How to Start a Blog – Step 1: Choose Your Niche and Name

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You’ve decided to start a new blog! Brilliant! Welcome to the world of blogging!

It’s a crazy, exciting journey where there’s always loads to learn. And step one of starting a blog is deciding on your niche and your blog name.

Just one problem, you aren’t sure about your blogging niche or what your blog will be called.

Don’t panic, that’s the purpose of this post. To help you identify your niche and choose your blog name.

How to Start a Blog - Step 1 Choose Your Niche and Name

What is a blog niche?

First things first. Let’s understand what a blog niche is. A blog niche is a specific topic or subject that you want to write about. To help make your blogging journey easier, and more enjoyable, pick a niche that interests you and something that you’re passionate about.

For example, if you love technology and how it affects our everyday lives then blogging about tech would be a good match for you.

Why is it important to have a niche?

Having a niche for your blog is how you will attract an audience of people who share your interests and view your blog as the authority on the topic.

It’s also how search engines like Google will categorize and rank your website. Essentially, the search engine will use the keywords within your blog to identify your niche and recommend your posts when people perform a web search. So having a strong niche and sense of identity will help you grow your traffic over time. What do I mean about a ‘strong sense of identity?’ I mean keeping to topics within your niche.

If you’re happily blogging about tech, don’t suddenly include a category of home-baked cakes. This will not only confuse Google but also your audience. If you wanted to blog about tech and also home-baked cakes, it might be worth considering setting up two separate blogs. The days when bloggers published posts on everything and anything that came to mind are long gone, and this approach simply doesn’t work anymore.

Read more about blog practices that are dead >>>

Before you 100% decide on your niche, it’s always worth brainstorming a list of potential blog post ideas. If you can comfortably get to at least 20 post ideas, then I would say that you have got a solid idea for a blog.

If you’re struggling to list more than a couple of post ideas, you might want to rethink your niche, as it sounds like you’ll be running out of ideas for posts very quickly.

Think about your categories

When you decide on your niche, you don’t have to have your category ideas set in stone, but some rough ideas might be helpful.

Think of categories as separate library shelves on your blog. People will go to different shelves to read different topics within your niche.

For example, if you look at my blog’s menu, I have two larger categories ‘Blogging’ and ‘Teaching Online.’ If you click on either of those categories then you will see all of the posts in those categories.

However, if you hover over ‘Blogging,’ (for example), you’ll see a sub-category list appear. This is where I’ve divided my posts up further. This helps my audience find what they want quickly.

For example, I have a sub-category called ‘Plugins and Software.’ Therefore, if someone wants information about a WordPress plugin then they can go straight to that sub-category rather than reading through other posts which don’t interest them at that point in time. (However, I then link relevant posts within the posts in that sub-category to keep people on my site and reading other articles!).

So, if you were writing a blog about home baking, your categories might be:

  • Puddings
  • Celebration cakes
  • Cupcakes
  • Pies

You don’t need loads of categories. When you start off, a handful might be all you need. You might also want to add categories as you go.

Three things I would suggest when deciding on your categories

  1. As you publish your posts make sure you spread them across your categories. This will mean that one category isn’t post heavy in comparison to others.
  2. It’s ok to add categories as you go. This will prevent you from having empty category pages with nothing to on them to read if someone clicks on them.
  3. Name your categories with names which use key words. For example, no one searches for ‘yummy scrummy puddings,’ but people might search for ‘easy pudding ideas.’ In other words, make your categories easy to find and easy for your reader to follow.

8 profitable blog niche ideas

Lots of people go into blogging to escape the 9-5 and create a profit. Other people want to earn a little on the side, and some people aren’t bothered about their blog earning them money at all.

If you’re one of the first two, then you might be wondering which niches are the most profitable. I will say now, no niche guarantees an income stream. You could go into the most profitable blog niche ever and never make any money. There’s a lot that goes into creating a profitable blog, including quality content and SEO to name just two factors.

I’m not saying this to put you off, I’m just being realistic. Making money whilst blogging is entirely achievable, but it’s a goal that requires hard work, patience, and determination.

If you’re starting to wonder if it’s possible for you to earn an income with your blog, then I would ask you; ‘why not?’ Anything is possible when it comes to making money on the internet. And as I said, with the right outlook, hard work, and patience, it is entirely possible to create a profitable blog.

You could probably argue that any blog niche will turn a profit of some kind. This is assuming that your revenue streams correlate with your audience and what they want to purchase.

Top profitable blog niches

  • Personal finance
  • Making money online
  • Food
  • Home decor
  • Parenting
  • Fitness
  • Travel
  • Fashion

If your niche idea doesn’t appear on this list, don’t despair! This is just a list of the MOST profitable niches, not the only profitable niches!

How to choose your blog name

Once you’ve got your niche decided on, it’s time to pick a blog name. Choosing the right name for your blog is key.

It should be short and lend itself to having an easy-to-remember domain name. It should also provide some insight as to what to expect from the website.

In addition, think of how Google search results work when people search topics related to your niche. This can help with how people will find your site in the future.

