Finding your niche is a process. You need to be prepared to spend time researching and selecting the best niche for you.
You are looking for what is the best niche for you. I want to repeat this as it is important. There is no “best niche” for everyone.
Finding your niche
Selecting your niche needs to focus on two separate areas.
- Topical knowledge, experience and expertise
- Demand, competition and money making potential for any given topic or niche
We will look at both areas separately and I will then explain why you need to focus on both areas in finding the best niche for you and your website.
1. Topical knowledge, experience and expertise
Here we look to write about something that we are interested in and passionate about. And ideally where we have an existing level of expertise.
Experience and interest in the topic helps as we already should have a certain level of kowledge and value to share. And if we need to do more research – no problem, we are interested in the niche or topic.
The main advantages of this approach is that writing and research should come easy. It will also be easier to demonstrate expertise and build trust with your readers as well as search engines.
But knowledge, experience and expertise does not automatically ensure that there is a demand for your niche. Or that you will be able to monetize or even compete in the niche against other alreadt established authority websites.
And trust me, when your website fails to make progress it will get harder to stay motivated and produce high quality content.
2. Demand, competition and money making potential
And then there is the opposite side of the coin. Here we focus on the demand for the niche and and the potential money making potential through ads, affiliate products, online guides, courses, etc.
We do not worry about being interested in the subject matter or having previous experience or expertise. We can research, learn and produce top quality content that solves problems and offers value.
And why would we worry about losing motivation? It will be motivating and stimulating when we start making money.
Sounds great. But is it realistic?
So how do you find your niche?
So there we have it. Neither area has all the answers and from my experience neither is ideal by on its own.
To choose your niche based on knowledge, experience and expertise alone could lead to difficulties in monetising your content. And are you sure you will be able to stay motivated to produce quality content without even making money to cover your costs?
On the other hand it would be ill advised to choose your niche based on profit potential alone. There are niches like credit cards, website hosting and personal loans that pay very attractive remunerations for visitors, leads and sales.
But these niches are extremely competitive and already saturated with authority websites with staffs of writers and web developers.
And without previous experience and expertise the learning curve will be steep. Also, if you have no real interest in the subject matter it will be all work.
The answer should be obvious to you by now.
your niche = Expertise, interest, Money making potential
There is really no better way to put it. But let me explain what I mean.
Looking for your best niche you need to find a niche where you can tick all the boxes below. You are looking for a topic or niche where you
- can compete
- have experience, expertise and interest
- see money making potential
You are looking for a niche where you tick all the boxes to the largest possible extent.
Next we will look at the process to find that best niche for you.
Step-by-step guide to finding your niche
Start by listing your areas of experience and expertise. Here we list hobbies, activities, formal training and education, professional experience, etc.
Rank them from 1-5 based on your level of experience and expertise. You can give any given grade to more than one subject matter or area of expertise.
This step-by-step guide illustrates the process you should follow to find your niche. You should of course compare niches defined by keyword phrases rather than single words or two word labels. Think along the lines of - “Growing herbs indoors” rather than “Gardening” - "Cruise travel for families" rather that "Cruise vacations"
Now, looking at the same list rank them in order of most to least interesting to you.
If you add the values you should get a list like below
Expertise + Passion = TOTAL
Based on a score of 1 (low) to 5 (high)
In our example above we have one niche where we score a 9: Cruise vacations. Is that enough information to choose your niche? Not really.
Now when we have a list with total values we need to start thinking about the other factors that come into play when finding our niche.
- money making potential
Demand: To check demand or search volumes we can use different online tools and services. One of the most popular Ahrefs charges a monthly fee.
But we can also use the free Chrome extension Keyword Surfer to see search volumes per country right on the Google Search Engine Result Page (SERP).
Money making potential: Installing Keyword Surfer will also give is an indication of the value of the search terms we have entered.
Using the example “Cruise vacations” we can see that the search volume in the US alone is 4400 searches per month and advertisers are willing to pay $3.18 per click. This is promising.
We of course also know that people do like to travel and some quick research will show that we can find affiliate programs as well as advertisers that pay for clicks in the search engines.
