This is post #3 in the series: CHOOSING A NICHE
In our last post, we discussed what a blog niche is, and the general reasons a blogger needs to choose a niche. Today we go on to ask, “How niche should a blog niche be?”
Aim for relationships and participation:
A blog is a relational, community-oriented form of communication. So naturally it should be broad enough to include a reasonable number of like-minded members. Of course we live in a large world, and have a large potential community. At the same time, as we’ve discovered in life, strong and active relationships generally occur among small groups, although there will also be hangers-on who may or may not eventually become active participants. As we’ve also discovered in life, the strongest relationships tend to focus on quite particular interests and/or needs. These dynamics are true for blogging as well.
Be a helpful expert and leader:
If you choose a niche topic that is too broad, your readers will find it difficult to find the information they really need or the information will be too general. Don’t let that happen. Narrow your topic until you can present yourself as an expert and a leader presenting detailed, useful, practical ideas in a very specific area of interest and need.
Keep your focus:
Sometimes you’ll have to present a bit of general background information to set the stage for more detailed information. But don’t lose sight of your focus; get back to it quickly. And if there is an aspect that you know others can present far better than you, don’t be afraid to refer your readers to other sources. If you are consistently presenting useful content, they’ll keep coming back to you for the theme you specialize in.
Think long-term; prepare to grow:
On the other hand, you also need to think long-term. Can you add topics or categories later on that still deal with your topic, but add variety and interest? Is your area changing and developing? Are you keeping up, or better yet, leading? Can you develop you content and take it to the next level? What about moving from hobby blogger to pro blogger? Does your blog topic have the potential? Do you have some ideas of how to move forward and grow and expand?
So, overall, you need to choose a niche topic…
- that you are deeply interested in. You should also have expertise in your niche or be willing to work hard to develop it. Also be sure its a niche that you would love to share with others in a relationship that grows and develops over an extended period of time
- that others are also deeply interested in, and want to learn about, discuss, and work on together over an extended periods of time
- that is narrow enough that it provides not only general information, but also addresses specific needs and meets them with specific solutions
- that is also expandable in a variety of directions, so that when initial needs are met, the community can continue its relationship, explore the niche more broadly, and find and solve new needs and problems that present themselves.
Question of the day: Have you been thinking about what niche your blog will fill? How does that niche fulfill these requirements?
Tip of the day: Do an internet search (on Google or Bing or another search engine) for blogs that are in your general interest area. Can you tell what their niche is?
Put it into action: Examine 3 or 4 blogs that you’ve seen in your search, and that seem to fulfill the requirements we’ve discussed today. Bookmark them, or better yet, subscribe to them by RSS or email, and keep an eye, over the next while, on how they focus on their niche. Jot down useful ideas that you can apply to your own niche in your new blog.