Picking a blogging topic based on interests is very good, but if you are disciplined you may want to pick a niche that will bring the most profit. This will require some research and commitment. This will need to be treated as a business and not as a hobby. Are you ready for that?
The first thing you need to do is dive into research to find profitable niches that have the best chance for profits. Start with getting some ideas for seed topics, I would create a list of about 20 topics. We will later research them and figure out which one it the best one to go with.
Where To Get Topic Ideas?
- Here are some places that will give you a good idea for topics. Go through each and write down any ideas that you have. Don't worry if it goes over 20, just keep writing them down.
- Sit and think for 3 minutes. What blogging topic ideas come to mind from your own life? What do you know, who do you know, what to they do? Stores and businesses around you, places you go to have fun. Write anything comes to mind.
- Go to Amazon and look at product categories and pick out some topics from those. Click on the category and the click "Best Sellers" tab in the navigation bar. This will give you a list of the best selling products in that category. Write down the ideas from there and mark them with a star because they are best sellers.
- In Amazon, click on Books and then look through their book categories. Choose one and then click on Best Sellers. Pick out any ideas from there, and also mark them with a star to show that those are best sellers.
- Go to ClickBank.com and click on Marketplace in the top nav. There are categories list in the left sidebar, click on those and browse ideas in there and write them down.
- Another good place to browse for ideas is eBay.com. Do the same thing there, check out the categories they have and drill down into sub categories to get more specific ideas. Those, more specific topics are called niches and those are usually easier to become an authority in.
Here is the list of ideas that I came up with. These are just ideas, they do not need to make sense in terms of a blog topic, just a niche idea.
- car amplifiers
- fishing poles
- wireless routers
- wearable cameras
- solar panels
- outdoor grilling
- carpet cleaning
- food dehydrating
- sushi making
- learning guitar
- office chairs
- home automation
Let's filter them using some tools and sort them based on their statistics. This will tell us which ideas pass to the next round and which are getting kicked out of the game.
Make A Top 10 List From Your Long List
Great job! You have a nice list of ideas which you can filter through and pick out the gems. Let's first run this list through a demand checking process. We want to see if these niches have any people that are interested in the topics. This will weed out some of the less popular topics and bring out the stronger niches on your list.
Checking For Demand
To see what the demand is for a niche, we will run the main keyword through the Google Planner and see what it tells up. Go to Google and search for "Google Keyword Planner", or just go here Google.com/sktool and log in. If you do not have a Google AdWords account yet, you need to create one.
Once you're in, click the "Search for new keyword and ad group ideas". It will expand a form section. Enter your keyword into the box that says "Your product or service" and click Get Ideas button below. (see image below)
On the results page you will have a nice chart that represents the amount of searches every month for that keyword topic. Look at the numbers by hovering the mouse over the bar for each month and estimate the average monthly searches for this topic and write the number down next to your idea on your list. (see image below)
Here is a good example of a seasonal topic that you may want to stay away from if you want to make sure that your blog gets traffic year round, (see image below). This is what the chart looks like for the keyword "fishing poles", as you can see, it peaks out around June, July, and then shrinks as you get into winter. We don't want that, so mark those keywords as seasonal.
Also note that even in it's lowest months, the search volume was over 600,000. This is not too bad, it looks like it is a very popular topic, even in it's lowest months. So, use your own judgement, it may still be usable. Write down the average search volume but mark it as seasonal so you know, then we will compare and chose the top ones, considering all the data.
Here is what my keywords look like after getting all the data:
After running all my ideas through the Keyword Planner tool, I found out that there was much more seasonal topics in my list, but their traffic is so high in the slower months that the average still comes out to be doable. That's ok, the next rounds of testing will bring out the winners. Next round of tests is checking for competition.
Checking For Amount Of Competitors
To find out the competition in a given niche, we will be using the Google search engine. This will give us a good idea of how many websites out there cater to this niche. By adding this data to the mix, we will be able to bring out the better niche ideas to the top.
All you do is enter your keyword into the Google search engine and record the number of results. Some keywords will pull local results and other special widgets and results that Google thinks you want to see, and sometimes it will not show the number of results. All you need to do in this case is go to page 2 and it will show there.
Here are my results (see image above). We want to sort them from smallest to largest because we want lowest competition. Once we have this info, we can look at the searches and pick out the top ones we want to work with. But wait there's more, don't go deleting them yet, we have one more metric we want to run them through.
Checking For Monetization Opportunities
In this step we are going to find out what our if our niche ideas have any revenue opportunities. If the niche has lots of searches per month and low competition but has no way to make money, then it's a bad niche. So to check the opportunities, we will be checking 3 things, ClickBank products, Amazon products and cost per click on Google AdSense.
Monetization Opportunities At Click Bank
ClickBank is a website that connects product creators with affiliate marketers. This is a bank of products that you can select and market to get a commission. The commissions at ClickBank are pretty high compared to Amazon or other places, so it is good to have products you can market from there. This is why we want to check ClickBank to see if there are any products that are related to our niche idea that we would be able to sell on the blog.
To count the value for ClickBank, just go to their website (clickbank.com) and click on Marketplace in the top bar. There enter your niche keyword into the search bar. This will bring up all related products. ClickBank's search is not that great, so you will see some products that are not relevant, just ignore those. Go through the results on the first page and count how many products you see on there that could potentially relate to your niche and that you could sell on a blog that is about your niche ides topic. Count and record the number of products you find.
