Niche blogging is incredibly popular these days, and for good reason. By narrowing down your topic and carving out a space for yourself in the hallowed halls of the internet, you can target a specific audience that finds a lot of value in your work. It all sounds amazing, but there’s more to it.
After launching numerous niche blogs and driving them to success, I’ve realized there were a few lessons I would have liked to learn sooner than later. Today, we’ll look at three major lessons about niche blogging I wish I knew when I first started. Learning these now will save you a headache later.
3 Lessons Niche Bloggers Need to Learn Before They Start a Blog
Niche blogging is an exciting way to make a name for yourself in the online world. It also takes a lot of work and a deep understanding of your audience, website best practices, and search engine optimization (SEO).
Let’s explore three lessons that I’ve learned in my time as a niche blogger. These are the things I think every blogger should know before they start their first website.
Not Every Niche is Profitable
Your niche is what happens when you choose a topic you’re passionate about, and you narrow it down to a specific area or aspect of the topic that people care about, but many blogs don’t actually focus on it. I always describe it as looking for the holes in your industry, the places where there’s room for more content that people will want to read.
There’s a truth behind all of this that many people don’t realize:
Not every niche is profitable.
You may have an amazing concept and idea in place, but if there’s not a market for it, then your niche blog can never truly be profitable. If we consider the definition of a blog, then it becomes apparent that the ultimate goal is to create a profitable website for yourself. As a result, you need to make sure your chosen niche is going to make consistent income for you.
If you invest months of your life into a niche, only to find out that there’s no money to be made, it’s one of the worst feelings a blogger can have. Let’s avoid that by ensuring your niche has a market behind it.
Once you’ve chosen your topic, you should start by looking at Google’s Keyword Planner to start your search. Let’s say you’ve decided to blog about travel. You’ll find some general travel topics, but odds are they will have massive search volume and high competition to go with it.
Case in point: these won’t be profitable because it will be impossible to rank against massive sites and corporations. On the other hand, trying to find a niche with low search volume won’t bring you the traffic you need to make money.
So, where’s the balance? The answer lies in long–tail keywords which allow you to target a very specific audience and earn a larger amount of traffic from that group. These also tend to have less cost per click when you’re running PPC campaigns.
Use long-tail keywords to find a niche that has a moderate amount of search volume, and a lower level of competition. This is how you uncover opportunities for profitable niche choices.
Speed is Everything
In today’s world, website loading speed is a huge factor in how successful your niche blog will be. Speed is something many of us don’t think about, mostly because it’s an invisible concept. At the end of the day, speed directly affects your ability to make a profit on your website. It’s as simple as that.
Let’s take a look at some statistics regarding website speed:
- 47% of consumers expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less.
- 40% of users will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.
- Every second your website loading speed increases costs you 7% in conversions
If you want your niche blog to be successful, you need to make sure your website is performing at the maximum possible speed. If you’re using WordPress, it’s easy to get things moving faster. Here are some options:
1. Start by Testing Your Speed
You’re going to need a baseline before you can start trying to improve your website speed. Start by testing the current loading times on your blog by running a test using a tool like Pingdom that will give you a sense of where to start.
You should also look at your hosting provider. Many issues with speed can be fixed, but if your hosting isn’t the best quality or it’s not a reputable provider, then the only fix there is to switch hosts. Once you’ve checked out these things, it’s time to move on.
2. Optimize Your Images
Large images can weigh down your website and cause it to run slowly. Optimizing them isn’t too difficult, but it can make a world of difference. If you’re on WordPress, a plugin like Wp-Smush.It can do this automatically when you upload images.
Otherwise you can use an online tool like Optimizilla to make your image sizes smaller without sacrificing quality. Either way, this will help immensely with your loading speed.
3. Other Quick Fixes
Once you’ve done these things, you can continue making progress by trying out some of these solutions:
- Install a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache, which goes to work instantly
- Sign up with a Content Delivery Network (CDN) which delivers your content to users based on location
- Limit the number of revisions stored with Revision Control
A slow website will never find success, but what’s crazy is that “slow” isn’t what you would expect it to be. Mere seconds can be costing you profits, so make sure this portion of your site’s performance is always a priority.
SEO is More Than Just Keywords
Search Engine Optimization is a much larger concept than many people give it credit for. Beginners may think that it’s all about keywords if you want to rank above your competition on Google, but these are just the foundation. They are a cornerstone, maybe even a first step, but they’re far from the majority of what defines good SEO.
Keywords will help you define topics and inspire post ideas, and they absolutely should be included in your posts, but remember to think about these other aspects of SEO when you’re optimizing your new niche blog:
- Links – these include internal links to other relevant posts on your site, links to your sources, and backlinks that happen when people link to your content.
- User experience – how does your website’s design look and feel for visitors? Is your text easy to read? How about your layout, is it easy to navigate?
- Content – Writing content that is in-depth, high-quality, and incorporates images or videos is key to ranking well for the topics you’re focusing on.
- Analytics – It’s always smart to install a tool like Google Analytics and monitor your traffic, bounce rate, and other metrics which all tie into SEO.
- Social Media – Being active on today’s social media networks and promoting your content doesn’t directly affect SEO, but it does send signals to Google that your brand is growing in both size and the overall trust people have towards it.
From here, I recommend dabbling in some of the more advanced elements of SEO. Having a strong understanding of these things when you start your niche blog will put you ahead of the competition and help you rank higher, receive more traffic, and ultimately find more success.
Niche blogging is an amazing way to take control of your career and start working from home. If you can avoid mistakes and learn these lessons early on, you’ll find that success comes faster than you would expect. As always, though, remain patient.
What lessons have you learned as a blogger that you wish you knew before? Let us know in the comments!
About the author:
Claire Stevenson has launched countless niche blogs and learned some important lessons along the way. She likes to help others avoid mistakes and maximize their success as online entrepreneurs.