To choose a profitable appropriate niche for your blog, there are six key considerations you must take into account.
Let’s delve into each of the key considerations in more detail…
Your Interest in the Topic
It’s likely that once you launch your blog, you’ll be heavily involved in it for many years to come. Even with the blogs I built from scratch and later sold, like TshirtAlert.com, I personally contributed to the blog regularly for 5+ years. For this very reason, I strongly recommend that you only consider a topic for your blog that genuinely interests you.
More frequently than not, when discussing potential niches with new bloggers the question inevitably arises “…but shouldn’t I prioritise profit over passion when choosing my niche?” In other industries, outside of generating a passive income online, such as importing goods as a wholesaler or starting a retail store I may tend to agree that passion projects can be limited in profitability. But when it comes to blogging for profit, the landscape is very different.
This is because your interest will be reflected in your writing, and this is ultimately the tool that will attract a loyal audience who will either directly, or indirectly contribute to the income that you generate from your blog.
Not only this, but your passion will continue to motivate you in the months and years to come. Your passion will help you to consistently publish captivating, entertaining and valuable niche content to keep your loyal followers engaged and coming back for more.
So, when I am asked “shouldn’t I blog about the hottest or most profitable topics of this season?” my response is clearly and firmly “No!” because blogging is a long-term process that requires your sustained interested in the topic for years to come.
The Popularity of the Topic
At first glance, measuring the popularity of a topic can seem immensely difficult. A topic that may seem like the best thing since sliced bread to one person, may be the worst idea ever to the next.
Thankfully, with technology at our fingertips, we no longer have to worry about the arduous and time-consuming task of manually collecting data. No longer do we need to request the thoughts of as many individuals as possible through surveys and focus groups, in order to try and understand their opinions on specific topics. Nor do we need to wait hours, even days or weeks, until we have enough data at hand to allow us to crudely estimate the popularity of specific topic or themes.
In 2017, you can simply fire up an online tool (that is free or low-cost) that will provide you with an immediate indication of the popularity of any specific topic.
In theory, these tools all work in the same way. They collect and analyse queries from search engines (yes, actual searches performed by real people) and they collate this data into a quick and easy-to-access format. I call this data the ‘collective conscience’ because it is exactly that – the thoughts, curiosities, needs, tastes and desires of the entire population of internet users. At this point in time, there is no other form of data collection that offers a more accurate view of popular topics, culture and news than aggregated search engine data.
When starting a blog, the trick is finding a topic that will remain popular for months and years to come (or even better, incrementally increase in popularity over time) to ensure a consistent stream of traffic and revenue.
There are two tools I recommend using to measure the popularity of your short-listed topics:
Google Trends is a handy tool that has been made freely available to the public, based on Google Search data. The Google Trends online tool shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, for various time periods and in various languages. It also allows you to discover new or popular search-terms.
Google Trends: https://trends.google.com/trends/
A key thing to note when using Google Trends is that it doesn’t show you actual search volume (you’ll need another tool for that, which I will show in the next section!). Every Google Trends graph has a scale from 1 to 100, which shows you the relative popularity of a term versus other terms, as well as whether each term is increasing or decreasing in popularity. Google Trends is great for gauging mindshare and awareness, so if you want to know if a keyword or brand is hot in a certain region, this is where you can find out. Not only that, but Google Trends allows you to find related and rising searches related to your query (and some crude indications of the search volume within those related phrases).
In other words, Google Trends is a great tool to get an initial indication of the popularity of your short-listed niche topics.
Below is a Google Trends graph which shows the past 5 years of search interest in ‘Fitness for seniors.’ This topic reveals a relatively consistent number of searches year after year, shows signs of slow and steady growth and would thus be a niche topic worthwhile exploring further.
Google Trends can uncover topics breaking out in popularity, such as ‘fitness for seniors’.
Another great feature of Google Trends (and did I mention the entire tool is completely free!?) is the Related Queries function. If you toggle between the ‘Rising’ and ‘Top’ queries in this section, you will find additional ideas for niches closely related to your original term. In this example, ‘fitness classes for seniors’ is another opportunity which is also frequently searched for by this same audience.
The ‘Related queries’ section in Google Trends can help you discover trending topics related to your niche that you’d never even contemplated.
