There’s one simple thing that has the potential to absolutely destroy your blog before it ever gets an opportunity to succeed. Unfortunately, it is something that blog writers and business owners often overlook completely.
No, we’re not talking about the overall design or layout of your blog, or even the content that you are hoping to produce – though this simple factor will help to influence both of those decisions for sure.
Instead, we are talking about the importance of choosing the perfect niche for your blog, and we don’t mean just picking a broad niche like “weight loss”.
In today’s ultra-competitive online environment – where your competition (ALL of your competition) is only just a click away – you have to make sure that you are laser-focused on who your market is, who your niche is, and who your ideal prospect/lead/customer is. If you aren’t crystal clear on those details you’ll NEVER be able to enjoy the kind of success you are shooting for. Your marketing, your messages, and your content will be too muddled.
If you’re looking to create a new blog (for your business or just to become an influencer in a specific market or niche), you’ll need to make sure that you utilize the tips and tricks below to laser focus your niche before you jump in.
This is the foundation that everything else you do is going to be built upon, and you need to make sure that your foundation is poured in concrete and not built on top of a house of cards.
Let’s dig right in.
What are you passionate about?
Authenticity is so important these days, and your readers will immediately make a judgement as to whether your blog is authentic or not.
If you are seen as an authentic individual for your particular niche, the sky’s the limit. Poor content, writing, and editorial control won’t be able to stop you from enjoying some success. Obviously, increasing the quality of your content, your writing, and your editorial control will help make things a lot easier, but all of that is secondary to writing with an authentic voice.
If you don’t have authenticity – the ability to convey sufficient passion and interest in a particular subject or market – you’re never going to be taken seriously and you aren’t ever going to have the kind of success you’re shooting for. You could produce top-notch content in a top-notch style, but unless people believe you’re authentic, you’ll never enjoy the kind of success you deserve.
Is this niche profitable?
It’s also important that you find a niche that is going to allow you to generate the kind of income you are shooting for in the first place.
The overwhelming majority of blogs created today aren’t created just as projects of passion, but are instead done to monetize a passion – and there is a world of difference there. It’s one thing to be incredibly passionate about toy stuffed turtles, but it is an entirely different case when you are trying to monetize content, products, or services.
You’ll want to look at competing blogs before you start, along with industry magazines, and you’ll want to look at products and services sold online that pertain to your market so you can get a feel for whether or not the opportunity to monetize this market exists.
You may stumble across a market that seems ripe for the picking, one without any competition at all, and believe that this will make success easier. However, you actually want something with at least a little bit of competition, as the competition shows you that there is a proven path for monetization already. Barren wastelands in today’s ultra-competitive business environment are usually a barren wasteland for a reason.
What kind of strengths do you bring to the table?
Everyone has specific strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll want to make sure that your strengths are going to help you build your business through your blog rather than cripple your ability to succeed.
If you know that you are a fantastic writer but aren’t so hot at editing or design, you’ll want to spend the bulk of your time writing content while outsourcing your editing and design work to someone else so that you can focus on the “heavy lifting.”
Spread yourself too thin and every aspect of your blog (and your business) will struggle.
Make sure your niche isn’t TOO niche
Obviously, you don’t want to create a blog that tries to be everything for everyone. However, you also don’t want to laser focus your niche that only a handful of people would ever take an interest in it. This also lowers the chance of you struggling to find new content to produce.
While some people can get away with creating a blog about fishing in general (usually companies with big pockets and teams of writers working overtime to produce new content), you’ll want to produce something more narrow in scope. Using the fishing example, this could be something like a fly-fishing blog, or fly-fishing in the Northeast blog. But avoid creating a blog that is too specific- for example a fly-fishing blog that focuses on a relatively rare and difficult to find fish that exists in only a handful of rivers and streams somewhere in Mongolia.
Take advantage of these tips and tricks and you’ll be able to hit the ground running when it comes to finding the perfect niche for your blog, for your writing, and for your business
Scott Chow writes about blogging at The Blog Starter where he focuses on helping beginners start their first blogs.