Niche choosing is one of those tasks that suuuuuuuuuucks. There’s a chance that you’re thinking one of two things;
- What the fudge is a niche?
- Isn’t my niche ‘Lifestyle’? or ‘Food Blogger, ‘Beauty Blogger’ etc.
A niche (pronounced neesh or nitch if you’re American), is the overall ‘category’ your blog would fall under. Some people have the belief that a ‘niche’ is a set of demographics. It’s actually both.
definition: “denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.”
Technically yes, but today I’m going to explain why you should narrow your focus even further.
What are the Niche Choosing Strategies?
Should I create a personal, niche, or general blog?
Thanks to Jeff Goins, my basic rule of thumb for blogging now is this:
The more you narrow your focus, the more you broaden your audience.
Jeff Goins also wrote an article that said “Why finding your niche is bad advice” which you can read about here. Generally, I agree with most of what he writes in that article, except the title. I aim my content for a customer avatar (read about how you can do that in this post), but my audience is broad.
My audience is not a set of strict demographics. Nor is it just under one category, liked by a lot of ages in a lot of areas.
According to my most popular content, which I wrote two years into my crafts blog, my blog should be about handwriting. Doesn’t sound too handmade to me (for a blog called heart handmade uk).
My biggest regret with my craft blog is that I did not define my niche early on and I didn’t define my target reader as much as I should have. It has been a complete nightmare to create content for one person because I now have a large audience that is tricky to monetise with products.
Why Is Niche Choosing A Priority For Me?
The number one reason that I can think of, is that it means your readers are interested in all of your blog and not just one category or section.
Your readers will probably find your site via an individual blog post either in a search engine or Pinterest. The best way to keep readers on your website is to link to relevant content, have categories very easy to find and use a related posts type plugin like the one at the end of this post. Because people are curious and they click!
One of the easiest ways to achieve this is by writing your blog on one topic.
Trust me when I tell you, with a regular ‘lifestyle’ blog, your bounce rate is going to be high.
Thinking that ‘lifestyle’ is a niche. It’s not.
You technically do have an umbrella topic that is ‘lifestyle’ and then 5-6 miniature niche sites for each category. The audience for all of those categories isn’t always going to be the same.
I thought Home Decor and Crafts was enough of a niche, but it isn’t.
Although my Craft blog is about ‘Crafts’, I wish I focused on one craft. I know that I would have grown quicker and my bounce rate would be low. Up until very recently, I was incredibly inconsistent when it came to Heart Handmade posts. I was sharing posts about handwriting, planners, printables, craft roundups, and tutorials. When really, what I want to share is all about craft tutorials.
Which would be the roundups and the how-to posts.
There was no focus because the most popular content was about handwriting and to attract more readers I created more posts. Guess what? Those posts are attracting the wrong type of audience.
A complete A-Ha moment if ever there was one. Addi Ganley had a similar experience. I can definitely relate.
So, like Addi I got about brainstorming.
I was close to giving up. It felt like the last seven years had been a waste of time Refocusing the blog and its content would be a complete nightmare. Updating all of the old posts would be a complete nightmare. But, there was a solution; I just had to ask myself the right questions.
Why am I doing this?
What do I want to get out of blogging?
Niche choosing was easier than I thought because I knew that if I wanted to grow, I need to build an engaged community. To build an engaged community, I need to define my focus because I was alllll over the place.
You will quickly become an expert in what you choose to start a blog about.
Producing high-quality content and sharing your work consistently will establish you as an expert quite quickly.
Building trust is essential if you want to make money from your blog.
Whether you want to make money by promoting affiliate products, promoting a brand or want to sell your products you created yourself.
What if I have lots of interests?
You don’t necessarily have to start niche choosing. But if you want to earn a living from your Craft blog and do it quickly, then it makes sense to niche down.
Many famous/successful blogs cover a lot of subjects, but it’s important to note that they’ve been around for a while and they’re great at problem-solving.
I started Heart Handmade in 2010. Before Pinterest. Back then, you could produce a few mediocre posts, and you would still get lots of traffic and sharing. That’s no longer the case. We’re in the age of blogging 4.0. What the heck is blogging 4.0?
