on the home page of your blog, it must also be obvious in each and every blog post.

In this blog post, The One Secret You Must Know to to Build a Successful Blog | Blogging for Dollars Blog I said:

In a nutshell: know your audience and build a rapport.

Let’s look at how this works when you want to create a new blog.

You want to create a new blog for your business — a gym. You decide to target “health”. STOP! That’s much too amorphous. Enter the search term “health” into Google, and you’ll be face with over two trillion pages which reference health in some way.”

Another way of saying “audience” is “focus” — maximum clarity.

Online marketers refer to niche audiences. That’s yet another way of emphasizing focus.

If you’re not getting traffic to your blog, ask yourself some questions:

* Who is my audience?

* Why would that audience visit my blog?

* What are my goals for this blog?

Let’s say your blog’s topic is weight loss. That’s a huge audience — two minutes of keyword research will show you that.

You need to focus on a specific audience, such as weight loss for teenagers, or new moms, or failed dieters. Alternatively, you can focus on a topic within the general topic of weight loss — weight loss news, foods for weight loss, weight loss stories, your own journey to weight loss… There are audiences who just want to learn more about a specific topic within a niche.

The possibilities are endless. What you focus on is up to you, but you MUST focus.

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