I added the term ‘fitness classes for seniors’ for comparison to my original term, and not surprisingly the interest in this phrase over time is considerably less, because this term is even more niche than my original phrase. Nevertheless, it’s a niche topic that is probably still worth considering at this stage as there may be very few competitors targeting this niche. So, I will add it to my list and move on to the next tool for further analysis.
‘Fitness classes for seniors’, a viable theme for a niche blog discovered after 30 seconds of tinkering in Google Trends.
There are several tools available which measure the volume of monthly searches, however the one I find the easiest to access and painlessly is SEMrush (Google Adwords Keyword Planner is another good option, however it requires you to go through the somewhat annoying process of signing up for an Adwords account just to use the tool, plus it has also gone through some recent changes which have reduced the granularity of reports it produces).
Using the same example as the previous section, I entered the niche term “fitness for seniors” into SEMrush. For the US market (set via the country filter), it returned a Volume (which is the average monthly volume) of 210 searches per month.
It is worth noting that when you see an average monthly search volume for a keyword in SEMrush, it is based on the amount of times the keyword was searched over the past twelve months. For seasonal and trending keywords, this number could be higher or lower than the average in some months.
SEMRush offers a dashboard interface that gets data nerds hot under the collar.
Flicking across to the Phrase Match tab in SEMrush offers even more suggestions that I hadn’t contemplated in this niche, including:
- Fitness routines for seniors
- Cross fit for seniors
- Fitness classes for seniors
While each of the related topics have relatively small volumes on their own, it’s re assuring to know there are some sub-niches within the ‘fitness for seniors’ niche which may have limited competition.
Is the Topic Sustainable?
When you are looking to build a long-term income stream from a blog, you’ll need a long-term topic. Unless you are supremely confident that you can make a quick buck, avoid any of the following scenarios when considering the niche topic for your blog:
- A fad that grows hugely popular extremely quickly, either material or digital (e.g. Pokémon cards, the ‘Words with Friends’ app)
- A product release that is likely to eventually become obsolete (for example, the iPhone 4S)
- A time-based product or event (such as tickets to the 2016 Olympic Games)
While such topics may be well suited to other online business models (such as a drop-shipping store, which can successfully leverage short-term trends), a short-term trend will simply not work with a niche blog that you are aiming to steadily grow over months and years. The safest niche topics for profitable blogs are evergreen, in that their content doesn’t become quickly dated, or worse still, completely irrelevant.
One example of a product that quickly spiked in popularity only to become obsolete, despite a huge amount of media attention, was Google’s ‘Glass’ product, which connected users who wore these spectacles directly to the internet.
Despite being officially called ‘Google Glass’, most internet users were searching for the more obvious term ‘google glasses’ (this is an important thing to note – consumers generally determine the most popular search terms, not brands, which is why the free Search query data available at your disposal, mentioned in the previous section, is so invaluable!).
As you can see from the popularity graph below, interest in the Google’s wearable headpiece took a huge dive in late 2013, and now virtually ceases to be searched at all.
The rise and fall in popularity of Google’s hi-tech glasses, as illustrated by Google Trends.
The moral of the story is, don’t choose a topic that has recently risen to fame. It will most likely just as quickly fall away into the ether, never to be spoken about again.
Choose a topic that is timeless, not one that has a specific date or current trend.
Wouldn’t it be hugely frustrating and disheartening to invest weeks, even years of your time, only to find out there are competitors within your field that would always remain on top, never allowing your site the chance to be noticed in Google search results and thus denying you, the blogger, the opportunity to become an authority in your chosen niche?
Taking the time to understand your competition intimately, before you start your blog may save you from making a very costly mistake.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, with over 1.2 Billion websites currently live on the internet, there are quite a few topics out there that are close to impenetrable for new bloggers just starting out. This is because some of the most authoritative websites out there have existed for 20+ years in some cases and have already amassed huge followings and strong reputations within their chosen fields. Google rewards such sites with higher rankings, and visitors also trust these sites due to their long withstanding reputation. On top of this, is another sub-set of websites who are extremely difficult to compete with; those whom have invested millions of dollars in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). They have created tens of thousands of backlinks to their websites, optimising every single element of their websites to the nth degree in order to ‘manipulate’ their rankings in Google results. Anyone who has experimented with SEO will understand that it is a long game, and that any competitive SEO tactics can take months if not years to take effect (and by then, Google has usually changed their algorithm significantly!)
