Worried about finding your niche? You already know it's important to narrow down your categories but HOW do you do it?
Here’s the fastest way to choosing a niche for your blog:
List your talents and passions
List what you think you’d like to write about
Narrow your list to 3-5 categories, start writing about them, and then slowly cross them off your list over the next 60 days
Listen to your readers and your instincts as you decide which category needs to be eliminated
Write a list of 50 blog post ideas for your chosen niche
It's okay if it takes you a little bit of time to decide because it's 1000% important that you choose the right niche. If you intend to build a successful blogging business than you better find a niche that brings you joy and also helps others.
I started AllisonLindstrom.com (formerly known as Frugal on the Prairie) with a couple of different niches, including personal finance, parenting, home decor, and homemaking. It was a classic newbie blogger mistake.
I couldn't decide which one was my favorite because I was just starting out. It's okay if you're in the same boat. But let's get you on the right track to narrowing things down today!
Here's what I did:
Step #1: List your talents and passions
The most popular objection I receive is, "I don't have anything I'm good at. I don't have any real talents." False.
Think outside the box for a second.
Maybe you're not a trapeze artist but you have an unrelenting drive for details. How can you use that to help people?
Maybe you're not an award winning artist but you are passionate about knitting. How can you help others who want to learn about knitting too?
You don't need to be the expert of your chosen niche right now. You just need to be a few steps ahead of the person next to you. And if you're not there, start learning and record your journey on your blog.
Step #2: List what you think you’d like to write about
I like to give the quick example of how I'm really good at using Excel spreadsheets...and how I'm totally uninterested in teaching courses on them. I shouldn’t choose a niche solely for the reason that it’s a talent of mine.
Try to find the happy balance between something you're good at and something you want to master.
The more I learned about blogging and business, the more I wanted to share my findings, and the more my readers begged for new posts and content about that category. Follow your gut.
UPDATE AS OF FEBRUARY 2019: First, I’ve had tens of thousands of students go through my free blogging courses and resources. Second, I currently have 3,000+ students in my Blogging to Win course alone.
It’s safe to say that I’ve seen a TON of bloggers over the past couple of years. Here are the Top 5 main blog niche categories I see them choose.
Step #3: Narrow your list to 3-5 categories, start writing about them, and then slowly cross them off your list over the next 60 days
Yep, I've been there, done that. I couldn't decide which of my categories I loved the most. My advice is to just dive in and start getting the writing juices flowing. It'll be much easier to decide what really works for you and what doesn't.
The faster you can narrow things down, the better off you are. My recommended range of taking 60 days to work through this step is pretty generous and takes into consideration the fact that you may only post once a week or so.
Hate writing blog posts? Guess what- that’s actually pretty common among bloggers. How funny is that!
Here’s my hack for writing blog posts when you hate writing.
Step #4: Listen to your readers and your instincts as you decide which category needs to be eliminated
It's possible that you think you should go with one category but your readers end up saying you have a strong talent with another. Listen to them.
I was wishy washy about the personal finance category I originally chose. The passion just wasn't there, but it was what I was good at so I just kept chugging along. (Remember my excel spreadsheets example? This is kind of like that…)
Eventually, I received so many emails from readers asking about the business side of running my blog. It was a light bulb moment. Hello, Allison!
My readers were telling me what they wanted me to write about. The cherry on top was simply that I enjoy the heck out of business and blogging.
Step #5: Write a list of 50 blog post ideas for your chosen niche
Yep, that sounds like a lot of work. But successful blogging is a lot of work and requires a lot of content. Can you build a business from your chosen niche? Is there enough content to write about?
If you’re really stumped and need to some inspiration, here are 6 blog post ideas to get you started.
Let's pretend you decide to write about budgeting methods only. Think about the long-term plan with that niche. How many posts can you really write before you burn out? It might be better to write about personal finance so you can extend your niche a bit.
I strongly recommend that you find a narrow niche, with only one main category. Yep, that’s tough. But my business changed dramatically (for the better!) when I did this and that’s why I highly recommend you do it too.
Choosing a blog niche is actually very hard so don’t feel like you’re doing anything wrong if you find yourself struggling.