Read virtually any how to blog guide and chances are you’ll find blogging niche filed under the most critical factor in creating a successful blog. But as my career has progressed, I have to say that my attitude to the concept of the blogging niche has evolved.
Don’t get me wrong, I still see value in honing your niche, but these days having a single subject matter is second to being able to strategically grow and evolve what you cover over time, whilst always giving your readers what they want. I mean, my interests were somewhat different 8 years ago when I started this blog (read about the journey here), mainly because I was younger and I didn’t have much money, and so the content focused on DIY fashion (something I’ve been obsessed with my whole life). After a few years though, I wanted to share my growing interests with you and began covering other things I loved including interior DIYs, plants, blogging advice, and creative travel (whilst maintaining DIY as the key focus). I know it probably took time to get used to (and some of you no doubt wish I would go back to purely DIY fashion), but broadening our niche helped me to challenge myself creatively and also share more of myself with you guys.
I know a lot of you put pressure on yourselves to discover the perfect blogging niche, and in truth, it’s a balancing act between making it narrow enough that people can identify with you, and broad enough that you can evolve and challenge yourself and your audience. Here are a few of my thoughts on choosing a blogging niche that will go the distance!
Think of a Niche as a Filter or Point Over View That Unites Your Content
DIY and creativity are the points of view that we use to unite all the content here on the blog. It’s essentially a niche, without being too specific about what exactly needs to be posted. Because in my opinion, variety is good, so long as it’s unified in some way! Essentially it’s a filter or a frame of reference that provides consistency. So whilst the content is mixed and often quite varied, at the end of the day that’s what we will always come back to. To discover your broad niche or POV, try to go beyond detailed subject matter and think of the bigger picture – your personal point of view or passion. When choosing, make sure it comes from deep down, such as a passion or viewpoint you’ve had forever, so that it feels genuine and is easy to sustain. Plus you know it’s going to stick around for the long haul! In case you’re wondering how to discover what your personal POV/filter is, this post might help you.
Understand the who
There’s so much preoccupation these days with the what concerning what the content should be, that we can sometimes forget the who. And by that I mean who our readers are (or will be) and who we are ourselves. Because content will often resonate best with people who have similar interests to you, start there. Ask yourself: what problems or interests do people with a similar point of view have that I can solve for them? Then, all you have to do is create useful, informative content!
Develop Your Voice
Recently I was in New York and got to meet so many amazing women – primarily bloggers and YouTubers. Something that struck me was how genuine and raw most of them were, with voices that were uniquely them. That experience, along with working on this blog for a very long time, highlighted to me that more than anything else, audiences are drawn to a voice that they can identify with strongly. I know that this is easier said than done, but remember that you are unique and that’s what people will come back for.
Consider Your Audience’s Broader Interests
The reality is that your readers are not silos with only one interest, which is why it’s ok for you to consider their broader interests in a strategic way, always tying that into your POV. If you choose a very narrow niche, say blogging about only indoor plants, what you could be overlooking is that indoor plant lovers such as yourself are probably into other things that you like too.
Avoid Trends (As The Main Focus)
Choosing a blogging niche based purely on what’s trending can be limiting. For example, starting a blog all about cupcakes when cupcake shops are popping up on every street seems a no-brainer, but after a while other food trends might overtake cupcakes and you might find yourself a bit stuck. Consider instead how you can choose a broader, more evergreen niche, that reflects your POV (say, healthy baking or decadent desserts), within which you can cover trends as they arise.
Communicate Clearly What Your Are About
Growing a community online hinges on how you can convert readers when they stumble upon your content, and this is where we can become unstuck with too many different content types or a messy website, and why there is often so much focus on a narrow blogging niche. So when developing your niche (particularly if it’s broader) it’s important that you can be clear about what your focus is through your about page, clear navigation, and well-designed imagery. Being able to articulate your niche clearly enables people to understand you better so they have a reason to sign up to your site and become part of your long-term community.
Start Small, Think Big
Finally, when developing your niche it’s useful to consider how it might evolve over time. Without a doubt there are benefits to starting with a narrow niche – it helps to focus your overflowing brain and gather an initial readership. That said, for a blog that will go the distance in terms of how your life, interests, and those of your readers will evolve, the key is to have at least some small idea of how you might grow and branch out in the long term. Don’t be afraid to think big!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this guys – these thoughts are only my personal experiences and you might completely disagree, or completely agree! I know it can be daunting when there is so much pressure to ‘find your niche’, and I guess in many ways I want to relieve a bit of that pressure, or at least encourage you to think more deeply about who you are and what you are passionate about rather than focusing on the exact content. Know yourself and the content will come 🙂
The photos in this post are from one of my favorite projects of all time, this DIY Hanging flower wall.