Can Your Blog idea make Money as an Online Business?
Now that you have 3 blog ideas, it’s time to figure out which of these 3 ideas can ACTUALLY make money as an online business Also, of these 3 online business ideas, which one is the best?
Remember, the last thing we are trying to do is fill your time with another hobby, so the best idea (of the 3 ideas you have) is the one that has the MOST potential to make money for you as an online business.
Time to do some quick research to figure out which idea might work out best for you.
Don’t Worry About HOW Yet
Just as when you were choosing online business ideas, it’s important not to be too concerned about HOW you’re going to make money just yet. We will get into that, in great detail, but not yet.
When researching your business ideas, if you DO think of any ways you could make money, write them down and put them aside for a moment. You’re going to need these ideas if the business idea is viable. If your business idea isn’t viable, these product ideas will be of absolutely no use to you.
So, for each of your 3 business ideas you’re going to quickly research the idea to figure out a few important things.
Allow me to introduce you to keywords, longtail keywords, and keyword research.
SEO: Keywords, Long Tail Keywords, and Keyword Research
A keyword, is just another word for a search term.
When you search on google.com, bing.com, or any search engine, you type in keywords to find whatever you’re looking for.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
In blogging and online business, we use relevant keywords throughout the site and write articles aimed at them, so your site ranks higher on search engines and direct traffic towards your site.
This process is called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. You’ll be learning a lot about SEO throughout my articles, as it’s a VERY important part of online marketing.
‘Keyword’ doesn’t mean just one word, either.
Long Tail Keywords
If you’re searching google for a new fishing reel, you would never just type in the word ‘fishing’.
This is called a ‘long tail keyword’. The longer the tail, the more specific the search is.
For every online business idea, there are long tail keywords that people use to search for information about that topic.
To figure out if a business idea can make money, you need to do some keyword research.
Before we step into the area of keyword research, I have a warning for you. A bit of a disclaimer, that will help you out a lot, so pay close attention to this next part.
Keyword Research Disclaimer
In the world of blogging and online business, one topic that has been done-to-death by EVERY SINGLE business blogger ever, in every TINY detail, is the topic of keyword research.
I have the following disclaimer for you on this topic;
Keyword research can absolutely dominate your life and send you down the rabbit-hole of blogcrastination, never to return, if you let it.
It’s EXTREMELY easy to get stuck in the loop of over-researching, instead of making an ACTUAL decision.
Therefore, you’re not going to research your ideas to death, that’s a waste of your time and energy. You’re going to do some very quick, easy keyword research to establish if any of your online business ideas are viable, and if so, which one is the best one.
Then you’re just going to get on with building your new business.
Keyword Research for Your Online Business
Keyword research is not the most fun part of online business, but it‘s REALLY important.
Good keyword research will often reveal the truth about your online business idea, especially when comparing a few ideas at the same time. Having 3 ideas gives you a chance to really see the difference between your ideas.
Here’s what you’re going to figure out in your research;
- What are the long tail keywords relevant to your niche topic?
- What is the search volume (the amount of people searching for your topic, per month) for those keywords?
- How competitive are those keywords?
- How difficult is it to rank on search engines for these keywords?
Let’s a take a look at each of these things, and why they’re so important.
Long Tail Keywords Relevant to your Blog Topic
You need a list of long tail keywords that people type into google as a search term to find information about your topic.
Whilst you may know a couple of relevant keywords that YOU might use to search, it’s important to have an accurate list of as many long tail keywords as possible, that are ACTUALLY being used on google regularly.
The longer tail the keyword has, the more specific the search is.
Long tail keywords tell you EXACTLY what people are searching for, what questions they might be asking, and give you ideas for content such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc. These keywords could also give you some insight into what products people might be looking for, and buying.
The higher the search volume on a long tail keyword, the more people are searching on google for that keyword. Search volume gives you an idea of the size of the market you’re thinking of working within.
The higher the amount of people searching for that long tail keyword, the bigger the market is. Therefore, you want to find long tail keywords that have a high search volume.
Too few people searching for your keywords, and you COULD spend the next 2-3 years of your life becoming the biggest fish in a very small pond.