These hugely competitive topics are spread across a variety of lucrative topics, some of the obvious ones being ‘weight loss’, ‘car insurance’, ‘home loans’, ‘credit cards’, ‘make money online’ and the like. If you are considering any of these topics as a first-time blogger, think again! In fact, there are literally thousands of these super-competitive niches which will prove very challenging for a new blogger to crack…. but there are also millions of niches that remain ripe and ready for you to become the authority. The art-form is deciphering which niches are not worth your time, and how you can ‘niche down’ to niches which are worthwhile. For example, while ‘car insurance’ is hugely competitive (in Google Adwords, advertisers can pay up to $50 per click for this phrase), perhaps there is an opportunity in a more specific niche such as ‘classic car insurance for seniors’. The trick is finding a niche that has enough interest from the public to be consistently profitable, while at the same time having minimal competition within this specific niche.
There are several tools available to you, which can make this process of identifying the niche topic for your blog straightforward.
The first tool you should turn to in order to understand your competition is not complicated nor costly. It’s freely accessible, and you’ve probably used it thousands of times before. It is the world’s favourite search engine, Google.com.
Typing your niche into Google will allow you to immediately understand how competitive it is, based on the volume, the quality and the number of advertisements that appear in the Google Search results. Let’s take a look at each in a little more detail.
When you type your niche topic into Google, include it within quotation marks. This is called “phrase matching” and allows Google to understand the exact phrase you are searching for, thus only returning relevant websites (as opposed to trying to match for variations of the phrase which may be unrelated.)
Take a look at my search below for “fitness for seniors”, a topic I arrived at during a recent brainstorming session.
There are 294,000 results for this phrase in the world (results are skewed towards Australia, since this was the origin of this search). That’s quite a few websites that are writing specifically about ‘fitness for seniors’, wouldn’t you agree? I’ll write this number down and come back to it later (you should do the same for each of your short-listed niche topics).
Here’s another example for “bait pumps”, another topic I brainstormed.
Searching Google using the phrase match functionality for bait pumps.
There are 32,500 results for this phrase in the world (results are skewed towards Australia, since this was the origin of this particular search). In my experience, that’s pretty darn low, particularly for a short phrase containing only two words. Any term that yields under 100,000 results using phrase match, is potentially a hidden gold mine that is worth investigating further as the volume of the competition is considered relatively low.
REMEMBER! For Google searches, make sure you Go Incognito! Perform an anonymous search in your browser to ensure that you aren’t seeing search results that are customised for your specific user profile (as browsers often detect your location and your logged in accounts to try and determine which results may be more relevant to you). Incognito results show a generalised view of Search results, which is more likely to be the view that most users will see as it is the ‘average set of results’ for that search term.
Number of ads
Even for online marketing professionals, it can be difficult to discern which Google results are advertisements versus organic results. The team at Google are constantly tinkering with the colours, layouts and even images within their ad units to ensure that users continue to notice and therefore click on their ads.
The same search for “bait pumps” in Incognito mode, shows two standard text ads (for BCF and eBay) as well as three image ads (also known as Product Listing Ads, two of which are for eBay and one for Arnold’s Boat Shed).
This tells me two things:
- A key competitor in this field is BCF, as they are leading both the Organic and Paid search results. Aside from BCF, there are only 2 other advertisers indicating that this product is not highly competitive (some search terms will yield 10+ ads on the first page of Search results).
- We should always check the search results in Incognito mode to ensure you are seeing the full picture (as these search results were quite different to those
Measuring the quality of websites is no easy task. Some websites look underwhelming yet have huge numbers of fans and great reputations (pertinent examples being Amazon & Booking.com in their earlier days). Sure, you can try and gauge the quality of each competitor by browsing through their website and content, which I strongly encourage you to do, but there are also tools that allow you to get an ‘apples for apples’ comparison of the quality of each site using sophisticated algorithms….plus they can save you time too. To find out what these tools are, keep reading on!
SEM Rush is a great tool for understanding the competitive set for a specific keyword or phrase, particularly for further analysis into which websites are already ranking organically in Google Search results for specific keywords and themes.
