Now that you have decided to start a blog, you probably already know what to write about. Yes? Fantastic, that is already a good start
My guess is however, that most of you will probably still not know what your topic, or niche, is going to be. I know when I started my first blog, I had a vague idea but wasn’t sure.
What is a niche?
What exactly is a niche? A niche is a topic, the thing that you want to write about. It could be something that you are passionate about, or a hobby, or something that you are an expert on. Or it can just simply be something that you are interested in, or something that you are learning and you want to write about your progress.
A niche is a topic, but it’s a narrower aspect of this topic. So if your passion is photography, your niche could be nature photography, or architectural photography, or portraits, or weddings. These would be your niches within the topic of photography.
How do I choose my niche?
The most obvious answer is to look at what you are passionate about. This may be a hobby. So for example, your interests could be any of these:
You could write about any of these but not everybody has a hobby, you can also write about something that you do every day. For example, if you are a teacher, you could write about teaching, if you’re a parent, your blog could be a parenting blog. There are lots of very succesful mom blogs out there, written by mothers with small children and passing on their stories and advice to other mothers.
You don’t need to be an expert in something, so if you have just started going to the gym, you could write a blog about your experience and what you are finding helpful. You can write about anything that you are learning, you don’t have to be an expert. In fact, a lot of readers love real life stories and they can relate to somebody who is learning and passing on their experience.
The one thing to remember and take into account when writing is to offer value to your reader. You need to fulfill a genuine need, your reader needs to feel that by reading your blog, they get an answer to a question or problem.
You might have an interest in fashion but that wouldn’t necessarily be your niche. Your niche could be fashion on a budget, or luxury designer fashion, or fashion for very tall women, ethical fashion or fashion for special occasions. This is what is also called ‘niching down’. It’s a way of making a topic, or niche, more targeted to a specific audience. If your niche is fashion on a budget, you can niche down even more to fashion on a budget for women, or men, or children. So within a niche you can niche down to be even more specific.
A blogging business is very different from a personal blog: a personal blog can be about any topic you like, you can even have several topics in one blog. If you are writing a blog to make an income, you need to treat it as a business and that means you need to focus on a niche, so that your readers are clear what they are going to find on your blog.
Let’s say you are going on a skiing holiday and you need to buy special clothing. You could go to your nearest department store to try to find something suitable. But wouldn’t it be easier to go to a specialist skiing clothing shop? A shop that deals only in skiing equipment and clothing, who are experts and can guide you and advise you on what you need?
Targeting your audience
Blogs are very similar to shops or businesses. You can find blogs that deal with all sorts of topics but if you want to attract the right kind of reader, you need to concentrate on one thing that you can write about confidently and that is of interest to the right person.
So a blog on gardening for beginners will attract people who want to start gardening, a blog about home schooling will attract mothers who need information on how to school their children from home. A blog about travelling through Europe will not be relevant to people who want to travel to Asia for example but it will be very attractive to people who want to travel to European countries. This is what is called ‘targeting your audience’. You narrow down your niche or topic so that it is more relevant to the right people. That’s why you will hear many experts talking about ‘niching down’.
What if I don’t know how to narrow down my niche?
If you know what to write about but you’re not sure about how to niche down, don’t worry for now. Sometimes it can take a little time before you start getting to know your audience and you will find that some topics are easier to write about than others. The important thing is to get started and you can niche down later on. Blogs can change, especially at the beginning, and what started off as a blog about healthy eating can easily end up as a blog about something very different.
As you write you will find some things much easier to write about than others, so you will naturally find your niche in time anyway.
Some bloggers also start lifestyle blogs that can include anything from fashion, travelling, what to read and film reviews. This is the total opposite from niching down but there are still many bloggers who make a good income from broad subjects like that, and that’s fine. But the competition is also greater, so it may be hard work to grow your audience. On the plus side, there are more topics to write about so you’re not likely to run out of ideas about what to write!
There are some niches that are more popular than others, and it’s important to consider this because ultimately you want to write this blog to earn an income. So you need to reach as many people as possible. However, the more popular a niche, the more bloggers there will be already writing about it and the more competition you have. This is where niching down really pays off.
Very popular, and therefore very competitive blogging niches right now are:
- Health and Wellbeing
- Weight loss
- Saving and budgeting
- Healthy living
- Sport and Exercise
These are just some, but there are many more niches that are very popular and very worthwhile topics to blog about.
