How to Find Your Perfect Niche

beginning-bloggers-guide-to-finding-your-nicheToday, I want to talk about finding a niche market for your blog.  It’s the biggest choice you have to make, really, apart from the technical side of getting your blog hosted, which we talked about last week (Read about web hosting options here). Not having a focused idea of what their niche is, is one of the biggest things I see holding many bloggers back.

For some people, choosing a niche is something they don’t even think about – you have something you want to blog about, and that’s it – it’s purely a passion decision. And passion is GREAT – passion is actually extremely important! But if you also want to earn an income with your blog, it may take more than passion.

Why is passion so important? Well – if you’re going to be blogging for a long time – if this is going to be your income source – you want something you care enough about to be able to blog about it for the long haul.  I used to create little niche blogs about things just because I found good keywords. Things like Halloween costumes. And the blogs were good, and they made money – but after the first year, I hated writing anything for them. Because I didn’t really care! I didn’t care about writing about Halloween, I don’t even live in a country where Halloween is celebrated.

My lack of enthusiasm means that over time, I quit posting to those blogs. I had great ideas for them, but just couldn’t force myself to do it. In the end, I just let them go.

So make sure that you choose to blog about a topic you care about – something that interests you enough to constantly learn about it, to have opinions on it, and to write with enthusiasm.

And very quickly, let me talk to you about lifestyle blogging.  There are lots of ways to blog – niche blogging in NOT the only way to success. There are lots of people out there who are very successful with lifestyle blogs, where the point of the blog is sharing their life, usually from some unique aspect.  Maybe you’re a single mom, or a mom of multiples, or a stay at home dad, or a family that loves to camp… Whatever there is about you and your life that makes you stand out. Every post does not have to be about that thing! It’s just going to be the thing that gives your blog a point of view and a personality.

So even if you’re going to be a true lifestyle blogger rather than a niche blogger, you need to narrow down the audience you’re speaking to.  If you’re trying to talk to everyone, your message is too “all over the place” and you won’t get heard by anyone. By focusing your topic, you can speak to a specific audience and make sure your message gets heard.

Niche blogger or lifestyle blogger – the following tips will help you narrow it down.

 

1) Research Your Ideas

Make a list of 10 or 20 things you love; things you like reading about, learning about, doing.  Now, do a little research. Your first step will be keyword research. This post from Copyblogger shows you how to do some basic keyword research that will help you find out if a niche is worth pursuing.

You’ll also want to do a search for each of them, and see which ones already have people writing about them. Are there popular blogs? Facebook groups?  Don’t be discouraged if there are – that’s actually what you want! If other people are doing it successfully, it means that there is a market for it, that people are searching for it and talking about it.

 

2) Know Your Purpose

You can be totally passionate about something and still have a blog that lacks focus. In order to be successful, you need to have a clear message.

If you want to blog about music, pick a genre – the people who are interested in reading about Beethoven probably aren’t as interested in Deerhoof.

Don’t have a recipe blog, instead, choose a type of recipe – quick recipes, slow cooker recipes, vegan, healthy…

Technically, this is called “segmenting” your niche – choosing a small segment of a larger niche. I like to call it “niche-ing it down”. The more you niche down, the better you’ll be able to know what your purpose is for your blog, and the better you’ll be able to connect with an audience.

 

3) Solve Problems

As you narrow down your choice of niche, you’re going to want to think about topics you can write about.  While some things may be written strictly for entertainment purposes, most profitable blogs earn the most money when they do something that solves a problem for their readers.  If you understand the niche and your audience, you’ll be able to see what their problems are and come up with products and services that solve those problems.

So look for questions that are being asked – for instance, as a cooking or recipe blog, you may be able to create or sell recipe books.  Or in another direction, you could create a series of “How to… in the Kitchen” videos to sell, showing different prep and cooking techniques to help budding chefs.

To use another earlier example – say you’re blogging about your family that loves to camp. You could create your own ebook that rates and reviews campgrounds according to family friendliness, and what there is to do for kids.  Or maybe a “camping checklist” that can be printed and laminated for families to use when packing for their camping vacays.

No matter what your niche, there are bound to be problems that you can solve with your expertise and passion!