Below is a screenshot of the amazing dashboard SEMrush provides for free for limited use (of course, like any good tool you will need to pay if you want to use it frequently).
You will see that I have entered the keyword “bait pump” and filtered the information to Australia web traffic (using the Country filter which SEMrush provides).
The free version of SEMrush can provide in-depth insights about any keyword or phrase.
Once a keyword is entered, the dashboard immediately displays a nicely presented array of in-depth information related to this keyword (albeit somewhat different to the Google results mentioned in the section above, due to SEMrush’s own proprietary algorithms that span across all Search Engines including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other popular search engines).
The areas that I pay particular attention to are:
- The volume of searches – is it comparatively high or low versus the similar keywords displayed? If considerably lower, perhaps you should consider an alternative phrase with more volume?
- Related keywords – are there any related keywords which may seem more suitable to you, or have a higher volume of searches?
- Organic search results – Are there any major websites that didn’t appear when you searched for this term directly in Google? For example, BigW and Gumtree are both sites that didn’t appear on page 1 of my initial Google search in the previous section, however SEMrush tells us (see screenshot below) that they both appear frequently in Search results for this particular term “bait pumps”. The thing is, after visiting both of these websites (gumtree.com.au and bigw.com.au), neither of the sites is an authority in this space, one is a generic department store and the other is a generic classifieds websites, so despite their high rankings I would ignore these websites due to their limited relevance to the topic of “bait pumps”.
To paraphrase, there is still a layer of your own human logic that you need to overlay to this method, as there will be times when generic websites are scattered amongst the rankings and this is generally, because there is limited competition within the niche itself, so Google tries to plug the gaps from high authority websites which are somewhat related to the topic!
SEMrush lists the websites that rank best for any given keyword, such as the example above for ‘bait pumps’.
When you have tinkered with the SEMrush keyword dashboard for long enough and are satisfied that you have arrived at a niche that offers you the right mix of popularity (search volume) versus competition, run a final search on SEMrush and write down the top 5 organic competitors you see for this keyword. You’ll need these before you move on to the next tool.
Moz Domain Authority
The third piece of kit you’ll be adding to your arsenal of Competitive Measurement Tools is Moz’s Domain Authority tool. Domain Authority (DA) is concept that was developed many moons ago by Moz.com, a leading source of insight and research in the field of Search Engine Marketing. DA is essentially a rating system which algorithmically scores websites on a scale between 1 and 100 to measure their authority. In the words of Moz.com:
Domain Authority is a score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERP). … We calculate Domain Authority combining many of our other link metrics — linking root domains, number of total links, MozRank, MozTrust, etc. — into a single DA score.
This is the most trusted authority measurement metric available on the web, particularly now that Google’s Pagerank ranking system has now been decommissioned (this was a scoring system which existed up until 2015, and which ranked websites from 0 and 10 based on their perceived authority and SEO merit).
Use the Moz.com DA tool after you have developed a list of the top 5 websites that already exist in the niche you’re considering. (Using the tools and methods I have outlined above will help you to fast-track this process). Once you have your ‘top 5 competitors’ lists, enter each of their URLs into the below tool.
Moz’s Link Explorer: https://moz.com/link-explorer
I’ve used BCF.com.au as my example, following on from the “bait pumps” niche mentioned in the previous section. You will see that BCF has a DA score of 39…not bad, but not really mind-blowing for the first result in Google for this niche either.
The Moz Open Site Explorer tool allows you to examine competitor websites in detail.
I also ran the numbers on the other competitors listed above, and got the following results:
- BigW 62/100
- Alvey.com.au 33/100
- Motackle.com.au 27/100
- Fishingtackle.com.au 1/100
So, as it turns out, of the highest-ranking websites already established within this niche, 1 out of 5 has a Domain Authority higher than 50. This means my chances of cracking this niche aren’t too bad. Why, I hear you ask? ……
Here’s a fact to think about: People rarely click on results after position #3 in Google Search.
While this is a somewhat sweeping observation given the huge number of variations in the layout Google Search results (which dramatically impact where users may click), it almost always determines whether a niche may be too competitive.
If 3 or more of your competitors have a DA above 50, I can safely say that you almost certainly don’t stand a chance of ranking above any of these websites anytime soon.