The best way to come up with a blog name is by brainstorming words related to what you plan to write about on your website. Play around with these words until you get a name you’re happy with.

Some important factors to remember when naming your blog

  • How easy the name will be for people to remember. You want something memorable and that people can easily spell. This is not the time to come up with clever, alternative spellings. Think about what people will search for.
  • How many other pages rank for similar keywords. In his course, Stupid Simple SEO, Mike Pearson discusses finding out about your competitors’ keywords, how your competitors rank in Google and how you can too. (For a FREE masterclass taken straight from Stupid Simple SEO, click here).
  • How short it is. Short domain names are more memorable. The longer the domain name, the harder it’ll be for people to remember it. Short and simple is key here.
  • How available the exact name is. Whilst you might be tempted to go for a name someone else has and go for .net or .co rather than .com, for example, I personally wouldn’t. It can confuse your audience who may not differentiate you from the other blog with the same name. It might just be better to move on and think of a different name. Alternatively, could you add ‘the’ or ‘that’ at the beginning? Or change the word order slightly?

Before you settle on a name, make sure you do these things

  1. Say it out loud. Make sure it sounds ok being said.
  2. Type it into Google. Make sure you haven’t picked a name which is already being used. This could confuse your audience and affect your traffic.
  3. Write out the domain and see how it looks. Do letters run together to spell different words? Does it look confusing written down?
  4. Talk to people about the name. Make sure there aren’t any connotations with the words in the name you’ve chosen which could be misconstrued by someone from a different place to you.

Once you have narrowed down some options, it’s time to move on to choosing your hosting and registering your domain name!

Choosing my own niche and blog name

I love WordPress and I love teaching online. Therefore my overall niche is WordPress and online courses.

This is way too broad though. It isn’t obvious who I’m targeting and what specifics within the topic of WordPress and online courses I’m actually aiming for.

I then decided that my audience would be beginners. Beginners at using WordPress who probably want to venture into creating an online course for their blog at some point also.

With this audience in mind, it’s important that I focus my blog posts on introductory information and how-tos. There’s no point in my going into technical and high-level stuff because this isn’t what my audience is after. They’re just beginning with WordPress and creating an online course.

This then brings me nicely to my blog name.

I dithered for ages as to whether or not I should name my blog after myself or give it another name. To be honest, I’m still dithering with the idea. And there are pros and cons to naming a blog after yourself:

Pros of naming a blog after yourself

  • You are your brand. Everyone can connect your work to you and the credit is obviously yours.
  • You aren’t tied down to one niche if you want to shake things up a little. If you name your blog after something to do with your niche, you might get yourself stuck in a particular niche which you can’t pivot away from. This doesn’t tend to happen when using your name.

Cons of naming a blog after yourself

  • You’re putting yourself out there. Some people prefer to blog anonymously.
  • Should you grow your team then people may be disappointed if they don’t get you when they want to contact your blog.
  • If you come to sell your blog, it might not be as ‘sellable’ with your name in the title.
  • If your name is difficult to pronounce or spell, people might struggle to find you.
  • When you have a popular name then your desired domain name might already be taken.
  • People might not understand or know your niche or what your blog is about.

In the end, I went with ‘Begin with WP.’ My audience is beginning with WordPress, so this made sense. It’s also important to note that I went with ‘WP’ and not ‘WordPress,’ because WordPress terms and conditions clearly state that you cannot use ‘WordPress’ in your top domain name if you are not the actual WordPress site. This is to with trademarks and to ensure that others reading your blog do not think you’re officially endorsed or affiliated with WordPress in any way.


Picking a blog niche and name are the first steps to setting up your new blog, and whilst they can feel challenging, they are necessary steps.

Out of the two, I would personally spend more time concentrating on your blog’s niche. I don’t think you need to go too overboard, though. Some bloggers swear that they need to nail down their niche to the point where they know exactly the type of person they are targeting.

In my opinion, whilst this may work for some people, for me, it is a step too far. I need to know that my audience is beginners with WordPress and online courses, but I personally don’t feel the need to narrow this audience down to a particular job type, social status, income, location, etc. Some of these identifiers may be useful for some bloggers, but when you end up spending more time defining your audience when you could have gone on writing blog posts, you might just be wasting time.

A word to the wise

Whilst your domain name is important, my advice is not to overthink it. I’ve seen bloggers (and I’ve been there myself) agonize over the ideal blog name.

Yes, a name needs to be thought out, but I would highly recommend picking a name and moving on. As long as your name makes sense and is available as a domain, go for it. I’m not saying be reckless, but I was on an online blogging group recently where someone was saying that they had 30+ blog posts written, but none published because they still hadn’t decided on her blog name and therefore didn’t have a domain.

Therefore, she didn’t have 30+ blog posts. She had 30+ Word documents not being read by anyone. You don’t want this to be you.

I hope you’ve found this article useful! Once you’ve completed this first step of starting a blog you’re ready to move on to step 2: getting hosting and setting up your domain name.

This post was proofread using Grammarly.

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