You’re pretty burnt out by now trying to come to terms with this word niche.
You know you have to ‘niche down’.
That’s what you’ve been reading everywhere. But if only it was as easy as it looks.
I struggled with this too.
Nailing down your niche was this immensely critical decision that could make or break your site.
Or so I thought.
And it took me 6 months to get my blog ‘out there’ because I was certain that I was choosing a niche that was going to fail me.
After blogging for a year, I realized that a lot of what we hear about niches are myths. And reframing the ‘niche question’ can help you get started a lot faster.
Whether you’re considering starting a blog or have a freshly minted blog, this post will shed light on the myths you have about niches and what you can do to find a niche you love. This is the first in a 3-part series all about launching your blog. Next week, I’ll introduce you to a roadmap that will make starting your blog a breeze.
Wondering if the niche you have is the right one for you? Grab the Winning Niche 10-point checklist below to find out if you have a winning niche.
Myths to steer clear from
Myth #1: If there are big, established blogs in a niche, state away from it
If there are several blogs in a niche, that niche is crowded.
But it also means you have validation that there is an existing audience out there for your blog. That there is demand for the information, products and services related to that niche. That there are people who are actively seeking these out.
Those big blogs may take a chunk of your audience, but not everyone will resonate with the voice and style of the big blogs. That’s the reason several blogs are able to thrive alongside the big ones. Remember that people are more likely to be influenced by someone whom they like and can relate to –someone who’s at a level that seems attainable.
The pie is big enough for all of us. So, if this is something that’s holding you back, then it’s time to let it go.
Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Jonathan Morrow. In an article for Copyblogger, here’s what he says:
Every time I hear someone tell a beginner not to enter a niche because it’s too crowded, I feel like screaming. Yes, I know this is the standard advice, but it’s just not true.
Crowded niches got that way for a reason: they work. Your best bet for succeeding with your blog is to find a subject lots of people are blogging about, and then start a blog about the exact same subject.
You don’t want to be a copycat. Just look for the hidden benefits behind an audience’s interest in your topic, and target those benefits instead.
Myth #2: You need to be original
Well, that’s not going to happen.
There really isn’t anything that’s original anymore.
That doesn’t mean that you should do what everyone else is doing but your view and perspective on originality has to change.
Originality stems from how you differentiate yourself…
…how you repurpose existing ideas…
…how you inject your personality and perspective on a ‘done to death’ topic.
I love this quote by Austin Kleon from his book Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
Every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of one or more previous ideas
Start by looking for topics that get you fired up. Analyze how you can add to the existing content that’s already out there.
How can you position your blog differently? Is there a gap you can take advantage of?
Myth #3: Choose a niche you are passionate about
Passion is important and I’m in no way discounting that.
But your passion also has to serve an audience.
Unless you have a hobby blog for family and friends which is absolutely fine.
But if you do intend to grow an audience, your content has to inspire, educate or help them as well.
Myth #4: Don’t attempt a niche you have not enough experience or knowledge in
I didn’t know much about email marketing when I started.
I was fascinated about it and got my hands on as much information I could on the topic. I was also trying to answer a lot of questions I as well as so many others were having about the topic.
You might find your niche in something you want to start doing or learning more about.
Invite your audience along in your journey and show them how you make progress. This is a great way of building authority.
What a niche actually is…
At the crux of it, a niche is a solution to a problem.
People want to be better versions of themselves. This better version does not have to be about having more money. It could be in any one of the following:
- Personal development
- Budgeting or Personal finance
- Home decor
Each of those topics can take on a whole different angle. Be it inspirational, educational or entertaining. And they can encompass a wide range of sub-niches.
It’s easier to define your niche in terms of who you are serving and in what topic.
Think of your blog in terms of the value that you’re going to provide and to whom.At the crux of it, a niche is a solution to a problem. Click To Tweet
First, answer these two questions:
- What group do you want to help?
- In what area do you want to help them? Or in what area do they struggle with that you believe you can help them in?
Try and get specific about these 2 questions. For example, you’re not just serving women but single women who are also moms. You’re not helping them just plan meals. but plan vegan or paleo meals on a budget.
Here are some questions that could help you further
#1 What do you wish you could do or what do you want to learn about?
Like I mentioned earlier, you could teach people about what you’re learning about. You can build authority by showing them your progress from scratch on a particular topic
#2 What do you like to talk about or do? What do people say you are good at?
These could be things that seem ridiculously simple for you like home decor, organization or meal planning. But there are several others who could use some help in those departments. So don’t undermine the seemingly simple things you are good at.
#3 Have you seen a piece of work or seen someone work on something and said “I think I could do that better!”?
Pick up on gaps in content and make that your strong-hold. In your niche, are there a lack of videos, lack of long form content, lack of community or missing a different perspective….
For instance, I didn’t see a lot of content about what to do once you have subscribers on your list. At the same time there were people looking for answers on this. I picked up on that gap, developed content and found a way to position my ideas and messages differently from the rest.
If you have an inkling that something’s missing, work through that and you’ll find a unique way to position your message and ideas.
#4 What do you have experience in?
My experience was in marketing and writing. Yours could be something different. There are hard and soft skills in all your experiences that you can bring into identifying the right niche.
#5 Are there others monetizing their sites in this niche?
This is an important indicator. What forms of monetization strategies are they using? This gives you a clue as to whether people are looking for content, services or products in this niche.
Note of caution: This shouldn’t be the sole question you ask when deciding on your niche – unless of course you intend to develop and sell your blog off within a short time span.
Just going where the money is without any form of passion for the topic will burn you out.
Your niche is not cast in stone
It can be nerve wrecking and exciting at the same time to start a blog.
And your niche is probably the very first thing you think about and decide on for your blog.
Think of your niche as work in progress. You should have a target audience in mind and that’s perfect to start with.
Try different styles of writing and see what gets you more traction. Build your audience and find out more about their struggles, aspirations and pain points along the way. Make tweaks to your core message and audience profile as your blog grows.
This is the first in a 3-part series all about launching your blog. Next week, I’ll introduce you to a roadmap that will make starting your blog a breeze. So look out for that!
Download the Niche Checklist to see if you have a winning niche.