Step-By-Step Guide to Choosing a Profitable Blogging Niche

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If you choose a profitable niche for your blog, but you are not interested in the topics of the niche, you will be burned out quickly.

But, if you choose a niche that you are passionate about, yet there is little to no income potential, then why do you even start a blog, right?

So, how do you choose a blogging niche and have the confidence that you’ll make money with your passion or interest? Here are the 8 elements of a perfect niche for your blog:

  1. Try not to pick a niche in the Money Your Life (YMYL) space.
  2. Adequate knowledge on the topics of your niche.
  3. Do you enjoy talking to people about the topics in your niche?
  4. Are there a lot of people interested in your niche?
  5. Is it a seasonal, short-term, or an evergreen niche?
  6. Does the niche has potential for ad revenue?
  7. How about the potential for affiliate revenue?
  8. Are there competition in your niche?

Watch the video below as I will walk you through the process of choosing a perfect niche for your blog.

You can download the Niche Selection Tools and work alongside me.


Element 1: Is your niche in the Your Money Your Life (YMYL) Space?

YMYL is a term created by Google back in 2018 with the intention to prevent people from creating blogs in categories that they are not an expert in, or they are not qualified to advise on.

The bloggers who were hit the hardest during the Google’s Medic update (change in Google’s search algorithm) are those in the following niches:

YMYL Niches

We can safely say that moving forward, Google only wants people with qualified knowledge and experience to talk about critical topics that will affect someone’s health, happiness, safety, or financial stability.

Here is the list what Google classify as YMYL:

  • Shopping or financial transaction pages: webpages that allow users to make purchases, transfer money, pay bills, etc. online (such as online stores and online banking pages).
  • Financial information pages: webpages that provide advice or information about investments, taxes, retirement planning, home purchase, paying for college, buying insurance, etc.
  • Medical information pages: webpages that provide advice or information about health, drugs, specific diseases or conditions, mental health, nutrition, etc.
  • Legal information pages: webpages that provide legal advice or information on topics such as divorce, child custody, creating a will, becoming a citizen, etc.
  • News articles or public/official information pages important for having an informed citizenry: webpages that include information about local/state/national government processes, policies, people, and laws; disaster response services; government programs and social services; news about important topics such as international events, business, politics, science, and technology; etc. Please use your judgment and knowledge of your locale. Keep in mind that not all news articles are necessarily considered YMYL.
  • Other: there are many other topics that you may consider YMYL, such as child adoption, car safety information, etc. Please use your judgment.

Why is it tough for new bloggers to rank on YMYL topics?

Now, even if you have the qualifications and accreditation, how will Google know that?

Honestly, Google don’t even know a lot about medical stuff or other YMYL topics for that matter, but how do they know which articles to rank to produce the best experience for its users?

Google does it by searching through millions of web pages about the person who wrote the article.

Imagine this.

Author A: She is a Doctor who has been featured on many medical websites, hospital websites, and many other medical blogs. She wrote an article targeting a medical search term.

Author B: He is also a Doctor, but he has not been featured on any websites and he is totally new to blogging. Like Author A, he wrote an article targeting the same medical search term.

Which author do you think will get a higher rank on Google for their article?

It is going to be Author A undoubtedly.

So, if you are totally new to blogging, you can choose a YMYL niche, but just be prepared that it is going to take you a lot of time and effort to convince Google that you have the Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).

That’s why for novice bloggers, I highly recommend that you avoid YMYL.


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Element 2: Do you have adequate knowledge about your niche?

Honestly, you don’t want to go into a niche where you are just a beginner because it is going to be tough for you to write articles around the topics.

I don’t know about you, but if you want to be a subject expert or at least someone qualified to give advice (regardless of YMYL), it takes time to acquire that knowledge and experience. It doesn’t happen overnight.

So, if you are going to start a blog in a niche that you are not familiar with, you are going to hit many roadblocks.

Because, you will have a hard time doing the research, and putting them into words. And, it requires good knowledge and experience to connect and spark intellectual conversations with your readers.