- Knitting or sewing
- Home schooling
- Pet care
- Game reviews
- Home decor
The list is endless. Anything and any subject could be the topic for a blog. But why would people want to read it? And why would they choose your blog above any other?
Solve a problem
People go online for all kind of reasons. Many use the internet for social media, or for research, or to find recipes, or you may want to look up a question. If you are looking for a special recipe, like for example, the best spaghetti Bolognese recipe, and you type this into Google, chances are that the results you get are mostly from blog posts. So blogs are very important as they add content to the internet that wouldn’t exist if a blogger hadn’t written about it.
The internet is full of helpful advice and information. A lot of it comes from blogs. And the most popular blogs are the ones that have useful information, that can solve a problem for somebody. So you might search the net for ‘how to lose weight quickly’ or ‘what foods are toxic to my dog’ or ‘how to grow my own tomatoes’. All sorts of solutions for all sorts of problems can be found online. And most of those answers are written about in blogs.
So when you choose your niche, take into account what you can write that would answer a question for somebody, that could help solve a problem. They are the kind of blog posts that really help people and that are popular online. You want to offer value to your reader.
Where do I start?
Ok, so now that you know all about niches and why it’s important to narrow down your blog to a particular niche, what next?
#1 Make a list of things you like
A lot of people will say that they haven’t got a specific talent, or that they aren’t really that good at anything. Well, you’d be surprised how many things you are good at! We tend to play down our own abilities and strengths. When you make your list, write down things that you do every day without even thinking. There will be people who have never done this.
For example, if you are a mother bringing up children, getting them ready to go to school in the mornings, or feeding them, playing with them, dressing them… not everybody does this. Sure, other mums do this every day but you already have experience, so you would be very good at blogging about daily life with your children and sharing tips and tricks with other brand new mums who are looking for advice.
You can also ask friends and family what they think you’d be good at. Sometimes we don’t realise that other people see us differently. Very often they think we are talented or good at something that we ourselves don’t realise.
# 2 Make a list of things that are part of your daily life
The things you do every day are usually the things that show where your strengths lie. What are you particularly good at every day?
- You may be retired and you could blog about how you feel and what you do to keep busy.
- You may be dealing with an illness that you cope with every day, there are many successful mental health blogs or blogs talking about chronic pain.
- Or you may be interested in fashion and make-up, that’s a very popular blog niche that lends itself very well for tutorials and product promotion.
- Maybe you’re bringing up a family on a very tight budget. Blogs on frugal living or blogs giving advice on budgeting and meal planning are extremely popular right now.
Remember that you will have to blog about your niche for a long time so you don’t want to run out of things to say. If your niche is related to your everyday life, you will find it a lot easier to write about for longer.
# 3 How does your niche help others
People will read your blog if it’s something they can relate to or if they can find helpful information. A blog about what you have for dinner every day may not be interesting to everyone, but if it includes recipes and advice on how to eat healthily or a meal plan for busy people who have little time to cook, then you are solving a problem. People will read about it because it offers value to them.
Your niche will have to be something that you can write about that in turn helps other people. That’s how you create an interest in your blog and it then becomes valuable to the reader.
Ready to start?“The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.” — Seth Godin, author, entrepreneur, and blogger Click To Tweet
The most important thing to remember is to just start. There is a very simple way to find your perfect niche and that is to start writing. Don’t worry if you’re unsure about your niche at first. Your blog doesn’t have to stay the same forever, you can change your mind after a while and it won’t do any harm. Many bloggers find that they start a blog and then they change their niche after a while. The worst that you can do is to spend weeks or months thinking of a niche and never starting.“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” —Arthur Ashe Click To Tweet
And just to help you out a bit, you can download my Niche Cheat Sheet right here for free. The cheat sheet will show you 21 niches with dozens of sub-niches and how to further niche down. So if you aren’t sure of your niche, find ideas on your cheat sheet and if you don’t know how best to niche down, there are some examples right here! Hope you find it useful, and don’t forget you can ask me any questions.
I hope this post has motivated you as well as informed you, so don’t hesitate and pick your niche! As always I will be here to help, so if you have any questions, make sure to leave a comment and I will get back to you!