You’ve probably heard it a million times before, but in order to truly grow a successful blog, you have to have a niche. I know this can be incredibly hard especially if you’re interested in a lot of different topics and use your blog to share your overall lifestyle. Or, if you’re just starting out and have no idea what on earth to even focus on. So like most people, we think the best way to reach a bigger audience and grow traffic is by simply talking about everything. But that’s where most bloggers get it wrong. We can reach a lot more people when we talk about a lot less things. This is why having a clear focus for your blog is the easiest and quickest way to grow your audience because you’re not only creating content that they love, you’re speaking directly to them!
“But I’ve been talking about a lot of different things, and it’s been working out just fine for me.”
Here’s the thing. Spontaneous content and online dairy blogging will always work out until it doesn’t. If you’re like me, you probably started out as (or still are) a lifestyle blogger. This means one day you’re sharing your best food recipes for the Thanksgiving dinner, and the next you’re talking about travel essentials for your trip to Mexico. Both are quite interesting I mean who doesn’t love a good recipe and travel tips for their next summer vacation? But the problem is, people will never know what to expect from you. But then you’ll also find yourself trying to cater to so many people all at once that you'll lose your true audience altogether.
People like to know exactly what they are going to get, where they’ll get, and from who they’ll get it from. But if they are unsure about which way your content will be swaying this week or the next, they’ll pivot their attention to someone who they know can help solve their problem. So trust me running a successful blog, begins with having a clear focus.
Why You Need a Niche
Having a clear focus for your blog isn’t just about what benefits your audience. In many ways, niching down your blog actually benefits you! Here’s why.
1. Grow Your Following and True Audience
Having a niche is the quickest way to building your online community. Why? People are more likely to gravitate toward your blog and brand when they feel like you are creating content that specifically addresses their pain points.
People don’t join your email list for tips on holiday gift guides one week, and then skin care routines the next. They give you access to their private little inbox because they have chosen you to be their go-to person for solving a specific problem. And the more you share useful tips, stories, and resources with your subscribers, the more they trust you and are likely to share your knowledge with others.
But imagine if someone reposted a really awesome article from your blog about vegan recipes, and everyone that visited couldn’t find another article remotely close to veganism or even food. They will probably leave your blog disappointed, and more than likely won’t return let alone join your online community.
Focusing your content for a specific target audience helps you attract the right kind of people who want to learn from you. But not just that, when you consistently deliver content to a specific audience, your readers don’t just want to stick with you, they want others to join in on the fun! Having a niche allows you to grow not just any kind of following, but a loyal and consistent one. The more you cater to them, the easier it is for them to vouch for you, and others to find you!
2. Become an Authority: Be THE person, Known for THAT Thing!
When you have a clear niche, you become an authority in your specific topic or series of topics (around a specific thing). Now, this does not mean you have to be the ultimate expert with a framed master’s degree to validate your knowledge in the content you create. It simply means that you become THE person known for THAT thing. And that is what establishes you as the “go-to” person when your audience is looking for someone to solve their problems.
There are millions of blogs around the world but when you have a focus, you stand out to your target market and your knowledge and ability to speak directly to her needs, becomes the reason she chooses YOU over the next blogger. When you become an authority in your niche, your audience begins to anticipate what you have to say next. No need to force copy down their throats because they’re simply eager to learn from you and because they know you’ve put in the time, research, and dedication to create content specifically for them. This is what truly builds an engaging audience that not only wants to stick with you, but one day will ultimately buy from you.
3. Easily Monetize
Okay. Still not convinced why you need a niche? Well, let’s draw a quick scenario.
Blogger A: Talks about food, home decor, DIY for college students, and her dog named Chester. Then one day she releases an e-book about skin care essentials for flawless skin.
Blogger B: Talks especially about beauty. She shares tips for skin care routines, beauty essentials when you’re on a budget, best lipsticks to wear in every season, make up etiquette for job interviews, and how to care for dry skin in the winter. Then one day she releases a course on how to establish the perfect skin care routine for any skin type.
So now I ask you as the potential buyer, who are you more likely to buy a beauty course from? Blogger A who talks about a lot of different things and you have no idea what to expect from her product. Maybe she knows what she’s talking about, but who’s willing to bet their hard earned dollar on a maybe? Or Blogger B who has established an authority in her niche with tons of useful resources, strategies, and tools that you’ve grown to love and trust. Not to mention she’s become your go-to educator on all things beauty. You trust blogger B to deliver, so whatever she’s selling, you’re buying!
So let’s just say if you ever plan on monetizing your blog, you must first focus it. This not only builds trust between you and your audience, but it also helps you generate ideas for future products you know your audience will love.
