Now if you really want to attract massive traffic from Google and other major search engines, you need to master the art of search engine optimization (SEO). This simply entails optimizing your blog for keywords that people are using as queries when using search engines to find information relating to your blog’s content.

So, search engine optimization is a proven traffic magnet because it increases your blog’s visibility in search results. Although understanding how to optimize your blog for specific keywords is important, knowing what keywords to optimize for is far more important. The success of your SEO efforts hinges largely on whether you are optimizing your blog for the right keywords or not.

Only when you find the right keywords and optimize your blog for them will you be able to get results from your SEO efforts. Now, how can you find the right keywords—those keywords that people are using on search engines to find information similar to what you offer on your blog? The answer is… niche keyword research.

However, you must bear in mind that offering just quality content isn’t the key to the success of your blog. What matters most is offering quality content that people are really looking for. And you can only figure that out through niche keyword research.

Enough said on the importance of keyword research. Let’s now look at the steps involved in the process. Here, we will be using the best keyword research tool available online, the Google Keyword Planner. This tool is free and easy to use. So, keyword research is something you can easily handle yourself. Here are the steps involved:

The Basics of Keyword Research

The first step is to compile a list of niches you have interest in. Examples are book lovers, students, football fans, basket ball fans, game lovers, photographers and so on. If you are short of niche ideas, you can rush now to the following websites for more ideas and research:

Amazon

www.amazon.com is by far one of the best sites to do your niche market research on. Search any of their department for niche ideas. They have certain sections that tell you exactly what’s selling in their marketplace, some of such sections are:

  • Hot New Releases
  • Most Gifted
  • Most Wished For
  • Movers & Shakers

EBay Pulse

pulse.ebay.com will give you the breakdown of current trends and cool stuff that is selling on eBay. It also gives you a list of popular searches, largest stores and most watched items

Google Trends

www.google.com/trends is used to compare certain niches to see if it is the right time of year to launch a blog. This will compare the world’s interest in chosen niche markets.

Traffic Potential

After you’ve identified a few potential niches you want to see if the traffic is there or if people are even searching for information or products in this niche. I usually use Google Keyword Planner – adwords.google.com

How to Conduct Niche Keyword Research Online

a. Open your browser and visit adwords.google.com If you already have a Google account, such as a Gmail account, simply login using your details (that is, enter your username and password). But if you don’t have a Gmail or other Google account, click the “sign up” button to start your registration.

b. Answer the questions in the registration form. Ensure that your answers are correct, and complete your registration.

c. After completing your registration, open adwords.google.com once again and enter your username and password (since you are now registered).

d. The next page will show a green menu bar, click “Tools and analysis.” A dropdown menu list will be displayed. From this list, select “Keyword Planner.”

e. On the next page, you will see four options. Click the first one (“Search for keyword and ad group ideas”). Ignore the other three options; you don’t need them.

f. In the dropdown box, enter your main blog topic or niche in the column for “Your product or service.” For example, if you are planning to blog about weight loss tips, enter “weight loss tips.” (As for the “Landing page” and “Product category” columns, you have no business with those.)

g. In the “Targeting” section below, choose the country you are targeting. Leave the box blank if you are targeting a global audience. If you are focusing on the U.S., simply write united states and click on the country’s name to confirm. Then click outside the box to save your settings.

h. In the “Customize your search” section, click the “Keyword filters” box, and set the “Average monthly searches” to greater than 500 or 1,000 or more (depending on your choice). Ignore the “Average CPC” box.

i. Click the “Include or exclude” box, enter your seed keywords (“weight loss tips” in our example) in the “include terms” box. This will fetch only keyword ideas that are closely related to your seed keyword.

j. Click the “Get ideas” button, and wait for the results. Then click the “Keyword ideas” tab to get a list of keyword ideas.

Next I will enter my main keyword, in this case I found a niche pertaining to “digital slr” which basically is all about digital camera/photography. So enter “digital slr” (without quotes) and it returns a number of keywords I can target. As you can see, this niche is getting a lot of traffic. I normally focus my efforts on keywords getting between 14,000 and 30,000 searches per month and narrow it down from there. Here are the potential keywords that I found:

  • Sigma digital slr
  • Digital slr review
  • Best digital slr camera
  • Digital slr photography
  • Digital slr lenses
  • Best digital slr

I will continue to use this example throughout this article, so you can have a full example of how to research a niche and setup a blog around a certain topic. Is it Profitable? – This is by far the easiest step in niche research to see if there is money in your particular niche. Essentially, there are several ways to monetize a blog and I will be explaining them here in this article.

