If you’ve done any research into blogging, you’ve probably already come across the term “niche blog”.
In this article, we explain what a niche blog is, how “niche” you should be when starting your blog, and how to choose a profitable blog niche.
What is a niche blog?
A niche is a narrow topic that appeals to a relatively small audience of people who share that topic as a common interest.
A niche blog is a website about one of these narrow topics, where the blogger produces highly targeted content designed to attract that niche’s particular audience.
There is some debate about exactly how specific – or narrow – a blog has to be in order to be considered “niche”. Two things cause this confusion:
- Every niche sits within a broader topic that has wider appeal
- Every niche can be narrowed down further if you think hard enough
In other words, there are lots of different “niche levels”, so it’s all a question of how much you choose to “niche down”.
“Niching down” example
The best way to think about this is with an example. Let’s say, “pets”.
Niche level 0: Pets
You could argue that “pets” is a niche. After all, it’s a specific topic that only appeals to certain people.
However, “pets” is also a hugely broad subject. The pet care industry is a multi-billion dollar sector of the economy, delivering products and services to customers around the globe to help them look after all kinds of animals with a wide variety of needs.
Pets is a topic, but it’s a topic with lots of subcategories. These subcategories provide an opportunity for us to “niche down” further.
Niche level -1: Pet dogs
So, let’s niche down a level, from pets, to “pet dogs”.
Most people don’t own a dog, and aren’t immediately planning to get one. Therefore, most people wouldn’t have an interest in a website about dogs. Does this make “pets dogs” a niche?
Arguably, yes. However, let’s think about subcategories again. How many subcategories can you think of within the topic of “pet dogs”?
Here are just some that instantly spring to mind:
- Dog breeds
- Dog food
- Dog toys
- Dog products – baskets, water bowls, leads, etc
- Illnesses and how to treat them
We’re sure you can think of more. So, while dogs is more specific than pets in general, it’s still arguably too broad to be considered a niche.
Niche level -2: Pet poodles
So we go down another level. Let’s take the first bullet point above – dog breeds – and use that to niche down further.
We could start a blog about a specific breed of dog. Say, poodles.
Now do we have a niche blog?
Again, it’s open to debate.
A lot of people would say that pet poodles is specific enough to be classed as a niche blog. However, you could also argue that is a broad category, as all the other bullet points listed above could still be applied. For instance:
- What to feed your poodle
- How to train your poodle
- Toys for poodles
- Products for poodles
- How to keep your poodle healthy
- How to breed poodles
Niche level -3: How to train your poodle
Now we are undoubtedly in niche territory!
If we were to create a blog about this topic, it would only appeal to pet owners, who have a dog, which is a poodle, which needs training.
We think most people would agree that a blog at this level is definitely niche. However, for the sake of argument, let’s go one step further…
Niche level -4: How to train your poodle to catch a ball
See what we mean about it always being possible to niche down further?!
That’s what makes it so difficult to pin down a strict definition of exactly what counts as a niche blog.
We could continue with “How to train your poodle puppy to catch a ball”, and then “How to train your poodle puppy to catch a tennis ball”… but then we’d be starting to get silly!
In a way, it doesn’t matter whether your blog is really “niche” or not. After all, your readers won’t care. They’ll just care about the quality of the content.
However, it’s actually really important to choose the right niche level for your blog. And the best time to choose is when first starting your blog.
How to choose a niche blog level
Let’s continue to use the poodle example to help us choose an appropriate niche level.
Never choose level 0
If you choose to start a blog at this level, you’ll be writing about a broad subject like “pets”. That’s a huge task.
Think about how many different pets there are. And how many different articles you could write about each of them. Your blog will forever feel incomplete, as you’ll never get close to covering even 10% of your topic’s potential.
There’s no point in doing this. You’d be better off deciding on a specific niche within the broader pets topic.
Why level -1 isn’t quite far enough
This was “pet dogs” in our example.
While this is more specific, it’s still an overwhelmingly large topic. And one where you’ll be competing against some big websites.
We aren’t saying you can’t choose to blog at this level. We’re just saying that – in our view – there are major advantages to niching down further.
Level -2 is worth considering
“Pet poodles” in our level -2 example.
This is the first level that we would seriously consider recommending to anyone looking to start a niche blog. It’s specific enough that you’ve narrowed your audience down from all dog owners to poodle owners only, but there’s still plenty to write about.
However, lots of people would recommend going down one more level…
Why a level -3 niche blog may be even better
This is the other level we would seriously consider. In our example, this level was “how to train your poodle”.
We’re starting to get really specific now, which means you’ll find it easier to rank well in search results. You’ll be starting to target what are known as “long tail” keywords, such as “how to train your poodle to sit on command”, rather than shorter more competitive keywords like “pet dog food” or “food for poodles”.
Yes, there are fewer people searching for these long-tail keywords. But it’s better to rank number 1 in Google for a less popular keyword than it is to rank number 25 for a really popular one.
And, if you think about it, there’s still lots of scope for articles at this level:
- How to train your poodle to sit
- How to train your poodle to catch
- How to train your poodle to roll over
- How to train your poodle to beg
- How to train your poodle to poop outside
And so on.
