You've reviewed the evidence, and you know that starting a blog is one of the best things you can do for your business.
But if your industry is small and doesn't have a reputation for being "interesting," you might be hesitant to start one. After all, there's no point in pouring resources into a blog that no one’s ever going to read, right?
This reaction is understandable, but it's misguided. The reality is that blogging about niche topics benefits your business, even with a smaller readership.
Read on to find out how to start a niche blog—but first, learn why it’s worth blogging about a niche topic.
4 Reasons Why You Should Start a Niche Blog
1. You Can Establish Yourself as an Expert in Your Niche
If you wanted to read the latest from a marketing expert, you might look up Seth Godin's blog. If you were interested in personal finance, Dave Ramsey would be very high on your list of people to check out. Why? Both run popular blogs and have a reputation for being authorities in their fields.
In short, people like to read blogs written by experts—and they tend to buy from them, too.
Your customers and prospects are looking for guidance from someone who has a reputation for being an expert and educator. It doesn’t matter if those people represent a group of 5,000 or a group of 36 million. They’re still looking for an expert.
In many cases, being in a niche market can offer more opportunity than a saturated one. For example, if you wanted to create a marketing blog that rivaled Seth Godin's, you’d be in for a very difficult fight.
On the other hand, if you wanted to start a blog about something far more specific, you’d have an advantage, as there likely isn't much content about it out there.
Take a look at Autodesk for an example of how blogging about sustainable design can be a big success. Autodesk’s team wrote several guest posts to introduce themselves to people who weren’t already aware of sustainable design.
As a result of its guest posting strategy, Autodesk generated much publicity and backlinks to its website. This gave them a leg up on competitors that assumed that no one would be interested in reading a blog about their field.
2. An Audience Exists for Almost Everything
How much traffic would you expect a blog written by a mortician to receive? Can funerals and embalming really be interesting?
You may not think so, but that didn’t stop Caitlin Doughty.
Doughty’s content distribution method of choice is video, but she could have done the same thing with a blog. Her YouTube channel, “Ask a Mortician,” has more than 850,000 subscribers, and epitomizes niche with its content about burials and death. Since generating massive public interest, Doughty has even gone on to write three bestselling books.
Doughty’s success is the perfect example of how an audience exists for just about every niche—provided that you create quality content, of course.
3. You Face Less Competition With a Niche Blog
Companies that succeed in a small niche do so because they refuse to accept that their industry is boring. They understand that if content is engaging and useful, it won't be boring to the right audience.
Unfortunately, many companies don’t understand this. For those companies that do, a small niche offers a big opportunity—particularly in SEO and brand visibility.
Take an example from the alternative medicine industry. Would you expect a blog called The Renegade Pharmacist to have a big following? If not, you’d be surprised.
In 2015, The Renegade Pharmacist published an article about the effects of drinking Coke. It included an infographic illustrating the effects a can of Coke had on the body over an hour’s time. In just a few days, the site started generating buzz from all over the internet.
Approximately a year after publishing it, the site had earned nearly 1,000 links directed back to the post. As a result, the site’s domain authority skyrocketed, and the site started ranking for hundreds of keywords.
This isn't unusual: one or two posts that go viral can give a blog the boost it needs to gain a steady readership.
It also helped that there simply weren’t many other authoritative websites in the alternative medicine industry at the time.
If there had been a large group of alternative medicine bloggers, someone else would probably have already published a blog post on the same topic. Even if nobody had beaten them to the punch, in a more crowded industry, The Renegade Pharmacist would have faced much heavier competition in acquiring backlinks and ranking for keywords from one or two popular posts.
4. Blogging Helps You Rank for High-Volume Keywords
Regardless of your industry, publishing well-optimized blog posts on a regular basis will help your brand’s online visibility, and plenty of real-life examples demonstrate this.
Consider Snack Nation. The B2B snack delivery services company initially didn’t see much traction with its blog posts. Then its team did some keyword research and discovered that very few people searched for their chosen key phrase, “healthy office snack ideas.” On the other hand, many users searched for the term “wellness program ideas.”