4. Content Creation: Consistently Create Content Your Audience Loves!
When you are clear on the purpose of your platform, content creation becomes a breeze. You don’t have to spend hours racking your brain for whether or not people who come to your page for travel content would actually be interested in your homeschooling tips for young moms. When your focus is clear, then so is your content. All your blog's categories all come together to support your niche and your bottom line. So no more mystery posts or guessing game about which content will stand and what won’t. You’ll be able to easily create content your audience loves because although you may be talking about a lot of different topics, you are directing it to one SPECIFIC type of person.
So now that we’ve established why you need a niche, how exactly do you get there?
How to Find Your Niche and Narrow Your Focus
I know this idea of focusing your blog can be quite a lot to digest. But that’s okay. Because finding your niche isn’t something that necessarily happens overnight. In fact, more than likely, it probably won’t. Niching down your blog will take a lot of thinking, research, and weighing pros and cons before you can finally arrive in a space that feels right to YOU. There are tons of articles online that tell you how to niche your blog by basically choosing what’s most profitable. But I think that’s backward. People visit your platform because they want to hear from you. And if they sense that you are only sharing information in a tone that drives profits, they are more than likely to turn away. So I found the easiest way to find your niche while remaining true to your brand and audience is by asking these questions.
1. What Are You Passionate About?
Make a list of all the things your passionate about. This list can be as exhaustive as you wish. Start with the things that drive you, and give your life and a sense of purpose. And then you can extend the two things you simply enjoy creating, doing, or talking about. It’s important that your niche incorporates your passion because, when creating content we don’t care about, it shows. And no one feels like reading the sloppy content you just whipped together some Tuesday morning. People want to FEEL your words through their screen. And you can’t pull on people emotional heartstrings if you don’t even believe in the things you’re talking about. But before you consider how you can serve your audience with your passion, think of how that passion serves you.
Your blog should be something that gets you excited every day. Something that drives you to go the extra mile and stay up a little later than usual “just to get it right.” It should be something you can’t wait to rave about at your next Thanksgiving dinner but most importantly, something you’re proud of sharing and stamping your name on. So don’t try to focus your blog on anything that doesn’t bring you joy, what’s most popular, or even worse, what made someone ELSE’s blog successful (comparison is the quickest way to failure). Think of the things that you’re passionate about and how you can use that passion add value to the lives of your audience.
2. What Are You Knowledgeable About?
Part of becoming an authority in your blog is KNOWING what you’re talking about. Again, you don’t necessarily have to be an expert or have a degree to be knowledgeable, but it does help if you have some sort of experience that your audience can reference to help build that trust. For instance, I’ll find it pretty hard to engage with a blogger with no kids (or experience in caring for children) who are trying to teach me useful tips on how to raise well, kids.
So again your knowledge isn’t just about your resume or degrees. It can be past working experiences, your current role in life (wife, mother, sister etc.), books you’ve read and built vast knowledge on etc. But it helps that that when narrowing your blog’s focus, you actually know what you’re talking about. That way when you’re sharing content with your audience it’s something that can accurately add value to their lives, and not misguide or confuse them.
3. Who is Your Target Audience?
When you’re narrowing the focus of your blog, it’s important to establish what kind of person you’re looking to serve, and notice I didn’t say “people”. You’re not creating content for a random group of people, but rather one SPECIFIC kind of person.
It helps to give this person a name and a thorough description.
Who is this person?
What are her likes and dislikes?
What is she struggling with?
How old is she?
Why does she come to you?
Your target market plays a major factor in determining your niche because she is essentially the driving force behind the content you create. Sure you can create a niche that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about, but what does it matter if no one wants to read it? When creating content, you want to ask yourself, “would my person find this relevant”? “Does this help solve a problem in her life?”
4. But Can I Make Money From This?
ah ha. So, of course, there’s the good ol' “but can I make money from this?” question lingering in the back of your mind.
Well, let me just clear all speculation in your mind.
But I’m only passionate about * insert random thing you assume no one’s heard of care about here*
The answer is still yes. Sure most people are quick to jump on the wellness and how to make money train when focusing their blog. And with good reason. I mean who doesn’t want to look good and well, make money? But just because it’s what’s most popular, doesn’t mean it’s most profitable, for you.
We live in an information age where people are constantly looking for answers to their problems, and will often pay high dollars for the right solution. Whether that’s how to “keep your children quiet when you work from home” (the ROI on quiet kids are priceless if you ask me). Or teaching a course on RV living (yes that’s a thing). Trust me, as long as you can create something that adds value to your audience, you can monetize it. So don’t get consumed in the idea that your niche won’t sell.
When trying to find the niche for your blog, first find your passion, then pair it with your knowledge, channel it to a specific audience and if you do it right, you’ll land on a perfect niche right for you!
Related post: 10 steps on how to create a successful blog