Your readers could quickly identify if you are someone who knows your stuff, and they are going to ask questions about stuff that they don’t know, so if you are just a beginner, how are you going to answer them, right?

So, I would say that if you want to start a blog, you should be at least at an intermediate level in terms of the knowledge and experience in the niche.

Element 3: Do you enjoy talking to people about topics in your niche?

You are going to be spending a lot of time and energy into your blog, and if you hate what you do, you are going to be drained out relatively quickly. It is common sense.

But, there are many people who choose a niche base on the profitability alone. Don’t let that be you.

Now, what if you have a couple of niche ideas, but you are not sure if you are interested or passionate about the topics in the niche?

Here’s what you can do. Visit Answer The Public.

Answer the public

On the search bar, type a niche idea (e.g. camping) and it will show you a list of keywords and queries that people around the world are searching for that relates to your niche idea.

Passion or interest in the niche

Pick a few common questions and try answering them at the top of your mind and determine if you enjoy talking about them.

Element 4: Are there a lot of people interested in your niche?

You may be interested or passionate about a niche, but if there is little to no one with the same interest as you…

It is going to be hard for your blog to grow and make money.

Identifying the size of your niche is a critical element towards your success at an early stage.

You don’t want to start a blog and have no one visiting it, right?

So, to assess the size of your niche, you need to leverage on a free tool called the Google Keyword Planner.

It will show you the average search volume per month on keywords or queries relevant to your niche.

However, you’ll need to create a Google Ads account to gain access to the tool.

The video at the top of this article shows you how easy it is to create a Google Ads account and to navigate the Google Keyword Planner tool.

Once you are in your Google Ads account:

  1. Navigate to “Tools and Settings” at the top right.
  2. Under the first column “Planning”, select “Keyword Planner”.
  3. Select “Get search volume and forecasts”.
  4. Enter your niche idea, and click “Get Started”.
  5. Right below the top menu, select the “locations” relevant to your niche.
  6. Click on “Keyword Ideas” on the left panel.
  7. Enter your niche idea again, and click “Get Results”.
  8. Where the data is shown, look to the “Avg. monthly searches” and determine if there are a lot of people searching for keywords relating to your niche.
How to determine the size of a niche

If there are a variety of keywords and queries with medium to high search volume (1,000 and above), it is a good indicator that you have a large size niche.

Element 5: Is it a seasonal, short-term, or an evergreen niche?

Winter Sport is a seasonal niche.

Christmas gift is a seasonal niche.

iPhone 7 is a short-term niche.

Guitar playing is a long-term niche.

You get the idea.

Seasonal niche is a where the trends of the niche will peak during certain period(s) of the year. For example, people buy Christmas gifts only towards the end of the year, you won’t see people buying Christmas gifts throughout the year.

Example of a Seasonal Niche

Short-term niche mainly revolves around a particular product, event, or brand. Given a choice, I would advise against creating a blog with a short-term niche.

For example, if you write a blog dedicated to talk only about iPhone 7 back in the days where it was released. You would have experienced a spike in traffic for your blog for a short-term. But, shortly after iPhone 8 is released, iPhone 7 is phased out, just like your blog.

Example of a short term niche

Evergreen niche is where the topics, trends, products and anything related to the niche are being talked about or consumed throughout the year, and the trend of the niche will last more than a lifetime.

For example, the guitar and piano niche. People buy the instruments, they play them, and consume courses throughout the year. People in the younger generations will be introduced to guitar and piano as well.

Google Trends - Evergreen Niche

So, when you are picking a niche you want the trend of the niche to be consistent throughout and not going downhill all the way. You gotta use some judgment on this.


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Element 6: Does the niche has potential for ad revenue?

Ad revenue is one of the income streams for a blog. It is where you sign up to an advertising network and allow them to place advertisements on your blog.

Whenever an advertisement is shown on your blog, you will earn money.

But before anything else, there must be someone (the advertisers) who are willing to pay to display their ads.

So, how do we know if there is a demand for advertisements in your niche?

We will use the same tool, Google Keyword Planner.

Instead of looking at the “avg. monthly searches” column, we will look at the “Top of page bid (low range)” and “Top of page bid (high range).”

Ad revenue potential for a niche

If there are advertisers who are willing to pay money to run ads on those keywords or queries in your niche, then there is potential for your blog to earn ad revenue.

Niches to avoid for advertising revenue

If your blog is in one of these niches, there is a high chance that ad networks will not approve your application due to the nature of the content:

  • Gambling
  • Hunting
  • Weapons
  • Guns and Ammunition
  • Combat Knives
  • Explosives
  • Tobacco
  • Recreational Drugs (e.g. Marijuana, Cocaine, Bongs, Pipes, etc.)
  • Alcohol
  • Pornography
  • Counterfeit Goods
  • Hacking
  • Document Falsification
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Loan Modification
  • Binary Options

Element 7: Are there potential for affiliate income?

Monetizing your blog with affiliate programs is one of the fastest way to earn money.

Because, it will take some time before ad networks accept your blog into their payroll due to the strict criteria.

So, to find out if your niche provides the potential to monetize with affiliate programs, you can do a simple search on Google for terms like…

“Your Niche + Affiliate Programs”

For example, “Camping Affiliate Programs”, “Guitar Affiliate Programs”, or “Piano Affiliate Programs”.

If there are affiliate programs in your niche, they will typically show up in the search results, or someone would have blogged about it.

Affiliate income potential for niche

Once you can identify at least 5 to 10 affiliate products, it is a good niche for affiliate monetization.

2 types of affiliate products

Affiliate products can be in 2 forms:

  1. Physical products – like the ones you see on Amazon, Target, or Home Depot.
  2. Digital products – like online courses, informational products, etc.

A good niche will have a mix of physical and digital affiliate products.

But typically, digital products will yield a higher commission rate. Promoting high-commission rate affiliate digital products is one of the elements in the Affiliate Success Formula.

It will bring you towards your monetary goals a lot sooner.

Element 8: Are there competition in your niche?

Now, almost everyone new to blogging will go through this emotional hurdle that they should avoid niches that are too competitive.

Competition is inevitable. But, if you look at it from another angle, if there is no competition in a niche at this point where search engines are refined, don’t you think that maybe the niche is not profitable?

So, what I want to get across is that you shouldn’t avoid competitive niches.

You should join the competition, but you have to be smart in researching so that you are targeting keywords or content ideas that are not that competitive to start with.

For the sake of selecting a niche, if there is competition, the niche is profitable. You can judge the competition level using the Google Keyword Planner as well.


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3 Niche Idea Brainstorming Tips

Tip #1: Look back into your search history or browsing history. What were the things that you have bought in the past where you did a whole bunch of research before buying the product. That could be a niche idea for you because someone who is thinking about buying the same product right now may want the knowledge that you have.

Tip #2: What do people around you come to you for advice on. For example, it could be if someone around you who intends to buy a camera, but will come to you for advice first because you are a camera expert or something like that.

Tip #3: Ask yourself what do you spend most of your time doing. Do not count those non-productive things like watching TV, buying groceries, etc. In other words, try to figure out what your passions and interests are. It could be hiking, fishing, camping, or whatever.

If you still have troubles coming up with niche ideas…


Access 200+ Niche Ideas

“Hidden” niche ideas that are carefully selected based on the elements above.


A complete walk-through for niche selection

First, please download the Niche Selection Spreadsheet and work alongside me with your niche ideas as I walk you through 3 niche selection examples.

Once you have gained access to the spreadsheet, make sure that you are logged in to your Google account. Then, make a copy of the spreadsheet so that you can do edits to it.

On the spreadsheet, click on “File” >> “Make a copy”.

I would recommend watching the video at the start of this article (at about 12:27) for the walk-through. But, if you choose to read the article…

The spreadsheet looks like this…

Niche Selection Spreadsheet

For each Niche Idea you have, you can run through the 8 elements and the spreadsheet will calculate a score for you.

If a niche score above 8, it is a good niche for you.

Example 1: Guitar Niche

  • Is it a YMYL Niche? No.
  • Do I have good knowledge of the niche? Yes, I was an avid guitarist.
  • Do you enjoy the topics? Yes.
  • Are there a lot of people interested in the niche? Yes, based on experience. But, you can use the Google Keyword Planner (Element 4) to determine the size of the niche.
  • Is it an evergreen niche? Yes. Based on the Google Trends data (Element 5)
  • Has potential for ad revenue? Yes. Use the Google Keyword Planner and look at the columns “Top of page bid (low range)” and “Top of page bid (high range).”
  • Are there a lot of affiliate products? Yes. Just do a Google search on the keyword “Guitar Affiliate Programs” and you will find many affiliate programs.
  • Are there competition? Yes.

Result: 10 (Perfect Niche for me)

Niche Selection Exercise - Guitar Niche

Example 2: Bookkeeping

Let’s say that I am an accountant…

  • Is it a YMYL Niche? Yes.
  • Do I have good knowledge of the niche? Yes, given that I am an accountant.
  • Do you enjoy the topics? Yes.
  • Are there a lot of people interested in the niche? Yes.
  • Is it an evergreen niche? Yes.
  • Has potential for ad revenue? Yes. This is one of the most high paying niches for ad revenue.
  • Are there a lot of affiliate products? Yes. Just do a Google search on the keyword “Bookkeeping Affiliate Programs” and you will find many affiliate programs.
  • Are there competition? Yes.

Results: 4 (Because its a YMYL niche)

Niche Selection Exercise - Bookkeeping Niche

You can still choose the niche and start a blog, but just be mindful that it will take a lot more time and energy to get your content to rank as oppose to those niches that are not YMYL.

Example 3: Dirt Bike

Now, let’s say that you heard someone on the internet saying that the “Dirt Bike” niche is under-served and you can easily get good rankings and a lot of traffic from Google.

  • Is it a YMYL Niche? No.
  • Do I have good knowledge of the niche? No. I know nothing about the niche.
  • Do you enjoy the topics? Naturally no.
  • Are there a lot of people interested in the niche? Yes.
  • Is it an evergreen niche? Yes.
  • Has potential for ad revenue? Yes.
  • Are there a lot of affiliate products? Yes.
  • Are there competition? Yes.

Results: 4 (Because I know nothing and I have no interest in the niche)

Niche Selection Exercise - Bookkeeping Niche

To sum it up

Always choose a niche that you have good knowledge on, and that you are passionate about. Monetization is secondary.

In addition, be mindful of the YMYL niches. If you are totally new to blogging and you have no point of reference in the YMYL niche, it is going to be an uphill battle for you to rank your articles.

It would be much easier to earn money from blogging through non-YMYL niches.

If you are having troubles deciding on a niche, follow these steps and I am pretty sure you can confidently choose a perfect niche for yourself:

  1. Watch the video at the start of the article.
  2. Download the Niche Selection Spreadsheet and the 200+ Niche Ideas.
  3. Work your niche ideas through the Niche Selection Spreadsheet.

Anyway, thanks for reading this step-by-step guide to choosing a profitable niche.

Feel free to follow us on:

Your friend,

Jack

Jack Cao

Hi there! I'm Jack from Singapore, and I started my journey to find passive income when I was 24 years old. Back then, I worked as a Share Registration Officer while pursuing a degree in Economics and Finance. I was earning peanuts and I quickly realised what I was pursuing was not what I wanted to do with my life. So, I set out to find ways to make money online. The road was tough, there were many setbacks, but I'm glad I found success. While pursuing for success, I use this website as well as a YouTube channel to share what I learn along the way and hopefully make some friends here. Let's join hands and make passive income together! More about me and my success story here.

