So you’ve decided you want to build a website but aren’t quite sure what your topic should be? In this article, I’m going to help you find that perfect website idea. But before we start, there are a few things that you should consider when choosing a niche.
- Your website topic should be something you’re passionate about.
- It’s always easier to build a website around something you’re familiar with.
- A successful website provides the reader exactly what they want.
Many people tend to rush the process of choosing a niche so that they can get right into actually building a website. Whatever you do, don’t rush this process. Although sometimes the most painful part of building a website, choosing a niche is probably one of the most important steps you’ll take. Blowing this off will lead to a website that you easily lose interest in. No interest equals a failed website.
Two Simple Steps Towards Choosing a Niche
When it comes down to it, choosing a niche really only takes 2 steps:
- Create a list of niche topics.
- Filter that list down to your one perfect niche.
Sound too easy? Maybe. However, just because they’re simple, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s easy. I’ve built countless websites that I quickly lost interest in throughout the years. You see, I used to focus on what I though other people wanted, rather than what I was passionate about. The problem was that I couldn’t bring myself to continue writing about things that I had no interest in or had knowledge about.
So let’s start off with putting together a list of potential ideas.
Step 1: Creating a List of Awesome Topics
For now, don’t think about what you think people want to read about, because it doesn’t matter. Chances are, if you have an interest in an idea, other people will as well. This is the group of people that will become your loyal followers.
So where do we begin with building a list? I have provided some questions to get you started on your list. Read through each of the questions and start writing down any topic that comes to mind. It doesn’t matter what it is, we’re just brainstorming right now:
- What are you passionate about?
- What hobbies do you have?
- What interests do you have?
- What do you do for work?
- What are you knowledgeable about?
- Where do you live?
- What do you find inspirational?
- Do you have any goals in life?
- Where do you like to travel to?
- Do you find video games interesting?
- What kinds of movies do you like?
- What types of things do you like to buy?
- Do you enjoy reading books?
- Is there a topic that people often come to you for answers on?
- What do you do when you go out with friends?
Alright, do you have a list put together? Did you come up with multiple ideas for each question I asked? Don’t cheat yourself here. Let’s make this list big! Go back and write down some more ideas. Feel free to look beyond the questions I asked and ask yourself additional questions too. Don’t hold back on me now!
When you’ve exhausted every idea that you can think of, then you’re list is done and you’re ready to move on the next step towards choosing a niche for your website.
Step 2: Filter That List Down
Okay. I’m hoping you spent at least a half an hour coming up with every idea and topic you could imagine. If not, go back to step one. I’m serious. I already said it, but I’ll say it again: Choosing a niche is probably the most important step you’ll take towards building a website.
Now that the list has every possible idea that ever existed inside your brain, it’s time to start filtering that list and weeding ideas out. Here are a list of some things you can do to narrow down that list:
Eliminate Anything You’re Not Interested In
Just because you came up with the ideas, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll enjoy writing about the topic week after week. Keep in mind that you’ll be writing a lot. If you’re not absolutely passionate about a topic, remove it from you’re list.
Remove Anything That is Too Broad or Narrow
If there’s a topic that would require hundreds of articles just to touch the surface, then you’re idea may be too broad. Eliminate anything from you’re list that is too broad. The competition will be way too high and you will have a hard time competing against the big boys.
On the flip side, if you can only think of a few ideas for articles, then you really have nothing to write about. Remove these ideas that don’t have enough depth to provide the proper amount of content.
Now that we’ve narrowed the list down, we can start looking at popularity. Yes, when choosing a niche, it’s important that we are passionate about the topic, but you want others to be passionate about it as well. Now that our list no longer has topics that aren’t of interest to you, let’s weed out anything you think may not interest others.
Tip: A good way to do this is to use the Google Keyword Planner Tool. If you’ve never used it before, it’s a free tool provided by Google. Use the link I just provided, and simply click on “Search for a new keyword and ad group idea”. You’ll then enter your topic into the first box and click “Get Ideas”. You’ll notice a tab that says “Keyword Ideas”, which is located at the top in the center. Click that and you’ll have a list of related keywords as well as the number of searches on a monthly basis in your country. You’ll want this number to be a minimum of 1,000. Preferably, it will be between 10,000 and 25,000. It can be higher, but keep in mind, you’re probably looking at a much broader topic if you’re getting over 50,000. It really comes down to how much time you’re willing to put into your website each week. The more time you have, the more aggressive you can be.
Eliminate any topics that have a search volume less than 1,000.
With the remaining topics, write down the search volume number next to each one on you’re list.
Tip: You may have found some other keywords using the Google Keyword Planner Tool that work better. Feel free to replace or update your list if you think something may work.
How’s the Competition?
Now that you found the topics that you’re passionate about, and has the right amount of interest, let’s take a look at the competition.
Hopefully, your list has been narrowed down to about 10 to 20 topics at this point. If not, go back and eliminate what seems less interesting to you.
Now, I want you to go to Google. You’re going to do a search, but your search will be in quotes.
Like this: “choosing a niche”
You’ll notice that Google provides a number of competing websites right above the listings. It looks like this:
About 41,400 results (0.33 seconds)
If this number is over 1,000,000, then it’s too competitive. Personally, I prefer my topic to be less than 500,000. Or even better, when choosing a niche, I get really excited if the number is less than 250,000.
I want you to add another column to your list and add the number of competing websites. You should now have a list of topics that you are passionate about, is popular, and doesn’t have too much competition.
Can You Monetize It?
Next, I want you to consider the dollar value of your topic. When choosing a niche, it’s important that you have a site that will make you money. You could have the best site in the world, but if there’s no proper way to monetize it, you’re just wasting your time. Here is a list of some monetization ideas. Can you incorporate any of these ideas into your site?
- Product Sales
- Affiliate Marketing
- Advertisements (when you did a search for your term, did Google have ads on the page?)
- Can you sell a service on the site?
- Do you have offline products to sell?
- Can this idea provide lead generation or a growing email list?
You get the idea. You want to make money from all of your hard work, so make sure the opportunity is there.
You’re Ready to Choose a Niche
You now have a small list of topics that are interesting to you and to others, are profitable, and have strong monetization potential. This list should have the keywords, number of visitors, and number of competing websites. Hopefully, there are only a few topics left at this point.
You are now going to use your best judgement and weigh out two things:
- What are you most passionate about on this list?
- What keywords have a good ratio of low competition and high search volume on a monthly basis?
Congratulations on Choosing a Niche!
Congratulations on choosing a niche that stood the test of many filters. If you haven’t figured out what to go with yet, it’s okay. Sometimes sleeping on it can be a great idea. You can always revisit it tomorrow. Like I said before, choosing a niche is probably one of the most important steps you’ll take towards building a website that rocks. I know of some people that took weeks to go through this process.
Feel free to comment below with any questions you may have about choosing a niche.