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So you’ve decided to start a blog. You love to write and want to express yourself and your passions.
You’ve probably already got a good handle on what you will be blogging about. Most people don’t decide to start a blog without having a general concept in mind.
The one thing that a lot of bloggers do struggle with after they’ve figured out the sort of content they would like to blog about is their niche.
What is a niche anyway?
According to dictionary.com, a niche is a distinct segment of a market.
There are generally two different ways that most bloggers “niche down”.
You might consider writing about something you enjoy like food, fitness, kids, family, business, or finance. The list goes on and on. You can choose absolutely ANYTHING to write about. This would be considered a niche based on a particular topic.
Other writers choose a demographic to focus on. For instance, their blog might target senior’s or stay at home moms in their twenties.
Whether you write towards a specific topic or towards a general demographic, finding your niche can sometimes be very tricky.
The “sweet spot” is when you can pull your knowledge and passion all together to write to a specific person. That’s when the magic starts to happen.
Your niche helps you to narrow down who your audience is and what you are going to write about that will help them with a particular struggle.
For instance, if you are a lifestyle blogger, you might write about your kids in one of your posts. Your niche might be stay-at-home mom’s who are struggling to organize life with kids.
You would then choose topics to write about that are specifically directed to that person or “avatar” as they are sometimes called.
Starting a blog knowing your target audience or niche can help you narrow down what you’ll want your blog to represent and the direction that your blog will grow.
To Niche or not to Niche? That is the question.
This is a well-discussed topic on so many blogging boards and articles. There are pros and cons to both ideas.
Some think a niche is critical
Narrowing down a niche will help you to organize your thoughts and help you to dive into your target marketing easier as you’ll know exactly who you are writing to and what they will want to learn
If you know exactly who you are giving information to and why they want it, you will grow your audience quicker as they will look at you as if you are an expert in your field.
When someone visits your blog or website and you have a hundred different posts on all different topics, they might read your post, but may not look around for other content if they don’t see other content that is related.
Being focused can build your audience’s trust and your blog traffic.
While some experts disagree
On the other hand, many bloggers start out without a very broad niche and tailor it over the years to better serve the needs of their readers.
For instance, someone starts out being a lifestyle blogger, which is probably the most widely used and most vague niches out there. Over time, their readers might show more interest in how a mom juggles work life with the kids and so a niche is born.
Doing this allows you to really help the people that are visiting your blog as you have already built a relationship and trust with them and they have likely shown you what struggles they are having through the content that they read more often.
So what is better?
In my personal opinion, I’ve seen and heard both scenarios work out.
Honing in on your niche will give you a better marketing standpoint early on, which can lead to more income quicker if your goal is to monetize your blog.
On the other hand, the organic nature of letting your blog develop over time can be very rewarding and less stressful than having to discover your niche in the very beginning.
Either way, don’t let a niche hold you back from starting your blog. Just get started. You will be surprised how quickly the topics you like and are passionate about writing and the things your audience wants to hear come together.
Your niche will find you if you can’t find it.
How to figure your niche out?
The easiest way to do this is to write down a list of all the things that make you, you.
Include all your hobbies and the things that you love. Go to your Pinterest boards for ideas if you have one. You’ll see what interests you the most by the boards you have created and the number of pins in those boards.
Think about the blogs you like to read, what kinds of things you have helped people out with before and what kinds of things do you bring to the board in terms of expertise.
You can also use this handy-dandy free, find-your-niche instant downloadable worksheet I created, just to help you get going.
What if you really can’t decide on a niche?
If you are really struggling with figuring out what you will specialize in, don’t worry. It happens to LOTS of bloggers – myself included. You can always start out with something broad like lifestyle and narrow it down as you go along.
Often, what your audience reacts to positively will start to form your niche as you create posts. It will likely be the topic that interests you the most and feels most authentic
Another suggestion is to write down all of the things that you would like to write about. You don’t have to get too complicated here. Just jot them down.
Or, if you are in WordPress, use the quick draft in the dashboard to throw in all your topics. You might be surprised when you go back to review them that there is a recurring topic that sticks out more than the others.
What I noticed when I started is that as I was drafting post titles, 97% of them were on how to start a blog and doing tutorials.
It was right then that I knew what my niche would end up being. Helping women build their businesses through blogging. A NICHE IS BORN!
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Have you discovered your niche? Let me know in the comments!