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Choosing your blog topic can be so hard! There are so many options. You can blog about almost anything. But that makes it so tricky to decide on the right niche. Read on to discover how to choose the right niche for your blog – and whether you really need one at all!
What is a niche anyway?
Before we talk about how to choose the right niche for your blog, let’s just back up a little and look at what exactly a niche is. A niche is basically the topic of your blog – the main subject you write about. A niche can be big and broad covering many topics like ‘lifestyle’ or ‘parenting’, or small and very specific, like ‘vegan and gluten free baking’ or ‘travel for families on a budget’.
Does my blog really need a niche?
YES!! Many new bloggers (and even some existing ones) think they can start a blog and just write about anything and it will be successful. But the truth is nearly all the really successful blogs have a niche – some are broad, and some are narrow, but they all have one!
The only real exception to this is if you literally just want to have a fun hobby blog – a kind of online diary for your friends and family. In that case, don’t worry about niche – just write and have fun! But if you want your blog to be a business, to be successful and make money, then take it from me YOU NEED A NICHE!
(The only other exception is if you are already a celebrity. If you are a big, well known and popular celebrity you CAN probably write about everything and anything… as you already have an audience who will lap up everything you say. In a sense, for a celebrity, they are the niche!)
Why is niche so important?
There are 5 main reasons why having a niche for your blog is so important:
1. Having a niche makes your blog more attractive to ‘your people’
If you have a tight niche and someone comes along to your blog and instantly identifies with your niche, then you will most likely have a loyal follower who signs up for all your stuff, follows you everywhere, hangs on your every word and maybe even buys all your products (or gets all the stuff you recommend with affiliate links).
I like to give the example of a vegan cupcake. If a general food blogger were to put a vegan cupcake recipe on their blog, yes, they may get quite a bit of traffic from vegans. But most likely those visitors will, at best, just print off the recipe and move on – they probably won’t want to start following a website that has lots of meat recipes on it.
On the other hand, if that vegan cupcake recipe is featured on a vegan baking blog, full of all kinds of different tips and advice on vegan baking and loads of yummy recipes and inspiration, vegans who find that blog via the vegan cupcake recipe will be much more likely to stick around, check out the other recipes, sign up for the newsletter, start following on social media and so on.
2. Niche fosters community
Not only does having a well-defined niche make you more attractive to your community, it actually fosters community among your readers and social media followers. We as humans all have this deep-seated desire to connect with ‘people like us’, with our ‘community’. By carefully defining your niche, you not only allow people to identify with you and your blog, but also with your other readers and followers. It is no coincidence that bloggers with well defined niches usually have the greatest engagement and interaction among their followers.
3. The riches are in the niches
How do you pronounce ‘niche’? ‘Neesh’ or ‘nitch’. I pronounce it ‘neeesh’ so this phrase doesn’t quite work for me!! It sounds much better if you say ‘nitch’!! But either way there is a lot of truth in this phrase. If you have a well-defined niche, a loyal band of readers is likely to follow. And if you can nurture those followers, help them and build trust and community, they are much more likely to buy from you or act on your recommendations.
Going back to the vegan cupcake analogy. If you are vegan, who are you more likely to buy a vegan baking cookbook from – the blogger who blogs about anything and everything including meat and dairy? Or the blogger who just focuses on vegan baking? A no-brainer, isn’t it?
4. Having a niche stops you getting writers block
You would think that the broader your niche is, the easier it would be to think of something to write about, but actually it tends to be the opposite. If you write about anything and everything then it’s very difficult to decide what to write about – the choice is HUGE! If you have a more specific and targeted niche your options will be much narrower, and it will be much more obvious to you where the gaps are in your content that you need to fill. On top of this, if you have an engaged and enthusiastic community, they will probably be interacting with you, telling you what they’d like to hear about and asking you questions that you can turn into blog posts.
5. Blogging in a niche helps you become an ‘expert’
If you write about anything and everything then you are a bit like that phrase ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ – you know a little about lots of topics, but you are an expert in none of them! If on the other hand you write about one clearly targeted niche, then you will gradually become an expert in that topic – a ‘go to’ person, an ‘authority’. People will seek you out because they know you are an authority on that topic, they will recommend you to their friends – maybe you will be asked to write on that topic for the press, or go on radio or TV to talk about that topic. You may even be approached to write a book! And all of that will only be beneficial in making your blog more successful, which will in turn lead to more opportunities and exposure – it’s a virtuous circle.