If 3 or more of your competitors have a Domain Authority score over 50 in your niche, it’s probably time to go back to the drawing board and come up with another niche, or to ‘niche down’ to a subset of your chosen topic.
Is the Niche Profitable?
So you’ve worked out a short-listed list of niche topics that you are interested in that show signs of ongoing popularity to the public, aren’t scarily competitive, and you are confident that the topic is something that you can continue writing about for the long-term. Now is where the serious talk about dollar bills comes into play – it’s time to determine whether your niche topic can generate you an acceptable income.
There are several methods I use to determine a profitable blog niche:
Cost Per Click in Google Adwords
One way to understand the profitability of a niche is to look at the average Cost Per Click (CPC) that advertisers pay on Google Adwords. CPC is the price that marketers spend for each click in Google Adwords. It’s a good indication of a profitable niche, because let’s face it, marketers generally will not spend money unless it is returning them a healthy profit.
As Google Adwords requires you to setup an account and login in order to access this data, the quickest way to access Google Adwords CPC data quickly is via SEMrush.
My suggestion is to go after niches with at least a $1 CPC. This indicates that the marketers are serious about being visible for a specific topic, which in turn, indicates a strong potential for profit within this field.
There are many topics that immediately spring to mind that have proven to be profitable including ‘car insurance’ and ‘how to lose weight’. Unfortunately, these markets are highly saturated with competitors, which is why it is important to filter out the highly competitive niches first, to ensure that your judgement isn’t hindered by the prospects of huge profits!
A SEMRush report for one of the most popular search phrases in the world.
A SEMRush report for another hugely popular search phrase.
Affiliate Products that Currently Exist
There are many revenue models available to bloggers including selling ad space, referring products in exchange for a commission (affiliate marketing) and selling information products. Most bloggers adopt all three income streams in varying proportions; however, one particular revenue stream is particularly indicative of your potential future profits, and this is the affiliate marketing stream.
While ad revenue (such as the revenue generated by Google Adwords, called Adsense) provides an indication of how much advertisers are willing to pay per click, it doesn’t necessarily outline how much revenue will end up in your pocket (mainly because in the instance of Google, it pockets the majority of the ad revenue and leaves you with a tiny sliver).
On the flipside, affiliate networks can tell you exactly how much you will earn for each sale you successfully secure through your blog. Check out each of the individual affiliate networks, and you will find a large variety of products you can promote related to your specific niche.
A few affiliate networks I recommend are:
- Max Bounty
- Amazon Associates
While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of affiliate networks, these are some of the best in my humble opinion (for more information about each of these networks visit this article).
If you only want a basic indication of the potential for profit before diving into the affiliate networks, I also suggest jumping into eBay and performing a similar search. If you see a wide range of products related to your niche, this could also indicate a profitable niche.
Tip! Visit competitor’s blogs and established websites in the niche to see which affiliates they are promoting. This gives you a head start on what’s already working in the niche.
Affiliate Commission Rates
The money you will make from your chosen niche, at least in the early years, will largely be driven by existing products and brands. It’s a good idea to take a good, hard look at the standard commission rates available for products in your niche.
It doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that as a blogger, you make loads more money when you strike the right ratio of the product price versus product commissions.
Here’s an example. As a new blogger, your goal is to generate $500 per week from the affiliate marketing revenue stream. You look at an affiliate network and see two products that align well with your blog, and their commission is as follows:
- Product A is priced at $19 and has a 50% commission rate. So, you get $9.50 in commission for each sale you generate for this merchant.
- Product B is priced at $85 and has a 45% commission rate which means you get $40 from each affiliate sale.
Comparing both Products, B has four times the earnings potential of A. In fact, you’ll need to sell 50 of Product A every week to reach your target, versus only 12 of Product B.
Of course, there are other factors that come into play such as the quality of the product, and the frequency of purchase by the consumer of Product A vs Product B, but you get my drift that it is hugely important to evaluate the earnings potential of a product by weighing up its average price versus the proposed commission. By looking at either factor in isolation, you risk promoting an offer that will end up falling significantly short of your expectations, and quite frankly, it’s not worth your time to market offers that only pay a dollar or two per sale.
