If you’re not yet convinced that you need to find your niche, just Google it – working from a well-defined niche is the best way to get results, no matter what you do, business, blogging, etc.
In spite of the overwhelming evidence, I still balked at the idea for years. Finding that niche, that sweet spot, can feel really overwhelming.
Branding and identities are part of my job, so I understood the importance all too well, which only added to the pressure I felt while floundering around in the all-inclusive “lifestyle blogger” zone.
When the pieces all finally came together last month for the rebrand/niche coming soon, I realized several things about finding your blogging niche.
*Please Note: I really procrastinated on writing this post because it is something that is still very fresh and personal. I strongly prefer to refine my thoughts over time, so this is very raw and much more disorganized than I wish it was. And to clarify, “niche” as I am talking about could be interchangeable with “personal brand”. I will inevitably rewrite this in the future. Hopefully those of you who were waiting for this can take something helpful away from the current, mind-barf version.
Finding your best niche takes a long time.
Sorry to everyone who was hoping for a quick little test or something, but don’t despair, allow me to explain.
First of all, disclaimer: There are some cases, mainly when you’re doing something completely business-minded with little to no emotion involved, where finding your niche is more of a numbers game –
a faster, more simple process along the lines of the steps I will outline next week (nope, it’s going to wait for a different series that is geared toward small business) Connecting to your purpose as a blogger in a way that “makes your heart sing” (I cringe) however, is usually a much more complicated, drawn-out process.
When you allow it to be, blogging is an intense look into your soul. It uncovers nooks and crannies you didn’t realize were there. It reminds you of passions long ago forgotten and awakens dreams you didn’t realize you had. Blogging helps you discover and understand yourself.
Some people may find that they are able to arrive at their best niche quite quickly, but I guarantee you that whether those people realize it or not, they have been working through the process long before they started trying to decide on a niche.
I haven’t done any research on this, but I’m going to bet that 99.9% of people operating in their sweet spot didn’t arrive there on the first day.
Finding your best niche is like shoe shopping.
There are a lot of shoes.
Styles change, and so do you.
The perfect combination of *practical* and *style* can be ridiculously hard to find. And sometimes it’s because it might not exist yet. (I tried to find my perfect pair of boots awhile back, and I couldn’t find them. The only ones that came close were waaay beyond my price range.)
Possibilities are endless. You could just go buy a pair of shoes, sure, but even if you managed to magically settle on some that turn out to actually be comfortable with extended use, you’re bound to run across another pair later that you like better.
You have to know what you want, and that means you have to look, you have to try lots of shoes on, you have to walk in them.
It can be exhausting. You may want to give up and just settle. But in the back of your mind you won’t be happy.
As you gain experience, you get smarter about the process. You discover that certain stores are better than others, you connect more with some brands than others, and you decide never ever again to buy those shoes that WILL give you blisters, no matter how awesome they look.
We’re talking about niches, remember? All of that simply doesn’t happen in one day.
Recognize the process.
You probably aren’t starting your process today because you likely weren’t born yesterday. But what you can start today is recognizing the process. Recognize what goes into it and be intentional about moving forward.
Something I always like to say, “No matter what you do, you’re going to need a lot of practice, so you’re better off starting now!” Get some of the experience under your belt. Get some of the mistakes behind you. (I’m taking my own advice with this post, you see? ;))
Here’s what you can do today:
Make some lists.
- What do you have experience in?
- What do you really like to do, what makes you feel alive?
- What do you wish you could do?
- Who do you admire and what do you admire about them?
- What do people come to you to help them with?
- What are some things that make you different, make you feel weird, make you not feel like you fit in?
- If you could design the perfect friend, what would they be like? What would you do together?
Ok, you have a week. And, GO!