What should I think about when choosing my blogging niche?
So now hopefully I’ve thoroughly convinced you that your blog needs a niche – but what should that niche be? How do you go about choosing the right niche for your blog? Here are 5 things to consider:
1. What are you passionate about?
If your blog does well, you are going to be writing about this topic for a loooong time. So, make sure it is something that you LOVE! What is it that you love doing or talking about? What is it that the thought of writing about this subject every day for the rest of your life really excites you? What are you always jabbering on about to your friends and family?
Not only will writing about something you are passionate be good for you and mean you won’t get bored, but also it will be attractive to readers – they will see your passion shining out of everything you write about and be more interested and engaged as a result. Enthusiasm is infectious!
2. What are you an expert in?
Do you already have an expertise in something? It could be an official one – like you are a lawyer… or a tax expert… or a registered nutritionist. Or it could be an unofficial one… What do you know a lot about? What do your friends and family always ask your advice about? What do other people think you are good at? Maybe you know everything there is to know about baby lead weaning or luxury travel. Maybe your friends and family are always asking for tips on hair and makeup or how to manage their finances better. If you already have an expertise, then that’s a great place to start!
TOP TIP: If you are not sure, ask – you may be surprised to hear the answer! One of the reasons I started this blog is because so many people kept telling me I was such an organised and efficient blogger. It hadn’t really occurred to me until they started telling me because it’s just who I am – its my ‘normal’, but to other people it’s a skill or an ‘expertise’ they don’t have.
3. What would you like to be an expert in?
But don’t fret if you are not an expert in anything…you can still become one! Simply by starting a blog and writing about that subject you will become an expert over time. So, if you can’t think of a topic you know a lot about, think instead about a topic you would really like to become an expert in. Think, if in 3 years’ time if a publisher came to you and asked you to write a book on your expertise, what would you like that book to be about?
One very popular type of blog is the ‘journey’ blog. It’s a blog where you start out as the student…you have a problem in your life or something you want to achieve, and you start to blog about your journey, but over the course of several years you go from being the ‘student’ to the ‘teacher’ and begin to teach others how to make the changes you made in your life.
Good examples of a journey blog would be a blogger who uses their blog to document how they lost a lot of weight, got fitter and healthier or turned their finances around. Over time those bloggers become experts and start teaching others how to lose weight/get fit/sort out their finances. These kind of transformation blogs can also be very lucrative in the long term (think ‘I lost 30lb and now I can show you how with this course’ / ‘I got out of debt and paid off my mortgage in 1 year, buy my book and I’ll teach you how to do it’) Which leads me nicely on to…
4. Can you make money from it?
If you really want your blog to be your business and to make money, then you really need to think carefully about whether it is possible to make money in that niche. Some niches lend themselves very readily to making money (anything to do with health/diet/saving or making money/getting more organised etc.) others less so. Before you settle on the topic, ask yourself ‘how will I make money?’ For example, can you think of products and services you could sell in that niche? Can you think of recommendations you could make that would lead to affiliate sales? Can you think of brands that might want to buy sponsored posts on your site?
READ MORE >>> How do blogs make money?
5. Is there a niche you can put your own unique spin on?
Is there a topic where you have something different to say? Can you see a niche that no one is really talking about yet? If you can be the first to get into that niche then you can have a huge advantage over everyone who joins you in that niche later (because if it’s super popular, they will). But two little caveats on this one…
Firstly, there may be a good reason no-one is talking about that – maybe you are the only one who’s actually into that topic. Do ask yourself whether there are enough other people who will actually want to hear and engage with that topic to make it worthwhile.
Secondly, don’t get too down about this one. It can feel like every niche has already been taken and you have nothing new to offer, but that is simply NOT TRUE. It is true that there are very few totally new ideas out there, but no one can write about that topic like you can! No one can be you and bring your own unique spin on that topic. In many ways you are your niche!
So, what is your blogging niche going to be?
I’d love to know what you are going to choose as your blogging niche! Do let me know in the comments below!
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