Tips dan Strategi Memilih Niche Untuk Blog
I promised in the last chapter that we were going to go to some rather different places in this book. That’s true but before we get to the interesting stuff, I first want to cover something more basic: the process of choosing a niche and coming up with a brand.
What you might not realize is that this is actually one of the most important aspects of being a successful blogger. Your fate is sealed as soon as you choose a brand (or fail to), so it’s very important to give this the time and the attention that it deserves.
First, you’re going to choose your niche. Entire books have been written on how to do this, but I’m going to simplify the matter for you incredibly by saying this:
The niche you pick should be the subject that you are most passionate about.
That is all there is to it.
You might protest at this point and tell me that there’s no money in ‘knitting’ or ‘Marvel comics’ or ‘feng shui’. Whatever you’re into, you’ve probably been taught that the big money is in health and fitness or it is in finance.
Get that idea out of your head and focus on writing what you know and love.
This is SO important because this is something you are going to be spending hours on every single day of your life for years to come.
If you want to become a TOP blogger – remember we’re not talking small hustles here – then you need to put in the time and you need to know the subject matter like the back of your hand.
You’re going to have to write this content yourself too, which is just one more reason that it needs to be something that you understand and that you love.
What a lot of people do, is to pick a niche that they are only somewhat interested in that they think can make them money. Then they hire a writer to fill it with content and they wait for the site to grow.
This never works. It might make you some money but you will NOT become a ‘top blogger’.
Why? Because this strategy isn’t going to bring anything new to the table and it won’t have your personality.
Let’s say you’re writing about fitness. In order to be a top blog, you need to be contributing either the most comprehensive and accurate information out there so that you are a top resource, or you need to be contributing new ideas that no one else has come up with.
You need to give your unique take on that matter and provide interesting insights and ways of looking at things that other people won’t have considered.
You need to do all this in your own voice in a way that lets people know what you’re about and that makes people want to keep on coming back to your site.
If you hire a writer, then even the best writer in the world is instead going to give you content that is generic. They won’t use their own personal voice (because they are ghost writing) and they won’t contribute completely new information.
That’s because they’re writers: not experts in that niche. And even if they were experts in that niche, they wouldn’t want to give ideas that were too new, too controversial, or too unique because they’ll assume that you want to sound like you. They can’t put ‘words in your mouth’ in other words.
Only by writing yourself can you bring something new to the table. And you can only do that if it’s a topic you really know and understand.
And this is before we’ve even mentioned the fact that you have to love the subject enough to spend all that time on it without getting tired of it and moving on.
But what do you do if the niche that you know is not one you can realistically succeed in? What if it is either too big or too small?
A niche that is too big might be something like ‘bodybuilding’. This is a massive niche and it’s an industry that has huge amounts of cash poured into it all the time. If you want to create a blog on bodybuilding, then you are going to be going up against some huge, established brands. These will include the likes of Bodybuilding.com!
So, the question you now have to ask is whether you really think you can compete with a site like Bodybuilding.com that is spending thousands if not millions of dollars on advertising every single day and that will already have a massive audience of regular readers. How can you stand out against that competition?
One solution is to narrow in and make your niche a little more focussed. What’s a sub-section of the bodybuilding niche that you can make your own? I’ve seen entire blogs on how to work your calves before – aimed at people who aren’t happy with the size of their calves.
If that’s all you’re focussing on and that’s where you’re putting all of your energy, then you can compete with bodybuilding.com in just that one capacity.
But a better example might be to focus on a specific demographic. That could mean fitness for the overweight, for the elderly, for women, for students, for mums or for entrepreneurs.
One of my favourite examples of a successful blog is ‘Nerd Fitness’. Nerd Fitness is a blog about fitness that is aimed at nerds. This carves out its own very specific section of a larger niche and allows it to compete with much bigger names!
You can also make a niche bigger by combining it with other topics and other ideas. Nerd fitness does this in a way, because the concept allows the blogger to write about other topics too – in particular nerd culture!
Then there are examples like The Art of Manliness. This is a blog that covers everything that the author considers to be ‘manly’ – from health and fitness, to style, to how to smoke a cigar. It’s a very broad concept but also one that is entirely unique in its own way.
This is something you can do if your niche is too narrow. If the thing you really want to write about is ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ then that probably is too narrow a niche to make money from on its own. So why not branch out a little bit by including other video games you like?
Geekdom101 is a YouTube personality who started out blogging about Dragon Ball Z but has expanded to include other films, tv and games and has that way built a far more monetizable brand.
Likewise, if your passion is bonsai and you want to make that subject a little larger, then how about including some other things you’re interested in that are related? Perhaps Japanese culture, horticulture, art, philosophy, painting?
In this way, you are now starting to create a brand out of your niche: creating a very distinct topic and tone that helps you to carve out your own audience while writing about the things that really interest you.
The other thing you need to think about when you start coming up with the idea for your blog is your ‘route to market’. That means thinking about the ways in which you’re going to market your blog.
At first, your blog is not going to be highly monetized. You might be able to sell a product but you’ll need to build a big audience before you’ll start shifting units. Likewise, AdSense and other display advertising won’t earn you much at all until you start getting heavy traffic.
So that means you can’t really afford to pay for your advertising to begin with and that in turn means you need to find ways to market yourself for free.
A route to market is a direct channel you have to your target audience. Your target audience is your ‘persona’ – the imaginary person for whom your site has been designed.
You need to know what kind of person this person is and where they can be found and then you need a way you can reach them for free.
When you’re at this stage where you’re considering your niche, consider your route to market as well. Don’t create a blog and then worry about how you’re going to find people to read it!
For example then, ask yourself whether you’re a trusted member of any online communities already? These are great places to advertise for free and to gain some buzz. Alternatively, do you know any good forums or Google Plus communities where you can post?
Make sure there’s an audience and that you can reach said audience before you
invest too much time into creating your blog.