“What can you blog about?” You’re here, so you must be itching to find an answer to the elusive question we’ve all wondered at one point: “What can I blog about?”
You may have heard about choosing a niche before, but what does that actually mean? Isn’t it enough to just create a beauty blog or a fashion blog?
Well, yes and no.
If you just want to have some fun blogging and aren’t looking to turn it into a business, you can skip all this and go straight into the nitty gritty of getting your blog up and running. I understand this completely. It’s the approach I taken with all my other blogs before.
However, if you feel like you would eventually like to market your blog and build an engaged following, you need to know who to target. It keeps you from competing with every fashion blog or every photography blog out there.
Why Should You Choose a Niche?
Having a specific niche helps you target your perfect “reader persona,” which basically the specific person you’re targeting with your posts. Beauty and fashion blogs are popular, yes, and that’s exactly why you need to break your blog down into something more specific.
What about beauty for college students, or staying fashionable on a limited budget? These are both things that narrow your blog topics down so you can target the right persona. Once you do that, it’s easier to build both your traffic and a more engaged following.
Of course, you can do whatever you like. Start a lifestyle blog where you talk about anything. I did that for sure. But I found I had a lot to say about using blogging tools, graphic design, and creative resources and tutorials. So much so that I felt I could write a whole other blog about it. That’s why this blog exists!
By removing these elements from my lifestyle blog, I’m able to narrow the topics there down a little bit. I’m able to keep the focus on fashion and beauty related topics, rather than a whole bunch of other stuff. If my readers want to know about blogging, I can direct them to Blogging Butterfly.
I can show you how to find the perfect niche for you in just 6 steps. You’ll be able to come up with an idea for a blog and you’ll learn a little about how to make your blog important to others.
How to Choose a Niche
When I first started Wonderland Loft, I wrote down everything I was interested in and felt like I could talk about at length. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was taking the first steps into choosing a niche. I’ve refined the process I went through and developed this foolproof guide to choosing your niche.
I suggest you go over this exercise even if you have a general idea of what you want to do. You may discover something you didn’t think of before or even find an untapped niche that’s just begging to be filled.
Before you get started, remember this: the most popular blogs fulfill the needs and/or desires of their readers. Make sure you can help people in some way in relation to your niche. If you can do that, driving traffic to your blog will be a lot easier.
Position yourself as an authority! Even if you think you don’t know much, there’s always someone who out there who knows less. That’s a big lesson I’ve learned since I started blogging. Your job is to help these people out. As you continue to learn more, you can share that information with your readers. You can learn and grow together!
Step 1: Write down your interests
Start by writing down a few broad areas of interests. Keep it simple. This isn’t the time to get very specific. Write down as many things as you can think of. Leave some space between each thing so you have space for the next step.
Here’s are 12 examples of some good broad topics:
- Living with an illness
- College life
Step 2: Write down specific interests related to your general interests
The next thing you should do is start breaking that topic down into specific areas of interest. These should be things you enjoy and that you could create content around. If you have trouble thinking of something for one of your topics, it may not be a good niche for you. On the other hand, if you can think of A LOT of things, you’ve probably got a lot to share and coming up with content ideas won’t be a problem.
Here’s an example 3 different broad niches. That sounds really oxymoronic, but work with me here!
- Food for certain dietary restrictions
- Restaurant reviews
- Substitution guides
- Outfit of the day
- Style guides
- Shopping hauls
- Sale notifications
- Capsule wardrobing
- Web design
- Graphic design
- Photoshop tutorials
- Where to find resources
- Tips & tricks
Step 3: Search your specific interest in Google or Google Trends (Optional but useful)
Fire up the ol’ Google machine and get to work. Search for your interest. Here’s where you can be a bit more specific. Even ultra specific.
Pay attention to what pops up in the search bar while you type. I suggest this because it’s easy to see what other people are searching for and get ideas for narrowing your topic even more. Here’s one of those opportunities to discover a topic you never thought of writing about before. Write down any search queries you find interesting. These could become future blog posts!
Added bonus: you can get an idea of how much competition you may have in a specific niche. Check out those competitor sites too. Pay attention to what they’ve written and how it’s similar or dissimilar to your thoughts, opinions, and experiences. Jot down some notes about this if you need to.
Step 4: Take a breath, don’t be afraid
I’ve included the previous step mostly because it’s a good to way to show you that there ARE people out there interested in your future niche. I don’t want you to see 1,000,000 results for something and think “oh there’s too much out there on this topic, I shouldn’t choose it.” Wrong. There’s SO MUCH available sometimes because it’s in high demand. People want to see something and writers are out there fulfilling that desire.
The thing about blogging, or anything you want people to view, is that you need to market it well. It doesn’t matter if there are 324893920 blogs out there about food if you can market to enough people that your content is shared more than most of those other blogs.
Remember also that people don’t just read one thing and then never read about it again. They typically take a look at various information and different viewpoints.
Think about how you shop online, especially for a large value purchase. Do you only read the sales copy or do you check out the reviews as well? Do you scope out the opinions of multiple bloggers or just one? How many times have you made a purchase just because it came highly recommended from multiple sources?
We all consume “the same” content all the time, just presented in different and unique ways. Some of them resonate with us more or less than others, and that’s okay. So don’t worry about there being a ton of stuff written about your niche already. Just get your marketing hustle on harder than the rest.
Step 5: List some sample headlines
Go through each item on your list and come with 5-10 things you could write up as posts. Take some time to write these in a headline format. It doesn’t have to be a GREAT headline. This is just to test how fluently you’re able to come up with ideas.
If you have trouble coming up with 5, probably not the best niche for you. If you end up with more than 10, seriously consider making your blog about that niche.
Step 6: Choose your niche!
It’s time! Go over your lists. Think about the following questions:
- Which one is the most interesting to you?
- Which one was the easiest to write headlines about?
- Can you see yourself consistently writing about this niche?
- Is it helpful to your reader persona?
- Do you have a point of view or unique experiences that would separate your posts from your competitors?
- Are you willing to learn more about this niche and share your knowledge with your readers?
Know what you want to blog about now?
You should now have a pretty good idea for a niche for your blog. Don’t be afraid of picking just one. You can always start more than one blog.
And for those lifestylers out there, you can always break a niche off your lifestyle blog. Like me, you may find you just have a wealth of information about something that would do better if it wasn’t lumped in with everything else. You’ll have the added bonus of bringing over some of your old followers, too.
Please don’t take that as me saying you shouldn’t have a lifestyle blog. I just mean that if you find yourself thinking of creating another blog about something, you should go for it!
Think you don’t have time to run more than one blog? It’s not as hard as you think. If you have quality, useful content, you don’t have to post a whole bunch of articles all the time.
Thanks to social sharing platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, that old blog post of yours could build traction at any time, possibly even go viral. You can also make use of guest bloggers to fill in for the times when you can’t post yourself.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start your blog!