If you're thinking about starting a blog or a business, you've probably seen a hundred articles and Pinterest pins about choosing a niche. And if you're like me, you've read all those articles and STILL have a hundred questions. Why is a niche so important? Why should you even choose a niche? What IS a niche anyway?
I've learned a few tips and tricks along the way in my own blogging journey. So today, I'm sharing a simple explanation of why choosing a niche is so important and a few steps that will help you choose yours right now! Let's get started.
WHY YOUR NICHE MATTERS
When you're first starting a blog, it makes sense to write about #AllTheThings you love: homemaking tips, recipes, spiritual growth, movie/book reviews, parenting tips, social media tutorials... Writing about all of these subjects may be fun, but unless your only goal is to write a blog for your mom to read, you're going to have a scattered and inconsistent audience.
Your niche is your sweet spot on the internet.
Choosing a niche helps you appeal to your ideal audience. The best way to build a consistent audience for your blog or website is to select one or two specific topics to write about - i.e. choose a niche!
Your niche is simply your corner of the Internet. It's where you are most comfortable and at home.
Choosing a niche helps you build connection. Once you've found your sweet spot (in other words, your niche), you will naturally begin creating all sorts of content around that topic.
So, let's say you start a blog about social media. Suddenly, you have a mile-long list of blog post ideas because A. You love social media and B. You have tons of helpful tips to share! All of this helpful content is valuable to your ideal audience because they are already searching for answers about it, and they will soon grow to trust your knowledge on your niche subject. Without really trying, you've become the expert in your niche and the go-to authority on social media tips!
Choosing a niche helps you grow your blog. Since your potential audience is already searching for your subject, picking a niche allows you to identify important keywords related to your blog. Keywords are important for things like SEO (search engine optimization) and Pinterest, which are essential sources of readers for your blog!
Think about when you're looking for a new recipe on Pinterest... Whatever you type into the search bar includes keywords that are also in the resulting pins you see. And by choosing a pin, clicking through to the website and recipe, you may just find your new favorite recipe site! THAT is exactly what we want to happen with your blog :)
Now that we know the importance and helpfulness of choosing a niche, it's time to uncover your very own sweet spot on the Internet. Let me show you in just 4 simple steps.
HOW TO FIND YOUR NICHE
STEP ONE: Start by making a list of topic ideas you WANT to write about - literally, anything and everything. Remember that list of #AllTheThings from earlier? Write them alllllll down, sister! We'll narrow it down later.
No matter if you're starting a blog or a business, you're going to need valuable content to attract people to your site. I recommend a blog to everyone, because of the value it provides your audience. You obviously have something in mind that you want to write about since you're here, so get to it! :)
STEP TWO: Use your list to find 2-3 main themes. Run your finger back through the list you just wrote. Are there any common threads?
For instance, when I was choosing a niche for Cultivate Grace, I wanted to write about finding purpose, passion, faith, living on purpose, business/blogging strategy, simplified living (and a few others that I ultimately decided to let go for now). All of these are seemingly disconnected, at first. Once I started separating them into categories, I realized I had four main ideas for my blog: Find Your Purpose, Grow Your Faith, Define Your Strategy, and Simplify Your Life.
It really doesn't matter how many categories you identify, as long as they're all connected and important to your ideal audience. So, my readers are Christian women who are ready to discover their God-given purpose and want to start/grow their own business in a simple and intentional way.
Once you've made connections in your list, take a step back. TA DA! You now have your blog categories!
STEP THREE: Write your blog categories across the top of a piece of paper (or set up cards on a Trello board!) and make a list of 10 blog post ideas for each one.
This step is simply to help you confirm your passion for that particular subject. If you have a hard time coming up with this many ideas, perhaps you should view this as an indication you should reconsider that particular blog category.
Setting up a Trello board or an Excel spreadsheet for your blog categories is also an excellent way to brainstorm topic ideas for the future. Actually, I still have a Trello board that I use to keep my ideas for future posts and I often refer to it when I'm stuck on what to write about! It allows you to easily create a bank of ideas for later use.
STEP FOUR: Finally, I'm asking you to commit to your niche for 90 days. Seriously.
Make a commitment right now to stick to these categories for the next three months - that's it! In order for any niche to work, you have to give it a chance. So, give it three months and if you decide that niche (or one particular category or topic) isn't working for you, change things up!
For example, one of my original blogging categories was Gardening. My husband and I have a vegetable garden, and I really wanted to help others grow their own food. But soon, I realized I had plenty of ideas for the gardening/homestead category, but no desire to actually sit down and write any of them! This may happen to you, too, and it's perfectly okay to change directions. Give yourself grace to make a fresh start <3
Bonus tip: The most important thing to remember is that your words matter.
God has clearly called you to start a blog or an online business for a reason! He can (and will) use you as a testament of his love to the world. And that is such a beautiful thing, dear sister.
So, where will you find your sweet spot on the internet?
Every week, I like to share a quick action step that is designed to help you simplify various aspects of your life or business. This week, you're going to find your niche! Spend 15 minutes working through these steps - or maybe longer, if you need to!
If you find yourself getting stuck, let me know in the comments or contact page - I would love to help! This process can be tricky, especially when you have a lot of favorite things! Let me know when you do choose a niche by commenting below. Or maybe you've already found your sweet spot. Share it with us!