It’s okay. You can admit it. You dream of blogging success and the limitless opportunities that come with having a profitable niche for your blog. Unfortunately, you’re not making any money from your blog.
If your blog has no clear focus or you’re still struggling with choosing a profitable niche for your blog, then you’re in for a treat. That’s because in this blog post, I will show you step by step, how to create a profitable niche for your blog to get you started on the road to blogging success.
The 5 Things People Will Pay You For.
There are generally 5 things that people will pay you for. Even if they don’t have money, they will find a way to get it. And you’ve got to have this in mind when choosing your niche and developing courses and coaching programs.
People will generally pay you for:
- Helping them make money. This includes
- Helping them make more money
- Helping them save money
- Helping them have more time.
- Helping them lose weight, get into shape, have more energy.
- Helping them get into a relationship, or helping them stay in a relationship
- Helping them with their children or pets
6 Steps to Creating a Profitable Niche for your Blog
These are the 6 steps to creating a profitable niche for your blog:
- Identify your ideal customer and pick a niche
- Develop your value proposition
- Create a powerful and memorable brand slogan
- Register a domain name
- Purchase a web hosting plan
- Install a blogging platform (i.e. WordPress)
We shall now look at each step in some detail.
Identify your ideal customer and pick a niche
Which of these niches would you say you’re a part of, if any?
The Big 17 Niches are:
- Personal Development (Self Improvement)
- Personal Finance
- Tech and Gadgets
- Marketing (online and traditional)
- Creative (graphic design, writing, crafts, etc.)
Choose a Profitable Niche for Your Blog: Be Astute and Strategic
You must be astute and strategic when picking your niche. In many cases, your skills (or your passions) have nothing to do with the services you should actually offer as a coach or consultant. Nothing.
You simply cannot start from your point of view, attempt to determine what you feel passionate about and what you’re good at, and then go out and find people who are interested in those things. You will have zero chance of success if you do that. You cannot start with your own interests and abilities, and then go outward to pick your coaching topic.
Instead, you must start with other people’s needs and then go inward – toward yourself. You must start where your potential clients are, and then discover how you can help them.
Choose a Profitable Niche for Your Blog: Your Goal
Remember that your goal is to help as many people as possible. Your job as a coach is to help people get results and achieve their dreams.
Yes, making money is important, but don’t let yourself get distracted by that. Focus on the helping, and the money will come.
Picture it this way – the more you help, the more you can charge. So if you choose a topic that already has a ready-made audience of people who need (and want) your help, you can help a lot more people than if you choose a small, niche topic no one’s ever heard of (and no one cares about).
Having an audience that truly needs your help will allow you to ask for premium rates as you grow your practice too. Your hourly rate is in many ways an extension of how much you change your clients’ lives in the time you spend talking to them.
- Decide your niche
Develop your value proposition.
Your value proposition is arguably the most important element of your overall marketing messaging. A value proposition answers the question your audience is asking. For example, “What can you do for me?” or “What’s in it for me?” aka WII FM Radio!
A value proposition tells prospects why they should do business with you rather than your competitors, and makes the benefits of your products or services crystal clear from the outset.
Unfortunately, many businesses either bury their value proposition in buzzwords or trite, meaningless slogans, or don’t bother highlighting it on their site and in their marketing campaigns – or they don’t figure out what it is at all!
The value proposition gives you the clarity you need to hone your other branding elements like logos, brand slogan, etc., and sync in your content, messaging and marketing.
How to write your value proposition
There is no right or wrong way. Peep Laja puts it this way:
|“The best value proposition is clear: what is it, for whom and how is it useful? If those questions are answered, you’re on the right path. Always strive for clarity first.|
If your value proposition makes people go “hmph?”, you’re doing it wrong. If they have to read a lot of text to understand your offering, you’re doing it wrong. Yes, sufficient amount of information is crucial for conversions, but you need to draw them in with a clear, compelling value proposition first.
Research by Marketing Experiments says that the key challenge companies have is identifying an effective value proposition, followed by communicating it clearly.
What makes a good value proposition:
1. Clarity! It’s easy to understand.
2. It communicates the concrete results a customer will get from purchasing and using your products and/or services.
3. It says how it’s different or better than the competitor’s offer.
4. It avoids hype (like ‘never seen before amazing miracle product’), superlatives (‘best’) and business jargon (‘value-added interactions’).
5. It can be read and understood in about 5 seconds.
Also, in most cases there is a difference between the value proposition for your company and your product. You must address both. “
- Develop your own value proposition.
To get you started, you can use this template to create your own value proposition:
- I am [your professional identity, e.g. blogger, author, coach, copywriter, speaker etc.]
- I help [your target audience]
- do [your unique solution]
- so that [your promised transformation]
I am a pro blogger, copywriter and coach. I help bloggers earn a living from their blog so they can live the life of their dreams.
Uber: A Real World Example of Value Propositions
Without explicitly saying so, Uber expertly highlights everything that sucks about traditional taxis and points out how its service is superior. The simple (yet highly effective) copy above, taken from the Uber homepage, excellently conveys the simplicity and ease that lies at the heart of what makes it such a tempting service.
Create a powerful and memorable brand slogan
You need a brand slogan to immediately communicate the value you provide to your target audience when they first visit your website.
- Distill your value proposition down to a short, punchy statement that describes the essence of your brand.
- Begin your brand slogan with a verb or gerund.
- A gerund is a verb in its ing (present participle) form. Any action verb can be made into a gerund.
Verbing (Present Participle)
- Add ing to most verbs. Ex. play > playing, cry > crying, bark > barking
- For verbs that end in e, remove the e and add ing. Ex: slide > sliding, ride > riding
- For verbs that end in ie, change the ie to y and add ing. Ex: die > dying, tie > tying
- If possible, include your brand slogan in your blog header
Blog better. Make money blogging.
Register a domain name
Choose your domain name.
Step 1: Make Sure Your Domain Name Answers Two Questions for the Readers
- Is this for me?
- Is it clear?
Step 2: Avoiding the 4 Fatal Mistakes
- My domain name is not clever
- Test: Go around to people who don’t know you, tell them the domain name and ask them what it means. If they have to think about it for more than two seconds, forget the domain name.
- My domain is not a subdomain of a blogging platform like mydomainname.wordpress.com or mydomainname.blogspot.com
- My domain does not use abbreviations
- My domain does not use hyphens
Step 3: My Domain Follows One of These Formulas
- Names the benefit
- Names the audience
- Names the topic
- Names myself
- Names my pursuit or the mission of my blog
Step 4: Coming Up With Domain Names
- Use thesaurus.com to find ideas and alternate names
- Use namestation.com to brainstorm combinations of words
Step 5: Choose Your Domain Name
Use this three-step process:
- Name the Audience. Who are you serving with your blog? Then ask yourself, ‘What would they call themselves if they succeeded?’
- Name the Result or Benefit. In other words, what will they achieve if they succeed? This is where we transform the mission into a domain name.
- Name the Topic. What is the blog about? You need to be clear and concise here. Think of it as your eight-second elevator pitch.
Step 6: Verify your new domain meets these criteria:
- Clarity: This is the key element that will get your readers hooked within those eight seconds.
- Message to Market Match: Make sure your domain promises to give your audience what they want.
- Memorable sound: You want your domain name to have a memorable sound people will remember the minute they hear it. Two tools to help you achieve that goal would be the use of alliteration and rhyming. The more that name rolls off your readers’ tongues, the more memorable it is.
- On Topic: You want your name to be on topic. And some of the synonyms you generate from your thesaurus will end up with names that are ultimately off topic, and you don’t want to use those.
Step 7: Check whether the name is available.
To find out if your new domain name is available => Click to search for your new domain name
If the name is free, go ahead and register it. If it isn’t available, choose a different name.
- Choose your domain name
- Find out if the domain name is available
- Register your domain name
Purchase a web hosting plan
Choose your web hosting partner wisely. If your business website is down, your customers can’t find you. Also, Google can’t find you, and if it can’t find you, it can’t index your pages. Investing in a reliable hosting service is a critical part of encouraging organic search traffic.
For web hosting – if you are just starting out and want something cheap with okay quality – go with iPage. iPage is my #1 budget hosting pick, the host is cheap, pretty reliable (>99.9% most of the time); and has all the necessary features a newbie needs.
I personally use and recommend Bluehost. They offer service packages specially optimized for WordPress users. Click here to check out their current service packages
How much does a blog cost?
A .com domain costs about $10 – $15 per annum. For iPage, first signup will cost you not more than $50/year. Bluehost costs $3.95 per month. InMotion Hosting Power Plan cost $4.49/mo; SiteGround GrowBig costs $3.95/mo (all mid level shared hosting, 12 months subscription).
In a nutshell, starting a blog will set you back around $60 – $120 a year.
What about free blog hosting?
I do not recommend running your blog on a free platform like Blogger.com or WordPress.com. Don’t get me wrong – those platforms are okay if all you care about is writing your thoughts and sharing ideas.
But a free platform is never a good place to host your blog if you wish to make money. There are way too many limitations and disadvantages on a free platform.
For instance, Blogger.com does not allow its users to post non-Google ads. WordPress.com, on the other hand, does not allow image ads and imposes various limitations on sponsored posts and affiliate marketing.
Effective Blog design
A high-quality logo enables you to look professional and stand out from the pack. If you’re building a personal brand, your logo might be a stylized type treatment of your name.
- Create a design brief to get aligned with your designer before you begin. This should include:
- Who you are
- Who your brand is
- Who your audience is
- The specifics about your project
- Select a designer or a design service
- If you don’t already know someone, get recommendations from friends whose logos you like.
- Respond to designers quickly with feedback
- Finalize your logo and get the files you need:
- .jpeg files
- .png files
- original source files
Here is a logo from Astute Copy Blogging:
Install a blogging platform (i.e. WordPress)
People often make the mistake of classifying WordPress as just a blogging platform. Although that used to be true in the past, WordPress has evolved through out the years into a versatile content management system (CMS). While you can still use WordPress to create a simple blog, now it also allows you to create fully functional websites and mobile applications.
The best part about WordPress is that it’s easy to use and flexible enough for just about anything. That’s the main reason why WordPress has grown so much in popularity. According to a recent survey, WordPress powers 22.5% of all websites on the internet.
Due to it’s robust features, many of the top brands use WordPress to power their websites including: Time Magazine, Google, Facebook, Sony, Disney, LinkedIn, The New York Times, CNN, eBay, and more.
9 Essential Steps to Launching Your WordPress Blog
1. Purchase and register your domain name.
2. Open a hosting account.
3. Point your domain name to your host’s name servers.
4. Install WordPress.
5. Choose and install your theme.
6. Sign up for your email list provider and create your pre-launch list.
7. Create the first message in your autoresponder sequence.
8. Create your coming soon page using InstaBuilder which I use and recommend.
9. Publish your coming soon page. To this, your WordPress dashboard, click on Settings –> Reading –> select A static page –> then choose the page you want to set as home page, in this case the coming soon page.
Essential WordPress Plugins
iThemes Security. If using this plugin, please be sure to test your site to make sure everything’s working correctly after changing any settings.
Astute Copy Blogging uses WP Supercache. It’s the easiest plugin to set up. Just use the default settings and you should notice a difference.
This plugin will also help your server cope with big traffic surges from other blogs or social networking sites.
We recommend the free backup plugin BackWPup. Just be sure to test it for your own site. It works for many sites, but some just can’t use it. Big sites are often a problem.
4. Spam Protection
These are the plugins Astute Copy Blogging recommends:
- Anti-spam– there is a pro version, but we use the free one.
- Spamshield– a free all-in-one solution for comments, forms, and more.
- Akismet– for live person spam. Cost is $5 per month for a commercial blog, free for non-commercial blogs.
5. Search Engine Optimization
Yoast SEO- is one of the most popular and highest-rated SEO plugins.
Imsanity is a graphics plugin that helps manage the images stored on your site.
7. Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 is a free plugin to install a contact form on your blog so that readers can send you a message without knowing your email address.
8. Broken links
The Redirection plug in helps you find and fix broken links on your site and manage your redirects without having to know the technical process behind it.
Important WordPress Settings
1. Your Site Info – Click on Settings –> select —>General. Add your site title and tagline, your email, and your time zone.
2. Permalinks- Go to the Common Settings–> select the Post name option.
3. Reading – Make sure that Front page displays is set to Your latest posts (best for blogs.) Also, make sure that the box beside Search Engine Visibility is NOT clicked.
4. User Profile – Navigate to — > Users and click — >Your Profile. From here, you can choose how your name will display on the site and which email address to be used for site notifications. This is also where you can update your password if needed.
Please make sure your WordPress version, theme, and plugins are updated. It’s good to get into a regular, perhaps monthly habit of updating all of them.
What’s SEO and Why Should You Care?