You’re looking for long tail keywords that are relatively LOW in competition. LOW competition, not NO competition. No competition is a bad thing.
This is not written in stone, however.
Reasons for popular keywords to have low competition;
- The keyword could be a brand name or store name, e.g ‘Dyson’, or ‘Apple’. Nobody would ever compete with a brand or store for its own keyword. Likeliness is, if someone googles that term, they’re looking for that company specifically, not for a solution to a problem.
- One-word keywords hardly ever have any competition, because nobody searches google searches with a single keyword for anything specific, unless it’s a very unique product, which might be a bad thing.
When doing your research for long tail keywords, eliminate any big brand names and one-word keywords from your targeted keyword list. Of course, you’re not trying to avoid the big companies in your niche at all.
You’re looking for long tail keywords you could have article ideas about, such as ‘Apple watch vs Garmin’, or ‘best smart watch comparison review’. These are great examples of long tail keywords you could use to provide a solution to a problem. In this case, it’s not knowing what smart watch is best, for that person.
Great articles solve problems for people, or offer solutions to an issue. These are the articles that will usually bring good amounts of traffic to your site. If you can find some good long tail keywords that are a little easier to compete for traffic, that’s really good.
Keyword Research Summary
When you’ve done your keyword research, you’ll have a list of long tail keywords that you can filter and list by search volume, competition, and ranking difficulty.
Ideally, a good business idea will have some great long tail keywords with high search volume, with relatively low competition.
At this stage you’re just doing some QUICK research, to establish which business idea is the best out of three. You’re not going for a deep dive into every single keyword , you’re just looking for a good comparison.
Let’s take a look at some free tools, that will get you all the information you need, very quickly and easily.
Free Long Tail Keyword Research Tools
Google has been storing data on all the search terms everyone types into the search box, for a VERY long time. The amount of data they collect is staggering, and extremely useful.
Fortunately, there are many free tools that analyze Google data, and put it to good use.
Remember, over-researching is a bad thing.
There are many tools I don’t mention in this article because I don’t want you trapped in the over-researching loop. Once you’ve done this quick comparison of your business or blog idea, you’ll do some much deeper keyword research into your topic. Right now, I’m just giving you a couple of useful tools that together will give you GREAT research results for your comparison, very quickly.
Then, you’re going to choose your best blog idea and move on to build your business from there.
Keywords Everywhere – Google Chrome / Mozilla Firefox Extension
Keywords Everywhere is a VERY useful tool that’s an extension for Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox.
If you don’t have either of these browsers, download Google Chrome and install it, so you can use this tool.
Once you have Google Chrome installed, go to www.keywordseverywhere.com, install the extension, install it and grab a free API key. They’ll email you a link to your API key, which you can enter in the settings of the extension.
Keywords Everywhere Google Chrome Extension
Once installed, this extension adds search volume metrics to each google search result, right under the search box.
Keywords Everywhere adds Search Metrics to Google Search Results
Also, on all google search results Keywords Everywhere adds 2 boxes with lists on the right hand side of results pages, one for ‘related keywords’, another for ‘people also searched for’. These lists also have search metrics, including search volume, CPC (cost-per-click), and Competition.
This is extremely useful, because the ‘people also searched for’ list, may give you insights into other keywords people are using, that you hadn’t thought of yet.
This tool also adds these metrics to the Google search suggestions at the bottom of the page.
The keywords everywhere extension also adds google metrics to MANY other sites. The extension makes those sites MUCH MORE useful when doing keyword research.
Our goal here is to find a ton of great long tail keywords relevant to your niche, and I know just the site to get that information REALLY quickly.
Yeah, I know, I wish they’d chosen a better name for the site, too, but you’re gonna have to take off your over-sensitive pants for a moment. This is an amazing site for finding thousands of long tail keywords in just a few minutes.
When combined with the Keywords Everywhere extension, you will now also be able to get simple google metrics for every single keyword it generates.
Open up keywordshitter.com, and in the big box, type in a shorthand keyword. My example is lego.
Now I’m going to click on the ‘Shit Keywords!’ link, and wait.