Level -4 (and beyond!) is too limiting
If you created a blog at this level, you’d be writing about a topic like “How to train your poodle to catch a ball”.
We think most people would agree, this is too specific.
How many articles could you publish on this blog? We can think of one!
In other words, this is an article topic, it’s not a blog topic.
And, while it is possible to create a one-page website, and you might stand a chance of ranking well in the search results if you create the world’s best guide to training a poodle to catch a ball… why limit yourself?
You’d be better off creating a level -2 or level -3 blog, where you’re free to write about this topic, but also leave yourself room to write about lots of other things too.
Which niche blog level is right for you?
Choosing between a level -2 (“pet poodles”) and a level -3 (“how to train your poodle”) blog is really a matter of personal preference.
If you’re just starting out, we’d highly recommend going for level -3.
It will give you the chance to gain some experience, learn new skills and almost certainly attract a reasonable level of traffic and generate some income.
Don’t underestimate how motivating it can be to see your website traffic growing and revenue adding up. While you might go on to earn much more, receiving your first $100 Adsense payment can be hugely rewarding!
If you’re more experienced – or you desperately want to aim bigger – then go for level -2.
Perhaps you already have some experience of making money from blogging, you know a bit about SEO, and you’re feeling confident. If so, we certainly wouldn’t discourage you from attempting to create a bigger site on a larger topic.
It really is up to you. The important thing is that you understand the level you’re aiming at and know what you’re letting yourself in for!
How to choose a profitable blog niche
For your blog niche to be profitable, you need three things:
- Traffic: You won’t earn any money if nobody visits your blog
- A way of generating income: Such as putting adverts on your blog or selling products
- Conversions: That means customers clicking on your ads or making purchases
Everything we’ve discussed above relates to point 1: Traffic.
Pitching your blog at the right level is how you avoid running into too much competition and instead generate traffic to your niche blog using those long-tail keywords.
Point 2 is more straightforward. You can put ads – such as Google Adsense ads – on virtually any website.
Point 3 is all about optimizing your site to maximize clicks (while not breaking any rules from the likes of Google).
If you have traffic and ads or affiliate links on your site, you will almost certainly make some income. The problem is that the amounts of money you make could be very small!
To make larger amounts of money, you can:
- Get more traffic
- Make your audience convert better (get more clicks or sales)
- Earn more from each click or sale
Your choice of niche has a major impact on point 3: The amounts you can earn from each click or sale.
To put it simply, some niches are more profitable than others.
Why are some niches more profitable than others?
The profitability of a niche depends on four things:
- How much advertisers are willing to pay to reach that niche’s audience
- Whether the niche is related to a product or paid service
- How much that product or service costs
- Whether your audience are visiting with the intent to buy
Ideally, you want a product/service related niche, where your audience are actively looking to buy an expensive product, and companies are therefore champing at the bit to advertise to them!
That’s a recipe for a highly profitable blog.
Or at least, it is as long as you can still get traffic… more profitable niches are more competitive!
Examples of more profitable and less profitable niches
A highly profitable blog niche
An example of a highly profitable niche would be personal finance.
There are lots of big companies that offer credit cards, loans, insurance, etc. They’re all competing for the same customers and each customer can earn them a lot of money. That means the companies are willing to spend a lot on advertising – it’s worth it to beat their competitors to lucrative new customers.
Even better, customers browsing a blog about, say, credit cards, are probably doing so with the intent to take out a new credit card. It’s not generally the kind of thing people read just for fun. They’re browsing with an intent to buy.
Personal finance therefore ticks all the boxes for a more profitable niche.
A less profitable blog niche
An example of a less profitable blog niche would be a blog about the local history of your area.
The blog isn’t directly related to a product or service, and visitors are looking for information, not to make a purchase. They’re not visiting with an intent to buy.
That’s not to say you can’t still include ads on your blog. You can and you will still make some money.
You might also be able to find products to promote. For example, your audience clearly have an interest in history, so they might want to buy history books.
However, there won’t be lots of advertisers looking to reach your audience and any products you do sell (like books) are likely to be relatively cheap. You’re operating in a less profitable niche and your earning potential is limited.
Niche blog ideas to get you started
It’s impossible to list all of the niches you could choose. The list is endless!
And, as we’ve shown above, there are lots of niches within other niches. It all depends how niche you want to be.
However, if you’re looking for inspiration, the following list of blog niche ideas may help get you started.
We don’t recommend simply picking one of these and making it the topic of your blog. The suggestions are far to broad. Instead, take one of these topic ideas and think about how you could niche down to create a narrower blog that will appeal to a subset of the wider audience for that topic.
Blog niche list
Niche blog topic ideas, with a few examples of areas to explore within that niche.
- Start a business
- Learn guitar
- New bands
- Smart home
And that’s just for starters! As you can see… there are a lot of options out there.
You just have to think about what topic interests you. What niche could you write about enthusiastically, in a way that people would find useful (or pay someone else to write about using a service like Fiverr)? And do you have enough topic ideas to sustain your blog over the long term?
If you’d like to learn even more about choosing a niche for your website, we recommend reading:
- Finding your passive income niche – Passively.io
- How to find a profitable niche in affiliate marketing – Neil Patel
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