Anyone can start a blog, thanks to the free website builders and blogging tools available online these days, but it takes skill and dedication to turn blogging into a profession. If you want to generate a consistent income from blogging, one of your best options is to become a niche blogger, covering a highly specialized topic or series of topics. That way, you’ll be able to build a loyal audience without the fear of competition.
So what exactly is the best process for becoming a niche blogger?
The Big-Picture Blueprint
Let’s start with an overview of the formula you’ll use to find success:
- Choose a niche. First, you’ll need to decide on a niche. Your choice in topics has the power to make or break your potential, straight from the beginning.
- Create amazing content. Obviously, the core element of your strategy will be the content you develop for your blog. The better it is, and the more your users engage with it, the better your odds of success.
- Get more visitors. According to SEO.co, “in a perfect world, the best content would attract an audience all by itself. But even great blogs typically need a jump-start, in the form of marketing and advertising, to build an initial base of readers.” Once you have some stellar content in place, you can work on getting more attention to your blog.
- Find a monetization strategy. Finally, you’ll need some way to make money from the traffic you’re getting. There are several options, as you’ll see.
Choosing Your Niche
There’s no limit to what topics you can cover on your blog. You can write something educational, something entertaining, or something in between. You can be serious or absurd, and take any angle you want, so long as you bear these considerations in mind:
- Originality. The whole point of choosing a niche is to avoid competition. There are millions of blogs out there, and you’ll find it hard to compete with existing authorities on a topic, so make sure you choose something truly original.
- Personal expertise or interest. If you want your content to be good, you have to have some level of expertise or significant interest in the topic at hand.
- Loyal representation. It’s a good idea to scout for a topic that people are passionate about as well. It’s incredibly valuable to have a loyal, passionate audience—even if that audience is small.
Try to fill your blog with a backlog of content before you start trying to market it. This way, you’ll have a large body of work that your new visitors can explore. There are many factors that make a “good” blog post, but these criteria are slightly dependent on your focus. Focus on quality over quantity, do your research when necessary, and always double check your work for errors before publishing.
Increasing Your Incoming Visitors
When you have a decent archive of content to work with, you’ll need to start attracting initial visitors (and retaining the ones you have). These are some of the best tactics to use:
- Search engine optimization (SEO). SEO relies on many interdependent strategies working together to increase your web pages’ rankings in search engines. You’ll naturally increase in rank if you’re writing good content consistently, but you’ll also need technical SEO and link building if you want to be successful here.
- Social media marketing. You should have at least a few social media profiles already, so make use of them to promote your content and your brand.
- Email marketing. Email marketing has a massive ROI, in part because of its low expenses, and is great for retaining your readership.
- Pay-per-click (PPC) ads. PPC ads have a lower ROI when used as a long-term strategy, but they’re great for attracting an initial audience to your content (assuming you have the budget for them).
When you feel confident in your ability to generate a consistent stream of traffic, you can choose to monetize your blog in one (or more) of several methods:
- Advertising. Hosting ads on your site will typically earn you a fixed rate per click, or per visitor who sees the ad.
- Affiliate marketing. You could also include links to products on your blog posts; for every person who purchases the product, you’ll receive a small cut.
- Premium content. In addition to offering your core content for free, you can offer some kind of higher-value “premium” content, like eBooks or whitepapers, for a small fee per download.
- Products and services. You can also sell products and services of your own, using your blog as a marketing tool.
Niche bloggers have countless options for choosing a subject, developing content, marketing, and finally monetizing their work. But that isn’t a guarantee of success. It takes many hours of research and practice, as well as a bit of luck, to make your blog work.