Niches Defined (So You Can Actually Choose One)

Have you been struggling to settle on your niche? Are you overwhelmed by the contradictory advice blogger's give regarding choosing your niche? Are you uncertain of what a good niche even entails? Generally speaking, most bloggers out there use the word niche to mean "finding a specific blog topic."

But if you pay attention to their advice, everyone has a different idea of what even THAT means.

Unsure about choosing a niche for your blog? Maybe it's because the word "niche" itself is what's confusing people! Let's take a look at what "choosing a niche" actually means, by definition.

There are the Specific Nichers:

  • Pasta recipes
  • Organizing small spaces in your home
  • Wedding catering
  • Managing your Pinterest account
  • Poetry writing for beginners

Then there are Broad Nichers who like to use categories under their "Niche" umbrella:

  • Branding for bloggers
    • Social media
    • Website design
    • Copy
  • Recipes for beginner cooks
    • Crockpot meals
    • Groceries on a budget
    • Baking
  • Health and fitness
    • Yoga
    • Strength training
    • Smoothies
  • Parenting
    • Crafts with kids
    • Spiritual/faith
    • Meal Planning
  • DIY/Crafting
    • Home decor DIY
    • Bullet journaling
    • Card-making

Our Specific Nichers might criticize our Broad Nichers and tell them they should focus on logo design, Crockpot meals, yoga, kids' crafts, or bullet journaling. Broad Nichers will counter that they feel too confined, that they'd run out of material, that they can't reach as many people.

To make things more confusing, you also have the No Nichers. No Nichers say "blog about whatever you want! Just find a theme! A common mission!" So someone who blogs about food, photography, and blogging decides their underlying mission is to teach food bloggers how to grow their business through better design, recipes, and higher-quality photos.

To a blogging beginner who's just trying to figure out what they should write about, this gets overwhelming. Who's right?

Technically, all of them. My detail-oriented folks are gonna love this. Let's dive deep.

What even is a niche?

Good ol' Google's got us covered. There are two relevant definitions for us when we use niche as a noun. (I used two different dictionaries for the definitions worded the best.)

  1. A place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted (Merriam-Webster)
  2. A specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service (Google Dictionary)

Well, we already knew this. But when you look a second time, notice how the definitions still leave room for interpretation? What does it mean to be best "fitted"? How "specific" does a "segment" get? What makes you "specialized"? Gotcha covered.

Fitted adjective

  1. having the appropriate qualities or skills to do something

Specific adjective

  1. clearly defined or identified

Segment verb

  1. divide (something) into separate parts or sections

Specialize verb

  1. concentrate on and become an expert in a particular subject or skill
  2. confine oneself to providing a particular product or service
  3. make a habit of engaging in a particular activity

Specialized adjective

  1. requiring or involving detailed and specific knowledge or training
  2. concentrating on a small area of a subject
  3. designed for a particular purpose

 

What story do all these definitions say?

Here's what I see. (It's cool if your story is different.) A niche is a specific area that one can specialize in for offering a product or service. Your personal niche is the specific area that you are best fitted to specialize in for your product or service.

Your personal blogging niche is a clearly defined part of a greater topic that you concentrate on for your particular purpose.

I made my definition out of the keywords from six other definitions, and it's STILL open to some serious interpretation.

 

How do you define a "greater" topic?

Here's an example of a topic funnel, from broad to narrow:

  • Life improvement/Self-Help
  • Goal achievement
  • Making money
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business
  • Online Business
  • Blogging
  • Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Pinterest
  • Designing pins

Which one is the "greater topic" that we get to split into parts?

Pinterest can be split into affiliate sales, pin design, curating for boards, group boards, scheduling, etc.

Marketing can obviously be split into several smaller segments, but marketing is also a segment of business.

Business is actually a segment of Entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship can be about life balance, attitude, professional development, and more.

Where do you draw the line? It's, again, overwhelming. And what about "particular purpose?" Does your purpose have to be narrow? While some might be writing about food for people with a chronic illness, what if my purpose is just to give people dinner recipe ideas? What if my purpose is just to share my love of all foods?

O v e r w h e l m e d .

Is your brain spinning yet? What if I told you I already gave you the answer? Winky wink. Let's look at my definition again:

Your personal blogging niche is a clearly defined part of a greater topic that you concentrate on for your particular purpose.

You probably just glanced at it because you know you already read it and you just want to answer. I get it. Look at it again.

Your personal blogging niche is a CLEARLY DEFINED part of a greater topic that you concentrate on for your particular purpose.

See it?

I don't care what you write about. I don't care if it's broad or narrow. I don't care if you are writing about your big toe. What matters is that you can target an audience that is interested in your big toe.

You better have a strategy for getting your big toe out into the world. And that means you better know that you're writing about your big toe. Not your pinkie toe. Not your foot. Not your ankle. Not your hand. You very clearly know that you're writing about your big toe.

"Well, hey, I don't want to limit myself to just my big toe. I don't want an audience of people who only know about my big toe. I want to write about my big toe AND my left ear."

Go for it. The only rule is that you have very clearly defined your blog as a blog about your big toe and your left ear. You need to have identified your mission as inspiring people with your big toe and left ear.

I'm gonna drop the weird and keep running.

You need to be able to identify your mission, audience, and strategy. If you can't define those three things, you haven't found your niche.

Your niche is simply whatever you've defined it to be. It's your definition.

 

A successful niche

Yes, there are certain defined niches that are going to be easier to market, easier to write about, easier to make money with. In fact, here's a great list of the 7 types of blogs that make the most money, courtesy of the almighty Scrivs. But that's up to you.

"Niche" doesn't equal profitable.

A niche can be profitable or unprofitable. A niche can be boring or exciting. A niche can have an audience or be a dead-zone.

Your niche is your definition of what you're about. Part of your job is to make sure you define a niche that can reach people, help people, keep your interest, and make money for your blog.

Part of my job is to help you out with that.

Until next time!

- Katie Scott