One of the biggest challenges you will face when starting a blog is choosing what to blog about. You may have all these ideas rolling around your head. Or, maybe you have none. You're worried that the topic you really want to talk about may not be the most appealing or profitable so instead, you'll just talk about everything until something sticks…
The spaghetti approach is a bad business plan any way you look at it. Throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall and hoping it will stick can be a waste of your valuable time and effort. It may mean waiting even longer to see results than if you went into your new blog with laser focus.
It's Far Easier to Get Loyal Followers with a Niche
Imagine you're starting a new low carb diet. You hit up Pinterest looking for some tasty recipes. Surprise. Surprise. You find some.
Pin A goes to Low Carb Lucy's blog. She not only has this yummy low carb recipe you clicked through on her site, she has tons. They are broken down into easy-to-follow categories. She's reviewing some low carb stuff you saw on television and were wondering about. She has some blog posts about struggles that new low-carbers face. And when you sign up for Low Carb Lucy's newsletter, she's sending you her favorite low carb recipes. I just heard about Low Carb Lucy five minutes ago on Pinterest, but I'm already a huge fan. And a new subscriber.
Pin B goes to No Niche Nancy's blog. Nancy has a great low carb recipe, but when I click around I'm seeing a lot of high carb recipes too. She's reviewing a new diaper service over here and some nail polish remover over there. She's talking about the fight she got into over money with her husband last night. If I sign up for No Niche Nancy's newsletter, I'm just going to receive updates. I'm not really sure when, or if, she'll have any more low carb recipes so I'm really not interested.
It's Far Easier to Write with a Niche
Let's peek behind the scenes of these two bloggers:
Low Carb Lucy sits down for some blogging time and she knows exactly what's going on. She's cooking up some low carb news! Sure, she may be coming up with recipes, reviewing some low carb stuff and talking low carb struggles, but she's laser-focused on her topic so it's all coming easily. One post probably leads into another and another. Her followers are emailing her low carb questions she can answer in upcoming posts.
No Niche Nancy sits down for blogging time and has no idea where to start. If she talks about one topic too much, she's worried she'll lose other sectors of her readers. She's constantly trying to balance an editorial calendar to meet the possible interests of every single visitor. No one is really emailing Nancy their questions because they don't see her as an expert on any one thing.
It's Far Easier to Monetize with a Niche
Low Carb Lucy knows the exact brands she wants to work with and she has an awesome piece of property to present to them. She has a highly targeted audience of low carb lovers who are going to convert like crazy on a relevant offer. She has the expertise to create the products her followers are looking for. She has the potential to start mastermind groups and offer coaching sessions because she has a clear topic.
No Niche Nancy? Not so much. Some people will like that sponsored offer, but many won't. Even if she takes the time to create a product, it's probably only going to be appealing to a small sliver of her audience that is there for that specific category.
But, How Do I Come Up with a Niche?
It's so important that you choose a niche that is interesting to you and that you have knowledge in. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing and what you *think* will make money. If you can't stand to blog about it for more than six months – or sound enthusiastic while doing so – you're never going to make a penny anyway.
Look to your life for inspiration.
- What are you good at?
- What are your hobbies?
- What are some notable events in your life that make you unique? Are you divorced? Widowed? A business owner? Bouncing back from a scam?
- What kind of blogs do you wish you could find? What's missing from those you follow?
Blogs exist to not only give us a place to make ourselves feel better, they solve problems for others. People will eventually get bored if you are just journaling your day-to-day life. Think about what problems you have overcome (or are overcoming) that you could help others with as you blog. Ask yourself if there are other people out there like you looking to solve this problem?
Now, brainstorm at least 10 potential blog post titles for each of your potential niches. Can you do it easily? If you ran out of things you could talk about after number three, you should probably take that off your list.
Saturation? Don't ever let a crowded niche scare you off if you're passionate about the topic. There's always room for one more if you're awesome.
Money? Monetization is such a broad and deep consideration. There are so many ways to make money with your site. At the end of the day, I think you have to be honest with yourself about if your audience will – or will be able to – make even the smallest investment. If you think you'll be struggling to convert even the smallest affiliate offers, you may have trouble finding sponsors or making money from display ads as well. After all, those people are also looking for conversions. Do you know if other bloggers in the industry are making money and how?
This, that and the other thing I don't understand? Every successful blogger you know today likely started out feeling just like you do now. You'll figure it out. You can get started or keep stalling. Oftentimes analysis is just an excuse to avoid taking a risk. I guarantee you a year from now, you will wish you had started today.
We are all experts at something. We all have knowledge to share with the world. If your days are spent wondering if you are good enough to be a blogger or if you're making the right decision, maybe it's time to just give it a try. The great thing about blogging is that you can change directions at the top of a hat. Maybe what you start writing about today will morph into something else over time as your interests and the needs of your audience change.
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