By the way, this site finds an INSANE amount of long tail keywords if you let it.
This is great, because you want to find a ton of long tail keywords relevant to your niche. However, ‘lego’ is such a HUGE topic. I’m stopping it at 10,000 keywords, as this is more than enough to give me a HUGE amount of useful data. So, once the number hits around 10,000, I hit ‘Stop Job’. Then I hit the link at the bottom right corner of the page (which is put there by the Keywords Everything extension), that says ‘Export CSV’.
Within a few moments, Google Chrome will automatically download a keyword CSV file, which you can then open in Microsoft Excel, Google Docs, or your favorite spreadsheet software.
Open up this file, and you will see your list of long tail keywords with all the metrics laid out in columns and rows. Now you have something awesome you can REALLY work with!
Apply filters to the headers on the columns, then sort the keywords by search volume. Then delete any keywords with a search volume less than 1,000.
For ‘lego’, I now have a list of 656 keywords reduced from 10,000 in just a few moments, along with long tail keywords with three basic Google metrics in there.
Example of Exported Keyword list for the Seed Keyword ‘Lego’
If I was setting up a blog with such a HUGE subject such as Lego, I would niche down into something smaller.
Here’s a great article I wrote about niching down into Lego, and some examples of niches I may choose to blog about, so you can see how that works.
If You Have More than ONE Seed Keyword
In the above example, I took just one HUGE seed keyword, ‘lego’. That seed keyword was capable of generating over 10-20,000 keywords very quickly. However, most niches probably have more than just one seed keyword, or basic keyword.
Your niche may have several seed keywords that are relevant that each produce a list of long tail keywords. For example, if you were into rollerblades, they’re also well known as inline skates. For skateboarding, you would have skateboard, skateboarding, skateboarders, skaters, longboard, etc.
If so, do a search for all your seed keywords, download the CSV file for each one, then combine each list into one big master list in a spreadsheet. Then sort them by search volume and delete any keywords with a search volume less than 1,000.
NEED A QUICK ARTICLE ABOUT HOW TO DO THIS, TO LINK TO
Rinse and Repeat for All 3 Business Ideas
Take all three of your business ideas, and get a list of long tail keywords, all with a search volume of over 1,000 searches per month.
If your niche topic doesn’t have keywords that are over 1,000 searches per month, try a broader keyword, if this is possible. If it’s not possible, this is not a good online business idea.
Once you have all three keyword lists, you’re good to go.
Choosing Which Blog Idea is the Best
You’ve looked at potential keywords for at least 3 blog ideas, and now have a considerable amount of keyword research information for each of your topics.
I’m sure that during your research, you’ll have already come to some conclusions in your mind. Look at all three ideas you have so far. You may be seeing already, why we did this for 3 ideas.
You may have a clear winner, that’s by far the top idea. If so, keyword research is over, that’s your winning business idea.
Usually one idea is quite clearly a loser out of the three. If that’s the case for you, eliminate that idea completely, then compare the top 2 ideas.
Consider the following…
The Market MUST be Big Enough ALREADY
The first thing to consider is the size of the audience available to you. By this, I mean the search volume.
You’re looking for a market space ALREADY big enough that you can make some money blogging and selling products within that space.
I would advise ANYONE, VERY STRONGLY, NOT to go for the thing you’re most passionate about unless the potential audience is ALREADY big enough for you to make money.
For me to be interested in a blog idea with the intent to make money online, I must have a list containing keywords with search volume of AT LEAST around 3,000 local searches per month. Preferably, a lot higher than 3,000.
If none of the keywords are AT LEAST 3,000 local search results per month, I probably wouldn’t pursue it as a business.
I still would keep the keyword list containing keywords down to 1,000 in search volume, because as part of marketing strategies for the business, these are still useful keywords, that WILL bring you traffic.
Competitiveness of the Keywords
You need there to be competition. A set of keywords with almost no competition means there’s no money in that niche, and nobody is working in that space.
Even the TINIEST of niches are competitive.
Within your long tail keyword list, you’d hope to find quite a few long tail keywords that have high search volume, and reasonably high competition.
