Every blog needs to be directed at a specific audience. However, sometimes being more specific increases your ability to reach the best readers for your site. Today Beth Bauer (@JourneyofBethB) offers tips to help narrow your audience for greater blog success.
In the beginning, when you first started your blog, you didn’t know what you didn’t know. As time went by, though, your knowledge and skills probably improved. You’ve learned a lot, but, perhaps, you’re still not making any money or building your audience fast enough.
These are common challenges for bloggers. One of the most effective things you can do to improve your blog’s success is to narrow your niche. There are a ton of bloggers out there now, and, if you want your blog to stand out, it needs to be unique. Setting yourself apart from the others who blog on your topic is how to narrow your blog niche.
Think About Your Core Audience
Regardless of the size of your audience, your readers probably have some things in common. What are their interests? (Likely, they dovetail with the topic about which you blog.) Do they like golf, yoga, or travel? Once you identify their interests, peel back the layers. For example, if you write about golf, are your readers beginning or seasoned golfers? If you write about yoga, do they prefer Hatha, Vinyasa, or Kundalini yoga? If you write about travel, does your audience consist of budget travelers or luxury travelers? Do they seek adventure or peace and quiet? Try to narrow your topic to their interests.
Research Demographics of Potential Audience Groups
When choosing your niche, you could go in a number of directions. Take yoga, for example. Perhaps you enjoy both Hatha and Vinyasa yoga. Maybe you’re not sure if you should focus on beginning yoga students or intermediate students. You might be wondering if your audience should be primarily U.S. based or international? These are all questions that you can answer by researching potential demographics.
There are many helpful apps and tools available to help you with your research. If your audience is in the United States, visit Census.gov for the latest census information. You could also use Google Analytics or SEMrush to analyze key search words. Here’s the point: there are a ton of places where you can get free information, or pay for it. However, it’s up to you to take the time do the research on your potential audience and narrow it down by age, gender, location, interests, income, and so on.
Who Are Your Competitors?
One good place to start niching down your blog is by looking at your competitors. If your blog is about golfing, when you enter keywords, like “Improve your golf game,” into a search engine, what do you find? Which bloggers are focusing on golf, and what is their niche? Look for market saturation. If everyone is blogging about the best luxury golf courses in the country, maybe you should blog about budget golf. Try to find a unique niche whose needs currently are going unmet. Don’t do what everyone else is doing. That is the kiss of death for a blogger.
Identify Your Passion and Strengths
One of the best things you can do to narrow your blog niche is to do a SWOT Analysis on yourself. SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Sit down with a pen and paper, or use your laptop, and write out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Be honest. Think about your passions and the things you are good at. A well-done SWOT analysis helps you identify the topics that excite you the most as well as those in which you have specific expertise.
How Will You Monetize Your Blog?
Now that you have all this information, it’s time to strategize about how to make money on your blog. For most writers, that’s the ultimate goal. The more unique your niche, and the bigger your potential audience, the easier it will be. Most bloggers make money on their site by either selling a product or service of their own making or through affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is when you partner with another company to sell their products, and they agree to pay you a commission, or a fixed amount, for promoting their product or service. The challenge is that quite often you have to have a high number of followers on your blog before you qualify for an affiliate marketing program. So, in the meantime, sell something else, like an e-book or consulting service.
Try to find a unique niche whose needs currently are going unmet. It’s possible that over the years you may have to narrow your niche further or change direction altogether. It depends on how your expertise grows and how many competitors are entering the marketplace.
You should continually analyze your site statistics and look for patterns. Good business people regularly assess their strengths as well as those of their competitors.
Over the years your business will change. The key to success is to drive that change yourself and not be at the mercy of others.
Have you chosen a niche for your blog, and did it improve your blog’s success? Tell me about your experience in a comment below.
About the Author
Beth Bauer is a freelance writer, travel blogger, yoga instructor, and entrepreneur currently working on her third novel. She has traveled to over 20 countries in just the last two years and enjoys life as a digital nomad. She is originally from the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A., and when she’s home lives on the Long Beach Peninsula with her dog, Ozzie.