Saturday, 3 November 2012

Benefits of a Niche Blog and How to Start One

Choosing a niche for your blog is essential, and an important aspect to having a successful blog. There are quite a few reasons why niche blogging can be a much more beneficial practice than general blogs.

Benefits of (and Reasons to Start) a Niche Blog

1. Build Authority

Nice blogging lets you write about something you love – for instance something that you’re passionate about – and hence establish authority easily.

With a niche blog, you’re writing about a topic that you well and truly love, and are extremely passionate about. This means that you have, in all probability, ample amount of knowledge and know-how on that certain topic and that you’re probably already an expert on it.

It could be any niche that interests you, such as technology, sports, or photography, for instance. You may even choose a sub-niche, such as iPhone app reviews, the NFL, or reviewing camera lenses.

2. Better SERP Rankings

Niche blogging allows you to write about a specific thing, giving you a chance to rank better, if you do your optimization right. You will be able to focus on a few essential keywords, which will allow you to rank better for them.

This is not to say that general blogs don’t do well with Google. However focusing on a single topic will make it easier to rank well for any keywords related to that topic.

3. Better Content

If you write on something that you truly care about, and are interested in (such as a hobby), blogging on it will give you a chance to create excellent content for it.

Your interest, knowledge and the fact that you genuinely care about what you’re writing about will manifest itself in your posts.

You will be able to create quality posts effortlessly, and in a blogging world where ‘content is king’, your content will be able to connect with and engage a large number of people.

With the passage of time, you’ll be able to have a large loyal following, and give anyone who visits your blog a genuinely good reason to subscribe to you, or buy what you’re selling.

4. Easily Manageable

Niche blogs are much more easily manageable, because all your attention and your efforts are focused on a single topic.

For instance all your research and writing efforts are focused strictly on your niche, as are all your marketing efforts. With niche blogs, it is much more easier and manageable to target the right kind of audience, and bring targeted traffic on your blog.

With niche blogs, you’re catering to a very targeted group of people (e.g. NFL fans, photography enthusiasts or people into weight loss). Therefore you only need to meet the needs of this specific group of people, and create content/products/service for them.

5. Community Building

Niche blogs promote community building, and help build a community of like-minded people or people who share similar interests.

Niche blogs provide people (with the same interest) a single platform to where they can engage in discussions, get tips or advice, have their say, and share their own thoughts and opinions with the blogger (you), as well as other visitors and readers.

So in essence, with a niche blog, you’re essentially bringing people with similar interests together, thus helping build a community.

6. More Money

Niche blogs can help you earn a serious buck or two!

Since niche blogs focus on a single subject, topic or interest, and hence bring in extremely targeted readers, these readers are more likely to click on these ads since they will already be targeted (and hence relevant) to your readers.

This is precisely why niche blogs tend to do well when it comes to earning money. The CTRs on niche blogs are generally quite high, because ads are targeted to the demographic.

However in order to monetize traffic via ads, you need to bring targeted traffic into your blog, which is something niche blogs struggle to do (mostly because they have limited appeal, and only a small number of people might be interested in a specific topic).

7. Easy to Get Up and Running

Niche blogs are generally easier to start, set up, and get up and running.

All you need is a domain ($10/year), and a cheap hosting package (as low as $3/month). A free Wordpress installation, a free (or a premium theme) and a couple of widgets and plugins, and some tweaks later, you’ll have your very own niche website.

How to Set Up a Niche Blog the Right Way

1. Choose a niche: In order to begin on the right foot, it is necessary to start with choosing the right niche. This could be the difference between success and failure when it comes to your niche blog.

But what exactly is a ‘right’ niche? A good niche or a good area to focus and write on is one in which (a) you have an ample amount of interest or are passionate about, (b) a vast amount of knowledge, (c) the ability to write and produce a lot of quality content for, (d) can produce something unique for, offering your readers a unique proposition, (e) an area of focus for which you’ll be able to bring in  a reasonable amount of traffic, advertisement and interest, and (f) a niche which is not overly saturated already.

Refrain from choosing a niche based solely on profitablilty or potential revenue, but where you have little or no knowledge, expertise or interest.

2. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: This is in a way related to the first point. Beware of trending niches that may have an appeal today, but might fade away and disappear at some point in the future.

This usually includes any events which might be extremely relevant today, and generate a lot of interest right now, but may quickly become irrelevant. For instance if you decide to blog on the 2012 US Presidential Campaign, you may get a lot of traffic right now, but after the campaign is over and a new president is elected, interest in the campaign will start to  wane off, ultimately coming to a point where your blog gets only a couple of visits.

3. Identity: At this stage, it is important to have an identity, and know who you will be on the internet. Whether you blog with your real name, or a pseudo-name, it’s your call. Both come with their own set of pros and cons so it is important to take everything into consideration before taking the plunge.

Most niche bloggers prefer to blog with their own name. If you intend on doing so, it is important to know what information to divulge and put on the internet. Secondly, if your blog is tied to your real name, you won’t be able to sell it.

4. Content: With niche blogs, you’re playing in a relatively small field, with only a small pool of potential visitors. In order to be able to appeal to those people, and keep them interested in what you’re offering, variety is essential.

Make sure that you use different types of media on your blog. Try to be unique and different by offering something that no one else offers, and something that gives you a competitive advantage.

Additional Read: Here’s a pretty comprehensive article about how this person was successfully able to build a niche blog and monetize it.

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