Deciding what you want to blog about can be challenging, especially if you have a variety of interests. Narrowing down your niche is probably the most important decision you’ll make during the early construction of your blog. If you don’t take time to define your niche, you risk becoming unfocused, which can become incredibly frustrating for writers and readers. Being unfocused negatively impacts your abilities to generate topics for future posts, reach specific audiences, and maintain the drive and purpose behind your blog. Clarify your niche by considering the following questions.
What’s your overall goal? Bloggers have many different reasons for why they write. Why do you want to blog? Consider why you want to start your blog and what purpose it will serve. Maybe you want to establish expertise in a specific area, spread inspirational messages, provoke thoughtful conversations, or just gain peace by getting your thoughts out there. The motivations behind starting a blog are countless. Think carefully about your motivations; there may be more than one. Write these down.
Where’s your expertise? Consider your professional skills, degrees, specialized training, awards, and recognitions. What are the parts of your job you enjoy the most? Are there common areas in which colleagues or people in your personal life seek your advice?
What are your passions? Better yet, what are your obsessions? Think about the genres of books you read most often, your favorite podcasts, writers, and websites. How do you spend your free time? Defining passions as those things you would do for free, are there passions you would want to blog about? Write these down. Obsessions are those things we can never really stop thinking about; they trouble or excite us that much. Obsessions often revolve around serious issues. Consider what problems you want to help solve and how your blog can meet that purpose.
What’s your unique story? We all have unique life experiences. Have you experienced something that, if shared, could help someone else who is going through a similar journey?
Who’s your target audience? Who do you want to help? As you identify the problems you want to work on, your main interests, unique characteristics, and the reasons you want to blog, imagine your readers. Are they fellow bloggers, prospective clients, or people who are trying to achieve a specific goal or learn a special skill? Narrowing down who you envision reaching through your blog will help focus your writing and the messages you deliver to readers.
What about profitability? If your intentions include monetizing your blog, market research will help determine demand and profitability. Strategies for market research can be found here.
Asking deep, open-ended questions to clarify your intentions will help focus your blog niche. As you answer these questions, circle common themes that pop up. If you have more than one idea, select one to try, and track readership and your interest level. You’re never locked in to any one idea. Allow yourself to pivot and redesign your niche as needed. Defining your blog focus will help target your writing, making it easier to generate ideas for individual posts. Most importantly, it will fill your blog writing with purpose and intention, making the process more meaningful for you and your audience.