Hey gals, I've received a few emails since my last Blogging 101 and it seemed to be a popular topic so I'm back with my first step, well three really, 3 Steps to Defining Your Niche. Finding your niche is the most basic, but important step that you need to work through before you start blogging, and the more defined, the better. Now before I go on, I want to let you know that I've had several different niches throughout my 8 years in blogging and have explored so many topics before landing here, and it's still constantly changing. With all this change however, my overall aesthetic has pretty much stayed the same. Everything I write about has a realistic approach and at the same time has a look that has become very ME, light and airy, easy breezy, beachy and boho, and this style translates through all of my subjects and images whether they be fashion, decor, DIY's, recipes, etc... This is really important because I've kind of carved out a particular spot within the wide open lifestyle category and it's what makes my blog unique. You start to define a style that is recognizable to people and that becomes what they expect of you, and that is ultimately why they follow you, for your unique filter on a subject(s) that is relatable to them. So I'll begin...
1. Fine Tuning Your Subject
What is it that you want to write about? Whatever the category, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of others covering the same topic, so what is it that is going to make yours unique? Example, you love interior design and want to start writing about spaces that inspire you. Amazing, now what type of interior design are you going to write about? Is it small spaces? Is it bohemian spaces? Is it Beach House Living? Find a sub-category so that you have a dedicated space to master and eventually, call yourself an expert in.
2. Put Your Stamp On It
Once you've fine-tuned your subject, what's your unique approach? Your approach will become your one sentence description or "tagline" that you'll need right after your blog's name or title so that people know what they are going to get. This is SO important because it's a very quick way for people to make a judgement on whether or not they want to keep reading, either they are going to relate to it, for not. Let's go back to Interior Design and say you've decided on covering small spaces, how about something like..."exploring how people maximize space and style in under 1000 square feet". This is such a great tagline, because it narrows your focus, and as the reader, even if you aren't living in under 1000 square feet, it's something that might be really interesting to you. I mean look at HGTV, they have these crazy shows that are so niche-focused like "tiny houses" and even "Fixer Upper". None of us are living in tiny houses, or in West Texas flipping houses, but we LOVE it because it's interesting to us, and we tune in because we know exactly what we are going to get. It's so helpful to have a focus like this because when you go to create content, you have boundaries and it makes somewhat less overwhelming.
3. Define your Style
Again, really important... what is your look? what is the filter, your filter, on your subject (not the instagram filter, but more the world through your eyes)? People consume information very quickly these days and images are KEY, they are what grab our attention and make us either want more, or none at all, so what type of look do you want to portray? On instagram there is a very popular hashtag, #sodomino. Domino is an online magazine that has defined a very unique style that people have come to know and recognize. This is the type of look and filter that I'm about it, and once you have that, you're GOLD people, solid GOLD.
So I'll use myself as a mini-case study. I'm a lifestyle blogger which is an incredibly non-specific topic and over-saturated niche, yes this makes it harder. I couldn't pick just one topic within the category, SO I try and cover a few very well and very focused around my unique approach and style. My tagline is "how to live an attainably stylish lifestyle that is full of joy no matter where you are in your stage of life, and I'm here to hopefully inspire you by documenting my creative adventures along the way". With that word attainable comes realistic, so that's something I have to go back to with every subject I cover. Is this top something that people can buy and pull of themselves, is this meal something that a non-cook can prepare for their family? Is this room something that can inspire people to decorate themselves. I've been at this so long and have built an audience of people who like what I do, so I'm lucky there because I've got the years behind me and this incredible base of followers that have stuck with me through all the changes over the past 8 years I've been blogging, because they like my style. So style is key, and consistency with your approach.
Whew, that was a lot. So three quick take-aways for you... fine-tune your subject, put your stamp on it, and then define your style.
If you need help, comment below with your email and your questions. I don't have any background in helping people with this sort of thing, but I'm a pretty nice human and if my time permits, I'm happy to help you further your blogging dreams :)
Oh, next week's blogging course will be available to email subscribers only, so sign up! Don't worry, I only email once/week so I won't clutter your inbox <3
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