If you’re starting a new blog or re-working an existing one, settling on a topic is hard. Like really hard. This is a major commitment we’re talking about here! You’re going to invest hundreds, maybe even thousands of hours producing content for this thing. Your niche has got to kick ass.
This is your full on, no nonsense guide to finding a niche and building your business on a subject that you love and one that will start making you money.
A Niche IRL
While I was working in NYC, I had a pretty serious commute in the mornings. My office was in the financial district near the seaport, and I was living on the total opposite side of the city. When you’re looking for housing in NY, getting picky about location isn’t really an option.
At the time, I fell in love with a handful of lifestyle bloggers that I read religiously on my way to work. The ladies I was reading about talked about everything from food, to fashion, to parenting, makeup, and travel. I had about 10 really solid blogs that I loved which, together, made up a nice rotation every morning. Despite the posting schedules, and content I wasn’t super interested in, the group of blogs was always able to push out 1 or 2 good posts that I could read on the train.
I followed my favorite authors for about 4 months before I realized something. I was only actually interested in the fashion and travel posts. Although I kept all those lovely bloggers in my feed, I went out and found a new set of sites that dealt with just those 2 topics. After that, I could depend on my feed to deliver 5-10 (or more) awesome posts, that I was dying to read, every day.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but what I was doing, was responding to a niche.
This little interaction served as the foundation of a long LONG lasting life lesson, which turns out….is backed by a load of research. Cool huh?
You Probably Do
On it’s surface, lifestyle blogs seem “easier”. No limits on content, no threat of ever running out of content. Right? No limits on audience? No limits of brands you can work with or courses you can offer or revenue streams? Right?
If you’re treating your blog like a business, revenue and earning potential are going to be one of your most pressing concerns when choosing a topic to commit to.
Niche blogs attract larger, more focused audiences. They make it easier for bloggers to sell specific products, courses, services, and subscriptions. Brands and marketers prefer blogs with a strong niche focus to work with.
The numbers make it pretty clear. If you look at the total number of bloggers who actually make a full time living from their platforms, the vast majority operate in a very specific niche.
How Exactly Does a Niche Help?
I’ve seen a lot of fluff all over the internet about niche blogging. It seems like a million people are saying “Niches are good!”, but the conversation kind of ends there. So, we’re going to get real right now, and go over the biggest benefits of niche blogging so that you can make the decision for yourself.
Blogging Builds SEO
Organic traffic to your blog is the best way for you to grow your follower base consistently and passively. In order for you to be ranked high on Google and other search engines you need to consistently produce kick ass content on each topic/keyword you are being ranked for.
If you’re blogging on a range of topics and rarely repeating keywords, its going to take much MUCH longer to be recognized as a reliable authority on the subject.
If you’re producing 3 blog posts per week on all different subjects, and only repeat topics 1 time per month, it’s going to take you about 13 posts to build up the same level of recognition as a niche blogger would generate with just 2 posts. If you wanna see those $$ any time soon, choosing a solid niche is the way to go.
— Olivia Derby (@OliviaRDerby) May 2, 2016
Brands Prefer Targeted Readership
When a brand starts looking for bloggers to work with, whether to buy ad space, sponsor a post, or contract you for a collaboration, the marketers are going to be looking at your audience.
Brands of course want the biggest bang for their buck when advertising dollars are concerned. They would much rather pay for an audience that includes 100% of people in their target market.
Lifestyle bloggers can only guarantee a fraction of their readers will fall into any one specific category. This means that brands are willing to pay less for the ad space and will be looking for higher unique visitor counts.
Easier To Build Email Lists And Social Media Followings
The numbers for niche bloggers work in your favor. When your blog deals with just one subject, the people that click through to your writing from other links on the web are much more likely to find another piece (hopefully, many other pieces) of content that will get them to subscribe. Woohoo!
Higher Conversion Rates on Call To Actions
This one is simple. With a focus on just one subject, your subscribers are expecting all kinds of other content and products on that same subject. Any products or services that you pitch to a focused audience will be received with a much higher conversion rate.
For a niche audience, about 2% of your mailing list can be expected to make a conversion every month. For lifestyle bloggers, that number can be cut in half! Or worse!
How To Choose A Niche
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of lifestyle bloggers out there who totally kill it. It can be done and a lot of ladies do it really really well. So, it IS possible.
But, If you can, I strongly suggest choosing a niche and sticking to it. Select a topic that you love, and I mean, REALLY love.
Something that you could talk about all day long, everyday, something you want to read about before you go to bed every night. Something that sits in the back of your head during long walks on the beach with your love interest. Seriously, you need to love it that much.
Now go start something amazing!