Last Update November 10, 2014
When you’ve been blogging for as long as I have you’ll start to see a few common trends, questions and concerns that continually pop up.
And one of the most common questions of all is how to find the most profitable niche to blog about.
People rack their brains trying to find the hallowed niche that is untapped, flowing with traffic and, of course, oozing with money.
They use amazing tools like Market Samurai (affiliate link) to research their competitors backlinks (yes, you can do that!) and see if there is any way that they can do it better or mimic their success.
And while these methods do have merit there is something missing. Something not quite right about it all.
So, in this post I want to talk about the most profitable niche in blogging.
I really hope everyone reads this because it might save you a lot of time, money and heartache over the years.
How to find the most profitable niche
In all the years that I’ve been doing this thing I’ve noticed something that happens every single time. Now this might be a self-truth and not apply to anyone else but I have a sneaking suspicion that it does.
You see, even when I’ve found great domain names in really profitable niches I’ve never managed to make it work.
Because I just don’t care enough about the topic. I get bored. I get lazy. And in the end, every single time, the blog just ends up failing away into obscurity.
I must have done this at least 30 times.
Different types of motivation
One thing that is important to work out early on in the game is what motivates you. Broadly speaking there are two types of motivation:
- Intrinsic motivation
This is the type of motivation where you do something just because you like doing it. For example, riding a bike because you like bike rides as opposed to riding a bike to lose weight.
- Extrinsic motivation
This is where you do something for an external reward that happens later. For example, you create a blog in a niche you don’t like because you want to make money.
I realized (eventually) that I find intrinsic motivations much more powerful. I generally won’t do something I hate doing in order to get a reward later. That’s probably why I dropped out of University with two subjects left in my Degree because I just couldn’t stand the thought of six more months of that life in order to get a qualification.
And the same goes for blogging. Even when I know the niche could be profitable in a year or two years’ time I just can’t seem to muster up the discipline to work at something I find pointless or boring.
Life always just seems too short for that.
While this might sound a little bit like a diary entry for a troubled blogger there are some lessons for everyone else.
What I’ve noticed about intrinsic motivations and profitability
What I have noticed, however, is that the people who succeed at blogging do it with blogs they they freaking love to death. There are so many of them out there – bloggers writing in niches that, to me, look like they’d be quite small but are actually producing a really good income.
Mayi Carles is one of them.
The same goes for me. My best blogs have been the ones that I really enjoy writing about. There haven’t been that many of them but they always seem to make more money and have more success that the ones that are flat out just in profitable niches.
So what is the most profitable niche?
If you want to know what the most profitable niches by numbers are I can tell you right now. It’s not that hard.
Credit cards, mortgages, loans, finance, digital cameras, mobile phones, gaming and a few others that I don’t really even want to mention.
But the thing is, I highly doubt that they will be profitable for you.
The niches that are going to be popular for you are the ones that you love to write about. It’s the topics that intrinsically motivate you that are going to keep you going through all the boring days of writing and the months of very little income.
It’s really important to think about the age-old blogging for profit problem:
Do you find a product that you can sell and then blog about that product or do you write a blog and then find a way to make money from it?
Now I’m sure this is going to create a little bit of discussion/disagreement in the comments but nowadays I really lean towards the latter option. I think it is far more important to build a good blog and then find a way to make money from it.
That being said, I know one or two guys who have made millions of dollars doing it the other way. Again, it comes back to what motivates you. If it is money (or the things you can do with money) then you might be better off looking for that profitable niche.
Blogs about blogging
I know a lot of people think that blogs about blogging are the only places that you make real money. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are only a handful that do it really well and most of them actually make their money by selling related products in the way Copyblogger sells WordPress themes and SEO software.
The best blogs are the ones that become authorities on very specific topics and it often doesn’t matter what that topic is.
The discussion topic for today
Instead of writing lots about this issue I’d really like to open up the comments to you guys and hear your thoughts on intrinsic vs extrinsic motivations. Have you ever started a blog solely for money and made it work? Or are you having more success with a blog that you just love writing on? Also, do you think it’s better to start a blog once you know what to sell or should you worry about that later? Please leave a comment and get chatting.
Photo: © Estike