Finding your niche can be a challenge for many people. However, you may be surprised to discover it’s been staring you in the face for some time.
The most obvious things are the easiest to ignore. Your love for fountain pens for example.
Obsessively specialize. No niche is too small if it’s yours. – Seth Godin
[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]This article is an excerpt from the premium guide on making your website rock and roll, The Blogger’s Guide to Winning with WordPress.[/box]
Finding Your Niche
Spend enough time online and trying (as I have) to learn about blogging and you’ll hear this term: Finding your niche.
It’s the holy grail of blogging success.
First, we need to define success.
Successful in whose eyes? Just other people? Our own?
You can create a blog that’s totally original and left (or right) of centre and it can succeed massively. Or, you can create a site that is doing what many other people are doing and it can succeed. I’ve seen both on my travels online.
So what are the common factors for blogging success?
Two things I have observed:
- Love and
It’s love that causes people to stay up late working. It’s passion for the details and the determination to create something special. It’s the vision to offer something that we feel is missing in the marketplace.
In my case:
Creating easy-to-follow guides and tutorials that make WordPress empowering and fun for beginners.
Personality is being prepared to bring your own way of seeing and doing things to the process. Allowing your life experience and unique perspective to add flavor and a ‘vibe’ to the entire project.
This is especially important if you’re focused on something that’s popular. e.g. fashion or food.
The key thing here is the mindset.
It’s the value you create and how much you genuinely care that is most important.
Your job is to connect with, and lead your audience towards more happiness and success for themselves.
By being a specialist (even if it’s fountain pens) you make yourself more appealing to a limited audience instead of less appealing to a larger one.
In leading our tribe we should be wary of the following:
- Trying to appeal to everyone
- Expanding our reach by focusing on things outside our area of passion and specialty
- Watering down our message out of fear or the need for approval
The focus should be on quality of attention not quantity of ‘likes’ or ‘clicks’.
Seth Godin: The tribes we lead
At this point I should also cover a term you hear lot in marketing and increasingly in blogging circles as well.
What is branding?
Branding is the feeling that the marketplace (meaning people) associates to your business or project. The logo, or the name, is merely the thing that recalls that perception.
So when people bandy around this term ‘branding’, remember it’s primarily an emotional process.
When you encounter a company or a person and the first impression you have is a positive one, you remember that, and if it’s remarkable enough, you might share it with your friends.
You never get a second chance for a first impression. – Oscar Wilde
The brand name is the verbal and auditory part, and the logo, or the look and feel of what they do, is the visual component. Both, however, are subjective.
For example, when many people see the Coca-Cola logo they think, “Hmm wouldn’t mind a Coke”, right?
Not me. I can’t help thinking of all the third world countries they’ve infiltrated and the fact that most of it is sugar, which makes it a popularized poison.
See what I mean by subjective?
This is what Seth Godin means when he says that small is the new big. The internet has made it possible for everyone to be engaged in branding.
But don’t think that all this newfangled technology has changed human nature.
We still have needs and desires and are self-centered in our impulses.
You simply have to discover your own strengths and then push them (compassionately) on to people you know will either enjoy them, or find them useful.
Integrity and authenticity
This is where integrity becomes vitally important.
Make honesty your marketing strategy, and trust your currency.
Every interaction you have with your readers, whether it’s a tweet or comment reply on your blog, or an email response, is a chance to prove your consistency and integrity.
Don’t underestimate the power of many little things done with attention and care.
It builds up a sense of contribution, but it also radiates out and builds trust with others.
So decide now what you’re committed to and hold onto it for dear life, because you will be tested.
One last thing…
Everything you do is selling
Marketing and selling isn’t limited to people who intend to sell physical or virtual products.
Every time you speak or type words into your Twitter account or Facebook page, you’re engaging in a type of selling.
- Your point of view
- Your ability to assist other people
- The words on this very page
If you think about it in more psychological terms, we’re selling all the time.
An understanding of the hearts and minds of the people reading or watching your content can help you improve your delivery.
In that sense, empathy is one of your most reliable marketing tools.
Sounds very touchy-feely I know, but it’s true.
Have you found your niche? If you still have confusion over your blog’s topic let us know in the comments.