When it comes to choosing a niche or industry for a blog you may have heard or read that you should find a topic with low competition so it’s easier to establish your blog as a leading authority. While this can work well for niche blogs where your goal is mainly to attract search engine traffic and make money from AdSense clicks or affiliate products, it often doesn’t work as well for active authority blogs.
My preference is to blog in very popular, crowded niches instead. Yes, it’s challenging to stand out and requires some effort and patience to achieve success, but you don’t need to dominate the niche in order to make money.
In a large, popular niche it’s possible to have a very profitable blog simply by being a somewhat small player. You will, of course, need to be able to attract an audience, but you don’t need to compete with the leading blogs that get millions of visitors each month. In a popular niche you can have a successful, but not dominant, blog that is well monetized and make a healthy profit.
There are a number of specific advantages to blogging in a crowded niche, and here are some of the most important ones.
If you’re interested in learning more about creating a successful blog, please see the Guide to Profitable Blogging.
1. A Proven Audience
Any time you start a blog you’ll want to know that there is a large enough potential audience for you to make money in that niche. If you target less popular niches it’s possible that you could create a great blog that becomes the best one in your niche, but there simply aren’t enough people interested in the topic for you to make a decent amount of money. If this happens, you’ve essentially wasted the time that you spent building that blog.
If you blog in a popular niche like technology, finance, celebrity news, travel, web design, marketing, photography, etc. there is no question that your potential audience is large enough. Those audiences already exist and have been proven to flock to websites and blogs that provide the right content.
There is certainly a chance that you won’t be successful at making your blog stand out from the others in the niche, but there is virtually no chance that you wind up wasting your time because the target audience is too small to support a profitable blog.
2. Unlimited Income Potential
One of the things that I’ve learned in my 5+ years of full-time blogging is that if you have an audience in the right industry, income opportunities will be there in one form or another. It may be through selling ad space, promoting affiliate programs, selling your own products or services, launching a membership area to the blog, selling premium content, publishing sponsored content, launching an industry-specific job board, or any number of other ways.
There are all kinds of potential when you have the right audience, and if you are able to attract a large audience, the potential really is unlimited.
I mentioned in the intro that you don’t need your blog to dominate a popular niche in order to make money, but if you are able to work your way into being one of the leading blogs, there will be no shortage of income opportunities. It’s harder work than building a leading blog in a smaller niche, and your chances of becoming a leader are lower, but if you’re looking for a very high income potential it could be the way to go.
3. Networking Opportunities
In popular niches there will be tons of blogs, forums, and social media sites that provide an opportunity for you to build a large and strong network with others in the industry. Networking is a key to success with blogging, and in smaller niches it can be challenging if there are only a few other blogs in the niche.
If you’re blogging in a popular niche you can connect with other bloggers by leaving comments on their posts, sharing their links through your social media profiles, interacting with them through social media, or simply by pro-actively emailing them or filling out a contact form on their blog.
Through your networking efforts you may be able to get an opportunity to guest post at a popular blog in the niche, encourage more social media sharing of your posts, attract some links to your blog, earn invites to private affiliate programs, find affiliates to promote your own products, or even find a partner for an upcoming project.
Networking in a crowded niche can be challenging because there are so many people that it’s difficult to stand out or to attract the attention of influencers, but with a consistent effort anyone can build a strong network over time.
4. Link Building Possibilities
If you’ve ever started a blog in a small niche and then worked to find opportunities to build links, you may have found it to be very frustrating. The more specific your topic is and the smaller your niche is, the fewer sites there will be that cover related topics. Without having other sites and blogs that share a similar audience it can be extremely challenging to build links from relevant sites.
In a crowded niche there will be no shortage of possible links. You’ll probably have to work harder to stand out enough to earn the links, but with the right content and the right approach you will have the potential to build a large number of quality links to your blog. These links could come from roundup posts, from natural in-content links, from forum posts, from guest posts that you write for other blogs, from your readers sharing your posts via social media, etc.
5. Plenty of Affiliate Products to Promote
One way to make money with a blog is to promote products as an affiliate. If you don’t want to (or don’t have the time) to create your own products this can be a great way to monetize your blog, but in small niches you may have extremely limited options when it comes to available affiliate programs.
In popular niches there are probably hundreds, or maybe thousands, of different products that you could promote as an affiliate. This means that you can choose only the best products that you know your readers will love. You can also be more selective and only promote products that have a high affiliate commission percentage.
And just as importantly, you can promote a range of products rather than just having one or two products to promote to your readers. For example, in the internet marketing industry you could use affiliate programs to promote web hosting, SEO software and tools, WordPress themes and website templates, e-books, online courses and training, e-commerce platforms, and much more.
6. Existing Advertisers
If you’re interested in monetizing your blog by selling advertising space you have far more potential in a crowded niche. Just about anywhere that you will find a large, active audience, you will also find products and services that companies are looking to sell to this audience.
In a small niche you might be able to become the leading blog on the topic and you may even be able to attract a decent number of visitors, but if there is no one looking to sell a product or service to your audience you won’t be able to sell ad space.
If you’re able to attract to a large number of visitors in a popular niche, selling ads could be a very lucrative way to monetize your blog. If you’re looking to find potential advertisers you can visit other blogs that target a similar audience and see who is advertising on their blog. You can also check to see what companies are using Google’s AdWords and showing their ads in the search results or through AdSense units on other blogs.
7. Possibility to Sell Your Own Products
If you’re looking for the blog monetization method with the highest potential for income, selling your own products may be it. A growing number of blogs are selling digital products like e-books, video courses and training, access to webinars, premium content, and just about any other type of product that can be download by customers. Creating and selling your own products isn’t easy, but if you’re successful there is a big financial reward.
Blogs in popular niches have a great opportunity to sell there own products because the existing audience is so large. If you have a popular blog in a hot industry it’s possible to make plenty of money from your product launch, plus, with many types of products you can continue to make sales for months or years to come.
Not only can you sell your products at your own blog, but in popular niches there will be plenty of other websites and blogs that could be potential affiliate partners to promote your product to their audience. As a result, you don’t need to have a high-traffic blog of your own if you can get the right blogs and websites to promote your product as an affiliate. Aside from other blogs you may be able to find opportunities to promote your products through established email newsletters, or even at industry-specific daily deal sites.
8. High Potential for Selling Your Blog
There may come a time when you’ll want to move on and work on something new. When that happens, selling your blog is a possibility. Because of the high income potential and the myriad of different ways that you can make money, blogging in a popular niche sometimes makes it easier to find potential buyers. Of course, you’ll need to have a successful blog in order to get a high price for it, but the potential for selling a blog in a popular niche is generally going to be higher than if you were selling a blog in a small niche.
If you have established an audience in a popular niche it’s possible that a company could be interested in buying your blog in order to promote their own product to your audience. It could be a company that you sold ad space to, or maybe you promoted their product very effectively as an affiliate. If a buyer thinks that your blog has the ability to reach their audience it makes it easier for you to get an offer, and with more companies looking to promote a product in a crowded niche there will be more opportunities.
What’s Your Experience?
Do you prefer blogging in crowded niches or smaller, less popular niches? Why?