Bloggers can make serious money. Copyblogger began as a blog by one guy, Brian Clark, and is now a multimillion dollar business. Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income blog and accompanying podcast bring in six figures monthly.
Every aspiring blogger wants to be in the same company as Clark and Flynn and the select others who've found a way to earn a living online. And yet statistics suggest there's stiff competition — more than 2 million blog posts are written every single day.
To stand out, you need to find and serve a niche that's in demand. How do you do that? Tools such as Google Trends can tell you about search volume, while Q&A network Quora can give you insight into the types of questions people are asking. There's also the trending lists on Twitter and Reddit to consider. Here are three topics that are on the move right now:
1. Niche financial advice
Is there anything hotter than bitcoin right now? Google Trends has interest in the term rising steadily over the past three years. As a blogger, you could profit from interest in bitcoin by giving readers insight into how to profit from the cryptocurrency. Articles on bitcoin networks, trading strategies, and practical explanation of the various tools for mining bitcoins could also draw traffic. It could even give you the basics for bundling up a salable book or the outline of a speech event organizers might pay for.
2. Specialist guides on popular destinations
We all know the hot vacation destinations, but there may also be interest in where you live. Ocean City, Maryland is that kind of destination, according to Google Trends. Writing a series of posts with insider details not found on most other sites could yield meaningful traffic and might even lead to regular business. C My Paris started this way and is now a multinational blog called C My Cities with experts contributing content from about 16 different cities around the globe.
3. DIY and simple living
There's making money, and then there's saving money. The millennial generation that's consuming vast amounts of content online is obsessed with saving to achieve long-term financial freedom. How can you serve them? Don't go for the obvious. Instead of writing about what it takes to build a tiny house — a popular topic, according to Google — tell readers how to maintain or even renovate a tiny house.
A final word of caution
How you choose to make money with these niches is a personal decision. You could seek advertisers, a market for affiliates, start a subscription site, ask for membership fees or sell products. The key to all of these strategies is getting a good inflow of engaged readers.
The right niche will get you an audience for a little while. Keeping those readers is a different story. To do that, you need to write well, on a schedule, and provide knowledge and perspective your readers can't get anywhere else.