I know full well just how hard it is to choose a niche for your blog.
I’m currently in the process of setting up my own personal blog and trying hard to narrow down to a specific niche.
I have two separate and distinct topics that I love and feel equally passionate writing about. But I also know that niching down will help me build a community and regular readership. It will help me develop a blog that generates traffic and, more importantly, engagement.
Take this for example. You’re planning a holiday in Europe and you’ve decided to do it by campervan because you absolutely love road trips and you just so happen to have purchased yourself a shiny new campervan.
You start googling road trips around Europe and stumble upon a blog post giving an itinerary for a road trip around France’s Bordeaux region.
Intrigued, you click onto it and start reading all about this amazing-sounding road trip that starts stirring all sorts of ideas in your head. But you want to see what other European road trips they have on there.
You look around the blog a bit more only to find that there are no other posts about road trips at all. Instead, there are posts about anything and everything travel-related. Diving, luxury long haul holidays, where to get the best pad thai in Thailand etc.
Nothing else seems to fit what you’re looking for. You’re not a diver and you’re probably not going to be going to Thailand anytime soon. So you click away and probably never return.
Now imagine that instead that same blog was focused entirely on campervan road trips around Europe. You click onto that same blog post but now, when you look at the other posts you find lots of ideas for different road trips and tips for holidaying in a campervan.
You immediately bookmark the blog and return to it again and again whenever planning a trip. You’ve now become a loyal reader.
That is the power of a blog that focuses on a specific niche.
So now for the hard part. How on earth do you choose a niche for your blog!?
What is a Niche?
Take the two examples above. Despite each having a different focus, both blogs are about travel. But travel is not a niche. Travel is a topic.
A niche is more specific than that. For example, it’s about a specific type of travel (e.g. campervan road trips). Or about a specific place (e.g. Europe).
Its something that appeals to a smaller, more distinct section of the population.
And theoretically speaking, the more specific you get with your niche the better.
It sounds a bit scary I know. Because the narrower the niche the smaller your target audience right?
But, whilst you may have a smaller target audience, you will have a more loyal audience and a stronger community with a niche blog as compared to a general about-everything blog. You will have a smaller group of people who are passionate about your blog and read it regularly as opposed to a larger group of one-time readers.
So how do you choose a niche for your blog?
How to Choose a Niche for Your Blog
What Are You Passionate About?
A blog takes work. A lot of work. You have to produce engaging and valuable content on a regular basis (I’d recommend posting at least once a week), market it, repurpose it into social media posts and maybe even write regular emails to your email list.
So if you’re not passionate about whatever you are writing about then you’re not going to find blogging an easy ride.
A lack of passion also really shows through in your blog posts. People don’t want to read a post that has just been banged out by someone who is a bit ‘blah’ about it all.
They want it to be written by someone who is excited about what they are doing. Who wants to share their expertise and passion with the World and inspire others.
So start by considering what exactly it is that you are passionate about. Maybe that’s travel, or cooking or your pets. Maybe it’s a number of things. That’s fine too at this stage. Write it down everything that you are passionate about and would enjoy writing about.
What Are You Good At / Have Knowledge About?
Next have a think about what you are good at or know a lot about. It might be that you’re skilled in a certain area or have a lot of knowledge on a particular subject that will help others.
In terms of the travel blog we mentioned above, maybe you are particularly knowledgeable about campervan road trips because you’ve been on so many of them. You’ve already learned all the hard lessons on how to prepare and where to go etc. and now want to share that knowledge with others.
I’m not saying here that you have to be an expert at your blogging topic to be able to write about it. Absolutely not.
Many successful blogs start out as a way of people documenting their learning curve in developing a new skill or interest. Or talking about their personal experiences on a subject that resonates with people. Over time they become seen as experts in that particular subject.
Who Are You Writing For?
This is the final part. I’m not going to go fully in on how to define your target audience here. That’s for another post.
But in order to determine your niche, you need to decide exactly who it is that you’re writing for. If you know who will be reading your blog it’ll be easier to speak to them in a way that appeals and much easier to generate content ideas.
Try to get as specific as you can here.
Maybe you’re writing a cooking blog aimed at people who currently don’t really cook but want to learn.
Instead of stopping there try to think smaller. Maybe you are in a full time job so your recipes are mainly for meals that are quick and easy to make, but also fresh and healthy and not just convenience foods.
You could aim your blogs at busy young professionals who want to eat healthier and expand their cooking skills but don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.
Where Do All These Things Intersect?
Now look over the three things you have above. What you are passionate about, what you are good at / knowledgeable about and who you are aiming your blog at.
Where do they all intersect?
Going back to the travel blog example above.
You are passionate about travel, particularly road trips.
You’ve spent a hell of a lot of time road tripping around Europe in your campervan so you know a lot about different itineraries and tips for holidaying in a campervan.
Your tips are particularly useful to inexperienced campervan owners. People who have just bought their first van or are embarking on their first campervan trip and want tips and tricks. Or people who are specifically interested in road tripping around Europe.
Your niche could be a travel blog that offers inspiration, itineraries and tips to new campervan owners and people looking to travel around Europe.
The Most Important Part?
Its easy to get caught up trying to define your niche and never even get started with the actual blogging bit.
Remember, you won’t have a blog at all if you don’t start it.
So don’t panic too much if you’re struggling to narrow down to your specific niche. Get as far as you can and then just start writing. As you write and your blog grows, you will get clearer on your niche and over time refine your blog to fit that specific niche.