Monetization Opportunities At Amazon
Amazon has low commission, but it has trust and reliability, which is what makes up for the commission rates. You can sell bigger ticket products for bigger commissions because they products are coming from Amazon and not some unknown place on the Internet. We get to piggy-back on their reputation and make some money. Amazon also has almost any product category you can imagine, so it's a good chance that there is some products that you will be able to sell that are related to your niche. We still want to check and make sure.
Counting the value for Amazon is a little different, because they have so many products. What we want to know is the variety of related products. Go to Amazon.com and in the search bar, enter your niche idea keyword and search. Amazon will probably give you a list of books first, this is fine. Here is what we are going to do with them, we wan to see if there are at least 10 different books that are related to your niche. Then we want to know if there are at least 10 other products that are related to your niche. If so, then you score your niche at 10 points. Also check to see if there are at least 3 high-priced products that are of the same category. High priced can be anything $100 and more. The reason for this is because you will be able to create a review page on which you will review each of them and help the visitor choose the best one of the 3. There can be more than 3, but we need at least 3 for this. So if you find at least 3 higher priced items that are in the same category, then give your niche another 5 points. So this would give it 15 points total. Anything below that will get less points, and you can choose your self how you want to judge that. You will notice that it is hard to find a niche that will not have a score of 15 in Amazon, but we still need to check to weed out any niches that may have lower score.
Monetization Opportunities At AdSense
AdSense provides related ads for your website that if someone clicks on them, you make money. What we want to know on this one is how much money can we make per click in a given niche. This number will not be accurate and will not represent exactly how much you will make per click, but it will give you a number to compare against your other niches so you know which one has the higher cost-per-click value.
Here, we are going to use averages and estimations to rank the niches. We can not drill down into the exact keywords for each niche, so instead we will look at ad groups and average out the group suggested bid amounts. Google's "suggested bid" is the amount they suggest you bid to be in the first positions in the search engine sponsored results section. This is not how much you will be receiving per click, because the network bids are completely separate from the search engine sponsored results, so the bidders can bid what they want for the network ads which will be different. Having said this, we can still gage the profitability of the niche by looking at the suggested bids, as this tells up how much competition there is for those ad groups. The more competition there is, the bigger the bids are.
To get the values for AdSense, go to the Google Keyword Planner (Google.com/sktool/) and click on "Search for new keyword and ad group ideas" tab. Enter your niche idea keyword from your list and click Get Ideas. In the Ad Group Ideas tab, look at the Suggested Bid column and look through the list on the first page and average out the bid amount for this keyword. You don't have to actually add up every one , just look through it and estimate the average just by looking at the bid amounts.
My List Results
Here is what my list looks like after I collected all the data (see image below).
Final Top 10 List
It is time to find the top 10 niches and pick out the winning one. To do this you will evaluate each of the columns and find the one with the best combination of results. The most important metric that you have in your spreadsheet is the ration between the Searches Per Month and Competition. You need to find the best keywords in your list that have the highest Searches and lowest Competition.
To find the Searches to Competition Ratio, you just need to divide Competition by Searches. The lower the ration the better the niche idea keyword is. Here is what my list looks like (see image below).
Now we know what the best keywords are based on the search/competition ratio. Now let's add the monetization into the mix. First we will calculate the Monetization Value for each keyword. To do this, you will add the ClickBank, Amazon and AdSense values together and then multiply them by 10. The higher the value is, the better keyword it is. I sorted my data by the M Value in this screenshot below.
To find your top 10 keywords you need to first, sort your data by the M Value, highest to lowest, then starting from the top, cross out any of the keywords that have a S/C Ratio that is more than 100. Now starting from the top in the S/C Ration column, look at your first 10 rows and find any values in there that are single digit. Mark the keyword with the smallest single digit value in the S/C Ratio column, as #1. Then continue through the rest of the single digit values within the top 10 rows and rank them from smallest to largest.
Now find the values between 10 and 19 within the first 10 rows in the S/C Ratio column, and rank them from smallest to largest.
Now go to the top 11 through 20 rows in the S/C Ratio column and number them, first the single digits, then values 10 through 19.
You should have your top 10 by now, if you don't, just continue numbering the keywords in the same manner. Here is my list (see image below), with the numbering done in blue color.
I sorted the keywords by the # column to get me the list in the top 10 order (see image below).
Your Best Niche Idea To Go With
So to get my best niche, I can go with the one that is #1, but the nice thing is that my top 10 are very close in quality, so I could choose from any one of the top 10 niches. Let's look at the data to identify some of the benefits of some of them.
The first thing that I see in the top 10 niches is that I have some that have significantly higher searches than others. Look at "food dehydrating" for example, it has 3,000,000 searches, compared to 750,o00 for "fishing poles". This kind of search volume difference can make a big.. well... difference, in traffic and revenue.
At the same time look at the competition for those 2 keywords, it is about the same. So this makes "food dehydrating" niche better than "fishing poles", even thought "fishing poles" are in position 2. what separates them is the potential monetization opportunities, because there is no ClickBank products available in the "food dehydrating" niche, which can be a big chink of revenue that is not available. Analyze your words and find your best one. Include your overall feeling in your decision, because some niches are just not something you really want to get into even though they rank better, or you may like another niche better than the better ranking one. With this ranking process, you have an analytically-based list that you can rely on and make a better decision rather then just picking a niche out of the blue and running with it. Use the data and then trust your gut.
What Is Your Second Favorite Niche?
I would love to hear what your runner up was. Don't reveal your winning niche, because we want that to be your secret, but do tell us your second best one if you are not going to use it. Share with us what you have discovered in your research process. I want to hear from you, let's discuss this topic more in the comments.
If you have any questions, please write them in the comments and I will do my best to answer as promptly as I can.