Blog

What is a Niche and How Do I Choose One?

Something that may be a bit confusing to those looking into working online is the concept of a niche. The simple, but not-so-simple answer is that a niche can be anything, though some niches will likely be easier or more profitable to work in.

Generally, what I suggest, especially to anyone just starting out, is to choose a niche based on something that you are already knowledgeable about, or at least interested in learning about. I find it much easier to motivate myself to write about things that I already enjoy. Then again, maybe your passion is always learning something new and sharing it. Ultimately it is up to you.

Neesh? Nit-ch?

What is a Niche?

What is a Niche?

Merriam-Webster defines a niche multiple ways, but the two that are relevant here are:

  1. a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted finally found her niche,  and
  2. a specialized market

However you choose to pronounce it, a niche is basically a topic that you are focusing on for your website. It ca be helpful to be specific, to really narrow it down. For example, if you wanted to make a site devoted to games, that is pretty broad. Basketball and baseball are games, as are poker, blackjack, chess, Monopoly, Dungeons & Dragons and Grand Theft Auto.

Narrowing your focus can help you reach a specific audience. Those who would come to your site looking for board games to play with their kids are probably not too interested in the latest PS4 or XBox games. Likewise, those who are into tabletop roleplaying games may not care at all about Apples to Apples….

By focusing on a more specific type of product, service or theme, you can create more of an identity for your site and really become an expert on whatever you may be talking about.  Perhaps you love cooking, but your real love is Italian food, or vegetarian cuisine. Or maybe you love to travel to new places and eat new foods, which you then share with others.

Do You Have a Passion?

Often, we have something that we love to talk about and share with people. If you go to work each day and talk endlessly to your co-workers about your garden, maybe gardening is a perfect niche for you. If your friends know that you are the person to talk to when they need to know the actual speed represented by Warp Factor 5, then maybe your niche is all things related to the Star Trek shows and movies.

Now, you don’t need to wrack your brain trying to think “what is my passion?” It shouldn’t be too difficult, or cause you stress. Just consider what you like. What was the last really great conversation you had about? Chances are, it could be a niche.

As I said above, I personally think that it’s easier to write about something that I already have some knowledge about, or some interest in. The words seem to come easier, the sharing of information is more enjoyable, and the articles written are less likely to be thinly-veiled advertisements.

Could You Find a New Passion?

It’s possible, however, that nothing comes to mind. Maybe you just don’t have anything that you absolutely love. If that’s the case, that’s fine, too. Chances are that you are overlooking something that will come to you in time, but even if no brilliant ideas pop into your head, another simple thing to do is simply observe those around you.

Do you have a group of friends who are largely interested in a specific thing? Maybe your friends are in a bowling league (niche idea: bowling), or maybe everyone you know has a dog or a cat (niche idea: pet supplies). Maybe the kids in your neighbourhood have all been flying drones lately (niche idea: drones). What about friends who are trying to lose weight (niche ideas: weight loss, eating healthy, exercise equipment, running shoes…)

Do you see a pattern here (niche idea: patterns for making your own clothes)? You are free to pursue basically anything you can think of.

Does My Passion Make  Money?

That may be a question you are asking yourself. Maybe you really, really love tea cozies, but are afraid that a website devoted to them just won’t be able to sell anything. Conversely, if you love video games, you might think that there are already so many sites online dealing with them that you have no chance to get a piece of the pie.

Consider, however, that there are more than 3 billion people online these days and the number is growing. Even if you attract 1% of 1% you’re looking at more than a quarter million people. In all the world, there are tens of thousands of people– if not hundreds of thousands– who will share the same or similar interests as you and many of them are shopping online right now. (Tea Cozies, by the way, was something I pulled off the top of my head, but a Google search returned 528,000 results…)

Facebook Probably Isn’t Paying You Anything

There are millions of people on Facebook every single day. If you are one of them, chances are that you are already sharing all kinds of stories and articles about things of interest to you. Facebook probably doesn’t send you a cheque each month for your efforts. Why not start posting on your own site? If you are already spreading the word about something that you like, why not use your own blog to do so? Why not get paid to help people find the things that they are interested in?

Whether you want to believe it or not, online marketing is here to stay. In fact, it’s just going to keep getting bigger for the foreseeable future. Why not be a part of it? Why are you working for free? Or even worse, why are you working for someone else?

Don’t you think it’s time to start working for you?

I’d love to hear from you and see what kind of wonderful ideas you have for creating your own niche!

Craig

Craig

Are you ready to learn how to build your own site? Learn how now! (Affiliate Link) Remember, I am here to help you in any way I can!

12 Comments

Brandon

I like your information about a niche. So many people struggle with finding a niche for their home business (myself included), but I like all your tips outlined here. I agree that having a passion as your niche could be beneficial in many ways, mostly so you won’t get bored at creating content. Awesome article!

