Before we even get started and think about creating our blog and buying a domain and web hosting, it’s more important that we take some time to decide what we are going to be blogging about.
You can blog about virtually anything, but without the proper research your blog may be at a dead end before it ever starts.
Here are a few things you will need to think about when choosing your next blogging niche.
- What is the purpose of my blog? (hobby / profit)
- How competitive is the niche I’m looking at?
- What is the long term value and monetization plan?
- Will there be enough content for me to write about?
- How can you build links and buzz for your site?
All of these questions are important, but the overall monetization down the road and the immediate competition are what should be your main concerns right now.
I spent a few days thinking about the niche I was going to use for this create a blog case study and I actually went through a bunch of different ideas. Several times I thought I had come across an interesting niche, but I came to the conclusion on a few of them that I might not have as many monetization methods or content ideas to build them out down the road.
Coming up with your basic topic is one of the hardest parts in itself. If you want to get some ideas on what people are search for (hot trends) right now, you can visit Google Trends or now.MSN.com to get a few ideas.
Originally I was looking at choosing a niche in the “education” and “work place” area. For ideas I was browsing through a bunch of the articles on Money.com that focused on the Gen Y audience and their college degrees and what are the most sought after jobs when coming out of school. Their site has some great “Top Lists” for stuff like that. However after using Long Tail Pro (click here for full review), I was seeing some highly competitive niches that were looking good in the average local search and average cpc department, but were monsters in the average Keyword Competition area.
You can see in the screen shot above that many of the keywords were in the 50-60 range. This is very competitive keyword, and while you could break the keywords down even further, I continued to see much of the same competition levels.
So I continued to think about new niches and ideas I could create a blog on. Again, I wanted to pick something completely out of my realm that wasn’t “make money online” or “blogging” related. Eventually I saw an ad somewhere for solar power and I figured I’d throw that word into Long Tail Platinum and see the results.
Not too bad… the search volume is decent and the average cpc is much lower than the education niche, but it seems like a good keyword and niche to start a site with.
For a couple days I thought about the “solar” niche and thought it was a good concept, but after writing down some pros/cons about the topic, I found I really wasn’t interested in the topic at all. If you can go after the keyword from the right angles you can definitely make good money and rank in the search results. There is a ton of money flowing in the solar space right now, which was one of my main reasons for looking into this niche. Your main competition would be local “solar installation” type of companies, but you could do fairly well if you were to build up a solid resource site around the topic.
With all of that said, I still had the education and jobs niche markets in the back of my mind and was continually opening up Long Tail Pro to try and find some new ideas.
Once again I was looking through news articles on Google about college students and jobs they are looking for when coming out of college. One of them was for “campus IT tech”, which was a bit competitive, but eventually helped me find “tech support jobs”.
You can see the screenshot below from running a report on “tech support jobs”. The average keyword competition is a 32 and the local searches come in around 33,100. While “tech support jobs” isn’t the main keyword I was going to focus on, I thought it would be best to build a new site around the topic as a whole and categorize the site into smaller long tail keywords.
It wasn’t easy to pick a niche to jump into, especially since I’m making this a public blog case study for people to follow me step through step on the process. The last thing I want to do is pick a niche and then say “oh well, that didn’t work”… hence why it can take a lot of time and research to finally pick a solid niche and keyword focus.
Now that I have chosen my niche and keywords, it’s important to make sure there is actual life to this niche and that it’s worth the time and effort we are going to put into it.
Why “tech support jobs” as a niche?
There are plenty of reasons why I am happy to get into the tech support jobs niche with this new web site. Just a few of the reasons are that the employment rate is horrible right now and people are going to be looking for information on how to get a job or work from home. There is currently a decent amount of search results for “tech support” terms related to working from home.
Another reason I like this niche is because it’s both job and education related. There is always going to be big money in these niches because businesses spend money to hire new employees and colleges spend money to advertise to people who are interested in getting higher education or a new job.
Lastly, there is a lot we can talk about in the tech support niche. Whether it’s how to become a tech support person or how to report complaints against tech support from other companies.
What’s the plan for this tech support jobs niche site?
The best way to answer this question is to actually think in terms of someone who is searching for “tech support jobs” related information online. Obviously they are looking for information on the topic and how they can become a support person or learn more about the profession… so that will be the main focus of the site.
The goal is to rank this blog for several long tail keywords (and eventually some generic keywords) in the search engines by creating quality content and information that people are looking for and find value in. The last thing we want is to put all of this effort into a site to only have it be another trashy “thin” content site. Remember, we want to make an AUTHORITY resource site, which means you are providing value.
Monetization and ideas down the road?
This was definitely something that I had to think about when choosing the “tech support jobs” niche. Through Long Tail Pro we could see that “tech support jobs” related keywords are costing in the several dollar range per click, which means it could make some good money through Google Adsense, but we also don’t want to build a business that is reliant on only one revenue source.
Fortunately there are plenty of other ways to make money with a jobs related site, which includes affiliate marketing (lead gen), how to guides (product sales) and there will definitely be a potential to sell the site once it’s fully established. In addition to driving leads through other sources, the potential is also there to build out our own mailing lists and products relating to the niche.
Monetization is our last focus right now, as we will need to create our site, build content, generate backlinks and buzz and monitor the overall growth and rankings for the site.
If you are going to be selecting a niche for a new blog, make sure you consider all of the questions above and if they fall in your favor. It’s way to easy to jump into a new project and get too excited, buy a domain and setup a blog then lose interest in a few days. The last thing you want to do is spread yourself too thin with garbage projects or keywords/niches that have way too much competition or little monetization/return down the road.
Next step… now the fun starts and we will soon be setting up the blog and first pages of content.
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