Here we are to wrap up how to find your niche in blogging. That should probably be worded differently since it implies that it’s easier than it is. *smirk*
Niche-ing is not something to avoid – rather than being constricting, it is actually very freeing.
Finding your niche can take a long time, but it’s shortened when you are intentional and recognize the process.
The niche exercise:
Did you already make the lists we talked about?
Now it’s time to start figuring out where the circles overlap. I’m using some of what we might have answered as an example.
1. What do you have experience in?
small business/self-employment, parenting, financial counseling, becoming/living debt free, budgeting/frugal living, buying a house, traveling with a family, homeschooling, design, coding, living in different countries, the process of getting dual citizenship, communal living, healthy eating/natural living, cloth diapering, working from home, missions, marriage, worship leading, simple living, making videos, living on the road
2. What do you really like to do, what makes you feel alive?
challenging the status quo, finding the “best” way to do things (better, faster, less expensive), brainstorming and executing new ventures, studying and discussing truth, encouraging people to pursue the life they really want to be living, studying and teaching truth, creating art or content that does the above
3. What do you wish you could do?
make a lot of money that we could give away, make that money creating content such as the above
4. Who do you admire and what do you admire about them?
my parents – their commitment to following God, their loyalty and always being there for people, their commitment to prayer
people like Dave Ramsey, Pat Flynn, Shay Carl, and others who started with nothing but the correct mindset and built amazing things, and then didn’t stop there, but encourage and show others that they can, too
5. What do people come to you for help with?
brainstorming ideas, working through negative thoughts/finding the truth in a situation, design solutions, finding the best product or service or way of doing something
6. What are some things that make you different, make you feel weird, make you not feel like you fit in? (or what used to make you feel that way before you worked through it ;))
Christina: growing up homeschooled, not playing any sports, having ugly teeth and a huge forehead and being super white, not being allowed to wear jewelry or nail polish or makeup until I was 18, having different opinions about things as a parent and wife than a lot of my friends
David: mainly being half Costa Rican, half American – not feeling like he really fit either place, also having different ideas about life management (like was I saying)
7. If you could design the perfect friend, what would they be like? What would you do together?
The perfect friends would not talk about people, but rather enjoy talking about theology, psychology, and smart people stuff like the string theory and dimensions. For the most part, though, they would keep things light and have a great sense of humor. They would share our love of thrift shopping/treasure hunting, and general dislike of big brands. They would be creative, but probably be better at crafts and stuff as opposed to design, so as to make up for my less than awesomeness. They would be good with makeup, hair, and jewelry because I need help with those things. Buuut they also wouldn’t care too much about that stuff. The perfect friend would be flexible and enjoy being spontaneous. They would be loyal. They would love big ideas and have the mindset to work on big ideas, and they would collaborate with us to build cool stuff. They would love YouTube and make videos with us, and they would probably be more daring than we are. Ideally they would be able to travel with us, haha!
Analyzing Your Answers
Can you see any themes surfacing in your answers?
Do you see any combinations that could make an interesting niche?
1. The things you have experience in are things that you can teach others. You may think the market is too saturated, but you have your own unique perspective, your own twist, and your own network. The answers to the other questions can help you sort that out.
2. It goes without saying that your personal brand/niche should include a component of what you really like to do – probably as the main component, if possible.
3. You might find your niche based on something you want to start doing – sharing your process as you become an expert in that. Those we mentioned above who we admire are great examples of that.
4. Thinking about the people you admire helps you to dig a little deeper into what you really want and who you want to be. This can help in narrowing down your personal brand or niche.
5. You probably don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but you may need to tweak and refine it.
6. Often, the things that make you different can be your greatest strengths. How might that fit into your niche?
7. This question is similar to number 4 in helping you to think about things a little differently. What stands out to you about your answer? Could your niche help you to attract those sorts of people?
Write down some combinations of things that might work as a niche based on your answers. For us, some examples might be:
- a blog/service that evaluates people’s individual situations and helps them come up with an executable plan to become self-employed
- a blog about juggling working from home while also homeschooling and trying to still be a good parent
- a blog about how to be friends with creative people
- an art blog with posts focused around printable truth designs
- a travel review blog
And the list could go on and on.
Things to consider as you’re pondering possibilities:
- How sustainable is this?
- It is too narrow? Too broad?
- What kind of audience would you have? (You could do a search for similar niches as well as conduct some informal polls via social media to get some quick feedback.)
- What kind of competition would you have and how could you put your unique twist on things?
- What kinds of related keywords and phrases do people search for? (There are many places to check for this, one would be Google’s keyword planner – this might help steer you in a slightly different, but more targeted direction than you were thinking for your niche.)
There are always more things to think about, but this should help you get started.
A word of caution: Avoid Analysis Paralysis. “Perfect” is a process.
Lots of people say that you need to find a really narrow niche in order to make an impact.
I don’t disagree that it can greatly help to inform your goals, priorities, and decisions, but you don’t have to start out that narrow. In fact, I probably wouldn’t recommend it. Just like how we talked about shoe shopping last week, you need to try shoes on and walk around awhile to find the pair that fits you just right.
Don’t feel like you need to find the “perfect” “right” thing before you can start blogging or utilizing your personal brand. Don’t keep waiting for the stars to align. Start out by just getting your feet wet and keep it simple so that you can tweak and refine your brand – don’t rush, it’s ok to take some time to niche down.
That AHA! Moment
As you consciously choose to be ok with continuing (or starting) to blog without really knowing for sure what niche you will end up in, eventually you will have that moment where things become clear. We went through at least 4 or 5 iterations, probably more, I honestly lost count of our designs, taglines, “bios” as we worked through refining over the past two years to the rebranding that is supposed to be coming later this week………….. I’m not holding my breath.
A last bit of simple advice:
It’s easy to get stuck wanting to come up with a fun name for your blog, but there’s been a big trend lately of people switching over from a “clever” name to a personal brand. And for good reason – by and large, people want to connect with an actual person. Unless you know for sure that you are trying to build something that you can sell later when you’re done with it, I would definitely recommend just starting out with your name.