11 thoughts on “Step-By-Step Guide to Choosing a Profitable Blogging Niche

  1. Hallo there Jack, 

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the very detailed post on choosing a good niche for blogging. I have someone I am coaching about blogging as they are just getting started in this space. I have been trying to help them understand how to find their sweet spot in terms of niche selection and they seem not to be getting it. I think this post will serve as a good explanation for them. Thanks heaps for this as it summarises what I have been trying to tell them and it offers even more value. Cheers!

  2. This is one of the best articles on choosing a niche that I’ve read. The points you’ve discussed are excellent and clearly stated. I know this is an area that a lot of people have a hard time with; but you’ve made it look easier and much less overwhelming.

    I was just talking to a girl yesterday who said she had chosen her niche, but then was asking for help coming up with topics to write about. I told her that if she couldn’t even get started with topic ideas, perhaps that wasn’t the right niche for her. She had chosen it because it was a money-making niche. And as you wrote, you can’t pick a niche just because it offers good money. You’ll burn out pretty quick.

    Excellent article!

  3. Hello there, I love the business oriented posts you have had here and it’s been really fascinating reading them indeed. Internet marketing is a serious business and it takes lit of commitments to pull through in it. I love to hear when people say they went with their own passion with their business and not being influenced by the sales made in a particular niche. Great to be here

  4. One of the biggest problems for a lot of people is choosing what niche they would like to jump into. It has really been an issue for me as well for a very long time too but this is mostly because the niche I want to go in for is not really profitable and worse of all, it is already saturated. I will consider other niches though. Do you know any evergreen niche?

  5. Learning to leverage on the powers of blogging niche is a great thing as it gives an edge and helps to give the probability to promote one’s business around just a niche that is more profitable and provides much more chances of wanting big this is really massive to see here and thank you so much for sharing here. I really appreciate it here

  6. Very informative for someone who may be considering starting a website.  I found myself writing down info. to keep in mind when I start my next site or even when I’m writing content.  I felt you provided enough information so that someone new to this would be able to really consider what their niche will be instead of picking one willy nilly because they know a little something on the topic.  Great read!

  7. I read your blog about “Can You Really Make Money Doing Surveys Online”. This topic caught my interest because I tried this once before many years ago.

    In the early stages of this industry, it was worth my time. There was an abundance of legitimate and honest survey-based companies. As the years go by such as in the 2000-2010 decade, some unscrupulous companies came up. These companies cropped up just to collect your information. It became a precursor to phishing, but legal.

    Your blog is a question. You pointed out many wary points. I might try this one more time. Let’s see what happens.

  8. Thank you for educating people on what to choose as a subject for your blog and also not what to do. Your YMYL is a good example of bloggers who fall into that pit that is not very popular. The list of 240 blog terms to use or niches, is really a good tool for newbies like me, who really have a hard time choosing a niche. I can see why the emphasis needs to be something you are passionate about as it takes knowledge to write about something that is of interest that you are passionate about. The data supplied for digital, tangible and paid advertising, steers me into the direction of paid advertising as it appears to be the most lucrative.

  9. Thank you for your post. it is useful for me. I started my online business for a while now and would like to expand my business and am looking for new niche. I think about doing research on that, but never take time to do the work.

    Here comes your article, which gives detailed description on 240 niche ideas. This is valuable for me. It is amazing that there is endless opportunity for anyone who would like to pursue online business. 

    Recently I am interested in singing, particularly in Karaoke. With this niche, it is true that I will have one stone with two birds. There is potential to improve my singing skills, while making some money on the way.

  10. Although, there are many ways to make a living on the internet, I find that blogging is one of the most lucrative. However, this post has been very insightful and I agree to many of the points made. I must add that finding the right niche is important and it should be something one has an interest in so that it will be able to last for long and one can maintain top quality posts on the blog. 

  11. This is a very wonderful post you have here in blogging niche. There are a lot of people who are always looking to get new niche in their business. I’m very glad to see you give great information about what to do when one wants to choose a niche. It has been a little bit of a problem for me. Thanks for the clarification.

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