Online Market Research for Blogging – An Introduction

When you embark on a business project, one of the first things you’d most likely do is to go into market research. Otherwise, you run the risk of running a costly business venture that might not earn you any money.

The problem with many new bloggers though is that they take the stance that blogging is “just blogging.” They think setting up a blog doesn’t cost as much money as establishing a business and therefore does not require extensive research to get started.

My belief is that, you should start to look at your decision to start blogging in a more serious light. Although it is true that you will not be investing a great deal of cash, you will be investing a great deal of time, effort and even emotions into jump starting a blog. If you have to give a lot of yourself into it and if you’ve got clear goals you want to achieve, you’ve got to research.

Depending on your specific blogging objectives, market research can help you:

  • determine if there are enough interested people in your topic
  • find out the level of competition you’re up against
  • establish the profitability of a topic

Before we move deeper into general research, it’s best to clarify what a market is. To borrow from the field of marketing an extremely simplified definition of marketing is that it refers to a group of people interested in a product and has the means or ability to buy it.

In even more simplistic terms, market research therefore involves finding out what to sell and if there are people who will buy whatever you’re selling.

I’d like to expand this definition to include bloggers who blog purely as a hobby and don’t want to have anything to do with sales, marketing or anything that implies selling. Market research for blogging in general involves finding out what your ideal topic is and if there are enough people who are interested in your topic to possibly visit, read your blog and take the kind of action you want them to make, whether this is to leave a comment on your posts or to follow you in Twitter.

General research starts with your seed topic. In the previous chapter we talked about identifying your intentions, interest and aptitude. Also I talked about identifying a topic that you know you’ve got something new to contribute to. Consider this performing internal research. So again you’ve got to ask yourself:

  • What are my intentions or objectives as a blogger?
  • What is/are my main interests?
  • What am I very good at?
  • In what specific topic can I contribute something new to?

Once you’ve done this take your seed topic, pop it into Google and take a look at the different sites and blogs that pop up. A seed topic can be general such as crafts, parenting, travel, recipes, cooking, etc.

Because you’re taking a general look at things, it’s likely that you will see a lot of activity and interaction in various sites. Take a closer look at what people are saying in comment sections, review areas and social network pages. Find out what sites and blogs are selling, advertising and publishing.

Again, you are simply doing a general sweep. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to go deeper into niche research.

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