Zombies are a five billion dollar industry. Five. BILLION. I’m not making this up. 24/7 Wall Street estimates that zombie movies, video games, novels, comics, merchandise, events, music, art, and more all combined to add $5.74 billion to the economy – so really, it is close to six billion dollars than five. Zombies are trendy, but in a growing cult kind of way that suggests that this isn’t some kind of passing pop culture love affair.
So, when it came time for me to develop a direction for my new blog, the idea was simple. I wanted to blog about zombies.
Yet I don’t really blog about zombies. My site, Blog Zombies, is actually about blogging. It’s just zomie-themed, which means I use a lot of metaphors and fun games that involve the undead to teach others about blogging. I love zombies. I love blogging. It seemed like a natural direction for me.
But I already blog about blogging as part of my job here on the BlogWorld blog. So why not just blog about zombies?
Zombies are rad. They’re popular and fun. I love anything zombie-related. They just don’t make a good blog niche. For me. Picking your niche is super important, and is part of the reason your blog might be failing or find success. Let me give you a few reasons why I chose a zombie-themed blog about blogging, not a zombie-themed blog about zombies:
- I like zombies, but I’m not passionate about sharing information about them.
Zombie-related stuff fall into the “hobby” category, and while I’m always ready to watch Dawn of the Dead or dress in a zombie costume, it’s not what I would call a passion. Some zombie enthusiasts spend every single day engulfed in zombie culture. I don’t. I’m not an expert, and it’s much easier to monetize your expertise. Because I’m not as passionate about this topic as many people, I don’t really feel as qualified to blog about it, at least in a professional sense. Someday, I may get the itch to start a hobby blog about zombies, but when it comes to business, a blog that you hope is profitable, passion is important. I’m super passionate about the topic of blogging, so that’s the best fit for me.
- Zombies are entertainment.
You can certainly make money from an entertainment blog. Lots of people earn affiliate and ad income blogging about celebrities, movies, music, and more. It’s a different mindset from the start, though. People don’t need entertainment. They need things like good health and a liveable income. It’s much easier to make money, especially with informational products like I enjoy creating, when you blog about things people need, not entertainment topics. Like I said, you can certainly make money blogging about entertainment topics; it’s just a different process, and I’m more comfortable with another type of plan.
- I connect better with blogger than zombie lovers.
Part of monetizing a blog well is understanding and liking your audience. Nothing against zombie lovers. I love a lot of zombie fans like myself. But with a topic like that, you’re also going to deal with the worst of the worst online. You deal with a ton of trolls, attacks, and other negativity. When your target market is other bloggers…well, you still run the chance of dealing with immature people, but these are generally people on the fringes of what is otherwise a great community that I’ve come to love. In general, I would rather go to dinner with a group of randomly-selected bloggers than a group of randomly-selected zombie fans. You might feel differently, and that’s okay – but the point stands that you should choose the community that is most attractive to you.
So, in review, picking a niche for your next professional blog is about:
- Finding a topic that you passionate love
- Making sure it fits into your monetization plan
- Enjoying the community you’re trying to attract to your blog
Zombies are awesome, just not for me at this point. I think the niche I’ve chosen for Blog Zombies is awesome! Now it’s your turn: Give us your best niche-picking tip by leaving a comment!
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I make frequent Zombie references on my nursing blog.
Actually, one of my favorite posts I’ve ever written is about how as a nurse it’s pretty absurd that I’m afraid of zombies, but I am:
Well, if it were 2006, your site would probably be “Blog Ninjas” or “Blog Pirates,” lol.
Actually James I don’t think Alli would ever be blogging about ninja’s, pirates, pajamas, guru’s etc. That’s the big difference between those trendy cliches and Alli’s Zombi site. Alli isn’t using zombie’s on her site because it’s trendy, she’s doing it because shes freaking obsessed with Zombies. There is a significant difference imho. One is honest and fun, the other is cynical and exploitative. Does that make any sense?
I am still a bit tired =p.
@blogworld@JTDabbagian Yes, I think that jumping on a trend can be fine, but it’s important to remember that trends end. When it does, will you be able to keep going? If not, it’s not right for your site. When the zombie craze dies down, I’m still going to love zombies, so it makes sense for me! 🙂
@blogworld Well, I wasn’t meaning Allison wasn’t passionate about zombies, I was just reminiscing about P VS Z, lol. But yes, when the trend goes down, Alli will look awesome for sticking to her guns. 🙂