SEO For Bloggers: 48 Experts Share Website Optimization Tips
SEO For Dummies: What Is SEO And How It Works
One of your goals should be driving organic traffic to your website or blog. This means taking a few steps to ensure that when your ideal subscriber types a keyword into a search engine like Google or Bing, your site will show up. For this to happen, you have to implement good SEO practices. The better your SEO, the higher your site will rank on the search engine results page (SERP). And the closer you get to the top of page one, the more people will find your product, service, or blog.
SEO is an acronym for “search engine optimization.” Google uses a complex algorithm sequence to assess site content, page elements, tags, and site availability — among dozens of other elements — to decide which websites are most relevant to a searcher’s query. If you want people to find you, you have to make sure that the Googlebot crawling the web not only finds your site but likes what it see.
When Google can’t find your WordPress business site, you won’t be indexed and will have zero chance of ending up on the first page. In this case, the only way for people to find your website is if they know the URL or business name.
Fortunately, WordPress comes with built-in functionality to satisfy those bots. The platform’s features literally guide the search engine through individual posts, pages, and categories, making it simple to collect information about your enterprise — and increase your SERPs. Key SEO tools help you give organic searchers and Google what they’re looking for.
Profitable Niche for Your Blog: Tips, Tricks, and Tools to Boost Your Ranking
See what Google sees with the feature-rich plugin Yoast. It provides instant analytic feedback on your content so you’ll quickly discover if keyword placement follows best practices, images are properly tagged, and your posts have a favorable readability rating. It also gives you a preview to see how you’ll show up in the SERPs and whether your focus keyword appears in the title, content, and meta description.
Optimize all your images with alt tags (you’ll see this field when you upload the image file). High-quality images on your business website not only enhance customer experience, but Google considers images when indexing. Since computers only read words, make sure Google can find your photos by using keyword-rich titles. You will rank higher if you name your image “womens-purple-sandel” than if you use standard file names like “IMG0002309.”
Avoid duplicate content. Check your site to make sure that every URL has unique content because you’ll be penalized if the same content is used more than once. For example, don’t use the same product description on the pages for “women’s shoes,” “women’s blue shoes,” or “women’s footwear.”
Use WordPress categories strategically. Like tags, categories help you organize related posts. They also provide clues for readers about article content and make it easy for site visitors to find relevant posts on similar topics. Tags are totally optional (although we don’t recommend you opt out), but categories are required in WordPress. Learn more about the difference between categories and tags on this WordPress page. In keeping with the shoe theme, categories might be “footwear” and “women’s shoes” and tags would be “blue” and “slip-on.”
Create effective permalinks. Research confirms that while numbers in a post title entice readers to click through to read an article, they don’t factor into the ranking algorithm for your business website. So keep your slugs short — preferably five words or less. If you’re posting content titled “10 Trending Shoe Styles for Summer,” shorten your permalink to “trending-shoe-styles-for-summer.” Remember to use hyphens and not underscore markings since Google considers an underscore as an extension of the word and this can confuse the bots and reduce pagerank.
Exploit relationships (but only in this context!). It’s important to build a beautiful, functional website, but you also have to manage your online relationships to stay ahead of the competition. Linking gives you that advantage. WordPress gives you out-of-the-box functionality, such as blogrolls and pingbacks, to help you establish connections. Pingbacks notify the author of an article or press release of theirs that you’ve linked to on your site.
Trackbacks signal an author that you’ve mentioned her work, even if you didn’t include a direct link. It’s important to monitor theses mentions and links so you know which external content is influencing your rank. Google considers these relationships when considering how “popular” your business is on the web with searchers, industry associates, and competitors.
Create a sitemap in XML. Make it easy for Bing, Google, Yahoo, and other search engines to crawl your business pages with a sitemap generator. Just drop your complete URL into the text box, select the best-fit answer to three questions, and wait while the generator creates your optimized sitemap.
Write effective titles and meta tags. If writing effective titles and meta tags is difficult for you, you’ll love the Platinum SEO Pack plugin, which helps you optimize pages and post content for SEO. And it automatically generates meta tags to ensure that your content gets indexed by the search engines.
- Create a sitemap in XML using this sitemap generator. Just drop your complete URL into the text box, select the best-fit answer to three questions, and wait while the generator creates your optimized sitemap.
Now your turn
What niche are you in? How did you figure out which niche to go into? Is that the right niche? Is it a profitable niche or do you think you need to change to a different and perhaps more profitable niche? How do you know what type of blogs make the most money? What are the blog topics that make the most money?
In your opinion, what were profitable blog niches 2018 and what were the most profitable blog niches 2019?