Reply
Craig

Thanks! I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond.

I struggled with finding a niche at first, but now I see niches everywhere I look. Mainly, though, I just asked myself what it is that I already enjoy and then decided to focus on that. Taking the first step in creating something new, or learning new skills can be scary, so why not do all that you can to make it fun?

Craig

Reply
Kurtis Quick

I struggle with finding a niche. Some of my main interests are already heavily trafficked. Like, I am really into fitness and lifting weights. How can I carve out a piece of that niche for myself when so many other people are doing the same?

Reply
Craig

Hi!

Well, I would probably start by figuring out what sort of unique spin I could put on things. For example, if fitness and weightlifting is your thing, try to make it more specific. Maybe your focus is on teens. Maybe on those over 40. Maybe those with some sort of disability. Maybe you can teach about fitness without specific gear, or low-cost equipment. Maybe fitness with your pets (seriously– there are sites devoted to yoga with your dog). Or perhaps you want to focus on motivating people to get in shape.

How about the really technical side of working out and exactly how it affects your body, from a scientific point of view? Or maybe you have seen other sites that present inaccurate or just plain wrong information and you want to challenge their views. Maybe you find that people keep going about trying to get into shape in the totally wrong manner and making the same mistakes over and over. In that case, you could perhaps devote your site to changing people’s misconceptions.

Or maybe, you could do a ton of videos and make your site very visual?

I think that if you dig deep, you can probably find some way to approach even the most common niches in a unique manner.

And if nothing else works, you could simply out-produce other people. A leading site posts once a week? You post twice. Or three times. Work harder than the other guys and you’ll see the results. Dwayne Johnson said “Success isn’t always about ‘Greatness’, it’s about consistency. Consistent, hard work gains success. Greatness will come.”

Thanks for reading and for the question!
Craig

Reply
Kien

Hi Craig,
Great post,
I agree with you. We are all on facebook all the time. Facebook gets all of our information and then they sell it to advertisers. Why don’t we take control of our content by creating our own blog?
Thanks for sharing your thought,
Kien

Reply
Craig

That’s the thing– people tend to think “oh, I couldn’t create my own site, it’s too hard,” but then they go and do all kinds of posting and sharing on Facebook and elsewhere, not realising that they could be doing do to their own benefit. We need to stop creating our own obstacles. Beyond that, Facebook can sometimes be a somewhat unfriendly place. Why not create your own space and make it what you want it to be?

Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Reply
Penny

Hi Craig,
Thanks for the detailed post on niches, and helping people think through what a niche can be. You do an excellent job of walking them through how to nail down their personal speciality. My problem is probably the opposite of someone who can’t find one idea…I have too many! And I want to write ALL the blogs about ALL of them, which is impossible even as a full-time blogger. We’ve gotta pick our battles, and for me it’s a challenge to know which of my chosen niches are better than others. Only time will tell!

Reply
Craig

I hear you!

At one point, I was having some difficulty choosing a niche– which came primarily from not understanding what it could be. Now, though, virtually everywhere I look, I see ideas waiting to be explored. Even things that I may have had no interest in are now perfectly viable options for future development! Really, there is no limit to what you can do, and no matter what your niche is, there is someone out there who is waiting to learn more about it.

Thanks so much for commenting!

Reply
Ronnie Jordan

Very good points Craig. I too believe in taking what I am interested in and using it to generate income. It is attainable with hard work. Can you suggest a good place to start with?

Reply
Craig

Well, if by “a good place to start” you mean a topic to focus on, you’re right about following your interests. But if you are looking for a place to learn more or really get rolling with creating your own website, I cannot recommend Wealthy Affiliate enough.

There are a number of places online where you can get started, but Wealthy Affiliate really has everything you need in one place, as well as one of the most supportive communities I have seen in a long time. Wherever you choose to start, however, the main thing is just to get started and keep going until you reach your goals.

Thanks for commenting!

Reply
Amy

Hi Craig,
I have to agree with you that finding the niche is the stickiest part for a lot of people, but I think it’s a blast to find something new to write about. You are absolutely right that it had better be something you LOVE so you have fun writing and researching about it. I might have to focus my website about Grand Theft Auto playing tea aficionados. 🙂
Great post! Thanks for those numbers–they are encouraging!

Reply
Craig

I see no reason why work can’t be fun. I feel that most people are more likely to stick with something if they enjoy it and it comes easily to them, and there are times that you may want to quit, or start to feel like your not getting anywhere. That is a feeling that will pass, but if you’re working on something that you also just don’t enjoy, are you really going to stick with it during the difficult times?

Thanks for coming by and commenting!

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *