Have you decided to start a blog? That’s a great first step.
You probably haven’t decided on what to blog about yet. Yes, you have a couple of ideas. But are you going to write about them all?
You’re probably saying, “Yes, of course.”
However, if you’re going to start a blog that’s going to be successful eventually, you’ll need to narrow down your amazing ideas into one manageable chunk – a niche.
But First, Why Should You Narrow Down?
Some new bloggers make the mistake of writing about a range of topics hoping to reach a wider market and acquire a big audience. However, before long, they realize that it’s a futile endeavor. If they do it for long enough, they end up wasting time, money and effort on a blog that will never put food on their table.
That’s one of the main reasons why narrowing down your topic of focus is a critical initial stage to starting a blog. It helps you focus on a specific subject, making it easier to grow and monetize your blog.
As you start the blog, you want to target an audience. If your niche is too wide, building a targeted audience is virtually impossible, especially when you’re in your early stages. People won’t come back to your site if it’s filled with random ramblings.
So, how do you narrow down?
- Pick a Topic You Love
“Follow your passion” isn’t just something successful people say.
Jim Rohn once said, “Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.”
While it might come as trite when an expert tells you to write about a subject you are passionate about, there is a great reason to it.
On ProBlogger, Stacey Roberts says, “Something that seems present and that shines through in the blogs that I read and love is passion.”
So, why is your passion such a major consideration before starting your own blog?
- It’s easier to put in the time, the effort and when it comes to it, the money required to make your blog successful.
- There’s less likelihood for you to give up on and abandon the blog when times get tough.
- You have a constant stream of ideas and when you don’t, you require less inspiration to generate some compared to if you were running a blog on a topic you’re only remotely interested in.
- As Stacey Roberts said, the passion will show in your writing and your audience will be captivated.
As much as you want a profitable niche, it’s just as important to consider something you’re interested in.
- Find a Gap in the Market
Don’t mistake this for, “Pick a niche that doesn’t have a single blogger on already.” Because whatever the topic you choose, the truth is that someone has been there and there’re a lot more people on it.
However, there’s a chance that even the experts haven’t been able to cover the nick and cranny of that niche. This is where you swoop in, cover that gap and make money off your blog.
For instance, you can pick a niche then adjust the target audience to be the population that doesn’t get enough attention. You can also narrow your target to a specific location.
The important thing is to concentrate on addressing a need. Remember that in future, if it happens that you don’t see any profitability in the niche you choose, you can always switch.
- Research on Related Blogs
As mentioned, the topic you decide to base your blog on will probably have 100 more people on it. And this should be a good thing.
Take some time to learn the market through those who are already in the industry. Use search engines to know who’s already doing what you want to do. From this research, you’ll get a feel of the market situation, you’ll have notes on what to do and from their mistakes – which most bloggers will generously talk about – you’ll know what not to do.
List the most popular blogs covering your niche and pay close attention to what they are about. Look at the writing style – is it formal, informal or a mix of both? Look at the design, the topics and everything there is to know.
We already have the wheel. Don’t try to reinvent it.
- Know the Influencers in Your Preferred Industry
A step further into understanding the industry is to know the most successful bloggers in that niche. Follow their blogs, read their and even comment. Be a part of that discussion. Remember, some of the readers could be your own soon.
It also helps to know the bloggers personally. It might seem like a competition but when you get to know them and what they do you realize that, in a way, your topic is complementary to their own hence, they are more than glad to promote you.
Your Niche Shouldn’t Be Too Narrow
While emphasis is required to not write on a broad niche, it’s equally deleterious to make your niche too narrow.
For instance, it might not be safe to blog on “Shoes” as a subject – it’s too wide. Similarly, writing about “Nike Shoes” might be too narrow a niche. However, creating a blog on “Sneakers” is a viable option.
Making the niche too narrow means that the number of people you’re targeting shrinks with it. The number of those that will ever buy anything from you is even smaller.
Create a buyer persona to get a better understanding of your target audience and to know when to stop shrinking your niche.
Remember you’re the decision-maker of what you want to go on your blog. However, if you aim to drive traffic and monetize that blog, consider choosing a specific subject.
Have you chosen a niche? Have you had to change your niche at any point? How was it like? Leave us a comment below and let’s start a conversation.