Choosing a niche is something you should not ignore if you want to grow as a writer, blogger, or as an online business owner. It helps you keep your focus on the growth and expansion of your business, instead of running from pillar to post trying to grow different businesses under one umbrella.
The truth is that, without focus, you will hardly make any meaningful progress in the aspect of sales and growth. And in 2020, you certainly need to keep that focus. So, let’s dive in.
WHAT IS A NICHE?
In a layman’s language, a niche is simply an area of specialization. It is one aspect of a business that an entrepreneur should focus on because it solves a problem, people are in need of it, the entrepreneur is knowledgeable about it, and he/she would be known for it.
For example, instead of just saying I’m a freelance writer, I will tell you I’m a writer who uses story to entertain, engage my audience, and grow businesses.
Every business needs to choose a niche because they are important, and that is why even writers and bloggers aren’t exempted from the ‘you need a niche’ anthem.
For example, There are fashion houses that focus on being the best, as long as fashion is concerned. But then, the most successful fashion houses focus on a particular aspect of clothing or clothing accessories.
I’ve come across fashion houses that focuses on dinner wears, some focus on casuals, some again, focus on just Lingeries and underwear, some focus on men’s outfits, because that is what they are good at, and that is what they want to be known for.
When your business is cut across so many niches at the same time, for example; you are a political writer, a health writer and a food blogger all at a time. What would people call you? A political, health & food blogger?
Most times it’s not all about what you are called, but what you are known for. There’s nothing as amazing as specializing in one thing, delivering the best of that thing, and having clients come to you, or refer their friends to you because they know you’re awesome at delivering the best of that product or service.
If you are a political writer, and it is your niche, you should come up with political write-ups that are really unique, and portray you as the best and finest to handle any political story. If you are a hair seller, you should be able to come up with social content and write-ups that portrays your products as the best. So when people think hair, they should think of you.
Defining your niche simply means people will no longer see you as a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’. It means you will be able to perfect your delivery and command higher fees than the writer or business owner, who serves almost everything to everyone.
For example, let’s look at a hospital with doctors and specialists. We all know that general doctors do not command higher fees as the specialist doctors command. So yes, there is high respect for those who have specialized areas (niches) in writing/blogging or any business you can think about. Why? It is because the business and the clients, have their 100% attention and they have been very creative in growing it.
When you find yourself trying to be creative so as to grow several businesses at the same time, you get drained and unproductive. Sales are low and growth becomes stagnant.
So if you don’t have a niche and you probably don’t know how to go about it, don’t worry. We will talk about how you can choose a niche in the next step. But first, let’s talk about why a niche is important.
WHY IS A NICHE IMPORTANT?
1. It Helps You Keep Your Focus: Whenever I maintain focus on my business, I see two things. Growth and sales. Having a niche is very important and not as trivial as you think it is. A few years back, I used to be among the writers who thought that having a niche isn’t important. In fact, I felt proud whenever I told clients that I could write both health articles, food articles, relationships articles, fitness articles, etc.
However, I noticed that even though clients came to me, I felt drained, because I was attending to several clients who needed several jobs done. It was hectic. And then there were times I found myself chasing clients away because I was so exhausted and was so sure I couldn’t handle another job until I had rested reasonably; say like a week.
Doing too many things at the same time hinders growth, and to a large extent, reduces quality. In the end, your business loses customers and gradually, relevance.
It is important for you to have a niche so you can pump in your creativity and strategies for growth into that business, and stand out. By having a niche, you are directly creating a platform to be known for a particular product or services.
For example, Sisi Yemi she is a food blogger and she also writes about healthy food, how to prepare special delicacies etc. you would notice that everything she does revolves around food.
It wasn’t too difficult for her clients and prospective clients to know her as a ‘food blogger’. It didn’t take much time before she was being used as a brand ambassador in some food companies both in Nigeria and abroad. Why do you think it was easy for food companies to easily locate her? Because she chose her NICHE.
2. Working With Your Ideal Clients: Another reason why you should choose a niche is because it helps you pick and work with your ideal client. Picking your ideal client is all that is important in a business. No one wants to work with a client who underpays and is difficult to understand. By having a niche, you will be able to communicate directly to your ideal client. This communication will in turn, help you attract other prospective clients into your business.