Ideally, within that list there are ALSO a few keywords with high volume, and lower competition.
These are what we call ‘low hanging fruit’. They are long tail keywords within your market, that are easier to rank for. Take a look at those keywords. Some of them are going to just be weird, which is why there’s no competition, but maybe you can find a few that you’re surprised about.
Brand names almost always have low competition.
This is because if someone is searching for a brand name, they’re not looking for a blog, they’re searching for that brand. Therefore, you would not want to try and compete for those.
You’re looking for good long tail keywords within the list that you KNOW you could write quite a few articles, blog posts, film videos, record podcasts, etc.
Using the Master Keyword List
Using the master keyword list, filter keywords in order of volume, and see what shows up, up top.
Are any of these keywords high in volume, yet low in competition, and easy to rank for? Highlight the good ones in the list.
Then, filter the keywords by competition score, lowest first. If any of them have a high volume, highlight those, too.
Take a close look at the words you’ve highlighted. You may find that there’s a pattern forming amongst these keywords. If so, you could’ve found yourself a really specific set of good target keywords.
Look for keywords that you can pair together within the same topic.
A great example of the use of combining keywords, is ‘long tail keyword research tool’. This long tail keyword combines ‘keyword’, ‘long tail keyword’, ‘keyword research’, and ‘keyword research tool’.
Put Your Grand Masters Up Against Each Other
Imagine your keyword lists are the grand masters, and you’re putting them up against each other in the battle of all ages. Which master keyword list would win? Which one, if any, totally dominates?
If you find one idea that TOTALLY dominates all the others, you know THAT’S the right one. If so, congratulations, you just found your best business idea. Time to start building your brand.
IF you have 2 ideas that are great, choose your favorite one. The online business idea you’re the most enthusiastic about. If you can’t choose, flip a coin. Choose the winner. If you’re unhappy with the result of the coin toss, choose the one you wanted to win.
Don’t Play Favorites with Business Ideas
It can be difficult to let go of a bad business idea you’re passionate about,when the keyword research suggests it’s not your best idea. It’s easy to get trapped in a loop, and just keep researching more-and-more, trying to find a different result. This is complete insanity, don’t do it.
I understand you’d LOVE your favorite idea to be the best one, but you can’t change facts.
Remember, this is a business decision.
It’s better to cut out a bad business idea now than to spend years working on a bad business idea, only to make no money at all, or less than you could’ve made with a better idea.
So, if you find out your favorite idea is not your best one, let it go.
You can always return to your passion idea later, when you’re financially set from making money in your profitable online business.
Choose One, and Be Done
After looking at your research quickly (it’s important not to look for TOO LONG), choose one idea. JUST ONE. Just ‘choose one, and be done’.
Researching business ideas and deciding what business you want to do, is now over.
Put all the other business ideas away, you won’t be needing them anymore. You know what your business is, and you’re going to build it. Remember, you can ALWAYS come back to these other ideas in the future,
For the next 2-3 years or so, you only have ONE idea, and that’s it. You’re now 100% committed to building this new business.
Oh, one more thing I almost forgot.
What if All Your Niche Topic Ideas Suck?
If you find that none of your ideas are particularly impressive now, start over.
Don’t give it any thought at all, just start over. Don’t be discouraged one bit if this is where you’re at. You’ve made some GREAT progress, learned a lot, and saved yourself a ton of time and money. Today is a good day!
You just learned how to QUICKLY research and assess a good or bad online business idea. Do you know HOW MANY people don’t know how to do that, and waste THOUSANDS of dollars on a terrible business idea?
You’re a smarter, well-informed person, able to quickly assess an online business opportunity. This is a great day. It’s a great learning experience, you know a LOT more about what you’re looking for on an online business.
You’re not going to waste ANY time on ANY bad ideas.
If this is how it was for you, get enthusiastic and motivated, bin the bad ideas, and start researching some other, new, better ideas.
The Next Step: Take a Look at Your Competition
You know what your business idea is, so lets take a deeper look into this as a business, by looking at who’s already out there, doing what you’re going to be doing.