Basically means an online business centred around a blog. And blogging is competitive; it takes lots of hours.
You need to solve a problem, you need to research, you need to write, and you need to be able to post consistently. How do you start a blog if the niche choosing process hasn’t happened?
Before you start your blog, it’s important to figure out three main areas of focus therefore…
We need to find answers to these questions:
- What do you want to write about?
- Do you know what you could write about all of the flipping time?
- What is it that you want to achieve with your blog? The Goal?
- What do people want?
- Do you know what their problems are?
Ask yourself these questions
- What am I passionate about?
- Is there something I love to do more than anything else?
- What do people ask you about the most? Do they want to know how to sew? How to crochet?
- Have you taught a friend anything? Remember you need to solve a problem.
I want you to spend 10 minutes brainstorming one-word answers to the above questions. Not full sentences. One-word answers, because it will start the wheels turning in your brain. And you will be able to add on to your answers at a later stage.
Don’t take too long.
Then, pick one.
That’s your overall subject. For me, now, it’s all about blogging with this blog and crafting on Heart Handmade UK.
Now, we need to find a theme for your subject.
Let’s take the example of sewing.
- How can I break this subject down?
- Is there anything in particular that I want to concentrate on?
- What do people search for most on Google and pinterest?
- Are there any common problems that people have when it comes to sewing?
- What are the most popular pins about my subject?
- How will I approach posts and tutorials to inject a lot of personality?
Spend some time thinking about keywords and phrases that surround your overall subject. To find out what people are searching for… think about what you would search for because that’s the key to everything. Whether it’s SEO or getting your pins shared on Pinterest, you need to be able to speak the language of Pinterest.
The Next Steps In The Niche Choosing Process
Then look at what else appears in the search bar and on the results page because those are potential keywords to target. The same technique can be done using pinterest and it’s smart search function.
- Beginner tutorials and advice
- Sewing hacks
- Advanced sewing projects for pros
- Videos of how to set up a sewing machine etc.
Then, pick the one that makes the most sense and immediately inspires ten post ideas, by solving 10 problems.
- How to insert a bobbin correctly
- The easiest way to thread your sewing machine
- How to clean your sewing machine
- Sewing Machine Troubleshooting
What do you want to do when a visitor arrives on your site?
- Register them to an e-mail list?
- Direct them to affiliate links?
- Keep them on your site by directing them to other posts?
For every answer you have, try to keep asking Why?
And if you think you don’t know the answer, you totally do. Don’t worry if it’s an answer about how you will monetize. We have covered that here.
You can write down, “earn income/monetise”.
When you learn how to monetize, you can go and figure how you will move forward with a monetization strategy.
The Next Stage In The Niche Choosing Process
Now we are concentrating on the Whys. Don’t be afraid to set your shoot for the stars goal, like “I want to earn my first £2000 in six months”. Write it on a piece of paper and stick it on your wall where you will see it every dang day because it helps to keep you focused.
Now, we want to think about the overall outcome.
- What is your blogging goal?
- Is it to earn a full-time income?
- How are you going to do that? Because wanting visitors and page views to your blog is not enough.
- Do you want to sell products? Because you need more than ONE streat of income. You cannot rely on one stream of income in case one month they fail to pay.
- Affiliate promotions?
- Brand sponsorships?
If you’ve gone through this niche choosing process and still think that you like the idea of a lifestyle blog, try to consider these categories that fall under the ‘lifestyle’ term.
- Home/Outdoor Decor
- Crafts & Tutorials
Still don’t want to niche down? Think about the sheer volume of crafts at that are available for you to choose because you can create an incredible blog from one craft.
Still Having Trouble With The Niche Choosing process?
Examples Of Crafters Who Rock It:
Amazing Crochet Blogs:
My Favourite Sewing Blogs:
Inspiring and Educational Scrapbooking/Art Journaling Blogs:
Now, after asking “what the fudge is a niche?”, I hope that you feel enlightened.
Not only enlightened but educated because you will have to do a little work with this one but I promise you that it is worth it.
Take a while, grab a cup of tea and get brainstorming.
You can absolutely do this. Therefore, you must do this.