Still working on deciding the topic or niche for your business? Read on for some ideas to help you choose your business niche.
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A niche is a specific topic area that a blog or business focuses on.
A question that a lot of bloggers and business owners struggle with is whether they need to have a specific niche or whether they can just choose to blog about whatever they feel like blogging about.
It seems it would be easier to just go with the flow in the moment, but I've found that isn't true.
What happens instead is you find yourself directionless and therefore frozen or stuck in how to move forward.
Think of it this way: a business is created to solve problems for people. If your business is about dogs, gardening, cooking, blogging, and money how will anyone know what they are getting when they get to your website?
How do you help your person make a transformation if you are trying to help them with everything? What in the world do you write next? It turns out when you don't have a plan it just feels too big.
Not only that but how do you attract and retain customers if your business is a version of Seinfeld.
Sure, Walmart can do it, but can you?
Maybe if you're incredibly famous! Most of us start out from scratch though, so you'll have a lot more success if you start with a clear niche.
James Wedmore once said that the more new you are to a space, the more focused and niched down you should be. In other words, if you are newer to the space you should be focused on a narrow topic so you can get known for something very specific.
Now, to be fair and put another perspective out there, I've read different blog posts that claim you do not need a niche and in the beginning you could just put some things out there and see what sticks.
This may be good if you have a lot of time and don't need to make any money in your business. The going is slow, and it leaves you with lots of questions of where to go next.
What is a business without money? Um....probably not around long...
If you write about dogs, recipes, and travel on your blog, what the heck do you email to you readers? What kinds of products do you create to monetize your business?
So, if you agree that the next step is to look at what your niche is, how in the world do you do that?
Well, the first thing I recommend is to think about what you're interested in. Sit down and make a huge list of things that interest you. These do not have to be things you know a ton of things about in the beginning but they should be things you are interested in learning a lot about.
After all, you don't want to start a business around a topic you'll be bored of in just a month. That would be terribly painful.
When I started doing this I took a piece of paper and numbered it from 1-100 and forced myself to come up with 100 things that I am interested in. That way I wasn't just stuck with my preconceived ideas of what I might do a business around.
The first 20 or so are easy to come up with, but then you have to really think to come up with the last 80.
Often those last items are super interesting!
Your niche could also be determined around your expertise. What's your current job? What did you go to school for? What does everyone go to you for advice about?
The definition of expert is something that is beyond the scope of this current post but for now I'd like you to think about it as something you know how to do better than at least one other person.
Don't get caught up in comparing yourself to other people though. Of course there are people who are more expert than you in your topic. There are also people who are less expert. You only have to be one step in front of your reader for you to be an expert in their eyes.
Sometimes people want to learn from someone who was just where they were, who still remembers what it is like to start out at the beginning.
Are there things out in the world that bother you or that you'd be interested in finding a change for? These things could be niche ideas.
If there is something that you can finish the following sentence with, put it on your list:
I wish there was a way to....
This could also apply to things you're afraid of. Is there something you're afraid of that you could provide a solution to?
I can't imagine the person who created a business around post it notes is super passionate about the post it note and all of the different variations. I guess it's possible but it seems that would get boring after awhile.
You know what probably doesn't get boring though? The amount of money that came in because the post it not solved a problem for people!
You can get real passionate about something that brings you success and wealth...especially if it also makes a difference in the world.
Do some research on other blogs. What do you see others doing? You'll see that people are successful in all different areas. Some include:
Ok, so now that you have a huge list of topics you could potentially work with, the next step is to think about who you would want to help.
Businesses are created to solve problems for people. You want to determine which people you want to solve problems for. You can't be everything to everyone and you will never be able to help everyone.
Do you want to work with women? Men? College students? Business owners? Managers? Moms? It really is up to you. You start with a certain type of person and hten think next about whether those people are connected in another way. For instance busy moms with twins, new online business owners, new managers, etc.
Another way to think about which people you want to help is to think about them not in terms of demographics but instead in terms of a ideal they hold.
So, if you take your person and you take your interests, can you put those together to create a transformation in your person?
The more specific you can get, the better. If you can get specific with your type of customer and with your topic, that would be great! For example, "I help moms create beautiful paper crafts so they can capture memories in scrapbooks and chronicle the lives of their children."
I bet there are people out there looking for something like that.
One of the things you'll hear over and over is that you should start a business around your passion. The problem is, your passion may not be something that anyone would spend money on.
The easiest way to think about this is that people are likely to spend money to get healthy, to get wealthy, and to have relationships. Money, health, and love are huge areas to focus on in the business world. Of course, there are also things people will pay for in areas such as personal development, but you have to be much more clear in those areas about who you target and with what.
What would you rather pay for?
How to have a better life
How to lose 20 pounds and gain more energy so you can get more out of life.
Usually people are more interested in a specific outcome. Often that outcome involves some type of emotion.
What outcome could you create for your customers and readers?
Again, you could research other blogs to find out what kinds of things successful bloggers are selling. You could look at what is popular on social media. What kinds of posts are getting repinned on Pinterest? What topics do well?
Look on amazon.com. Amazon is a master at selling things. If you do a search for an information based topic and see that people advertise on that topic, this might be a good sign that people are willing to pay for that topic. If you'd like to know more about what to look for on Amazon when searching for a topic, pick up the book Choose which will help you look at Amazon and Google Trends to determine a profitable topic.
You have to pick something and start though.
Getting stuck in not knowing your niche and not starting does not help you to get anywhere. If you're having a hard time, then it is time to start throwing spaghetti at the wall. Write some posts and see if they stick.
You have to be patient. It isn't a quick process. Although you might find a post topic that does really well on Pinterest and get some traffic, in most cases you're in it for the long haul. Patience is important.
So tell me, what's your niche? If you'd like more information on how to start a business with a good foundation, sign up for my email course on starting up a new blog. And as always, if you found this helpful, please pin on Pinterest!