For some people, choosing a niche for their blog is going to be the most difficult part of their entire blogging journey.
Fear creeps in and self-doubt is created. What should I blog about? Do I have enough information to share? Who would want to read this? What if no one likes it? And then people stop before they’ve even started.
The information below is not only ideal for bloggers, but it’s also relevant to someone who wants to start an online business.
WHY DOES YOUR BLOG NEED TO HAVE A NICHE?
If you want to have a successful blog that does bring in an income, you really have to select a niche for your blog. This means, you narrow your focus down to one topic.
Once you have decided on this, you need to work on becoming the expert in that niche. We’ll discuss this in more details further down this post.
If you have a blog that has a variety of blog posts such as how to bake cupcakes, how to upcycle and how to sew a skirt, you are not going to be able to build a dedicated and loyal audience. And this is VITAL.
If your blog has lots of posts across a huge range of topics people will just ‘grab-and-go’. They will, for example, find your blog post about the cupcakes, use the recipe and never return, ever to your blog. Then another mom will use the post on how to sew a skirt, and never return to your blog.
What you DO want to do it build a tribe of loyal followers, and you do this by focusing on one niche. For example, baking cupcakes. So all of the posts on your blog need to be focused around cupcakes. By doing this you will build a dedicated audience; people will trust you and your brand and they will sign up to your newsletter.
They will continuously return to your blog for more information. In time, these people will listen to products that you recommend and will make purchases through your blog. Best of all, they will also start to recommend you to their friends.
Congratulations! You have now started building your loyal tribe!
Now, you might already have an idea of what type of blog or business you would like to start. Or you might be at the very beginning stages and you have absolutely no clue at all!
There are two important influencing factors that you need to think about when deciding on the niche for your blog:
1) What product or service are you going to make available to the world?
2) What am I passionate about?
1) Deciding on the type of product or service that you are going to make available to the world
A lot of people think that they will start a blog or even an online business based around a product that they personally like. Many people think that they can start an online business by just copying another successful business. Or they jump on a bandwagon too late for example: fidget spinners.
While these are nice thoughts to have, is this product going to be successful for you?
A lot of behind-the-scenes work needs to go into choosing a niche for your blog; this is the first step of starting your online business.
Decide on a product or service that you are interested in and that you’re passionate about and then you need to check if there is a demand for this.
Do not go and spend thousands and thousands on importing products, or shipping products to Amazon FBA. Don’t pay an app designer a small fortune to create an app for you, when you don’t know if anyone even needs or wants this service.
So, how do you test this to see if people want it? By asking your target audience and discussing this with them.
Right now, there are two enormous light bulb moments to take note of.
LIGHT BULB MOMENT NUMBER ONE: Your product must either provide value to someone in the form of solving a problem or making an aspect of their life easier.
LIGHT BULB MOMENT NUMBER TWO: If your product does not provide value then it MUST be entertaining.
If the product or service that you are offering doesn’t do either of these things, then go back to the drawing board.
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE LIST OF 7 POPULAR & PROFITABLE BLOG NICHES
How to find out what problems people have
Start with yourself.
Do you ever find yourself thinking, “I wish there was something that could help me blah, blah, blah.”
Or, “If someone offered this service, I could run my household more efficiently”.
Or, “I can’t seem to keep my cactus alive for longer than a week. I wish I knew how to take care of them.”
Whenever you catch yourself thinking about things like this, or struggling with something and wondering what could be done to make life easier, write this down. This could potentially be something you can work on.
If you have found yourself needing something, look around and see if there are other people who feel the same way and need the same thing. For example: my dog always barks at all the other dogs when we go for a walk.
– Talk to your family and friends and find out what struggles they have around this topic.
– You can also do some online research and find out what struggles people have. Have a look at online sites such as Quora or Reddit.
– Look at online forums and see where people’s struggles are. Head over to the search bar in Google and type in: forum + dog training (or whatever your topic is)
– Join relevant Facebook groups and Facebook pages where people are continuously interacting, asking questions, providing feedback etc. You can get a lot of information just from reading the posts as well as the comments. Look at the problems and irritations that people have. Look for the complainers. You can gain incredible feedback here.
I quickly looked through one of my local community pages on Facebook and came across the following issues that people are complaining about and they need to have these problems solved. If you can solve them, you will be providing great value.
1. My dog is digging is up my garden. Can you help to stop this behaviour?
2. I need help deregistering a trust.
3. Can anyone teach me how to ice biscuits that look professional?
4. Does anyone have any ideas for something small and convenient for me to carry plastic bags in when I take my dog for a walk?
5. Does anyone know of a safe house or organization where I can donate a bunch of baby clothes to?
6. How do you order take-out online during lockdown? These fast food restaurants that are open are not picking up their phones and the delivery apps are being difficult. Any ideas?
7. Any bakers on here? I need a quote for a cake. (Do bakers and bakeries in this particular area need to market themselves better? Can you help with the baking or the marketing?)
8. What should I do with all my recycling during lockdown? I live in a small place and I don’t have a garage. The usual people who collect aren’t allowed to collect during this stage of lockdown.