But first, you will want to check the keywords and see what advertisers are paying per click. The keyword cost per click (CPC) has to be at least $1.00; this will let you know that we have businesses paying money for their business/product to get exposure. So I did a search for the 6 keywords I’m targeting to see if they are averaging at least $1 CPC.

As you can see collectively, this set of niche keywords is averaging $1 CPC. Now we want to check to see if there are any related affiliate programs that we can promote. There are two ways we can go about doing this; a Simple Google Search like niche keyword + “affiliate program.”

After searching it returned over 220,000 results or possible affiliate programs that I can promote and make money from. The second way you would find affiliate programs is by simply searching the big affiliate networks where businesses or vendors go to tap into an affiliate program. You can search these networks for your niche to see if there are any good products to promote.

  • Commission Junction – www.cj.com
  • Shareasale – www.shareasale.com
  • Clickbank – www.clickbank.com

However, you must bear in mind that not every keyword idea on your list will be worth targeting. Some keywords will be so competitive that a blog like yours will be nowhere to found in the search rankings for such keywords.

To get the expected results from your SEO efforts, you need to target low-competition keywords. How do you know which keywords are of low competition? Simply enter each keyword into Google and look at the sites or blogs that are ranking for it.

If the top search result positions for a keyword are occupied by authority sites, chances are that you won’t be able to rank for that keyword. For example, entering weight loss-related keywords can return results that have authority health sites like WebMD, Mayo Clinic, and Medline at the top spots. That’s an indication that you should drop that keyword for others which are ranked for by less popular, lower quality websites or blogs.

How to Come Up With Niche Ideas without Using the Internet

Choosing the wrong niche is the worst mistake you can ever make as a blogger. It’s like heading for the wrong direction right from the start of a journey. No matter how hard you try, you just won’t find your way. And to get it right, you will most likely have to start all over again.

If you choose the right niche, your journey to success as a blogger will be not just easy, but short. So, you need to really take the time of your life to carefully figure out what niche would be most suitable for you before taking a plunge. This is the most important part of the process of planning your new blog.

While most blogging experts advice that you use online resources when trying to come up with niche ideas for your blog, I hold that you can do that without using the internet. In fact, if you are blogging for a local audience, I would advise you to favor your offline findings and observations.

Now, how can you come up with niche blogging ideas without using the internet? Here are five tips to help you achieve that easily:

1. Define your interests

Your first step towards finding a niche idea for your blog is to figure out what you are passionate about or greatly interested in. In short, your ideal niche idea should be closely related to your passion or interest. So, you must be blogging on topics that you are really passionate about or greatly interested in. Being an expert in a topic isn’t a must. You can easily research for quality information on any topic and produce great content from that.

But you need passion and interest in that topic to be able to do that consistently. Your passion for a topic will keep you going strong even in the face of those harsh challenges that new bloggers complain about, such as low traffic. Your interest in a topic will motivate you to always learn new things about that topic and present fresh ideas to your audience. And your knowledge or experience in a topic will help you provide your audience with practical and authentic information.

Now I will explain how to build a niche blog on your strengths, hobby, talent or personal skill and still make a hell of money from it. Building a niche blog on this model will fit those who love to write and talk about their hobbies. You can make money online by simply by writing or talking about your personal life, hobby or anything else. It is very possible to turn any hobby, talent or skill you possess into a cash machine.

But I think it’s worthwhile you know that not all blog niches are inherently profitable because the topic you choose, often determines the future size and profitability of your blog to some extent.

When going this route, it is important to pick a niche that you are genuinely interested in because the natural passion you have for the topic sustains the content creation process and will actually make the whole chore of blogging enjoyable. So the first thing you would do is create a list of topics that interest you. So my own list would be something like this:

  • Making money
  • Reading
  • Investing
  • Technology
  • Writing
  • Martial Arts
  • Video games
  • Studying animals

Now I don’t know what your passion may be but if you want to dive deeper and see if there are sub niches that you can blog about. Do a simple Google blog search http://blogsearch.google.com to see what others are blogging about and see if you can carve a niche out of it. When writing about your passions and interest, it is important to also check the search volume and see the traffic potential so you will not waste your time writing about a topic that doesn’t make you any money.

