November 11, 2015

Blog niches & how to find yours!

finding your blog niche

It's one of those words that you will encounter pretty early on when diving into blogging: Niche. So what is it and how can you find yours? That's the topic I want to cover today since it has taken me quite a bit of time to find mine...

WHAT IS A NICHE?

I found two sentences that describe the type of niche I am talking about in this blog post. A niche is:
A position or activity that particularly suits somebody's talents and personality or that somebody can make his or her own.
An area of the market specializing in one type of product or service.
By finding your own niche in blogging you will be better able to find out your target audience, which in turn, will come in handy when you start thinking about marketing your blog. With a health food blog you will reach an entirely different audience than with a flashy fashion blog. And while we all would like the whole world as our audience, that isn't how it works in real life. So finding out your niche can certainly help you grow your blog in the right direction.

HOW I FOUND MY OWN BLOG NICHE

It's hopefully pretty obvious that this blog is all about blog design and design for small businesses. But it took a while to get to this point. Can you believe that I started out with a health food blog years ago? Quite a different subject, huh? Well, in the beginning of my own blogging journey I thought I would be at my best creating recipes with whole foods and share them with the world. And while I still love to cook with whole foods I soon found out that blogging about it is a whole different ball game. As a food blogger you need the best photography to capture an audience and the photography and recipe developing proved to be so much work time wise that I lost that creative spark within a year after starting the project. So while I am very interested in whole foods and cooking with them, writing a blog about it eventually didn't resonate with me.

But that first attempt at blogging did lead me to the topic of blog design. I loved playing around with the layout of my blog and started learning to make my own layouts. Over time I got more and more into the design part of blogs and even opened an Etsy shop to sell my designs. At the same time as opening my first Etsy shop (the clipart shop) I started this blog with the purpose of being an extra service to my clients. Fast forward 21 months and it has become very clear where my real niche lies: with graphic/digital design for blogs and business and finding out how we can all improve our blogs and businesses. 

ALLOW IT TO BE A PROCESS

What my own story points out is that not everything you like to do is a good niche for a blog. Loving to do a certain thing is one thing, but writing about it on a consistent basis is another. But even if it is very clear to you where your passion lies, blogging, just like life itself, is a journey and process. You might start out with a fashion blog because you have always been a fashionista and you can't see yourself doing anything else, but even then your blog will evolve throughout time. It might still be about fashion but you will see that you will grow throughout time. And what maybe started out as a random fashion blog with a lot of personal fashion shoots might turn out into a fashion blog with the emphasis on fashion advice for thirty-something women.

A blog niche is more about growing into it than being rigid about it from the start. Allow yourself the growth that you will make and don't restrict yourself when creative ideas for your blog pop up in your head. There is no niche police and what I personally love so much about blogging is that it is a great way to express ourselves in a creative way. And that's what blogging should feel like: creative and passionate. And when you're losing your passion and creativity in a particular area, why not explore another?

WHAT IF YOUR BLOG COVERS MULTIPLE SUBJECTS/NICHES?

A lot of bloggers nowadays have a so called 'Lifestyle Blog'. They love to write about more than one subject because they are passionate about these things. A lifestyle blog can cover all kinds of subjects, from fashion, to food, travel, photography, basically anything. And while it is maybe more challenging to target a certain audience with these blogs I personally don't think that having more than one niche should be a problem. 

The key to having a blog that covers multiple topics is how you present it to your audience. Let's say you are writing about your travelling, the recipes you make and what you like to wear. Those three subjects will all attract a certain kind of audience. There will always be readers that love all of it and will read all your stories, but there will also be readers that will visit your blog only for you recipes and who will skip the other articles. So it is important to have an organized blog. Readers should be able to easily find the stories that they want to read.

I am following along with a handful of lifestyle bloggers that I personally like very much and what they have in common is that their blogs are very clean and organized. I am able to find what I want in the blink of an eye. You can find them over here:


You can see that they either have their categories displayed in the menu bar or in the sidebar and the overall look of their blogs is pretty clean.

CONCLUSION

Finding your blog niche is more of a journey and process than something fixed. And as long as you keep things organized for your readers, you can have multiple niches in one blog. What is most important is that you feel passionate in your niche!
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