Blogging reminds me a bit like cave exploration. Both were once unusual hobbies but have been gaining popularity amongst all sorts of people. Neither requires a lot of equipment or experience to get started. Plus, both blogging and cave exploring take creativity, organization and perseverance to be successful. Finally, perhaps most importantly, both involve finding an undiscovered space you can call your own.

However, there is one crucial difference between writing and publishing a successful blog versus exploring a massive network of underground caves. With caving, the end goal is finding a niche, whereas with blogging, you want to have a distinctive niche before you even get started. Easier said than done. Finding a niche for your blog can be as hard as searching through a dark, craggy, unknown cavern, but I guarantee having your own unique voice and calling is much more profitable. Here’s how to pick your way through the labyrinth of blog topics to discover a niche that is right for you.

Your Own Interests and Strengths

Before you can locate your own particular niche, start exploring the areas in which you already have an established interest. If you majored in business at college, you will probably have an inordinately difficult time sustaining a blog about Victorian literature. Unless gothic romances are a peculiar side-interest of yours, use what you already love and understand well such as business, personal finance, or some subsection thereof.

Choosing a topic that you already have a lot of enthusiasm for will make every aspect of blog maintenance easier, from brainstorming post ideas to answering reader questions to researching competing blogs in your niche. The more you already know, the better. Some questions that might be helpful in discovering your strengths include:

  • What are you good at? Do you have unique talents?
  • What gets you excited?
  • Do you have training in any unusual or elite skills?
  • Is there something you never tire of reading and writing about?

Some examples of subjects of interest might include:

  • Retirement planning
  • Small businesses
  • Higher education
  • Caregiving
  • Gourmet cooking
  • Fitness workouts
  • Traveling in the 3rd world
  • Tax rules

Of course there are already well-established blogs in all of these areas, but once you select your preferred subject, you can develop your own precise focus. For example, if you love to save money and are intrigued by the lives of coupon addicts and the methods they use to save money consistently, you might consider creating a blog focused on the fine print and latest policies of popular brands’ discounts and the best methods for coupon hunting that readers can utilize.

Make a list of various concentrations in the subject you like best and then research how many established blogs are already writing about your preferred theme. Ideally, you will hit upon a topic that no or few bloggers currently write about so you can make a bigger impact.

Keywords Leading the Way

Whether you are struggling to think of niche topics or you want to make sure that your ideas have a viable audience, integrate keyword research into your initial blog creation. Use a keyword tool like Google AdWords or Wordtracker to learn about popular search terms within your subject of interest. You want to find a balance between highly searched terms and niches that don’t already have hundreds of blogs to ensure that your site will have a large, sustainable audience with few blogs competing for their attention.

Write What You Love

Readers know when a blogger lacks any enthusiasm for his or her subject. It usually isn’t enough to be knowledgeable or experienced in a certain niche — you must also be infatuated by it. You may be tempted to select a topic solely based on your keyword research, but if you struggle to come up with 10 or more unique blog posts on the subject, you might want to steer yourself back toward a field you are passionately knowledgeable about.

If you write what you love, you’ll never run out of ideas and topics you want to discuss. You don’t want your writing to become stale or to give up too soon because you lose interest in your site’s theme. A blogger’s work is never done, so dig deep to uncover the lasting loves in your life.

The Dangers of Being Too Niche

In recent months, many Internet experts have argued against the idea of niche blogs, contending that niches alienate too many potential readers and thus miss out on major success. Unfortunately, this can be true. If you choose a niche that is too eccentric or only trendy in the short-term, your site might not garner enough attention to gain ample traffic over time.

Ultimately, seek a focus that you’re passionate about. Tapping into your own experiences, developing your own unique voice and using keywords that are likely to draw in growing numbers of new users and traffic should help your blog withstand the tests of time.


I never thought I’d be able to quit my job in 2012 just three years after starting Financial Samurai. But by starting one financial crisis day in 2009, Financial Samurai actually makes more than my entire passive income total that took 15 years to build. If you enjoy writing, creating, connecting with people online, and enjoying more freedom, learn how you can set up a WordPress blog in 15 minutes like this one. 

Leverage the 3+ billion internet users and build your brand online. There are professional bloggers now who make way more than bankers, doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs while having much more fun, much more freedom, and doing less work. Get started. You never know where the journey will take you!

Updated for 2017 and beyond.