But the trend is that search volumes are down at the time I am writing this and travel in general is hit quite bad by Covid-19.
If you believe travel will come back even stronger post Covid-19 and you have the patience to wait it out, you can choose Cruise as a contrarian play where you try to get started when competition is lower due to temporary external factors.
In this example we say “No” and look down the list to find a more promising niche. There are two topics with a score of 8: Home decoration and Gardening
When we have a draw we employ the 3-10 analysis to find our winner. That is we answer 3 questions in less than 10 minutes including research time. Here it goes.
1. Looking at Trends and demand when finding your niche
Looking in Google Trends it is clear that Gardening is enjoying better numbers. Gardening also shows higher search volumes according to Keyword Surfer.
2. The “Follow the money” approach to find your niche
Both Home decoration and Gardening offer affiliate programs and several advertisers in the search engines. Gardening offers higher ticket items and this is a plus. We can also see that the click cost that advertisers pay as presented by Keyword Surfer is rather similar around $1.
3. taking Competition into account choosing a niche
A search for either Gardening or Home decoration returns millions of results in Google and this equals high competition.
This comes as no surprise. But the decision is too important to simply base it on the number of available search results on any given search.
We need to get a more objective indication of the level of competition in the niche Gardening vs Home decoration.
If we are willing to spend money there are several excellent alternatives including Ahrefs. But there is also a great free option we can use.
We are going to use a value called DA that stands for Domain Authority to evaluate the competitiveness of a niche.
The DA number is calculated by a company named Moz and takes all kinds of factors into account. We simply sign up for a free account with Moz and proceed to install the Mozbar chrome extension – also free.
The DA shows the authority or strength of any given page ranking for any given search. And this is what we will be up against when competing for positions in the search engines.
Now when we search Google with the Mozbar installed and activated the SERP (Search Engine Result Page) will look like this.
Under each result there is now a grey box showing Domain Authority (DA) as well as Page Authority (PA)
If we look more closely at the Mozbar box for the domain Google.com we can see that both the DA and the PA scores are a perfect 100.
Now to evaluate the level of competitiveness in the Gardening and Home decoration niches we perform two searches and end up with the following DAs for the top 10 results.
|Google SERP position
|Search: Gardening (DA)
|Search: Home Decoration (DA)
After a quick analysis we can see that both niches are competitive. But in our example it seems that Gardening is the least competitive of the two.
To summarize we have found that Gardening
- scores high on our sum of Expertise and Passion scale
- has more search volume and similar money making potential to Home decoration
- is less competitive than the Home decoration niche
And there you have it, the process to find your niche has resulted in Gardening and we are a bit closer to finding our sub niche.
The above example is not meant to find your niche for you. Rather it shows you the steps you need to perform to find your niche. You should of course compare niches defined by keyword phrases rather than single words or two word labels. Think along the lines of “Growing herbs indoors” rather than “Gardening”.
Do not be afraid to start with a niche where there is a lot of competition. All you need to do is to niche down and carve out a smaller niche to write about. After all, there is a reason why it is popular and that reason is often directly linked to profit potential.
Gardening is popular but is also too wide a subject matter and you would be competing with authority sites, newspapers and media companies.
So, instead we niche down and look at how we can drill down into more defined subject matters where we can be more competitive.
And how do we do this? There are two different approaches.
Method 1: You can either redo the process described above for more niched down topics and niches like “Cruise travel for singles”, “Cruise on a budget”, “Grow herbs indoors” or “Home decoration for holidays”.
Method 2: Or you can settle with the broad niche that you have found and decide how you will niche down later when you do your Keyword research. Simply looking at the niche and the DA will not give us enough information.
SUMMARY: We looked at how to choose our niche. We now know that our sub-niches are within the niche “Gardening”. And yes, I did say sub-niches. Explanations to follow.
In the next section we will among other things look at coming up with and registering a domain name. And you do not need to know your sub-niche to come up with a domain name.
Do not be too specific. The days of keyword-heavy domain names are gone. Make it mean something to you and then it is up to you to make it stick with your readers.