Let me quote this popular saying, ‘when you are talking to everyone, you are talking to nobody’. This quote particularly refers to those without a niche. If you don’t have a niche, then you don’t stand-out, and you cannot attract your ideal client as well. You have no focus and your business will struggle to grow.
Now in order to attract/capture your ideal client, you need to do more than just owning a niche. You need to research about your area of expertise, and ensure you understand it perfectly, because the more advanced, researched and informed you are about your niche, the more publicity and placement you will get in the market.
Still on our example; Sisi Yemi, the food blogger. Imagine if she didn’t have a niche as a food blogger and writer. Imagine if she didn’t really research well about her niche. Would her business really work? Would she have attracted her ideal client which has directly placed her at the peak of her career?
3. Specialization: The third importance of having a niche is that it makes you a specialist. A specialist is one who has specialized in a particular field in his/her career and is known for it. You cannot be a specialist if you don’t have a niche. It helps your clients easily remember you when they need what you offer.
Using Sisi Yemi as a case study, she is a food specialist. This makes it easy for people to remember her brand, what her services entail, and identify her with it. I’m sure if a simple question like, ‘who is Sisi Yemi?’ is asked, almost everyone would say one thing about her in connection to food. One may say, ‘she is a food blogger’, ‘she is a healthy food writer’ etc. The bottom line is, she is known for one thing that makes her a specialist. Food!
Having a niche is like holding your own passport to a successful business venture. It is an outstanding way of making a lasting impact on your ideal clients. Personally, I wouldn’t want to submit my work to someone who claims he/she can write business articles, news articles, political articles, children articles, and is also a health blogger. It doesn’t make sense. The truth is, if you don’t have a niche or you have a niche but you aren’t doing tremendously well in it, then no one would want to patronize you.
HOW A CHOOSE A NICHE.
I know this is probably the moment that you have been waiting for. Well, as a blogger/writer/business owner, you now know that having a niche is important, but you aren’t even sure of how to go about it. Don’t be worried. It’s completely normal for you to feel that way. So, I’m happy to introduce you to three steps that would guide you on how to successfully choose your niche.
1. Passion: Make a list of the things you are passionate about. It could be a list of your hobbies and those things you normally love doing; those things you derive pleasure from, even without getting paid.
What topics do you enjoy reading or talking about? Also, you need to know that business is all about helping people who are in need of the information, products or services you plan to render. So it means you need to be passionate about your ideal audience because you have to serve their needs. Sisi Yemi is a food blogger and a food enthusiast. She is very passionate about healthy food, that’s probably the reason behind her niche.
I’m very passionate about storytelling, and this is the reason for my niche.
2. Hobbies: Think about the ideas or hobbies you have skills and good knowledge of. For example, you can’t just take on being an animal pet blogger or writer, when you know nothing about caring for animals or even pets. How would you keep your readers and clients engaged? And how would you make them believe you when you do not have enough knowledge or love for what you are doing?
So aside from writing down a topic you are passionate about, you must also check to see if you have enough skill or knowledge about it. If you have no knowledge or skills, then you must be prepared to learn the ropes before venturing in.
For example, if I didn’t know what I was writing about here, I would have referred you to other blogs. And in the process, loose prospective clients and die hard readers. My aim on this blog is to share knowledge and stories so that you don’t need to go anywhere else to get the kind of stuff we do here.
So as a business owner, you would want to write about or sell a product you know a lot about, without necessarily referencing other people who do the same. And the only way you can do this, is to be skilled and experienced in that business.
Take for instance, you play the piano very well, and you own a blog about making music with the piano. You may probably want to write about the different the pianos, their advantages and disadvantages, or the different keys and tunes on the piano, etc… all these facts and write-ups, need to be from you, instead of copying from others.
Yes, you might need to carry out at least basic research for each blog post you write so that your content is rich. But you will agree with me that a researched article written by someone who is already an expert, and the one written by someone who is not an expert, has a lot of differences.
3. Consider Profitability. Okay, you must have written down a niche that you are passionate about and knowledgeable in but then you need to consider something else, profitability!
You need to get creative and ask yourself if the niche you are going for, can allow you to monetize it.
If you decide to run a fashion business online, who are those people who would buy? Are they interested in the kind of clothes you are selling?