Are People Buying Information Products about this topic? This is an area I feel very strongly about…. information products are hugely profitable. Real money can made when you can do either of the following successfully on your blog:
- Promote existing information products via affiliate networks, or • Write your own information products and sell them
Regardless of which avenue you pursue, you should do your research on whether your prospective niche is proven to attract people who buy information.
Sure, you might want to sell the occasional gadget, but from experience I can tell you for certain that information products have huge earnings potential, mainly due to their minimal production and distribution costs, which therefore make these products hugely profitable versus physical goods.
Get started by looking at the affiliate networks I listed in my earlier article about revenue models, particularly:
Simply logon to clickbank.com and search through the product offers. If you come across any digital products related to your niche, this is an indication that the niche could be profitable. Generally, the greater the number of products, the greater the potential for profit (as the niche is recognised by many authors as a cash cow).
Another place to look is Amazon.com. Just search for your top keywords to see if there are existing books on this topic. Obviously, a large number means people buy books on this subject and are willing to buy information products.
The Point of Profitability
Lastly, while on the topic of profitability, it would be remiss of us not to acknowledge a critical factor. We’ve discussed at length how to ascertain whether a niche is potentially profitable, but how difficult is it to get to the point of profitability?
There are niches all over the spectrum in terms of profitability and difficulty. I’ve outlined all the obvious factors to consider in the previous sections, however there are also your own personal factors to consider.
It’s true that with enough resources and time you can generate income from virtually any niche. But that’s not why we are here. Why make life difficult if you can identify a more profitable niche from the outset.
Here are a few factors to think about:
- Your ongoing commitment
- Your own resources
- Are other people making money?
The first two points are obvious. You need to commit time and energy to this. If you aren’t willing to do this, then may I suggest another online business model may be more appropriate for you. If you are still committed, then here’s the real clincher…. are other people making money? I’m talking about regular, run-of-the-mill bloggers like you and me, rather than the big-dogs with multinational advertising budgets to prop up their traffic.
Once you’ve determined that people are indeed both interested in and capable of spending money on niche products, and that there is also proven money to be made, you need to ask yourself and answer with conviction – can you reach those people with a profitable offer, and do it effectively and repeatedly?
- When scouring the major affiliate networks and shopping portals for products in your niche, record the product prices and affiliate commission rates for the best products you see. This will help you to calculate the estimated revenue per sale you will achieve. Compare them to other niches you are considering.
- Research whether people are people buying information products on this topic? It’s one thing to buy gadgets (where the margins are usually small), but are they buying digital products such as eBooks and online guides? These are where the money is, so if they aren’t, you will be hard pressed to generate large profits.
- Consider the Point of Profitability – you’ll need to commit time and energy to this niche.
What Else Do You Bring to the topic that You Can Leverage?
So, you’ve decided on a niche. Fantastic! The thing is, no niche is new…. if it was, you wouldn’t have an audience. So, you need to decide what is going to make you, and your blog, stand out from the crowd of ‘standard’ bloggers.
- Why will people listen to me?
- What makes me different?
- What about these topics can I offer which is unique?
These aren’t trick questions. I can almost guarantee they won’t be easy or obvious to answer…and that is totally fine. This is where you need to back yourself, and think deep, about what it is that makes your perspective unique from everyone else. And believe me, there will be something if you give yourself the chance to acknowledge it, because like Dr Seuss articulates better than pretty much any modern-day motivational speaker, ‘today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is you-er than you.’
Have you thought about the unique perspective you can offer to your chosen niche? For example, on my blog TheFreedomChaser.com, I write about ways to unlock more freedom financially, spiritually and physically. There are plenty of other bloggers already writing about these topics, but I realised that I could stand out from the crowd with my unique perspective as a surfer. With this, The Freedom Chaser was born, with many of my articles including surfing analogies and anecdotes.
What’s your unique touch going to be? It could be based on your location, your experiences, or your credentials…. or a combination of all three. Challenge yourself and you will find a niche that is truly unique.
Final steps to identify your niche
Choosing a niche for your blog is not a task to be taken lightly. You’ll be investing thousands of hours into your topic of choice, so its income potential needs to make sense for the sake of your bank account… and your sanity!
It’s no secret when it comes to blogging that the riches are in the niches, so take your time to identify a niche that is has rising popularity and limited competition by using the tools and techniques in It Pays To Blog.