4) Bring Your Personality

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it a million times: Don’t try to be someone else.

You can’t copy another blogger’s style and be successful. You have to figure out who you are and what makes you different to bring your own unique voice to it. Your personality is going to be very important in helping you connect with your readers and build that blog community that’s so important for your success.

 

Last Words…

Just do it! Start taking action now!

I know it sounds silly, but it’s true. The hardest step is the first one. Once you make a habit of working on your business every day (yes, your blog is a business), you’ll find that it gets much easier to do.  The Take Action WAHM

 

 

 

 

 

 

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18 responses on How to Find Your Perfect Niche

    1. I actually have a post that might help you with that! Check out 10 Blog Post Ideas – those are the things I do when I’m having trouble getting started.

      It’s also a really good idea to keep a notebook or even a text document of ideas. Whenever something crosses your mind and you think “Oh, that’d make a good post!” write it down. Then when you’re having trouble coming up with an idea, just read through your idea list.

  1. Kelly,
    Great post! I never really thought about a niche, just that I wanted to write about freelance writing. But I also cover topics about blogging, being a WAHM and marketing. I guess my niche is freelance writing business? Not sure. I guess I should segment it, but so far it’s working and I’m drawing bloggers and writers to my site (and even potential clients).

    As for the blog post tip of writing it down! YES! I could be playing with my children and all of a sudden I have a blog post idea and I NEED to write it down, or else it disappears by the time I sit down on the computer. Unfortunately, I end up having a pile of little papers on my desk and sometimes lose them! So I need to be more organized!
    Elna recently posted…Freelance Writing Jobs for Newbies: Determing Your RatesMy Profile

    1. I think your blog is really good, Elna! You’re similar to what I’m doing actually, except you come at it from more of the writing side and I tend to focus on the building a blog side. There’s plenty of intersect in those two things, and people who are interested in one are quite likely interested in the other as well. I think the key is be sure WHO you’re talking to. As long as every post speaks to the people you’re trying to reach, you’re doing ok 🙂

      Haha.. and little notes. I used to write everything down on post-its, had them stuck all over my cpu, monitor, walls! Now I use a Google doc so I can access it from the desktop or my tablet.

  2. “You can’t copy another bloggers style and be successful.”

    Yes! I absolutely second this! I have been totally turned off when visiting blogs for the first time and immediately notice how they are trying to imitate a more popular blogger – everything from personal catchphrases to signature photography style.
    BellaKarma recently posted…March To A Different BeetMy Profile

    1. Exactly! The other person is already doing a great job of being his or herself, they don’t need someone else out there as a low-rent copy! 😀

  3. Like you, I’ve had several blogs, but got tired of writing on them. One of those was a homeschooling blog. I homeschooled my kids for fifteen years, taught other homeschoolers, taught writing classes, published curriculum, and spoke at state and national conferences for 7 years. I was sure I’d enjoy blogging about homeschooling, but I literally broke out in a sweat every time I typed a post. When the kids both went off to college I had even less enthusiasm for anything related to homeschooling. I was burned out!! Thus, the blog is no more.

    Instead, I have my Encouraging Words for Writers blog and I love it! Every time I write a post it energizes me and makes me want to write more. That’s how I know this is my niche!

    One thing that helped me was writing a list of potential post topics just to see if I had enough material. I had hundreds of ideas for my writing blog whereas with the homeschooling blog I never had more than about 20 at a time.
    Bonita recently posted…Editing: When is Your Writing Good Enough?My Profile

    1. I love that, Bonita! When you’re in the right niche, it’s a joy to write. Thank you so much for sharing, I think it’s really important for people to read your story.

  4. Just this last week I have been thinking that my blog, ParentWhiz, needs some redirection – a more focused niche. If I were working with a consultant, they would ask me what I was passionate about! Right?? And, then I happened upon your post! So, there you have it. It’s about the passion. Once we figure that out the posts start flowing. So glad I found this article. Thanks for inspiring me!
    Diana Auerhammer recently posted…Coding Apps and Sites for Your YoungstersMy Profile

    1. Thanks so much, Michelle. I try really hard to share information that’s helpful for people just starting and for those who have been blogging a while.

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