2. Figure out people’s wants

Even if you are passionate or knowledgeable about a particular topic, you won’t succeed at blogging on that topic if people are not interested in it. So, you need to figure out topics that people are desperately searching for information about. Objective research, not assumption or intuition, is the only way to find these topics.

For example, if your locality abounds with dog owners, then you can start a blog on dog breeding, grooming, puppy sales, etc. This is because dog owners are always looking for strategies that will help them breed, groom and sell their dogs for profit.

Similarly, if unemployment is a major problem in your city or country, you can start a blog that shares proven tips on how to get a job quickly.

3. Think about achievements or personal problems you have solved in the past

Another great way to find a blogging niche is to think about problems you solved in the past that many people in your locality are presently battling with. For example, if you were once overweight and have now trimmed down successfully, then find out if many people around you are battling with the same problem, and start a consider starting a weight loss blog.

4. Find out what people like talking about

Another good way to figure out what would most likely be a profitable blogging niche idea is to figure out what people are talking about during their leisure. Do they discuss politics? Do they discuss sports? Do they discuss movies?

Find a meeting point between your own passion and what people in your locality are always talking about. If you start a blog based on that, chances are you will quickly attract a large audience–because if people like discussing a topic offline, chances are they will like to discuss it online as well.

5. Find out the bestselling magazines

Figuring out what magazines are selling the most in your locality can give you some insight into what type of information people are interested in. If sports magazines sell like wild, then chances are many people in your locality are sports enthusiasts who would appreciate a sports discussion blog. Similarly, if health and wellness magazines are among the top selling, then starting a health and wellness blog would be a great idea.

10 Hottest Blogging Niches in Nigeria

The huge successes recorded by the likes of Linda Ikeji and Uche Eze (Bella Naija) have prompted thousands of Nigerians to go into blogging. However, only few of these aspiring bloggers knew what niches to target before taking a plunge.

To achieve success as a Nigerian blogger, you must blog on a niche (topic) that has a large audience; a topic that many Nigerians are interested in, a topic that has the potential to generate massive traffic consistently and fetch you huge profits in the long term. If you are planning to start a blog targeted at Nigerians, but you have no idea what niche to choose, this post is for you. Here are the 10 hottest blogging niches that Nigerians are always interested in:

1. Entertainment and celebrity gist

Nigerians love entertainment, so they follow happenings in the entertainment industry religiously. And because they are always eager to know what’s up with their favorite celebrities, they love blogs that reveal first-hand gist about these celebrities. Though this niche might be saturated, there’s enough room for new bloggers. And if you really have a unique touch to your entertainment blog, you can quickly forge ahead of the competition.

2. Technology

Nigerians are crazy about tech devices—especially smartphones and tablets. They want to know about the hottest and latest devices. They want to know how to jailbreak their iPhones and root their Android devices. They want to know what data plans are the best for them. And they want to know what devices have what specs. If you can consistently churn out content in these lines, then you can become a successful tech blogger.

3. Make money online

More and more Nigerians are joining the bandwagon of Online business. But ironically, most are completely at sea when it comes to figuring out what models are the best for them. If you know about blogging, information marketing, affiliate marketing, and other ways to make money online, start a blog for sharing your knowledge, and you’d build a huge audience within a short period.

4. Job search tips

The Nigerian labor market is tight, yet the nation’s tertiary institutions keep churning out fresh graduates every year. To boost their chances of getting jobs, Nigerian job seekers are constantly looking for information on the latest job openings, how to get a job, how to answer interview questions, model aptitude test questions and answers, and so on. If you can provide quality information on all these and related matters, then you will build a successful career blog within a period.

5. Education

Virtually all Nigerians now know the importance of education. In fact, its widely believed all over the country that having qualitative education up to the tertiary level is the key to living a fulfilled life in Nigeria (whether this is true or not is up to debate).

This explains why parents are ready to spend their last kobo on their children’s education, and why youths are trying hard to gain admission into universities and grab other benefits that come with it. So, there’s huge demand for information about university admissions, scholarships, opportunities to study abroad and so on.

6. Football gist

Many Nigerians—young and old—are diehard football fans. Not only do they derive pleasure in watching their favorite national teams and football clubs play, but they also enjoy heated arguments in defense of their favorite football teams and players.

If you start a football blog that reveals latest happenings in the world of football, features opinions and match analyses, and allows readers to engage in arguments and debates (in the comments section), you’d build a large audience within short time.