The results ranking for the latter phrase were rather dismal, however—presenting the perfect SEO opportunity for Snack Nation. Its editorial team promptly acted by creating an exhaustive list of wellness program ideas for its blog.
That single post had a dramatic impact—increasing the home page’s traffic by 59%.
Snack Nation’s success story is surprising in a way. Few people would expect a snack delivery company to establish itself as an authority on wellness or to generate much traffic from people searching for it. It's an opportunity Snack Nation never would have had if the brand did not have a blog.
How to Start a Niche Blog
See how a niche blog can do wonders for your brand visibility and traffic? With less competition than mainstream topics, you'll be on your way to the top of search engine results.
To get started on your own niche blog, follow the six tips below.
1. Pick a niche
There are plenty of profitable blogging niches out there. To name a few:
- DIY home projects
- Health and fitness
- Personal finance
But rather than just picking one based on its potential ROI, consider your own interests and expertise. Choosing a niche that you have no passion for will be harder to sustain in the long run—generally speaking, you’re better off creating a blog that you’re self-motivated about.
2. Find out what issues are relevant to your readers
Understanding those that are enthusiastic about your niche is crucial to creating a successful niche blog—these people are the users that make up your target audience, after all.
Once you locate these people, get to know them. Ask them about the issues they’re enthusiastic or concerned about. It'll probably give you a few ideas for blog posts.
Beyond potential customers and leads, review other blogs in related fields, and poll people in your company who interact with customers to identify the topics your readers would be the most interested in.
An excellent source for ideas is Quora.
Quora operates as a public online forum, where people ask questions and others respond. For example, if you search for “insurance premiums,” you’ll see a long list of questions that you can mine for ideas.
Use this insight to fill up your editorial pipeline. Creating content that’s relevant to users will effectively draw in more readers—it’s what makes a blog worth sharing.
3. Choose an appropriate brand voice
If you treat your content like it's boring, so will everyone else. Add some flavor and personality to your content to make it more engaging for readers.
Of course, when deciding on your company’s brand voice, you’ll also need to use discretion. A quirky or lighthearted tone can be charming, but avoid crossing any boundaries and coming off as condescending.
Edginess can be either off-putting or enticing—it depends on your specific niche. Of course, if your content is valuable and resourceful, it will generally be well received.
4. Write creative blog titles
In order for a niche blog to attract new readers, its posts need to stick out. You can accomplish this by writing catchy blog titles.
For example, say you're trying to find out how to read an insurance policy. Which title would you rather click on?
- "Reading a Home Insurance Policy"
- “Learn How to Read Your Insurance Policy or Kiss Your Home Goodbye”
The odds are that anyone who would have clicked the first article will also click the second. You'll also attract people who might have skipped on the first one but got a chuckle from the second one, and from people who'll respond to the stronger language being used because they’re afraid they might actually lose their home.
Use your creativity to write eye-catching blog headlines that will attract readers’ attention—just be sure that they’re also consistent with your brand voice.
5. Don’t write your blog posts like company brochures
Very often, companies in a niche industry focus on promoting their company and products or services. But that's a big mistake that comes from assuming that the only thing companies can write about is themselves.
Instead, think of your blog as an opportunity to educate and get to know your audience—not just a chance to sell your products and services.
Start a dialogue with your readers by asking questions and inviting them to comment. You may even find that dropping the sales-y tone leads to a bigger and more loyal readership.
Writing for niche industries isn't always going to be easy, especially if it's about a more complex topic. But the better you do it, the more authoritative your presence will be—and that means more readers in the long run.
6. Take a long-term perspective
Blogging is an excellent way to help your business grow. However, blogs don't usually become successful overnight.
That said, your blog will grow in value the longer it’s maintained. Make a commitment to publishing regular blog posts and you’ll reap the benefits, which include keeping your existing customers happy and turning leads into customers.
Don’t be fooled by those who put down niche topics and industries. It’s a big world out there with over 7.5 billion people, meaning there’s an audience for just about everything. Get started with a niche blog to capture a share of those people; chances are, you’ve got hundreds, even thousands, of readers looking for the exact content you haven’t yet produced.
This article was written by Compose.ly writer Kathleen Allardyce.