If you decide to be a personal doctor online, who are those people who need your services? Have you found them? Can they pay you? Do they call you for every kind of sickness, or is there a particular sickness you treat? How rampant is this sickness? Will people still contact you in the following months?
For example, if you’re an online doctor who helps first time mothers have a smooth pregnancy and delivery, then this is sustainable. And you can actually grow this business because not only first time mothers will end up coming to you. Women with their second or third pregnancy will, and besides, each year, there’s a large number of new mothers who would need your help.
The above is a need. And women will be happy to pay for your assistance. So yes, it is profitable, and it is sustainable.
So, if you already have a niche that is doing well, should you consider having sub-niches?
THE POWER OF HAVING SUB-NICHES
To Make money off your craft as a writer, you must choose a niche, and then sub-niches. In layman terms, a niche is one aspect of a business. And a sub-niche is another aspect of the same business that you’re sure clients will ask for.
For instance, as a writer, I used to have clients asking for editing services too. So I included it in my business. I also do e-publishing on Amazon, Draft2Digital and Okadabooks, for clients. I design book covers. I help authors format their manuscript to standard epub format. I write and sell my own ebooks and write stories too. But my main niche is storytelling.
There are days I have more writing clients than editing clients. And there are days I have more editing clients. The same goes for the other sub-niches. The idea is, if one aspect of the business isn’t bringing in money at any time, the other aspects should. So yes, sub-niches are important. So, since I do all the above, must you do all the above as a writer? No. You need to find what you love doing, ensure it relates to your main niche, and then grow it.
For example, the doctor who helps first time mothers have a smooth pregnancy and delivery, could have an online/offline store where she sells baby items and stylish maternity dresses for the new mothers. These are sub-niches that relates to the main niche. And it helps to triple her income.
HOW NICHES DETERMINE YOUR INCOME
Making a reliable income from our business is the dream of every business owner. But one thing you must know is that niches are powerful and they also determine your business income to a large extent.
We know how difficult it can be, choosing a blog niche when you first start blogging. I know of some people who have spent months trying to know what to write and I also happen to know some people who ended up choosing a niche, building it up, only to decide that they aren’t cut out for blogging anymore.
You must know that your niche, determines the profit you make from your business. Some niches allow for a wider range of audiences. It allows you to reach out to more people with no restriction. For instance a food blogger. Everyone loves eating healthy foods. So you can see now that a blogger that thrives in this niche would definitely command more sales.
A pet blogger/dog blogger – this blogger only commands a specific kind of people; those who love having pets around. But a non-pet lover wouldn’t want to look at the blog or business twice. Now this blogger can only converse or reach out to a smaller range of the population – the pet lovers! Do you get the logic?
When you are specific and not general, you will be known for that one thing you do. This will in turn, cause you to be known and help increase your business income. For example, if you are a lifestyle blogger and your sub-niches are personal development and fitness/bodybuilding.
Firstly, I would like you to know that your niche (lifestyle), and sub-niches (personal development & fitness/bodybuilding) commands a lot of audiences. Everybody wants to be fit. Even an average teenager wants to build his/her body and keep fit and a normal average person would need tips on self-development.
Think about it. With these niches, you can make online courses, write eBooks and short e-courses for your clients and prospective clients. Once you write anything that concerns your niche and you put efforts, it gets more traffic and people begin to trust you more as you write about this particular area of expertise. They believe you have sound knowledge and you are skilled in that aspect and so they commit to you and bam! More people start committing to you because of your powerful niches and that’s a great gain for your blog!
Finally, not everyone knows what they are passionate about and what they enjoy reading, playing or listening to. But in order to be a successful writer, blogger or business owner, you must find a niche. Not finding a niche is like being a doctor and not having a specialty. I wouldn’t go to such ‘a confused’ doctor to treat me or would you? Don’t say you do not know what you are passionate about. Simply make a list of what you like doing and pick one, ensure it checks all the points above and then you check out other blogs/businesses in your niche and find out how they are run.
You shouldn’t start each week second guessing yourself, your business, and what your income should be. You need to be more intentional and focused on sales and growth. And to be focused, you need to decide your niche and sub-niches.
Are you still confused about choosing your niche? Let’s chat in the comments section.
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