7. Fashion

Nigerians are fashion-crazy; they care so much about what they wear and how they look. And they are eager to know the latest trends in the fashion world. This explains why they flock to any blog that shares unique fashion tips, latest fashion trends, and anything fashion.

8. Politics

The political terrain in Nigeria is dynamic. From party-to-party defections to impeachments, and to scandals and other happenings, there’s never a dull moment in Nigerian politics. If that topic interests you, then you can start a blog that offers quality analyses, political news, interviews, inter-party rants, opinions, and so on.

9. Free software or browsing codes/ hacks

Nigerians love getting things for free or cheap—even if that requires going unethical. If you want to attract a huge Nigerian audience and make good money from them, a good way to achieve that is to start a blog where you share free software cracks, free browsing cheats, and other tech-related shortcuts. Though, revealing this kind of information is deemed unethical by some authorities, by being careful, you can avoid doing the questionable.

10 Currently Untapped Blogging Niches in Nigeria

Targeting the wrong niche is one of the reasons why most Nigerian bloggers aren’t making money—and may never get to make money—from blogging. Hundreds of entertainment and celebrity gist blogs spring up in the Nigerian cyberspace every week—not because most newbies are passionate about that niche, but because they think it’s the only niche where they can make money from blogging. But they’re dead wrong.

Aside entertainment news and celebrity gist, there are a good number of other topics that Nigerians are highly interested in. But unfortunately, nobody seems to be looking towards these niches. If you want to make money as a blogger in Nigeria, you need to look beyond those highly competitive niches that everyone (and their dog) is targeting. Here are 10 currently untapped blogging niches in Nigeria that you should target, instead:

1. Travel

Many Nigerians are desperate to leave the country in search for “greener pastures” in foreign countries—especially developed countries such as United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, south africa, and so on. A blog that shares proven tips on how to obtain a visa easily to any of these countries will quickly attract a huge audience because several thousands of Nigerians are desperately in need of such information.

2. Weight loss

Nigerians are becoming more health conscious. In Nigeria, presently, there is increasing awareness of the multiple health risks of being overweight as well as the health benefits of keeping fit. This explains why more and more Nigerians are searching the internet on a daily basis for information on how to lose weight, best Nigerian foods for weight loss, and so on.

3. Property

With increasing rates of fraud in the country, Nigerians are becoming more skeptical when it comes to acquiring new property. In addition, owners of houses, cars, and other valuable property are constantly in need of tips on how to maintain their prized possessions.

(Of course, everyone wants to cut down on maintenance and repair costs). There is a huge audience awaiting any blog that shares valuable information such as tips on how to acquire property without falling prey to fraudsters, how to maintain property, how and where to buy property for cheap, and so on.

4. Healthy living

Due to the increasing rates at which prominent Nigerians are dying of illnesses that are avoidable, many are now constantly searching the web for information on how to live a healthy life and avoid infections and diseases, especially those that are common in Nigeria.

Unfortunately, most of the health and fitness information shared on the web are not catered to Nigerians. This leaves a wealth of opportunity for a new health blog that shares valuable information on healthy living that is meant specifically to Nigerians.

5. Personal finance

The ailing state of the Nigerian economy has left people with less money to manage. Companies are cutting down on salaries, and businesses are recording less profit. The average Nigerian is now left with no other option than to learn how to survive on a tight budget. Since this is the plight of most Nigerians, a blog that shares tips on personal finance management will attract a huge Nigerian audience. Unfortunately, there’s no such blog at the moment.

6. Social media marketing

It goes without saying that every business needs customers to thrive. And business owners will jump at any opportunity to attract new customers or any strategy for achieving that. Nigerian business owners are no exception; they are constantly in need of proven tips on how to attract potential customers and generate more sales. Sadly, no popular blog offers such at the moment.

7. Best deal and promos

Nigerians, like other people, like to get things for free or cheap. And they are quick to grab any opportunity to get discounts, bonuses, and price cuts. A blog that shares information about latest deals and promos, discount offers, bonuses, and so on will quickly attract a huge Nigerian audience.

8. Sports betting

This is arguably the latest craze among Nigerian soccer enthusiasts. This explains why online sports betting platforms like Nairabet are becoming more popular and are making good money off Nigerians. On the other hand, however, many are constantly looking for tips on how to win bets consistently. Any blog that offers such tips will attract Nigerians who place bets regularly.

Ajaero Tony Martins