When I started blogging, it was impossible to imagine that it would become a full time gig for me. Now, not quite two years into blogging, I decided to add even more to that challenge. Blogging is in itself a very challenging and exciting endeavour. It’s also a platform for experimentation, growth and new challenges. That’s why I decided to start a niche site. If you’re already running a blog, or are thinking of one, there are many profitable blog niche ideas to consider.
You might sit there and think, “What the heck is a niche site anyway?” Any way you look at it, niche is always about something very specific. Its goal is to provide helpful and quality content that answers and solves a specific question, problem or interest of the reader.
Niche sites can be about a specific product, location, idea, service or a narrow subset of any larger segment. Let’s look at an example of how you can narrow blog niche ideas. Let’s say you like dogs. That is a broad subject. Simply picking a certain breed, like the Bulldog, can narrow your topic significantly. There are many dog lovers out there, but those that specifically love Bulldogs is just a subset. Can you drill further down? Absolutely.
There will be those that already are Bulldog owners and those that might be considering the breed. Both will have different needs. You can narrow your niche site by taking a number of focuses: the breed itself, how to train them or even how to breed Bulldogs. Another direction could be to focus on rescue Bulldogs and their needs. Each option provides you with a focused subject and a very specific audience.
Pros and cons of having a niche site
There are many niche site ideas to explore and just as many benefits. Since niche sites cater to a very specific audience, they are more likely to respond to specific recommendations and that can be very profitable.
Pros: In our example of a Bulldog niche site, there are going to be many dog-related websites, but a lot less Bulldog-related ones. This allows you to create content catering to a targeted audience. Niche sites don’t face as fierce competition as general theme ones. That’s because there are less of them and you really have to be an expert on the subject.
Cons: Since there are fewer competitors, you will really need to step up your game to rise above the existing ones. Niche sites have to be interesting for the readers to keep them on your site. It’s not just about providing the information. It’s about how you deliver it over your competition.
Pros: In a world where personal experience seems the preferred way to go, having a custom niche site is a perfect way to address the needs of your readers. All your content geared to a very specific audience takes away the guesswork of figuring out who they are and what they want to see. You have your work cut out for you.
Cons: Creating customized content can also have its challenges, especially when it comes to searching for relevant keywords. Not only is that list more limited, you could be competing against yourself.
Pros: Providing useful content that readers are looking for is a great way to establish authority on a particular subject matter. This can create to additional sources of revenue, especially ones related to the said topic.
Cons: If the focus is too narrow, you risk the niche growing so large there is a lot more competition, or becoming obsolete. The increase in popularity brings out more experts and can delude your own authority.
Pros: A niche site offers the potential of higher revenue as it allows you to customize the ads specifically targeting that audience. That makes it more likely to convert visitors into buyers.
Cons: As the audience narrows, so will the traffic. Unlike high volume sites, a niche one in comparison might take longer to build revenue.
Identifying blog niche ideas
- Research: As we already discussed, there is an endless supply of blog niche ideas to explore. The most important step is determining if there is an actual audience for your topic. You have to do a lot of research in the beginning to determine if anyone is looking for the information. Remember, if you can’t find anything on your selected idea, it can be that nobody is looking for it.
- Niche level: Once you have an idea, both from general and niche ideas perspective; determine how much you want to drill down. Are you creating a niche, a micro-niche or authority site? The size of your site will reflect the level of specification. A niche site doesn’t necessarily mean a small site, so keep that in mind when planning your idea.
- What problem are you solving: To provide value and benefit to the viewers, there needs to be a clear understanding of what exactly they are looking for. Google trends, Quora and direct research on social media is a great way to see what questions people are asking and what answers they are finding.
- Detailed keyword research: Keyword search is a great way for any blogger of a broad or a niche site to find relevant content readers want to read. That research is even more crucial when considering blog niche ideas as it can help with driving traffic and future monetization.
- Next steps: As with any blog, a niche site needs a good domain name, logo, theme and hosting.
- Future planning: Unlike a general topic blog, a niche site required a longer-term content strategy for continuous growth, revenue generation and content.
My niche site
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I have a close relationship with Italy. It’s a beautiful and popular destination as well as a place we call home on a part-time basis. While I could easily add lots of Italy-based content to my existing blog, it just didn’t feel right.
My blog is already specific in that it focuses on the historical and cultural angle. While that is also a niche of its own, it allows me to write about many destinations, no matter where they are. I also like to write about travel blogging itself, which my readers seem to enjoy.
Since I didn’t want my blog to become just about Italy, to solve that issue, my niche site Amongst Romans was born. It lets me experiment with different content that focuses on a specific location. The whole ideas is to create a go-to guide to Italy from an outsider’s perspective.
I’ve decided to concentrate on five categories related to Italy – culinary, culture, art, history and the outdoors. Creating a niche site has also allowed me to channel my expertise and knowledge of this particular country. We’ve been here so many times, will always have a connection and a future here. Taking advantage of that fact seemed like a perfect idea.
Challenges of having two blogs
As much as I love my blog and writing, having an additional niche site is twice the challenge for many reasons. One of the most important things is deciding how to separate the content between the two blogs. We’ve been to a number of places in Italy worthy of writing about that generated a lot of content. The challenge is deciding where to place it first.
Timing and organization of two separate blogs can get tricky so I really need to plan both the content and distribution in advance. Making sure both sites have relevant content requires some juggling, but it’s not impossible.
Identity is definitely another conundrum. I have always aligned my blog with me as it bares my name. It made sense and has worked out well. With Amongst Romans, I decided to add Alex to the mix, making it about our experience rather than my own views. The name itself is also general enough that we can expand it into other avenues if we need/want to, creating an independent brand. The world is our oyster, as they say.
Year one of blogging was an experiment. The second one was also a huge learning curve. There were many things going on in our lives that made this a spectacular adventure. I am actually quite excited about running two blogs side by side and see how they stack up against each other. I wonder if that’s how parents feel about their subsequent children. The first one is always an experiment while the others build on lessons learned.
I’ve decided to focus more on collaborations on the new blog. Think there are many people out there with so much experience and knowledge about Italy that would add extra value to my blog. I am already working on some ideas and will definitely be trying them out soon. I’m giddy just thinking about it.
Bringing it together
I must say, I do love a challenge and having two blogs is definitely going to keep me busy. There are so many people out there with multiple (yes, you heard that right) niche sites that only shows you that sky is the limit.
Am I going to launch any additional blogs? At this point, I do have ideas running in my head, but I think two blogs will keep my busy for now. After all, I have so much content to fill both blogs. As anything else though, I am always open to new possibilities and you just never know what I could come up with next. There is still so much to do with the plans I already have for the two blogs.
So, are you considering starting a niche site? Let me know.
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