Want to make sure that your new blog will have the potential to generate revenue?
While it’s true that almost any subject has potential, if you want your blog to be a long-term asset, perhaps even one that could be sold in the future, it pays to make sure that the subject you choose has lots of potential for monetization and longevity.
The biggest indicator of potential is the existing supply of products and/or services related to the niche or subject that you plan to blog about.
In other words, if your niche has a supply, it means there's a demand for that supply. Regardless of whether you plan to promote affiliate offers, monetize your blog with ads, or sell your own products and services, demand is crucial.
So, let’s take a look at three quick and easy, but effective ways to determine supply, and therefore demand.
Search the big online stores, such as Amazon and Walmart to find out what type of products are being sold in your niche. Chances are you will find a lot of them, and maybe even some that you would never have thought of!
For example, imagine you wanted to create your blog around the subject of bonsai trees. Doing a search on Amazon for ‘bonsai’ brings up results for a ton of different products, and of course, Amazon has an affiliate program that you can join.
But it doesn’t stop there. A Google search for ‘buy bonsai’ brings up a lot of online outlets selling bonsai trees and bonsai accessories. There’s no shortage of supply, so from that, we know there’s plenty of demand.
E-commerce isn't limited to physical products shipped to the customer's home. Digital products such as video games and music, as well as online services such as teletherapy and virtual seminars, are also part of the wider world of e-commerce.
Run a Google search for "[your niche + buy online]" to see what kinds of products and services are available for people interested in your niche.
Explore Affiliate Programs
One of the best (and simplest!) ways to make money from blogging is through affiliate programs.
Affiliate programs allow you to recommend physical products, services, and digital products of other companies in exchange for a referral commission when a sale is made.
Well known companies that offer excellent affiliate programs include Amazon, eBay, GoPro, Air B&B, and there are many, many more.
For example, Amazon's affiliate program gives you 3% - 10% of most purchases made through a link or banner on your blog. That number might not seem like a lot, but it's a lot bigger when you consider that in 2020 alone, Amazon made a whopping $21 billion in net income.
The quickest way to find affiliate programs for your niche is by simply doing a Google search for "[your niche] + affiliate program". The results page will show you all the affiliate programs related to that niche.
Going back to the bonsai example, doing a search for ‘bonsai affiliate program’ brings up several results including https://www.bonsaiboy.com/. This website sells everything bonsai, and has an affiliate program that pays 20%. Not bad when you consider the price some of these trees sell for.
Both images below are from websites that have generous affiliate programs!
Books and Magazines
Another way to look at the supply for your niche is to check out books and magazines. Niches with a big supply will have a ton of related publications, both digital and print.
Going to the Books department on Amazon and taking ‘bonsai’ as an example again, there is somewhere between 100 and 200 different books on the subject.
A Google search for ‘bonsai print magazines’ also brings up a lot of results.
Go ahead and do a Google search for "[your niche] + books/magazines".
To conclude, it only takes a few minutes to determine whether a niche or subject has plenty of supply and monetization opportunities.
We know ‘bonsai’ has great potential because applying the 3 steps described in this post tells us that it does.
Once you know that a subject or niche has enough supply, it’s time to check whether it has longevity. In other words, is it a ‘fad’ that might go out of fashion in 6 months, a year, 2 years? Or is it evergreen? An evergreen niche is one that has been popular for a many years or even decades, and is likely to remain popular into the future.
Here are a few examples of fads that have come and gone (or almost gone!):
The Atkins diet
It’s pretty unlikely that you would want to create a blog around something like Fortnight dancing, but what about the fitness fads, or the fashion fads for example. How do you even know if something is a fad, or might be a fad?
The answer is simple…
If something has been popular for at least 4 years, it’s not a fad. The lifespan of a fad is relatively short, usually 2 years maximum, but some can last a little longer. On top of that, fads tend to gain and lose popularity very quickly.
Look at this Google Trends chart for the Atkins diets. The chart only goes back as far as 2004, but Atkins only became popular in 2003. Yet, by the end of 2004 it had almost died out.
Now look at this next one for goat yoga. The trend took off at the beginning of 2017, shot up, and then in mid-2018 started to drop off sharply
Let’s compare those charts to the charts for some evergreen subjects.
Here’s the Google Trends chart for ‘bonsai’. Notice how it looks much more even, and while it does dip down a bit before it starts climbing again in 2013, you can see how different this chart is when compared to the charts for goat yoga and the Atkins diet.
And here’s a great example of a subject (upcycling) that has been steadily gaining in popularity since 2010.
Head over to https://trends.google.com/trends
Enter your niche/subject in the search box and click the search icon.
And that’s all there is to it!
We know ‘bonsai’ has great potential because we applied the 3 steps to determine that is has lots of supply (and therefore demand), and we used Google Trends to confirm that it has longevity.
So, as soon as you have a subject in mind, run it through the steps. As mentioned earlier, almost any subject has the potential to be turned into a successful blog, but it’s better to be certain before making that final decision.