So you want to start a blog or you already have one and are just now realizing you may need to narrow down your blog niche a bit.
Is your blog menu of categories looking rather loooong? Wondering what type of blog should you have if you do narrow down that blog niche?
Here are the answers to the questions you have, all about bog niches and narrowing down that focus.
What is a niche?
A niche is a narrowed specialization in the market place. Examples of broad niches for blogs and businesses would be:
- Wedding Photography
- Pet Care
- Interior Design
- Car Repair
You can get into what’s called a micro-niche for your blog too. So instead of something broad like Wedding Photography, the above niches could be narrowed to
- Wedding Photography for Seniors 65 and up in Northern California
- How to care for your Cockerspaniel
- Decorating a mid-century Bungalow
- Fixing up your pre-1980 Ford truck
As you can see, a blog niche doesn’t need to be so broad (and it doesn’t need to be so narrow). The point is that it’s focused on a particular topic that would attract the same a very specific target audience. The narrower you go, the less potential traffic you might get – However, that isn’t such a bad thing. By taking a niche into a narrow focus, you’ll quickly find that you’re standing out and making waves.
Having that extremely narrow topic could help to establish you as the go-to expert on the topic. Imagine how many people would be delighted to finally find a go-to source on the topic they were looking for? They’d probably share it with everyone in their circle. Imagine the impact you can make when that happens?
What’s the #1 reason you might need a blog niche?
If you want to make money, get a niche
Yep. Money comes quicker to those who do one or two specific things very well. Imagine how well you could do if you just focused on one or two simple topics, instead of ten? Could you become more of an expert on that topic for your readers? Would they trust you even more if you seemed to know everything there is about that one thing?
It is much easier to find and keep customers for your products or find affiliates to help you monetize your blog if you are blogging about a single topic.
If you’re like most beginner bloggers, then it’ highly likely you’re looking to start a blog to make some side money. You’ve probably heard bloggers are make money through ad’s and affiliate programs every day. Before you go off and get too deep into that niche-less blog to make money, realize that if your blog exists to make money, you are going to want to treat it like a business.
Treating a blog like a business means:
- picking a niche
- developing a specific voice on that topic,
- targeting an audience in your niche’s market,
- Creating a minimum viable service or product
- and then bringing lots of value to that topic and those particular targeted readers
On the other hand, if you just want to blog about things you find interesting and don’t mind if you don’t make any money from it, then you don’t necessarily need a blog niche.
There are many successful bloggers out there that have multiple blog topics. These can sometimes be called lifestyle blogs. They share posts on topics like movies, fashion, travel, parenting, love, etc, and on and on. There’s really nothing wrong with that if it makes you happy.
… and if happiness is all you’re after with your blog (and money is no concern) then you don’t need a blog niche.
Some “nicheless” blogs do make money, but you can attribute that to a lot of time, hard work, great personal branding, and a social media strategy that will probably knock your socks off.
Choose a blog niche by deciding what you’re passionate about.
In order to pick a niche for your blog, you need to decide what it is that you are passionate about. What do your friends and family think of when they think of you? What are you already an expert at?
Determine at least a handful of topics and jot down 1-5 things you think might qualify as a blog niche. To make it a little easier for yourself, consider narrowing down your topics to things that “connect”. Like parenting and cooking OR Interior Design and thrift store shopping.
Is there enough to write about?
Now that you have a list of topics you think you might blog about, take another look at them and really answer this question. Are there at least 52 different posts or sub topics that you can write about for your niche ideas? Take a moment to thing it through. You don’t have to write down 52 post ideas, but you should feel comfortable with the number.
Well, there are 52 weeks in a year and I’m going to just assume that if you choose just one of the niche topics from your list, that you will probably want to post a blog article once a week, give or take.
If you think that 52 blog posts shouldn’t be a problem for you, then you probably have a good niche with lots of value to bring to potential readers.
If you’re struggling already and can’t seem to conceive of even 20 articles or sub topics on at least one of your niches, then you should probably cross it off of your list as a potential blog niche candidate.
You definitely should be passionate about your topics, but they also should be interesting and in depth enough to allow for nearly weekly articles.
Combine topics into groups of similar topics
There’s a chance that your topics are similar to each other and can be combined under one category or niche on your blog. Like I said before, parenting and cooking go well together. So does thrift shopping and interior design.
If you want to write about more than just one topic, it is a good idea to see how you can cross-over your different topics. Finding some way that you can connect the dots for your audience will make it easier for them to click around on your blog to the next interesting article. This becomes important for a good bounce rate. Unsure what a bounce rate is? If you have a blog, you’ll want to learn about it here.
An example of blog niche cross overs that you might want to watch out for is, let’s say you really love costume makeup and make-up art, but also want to blog about parenting tips. It would be wise if you put these under different categories on your blog, but somehow connecting them with an epic post about how you did costume makeup on your kids for Halloween could be great. However, where you might find it difficult for your bounce rate is that a lot of your readers might only want to read about costume make up, but not your kids, and then some of your parenting readers probably won’t care about costume makeup.
This is why finding a blog niche is so important and learning how to keep items under separate categories might help you or hurt you. However, crafting an epic posts that crosses all your different topics could help connect your different blog readers and their interests,
Research who your reader and audience will be.
If you are finding that you write a blog post about movies one day, nail polish the next day, and then pet care the day after that – have you determined who your regular reader is going to be? Who is it that is going to subscribe to your newsletter or your RSS feed, besides your mom or your best friend?
Determining who your reader is should help you determine if you should continue to blog about pet care while also blogging about nail polish. If you’re ready to get really deep on this topic, you can start working on it today in our Brand Know-How Course for creatives and bloggers.
Research your existing blog to find a niche
If you already have a blog that is rather niche-less at the moment, why not go through your google analytics reports and see what your top 3-5 blog posts are right now? Those top 5 blog posts might be about the same or similar topics. This kind of information will prove to be helpful in narrowing down your niche. Here’s a snap shot at the rankings of my most popular content. Is there a niche that I could create from what this report shows? Yes!
Determine how you will stand out in your niche
Let’s say you’ve chosen a blog niche and topic that you are hands down passionate about and know you could write something every day of the year on it, if you had to. Well – great, but how are you going to stand out from the thousands of other bloggers in your niche?
I know. You thought that by narrowing down to a single niche, that you had the hard part behind you.
It’s true though. Finding a unique way to stand out in the crowd is going to turn your passion and blog niche into a blog winner. So, find a unique way to write about your topic and find your blogger voice.
Make it your own!
You don’t have to create or invent anything. You simply need to find a position in your niche that is unique. It could be that every time you post a blog post, you also provide a helpful video. These little improvements to the way you do things versus the way others do things can make a huge difference when one niche has lots of competition.
It’s okay to switch niche gears mid-blog.
You might be at the end of this article saying “ah – crap. I wish I had known about blog niches before I started!”
Don’t worry. You aren’t the first to switch gears and you certainly won’t be the last. In fact, I polled a group of bloggers on Facebook specifically for this post and here’s what I found:
50% of the bloggers polled had either completely changed or narrowed their blog niches at one point in the past! Some had bought different domain names and others eventually ditched their niche-less blog in order to create a new and better one.
So, you see, don’t go beating yourself up over this. Every blogger thinks about this and wants to make the best of their blogging experience. It’s quite possible some of your favorite blogs started out doing one thing and ended up somewhere completely different.
Just remember that it’s okay to refresh your blog with a more focused niche if you feel it will help you with your goals. You may lose some of your current readers in the process, but that should be okay! You’ll gain more quality readers back and the new ones will be even better because they’ll be more focused and attentive to your writing and new blog topics!