Figures on this vary, but you can assume that 15 to 30 seconds is about the time new visitors spend sussing out your blog page before hitting the back button. Choosing a defined blog niche helps cut to the chase.
Niching deploys two tactics that seem at odds with each other. Your blog needs your visitors to feel they’ve arrived home, somewhere that’s familiar – their niche interest writ large. But, it needs to jolt them into action big time by surprising them with newness about their niche. It has to be a nirvana for their passion taking it to new depths and breadths.
To niche is to be on a fast track to finding a like-minded crowd; a.k.a. a tribe of loyal, raving fans and followers who dig your niche content and take on it, and want tonnes more of it. Niching is a numbers game, but while you might be tempted to go for sheer volume of traffic by trying to please every comer, a niche blog is about quality over quantity, and all the more so when you’re starting out.
Niching your blog is like inviting close friends to party. But, imagine that having welcomed them into your home, you didn’t give your friends anything to eat or drink. They’d be polite for a while, but they’d make their exit early on – right? Even if they are friends. However, if you served them up more than they’d been expecting, word will spread you throw a great party.
It doesn’t matter at first that your blog party has only a small, die-hard following; the word of paramount importance here is ‘die-hard’. That small first tribe will be your biggest advocate. Treat them well with those glasses of fizz and wow canapes.
Make your blog feel like an invite-only party for insiders and your content will feel all the more exclusive and worth paying for when the time comes to develop your blog’s income streams.
How to Niche
If you’ve scanned headlines in a huge tome of Sunday newspapers, you’ll know it takes too much effort or time to read an article if it’s not really relevant or you don’t relate to it on some level. Sadly, that’s the case, even if we’re out to expand our minds. We tend to headline flit and stick to what seriously appeals gravitating to our favourite sections first – arts review, travel, style and so on.
So what grabs our attention? Content we can’t do without when reveling in our passion, hobby, interest or field of work.
When you start attracting a tribe of like-minded […..] – fill in the blank with your niche – you need to ask yourself how you can be of exceptional service to your visitors. The simple answer is by helping them. They love your niche but need HELP! Your help. This comes in the shape fresh, neatly-served platters of information, education, entertainment – or preferably a combo or all three together. Importantly, it comes with lashings of your unique personality. You may serve lasagna at your party, but it’s from your Italian granny’s own, secret recipe and out of this world! Not easily replicated unless you share the recipe.
That’s your blog content – unique, a tad exclusive and to die for!
To create this niche like no one else’s version, you’re going to need to keep not only abreast of, but also ahead of your game. Your blog niche needs to be your passion not just today, but for the next 2-3 years if you’re serious about driving an income from it.
If yes, then stick with your chosen niche and get those skates on!
If you answered ‘no’, then you may have the following doubts:
Isn’t my blog niche just too niche to build into a business?
You might equally wonder if opting to niche is too limiting to give your blog longevity as you’ll have exhausted all topics in year. And then, you might have the ultimate worries: there are too many bloggers already in my niche / too few people interested in my niche.
These are all valid points and while each deserves a post of its own, I’ll give you the short answers here:
There are never too many blogs in your niche
Why? Because you have your own unique voice, sphere of influence, skills and take on that subject you’re passionate about. Never think your blog niche has been done to death. The fact there are bloggers in your sphere, means it’s clearly an active area and going great guns. You need to build your personality to make yours stand out for a niche tribe within your niche. I’ll have posts on how to find your voice coming up soon.
Don’t diss a small tribe of followers
You’re creating a blog niche to build a loyal following that will devour your ace free content (those regular parties) and therefore be certain that your premium content will be even more awesome and therefore worth buying. Traffic volumes alone don’t guarantee your blog will bag a six-figure income. Giving even a small tribe what they really need but didn’t know they were looking for can get you on the road to making money from your blog though.
Starting with a mailing list of 10 doesn’t need to limit your horizons. Start small, think big! Aim for excellence in your niche and riches will come. Each wowed advocate has a social media tribe they will pass the word around in. Just do the maths and you’ll see it’s not impossible to get reach and riches, but only if you set your standards high from the start.
Ensure your blog niche isn’t a passing fad
Sure, niching does mean you are limiting your options to deviate. Do so at your peril and at losing followers. Start a blog passionately exploring Spanish cuisine only to realise after six months of hard labour cooking and photographing your servings that you’re actually keener to cover Spanish and South American travel and you’ve shifted focus. This might be a side step in your eyes but you’ve potentially lost (some, at least, of) your early tribe.
Niche your heart out!
Make sure your blog niche can sustain you for 2-3 years. I always start new blogs writing 10 posts in draft. By the time I’ve done that, I can see if my so-called ‘passion’ was a passing one = fad of the month, or a subject I won’t get bored with or exhaust.
Recap – why have a blog niche?
- A niche, well executed, blog will draw a loyal, fan club who can act as your early sneezers.
- Niche blogs are easier to start as you can show off your expertise. As a new, lone voice blogger, you need to know what you’re talking about, be confident and be able to field both fans’ and faux fan comments and criticism with ease.
- Niches help you build a strong voice and see you on the road to being an influencer in your area; which in turn….
- can help you attract brands to your platform (blog + social media) giving you options for growing income streams; and
- help you create awesome, valuable e-products of your own that your niche tribe can’t do without and is willing to pay for.