9. I can’t breathe properly with my facemask on when I run. Can anyone recommend a mask that is better for runners/ cyclists?
10. We have an urgent request for a loving 3-year old dog looking for a foster home. (There are many calls for foster homes for dogs – perhaps you could start an online site where people who are happy to foster dogs can register?)
11. I found a few people with clean, plastic yoghurt containers and glass jars and were giving them away. Surprisingly, there was a really good response. Is there something in this that can become a business? What you could do is Direct Message the people who wanted to take them and ask them what they are going to do with these containers.
All of the above was from ONE Facebook page and it took me about 10 minutes to go through this. Keep looking at this daily, and also scroll through other pages and soon you will come up with a very long list of possibilities.
The niche for your blog should ideally solve a problem
You do not need to solve the world’s problems. It would be great if you could, but let’s bring it a little closer to home.
When searching for the perfect niche for your blog, think about smaller things around your own home – ‘problems’ come manifest in all shapes and forms.
– How to redecorate your XYZ room on a budget
– Which paint is the best to use on wood/ inside walls/ outside walls
– Hacks for cleaning your house
– Healthy breakfast ideas on the go
– Teach people how to knit, scrapbook, make candles, crochet, create mason jars, fish
– Teach moms the basics of car mechanics
– Show people basic ‘fix-its’ around the house
You see, these aren’t ‘problems’ in the true sense of the word; your life won’t stop because of these types of problems.
But if someone wants to repaint their house, they will have some questions (problems). What paint should they use for the outside walls? What paint should they use for the inside walls? What is a matt paint? What is a glossy paint?
TICK You have now found the ‘’problem’’ that needs answers; you need to provide the solutions.
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE LIST OF 7 POPULAR & PROFITABLE BLOG NICHES
2) You should be passionate about your niche
Once you have decided on a niche for your blog, you need to ask yourself if you are actually passionate at all about this niche. If not, move on and find something else.
The reason is because if you are not passionate, you will not:
– Want to write about this niche continuously (at least once a week)
– Do the required research within your niche
– Keep evolving so that you know more than your readers
If you are not really interested in a particular niche, but you are choosing it because you think it is going to bring in money, it is not going to work. This is because you will lose interest, stop writing and give up. That is just human nature.
Always remember, profit follows passion.
It does take work people will see this about you. They will see that you are genuine.
You will do better selecting a niche for your blog that you are passionate about because besides continuously writing on this topic or making videos and sharing information to help others, you will start to attract your ideal audience. Trust me, your authenticity will shine through in everything that you do.
On the flip side, people will also know when you’re not being honest.
How to become an expert in your chosen niche
TICK You have now found the ‘’problem’’
TICK You have selected your niche
Becoming an expert in your niche is not as scary as it sounds. In a nutshell, you simply need to know more than your readers. They are coming to you as the expert and they want to learn something from you.
Here are three simple ways that you can grow your knowledge and become more of an expert in your niche.
1. Gain first-hand experience
Never stop learning. Always try new things.
For example, you shouldn’t call yourself an expert and teach people how to make a Christmas trifle if you have never made one yourself.
By actually making one, you will learn what problems people might encounter such as which ingredients go better together? How long should you wait before you place the next layer down? What size container you should use? What type of container is best?
Another example is practicing how to keep your three-year old toddler busy with things in the kitchen while you are busy preparing a meal.
It would be best if you have a three-year old and can let them do things – you can ‘trial and error’ and see what works and what doesn’t.
Do they have their own drawer of plastic Tupperware they can play with?
Do you have a mini kitchen set up in the kitchen so they can play while you are washing dishes? Does this work? Are they too young? Too old? Do you need to put plastic or a towel on the ground around them for the mess?
Can you give them their own corner of the kitchen with their own ingredients to create their very own ‘mixey-mix’? What tips can you provide other parents with?
You see, if you don’t have a three-year-old, it will be difficult for you to be authentic and to know what actually works and what doesn’t work.
Speak to your audience from first-hand experience.
2. Look at the experts
Look at what other people are doing. Don’t go out and copy them, but learn from them.
If you have a cooking blog, look at well-known chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Nigella, Jamie. What is it that makes each one of them unique?
Book yourself on a cooking course and learn how to do something.
Interview people, follow cooking channels and always network. Your niche within the cooking world could be something that other people you network with are interested in. They could also end up being part of your audience and make regular visits to your blog. They might even start to recommend your blog to others.
3. Be authentic
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Good old mom advice!
Do not give up. Remember, when something doesn’t work, you are not a failure. You have just found one way that doesn’t work.
Now set about finding a way that DOES work.
While you are learning, you can be authentic with your readers and tell them about your particular journey. Explain what you were trying to do. How did you do it? What happened? How did you fix it?
People relate to genuine people! They want the authenticity that you are a normal person just like them.
They want to see that you also make mistakes, but then you need to show them how you fixed it, and this will build trust.
TICK You have found the ‘’problem’’
TICK You have selected your niche
TICK You have ways to become an expert
You have found your niche. Now what?
Start writing blog posts, and get started creating your blog!