Narrowing Your Niche

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Narrowing your niche isn’t always an easy thing to do. Many of us post about our lives in general on our blogs, and we strive to be authentic in doing so. But it’s the buzzword of the blogosphere, especially those who aim at any sort of profit from the hard work we put into our sites. It takes time and effort, and if that time and effort can be rewarded with a little bit of profit, then why not? The companies all want to know who your readership is, and the theme of your blog. It’s hard to narrow down an exact niche sometimes though!

narrowing niche
What’s a Niche?

A niche can be defined this way:

a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted

A niche in blogging can be thought of as the category or theme in which your blog best fits. “Mom blogs” come in all flavors. If you read blogs at all, then this isn’t news to you. There are couponing blogs, homeschooling blogs, blogs about what people do in their less-than-typical life situation, blogs created with the sole purpose of selling you something, blogs that people use just to keep family updated on what is going on in life, and many hundreds of others. Many people just post whatever comes to mind on their blog. You might think of those blogs as “life” blogs or even “lifestyle” blogs, in some cases.

Why Should I Narrow My Niche?

If you are only blogging for family and friends, to keep people updated on life, or as an outlet for your own creativity or mental well-being, then maybe you don’t need to narrow your niche. If you really don’t care if anyone but you and maybe your immediate family reads the blog, you might not need to bother coming up with a cohesive blog theme and trying to fit yourself into a niche.

Many bloggers these days, though, have a goal to reach people for a purpose. (And if you are participating in this Blogathon and taking mini-challenges in order to improve your site, chances are that includes you!) Often, this purpose includes the making of at least a meager income, even if it’s only to cover the costs associated with the site itself. Sometimes, that includes reaching out to companies, and almost always it includes reaching out to blogger networks of some sort. Most of those venues want to know your blog’s theme. What is your blog mostly about?

Most of you probably have something you typically pick. Maybe you just find and choose a generic term like “mom blog” or possibly “lifestyle blog.” (More about that term’s real meaning in a sec!) If you’re like me, you struggle to pick just one theme from the list of offerings. My blog could be a homeschooling blog, a crafts blog, a food blog, a faith blog, a family blog… and probably a few others I’m leaving out of the list. Does that make me a lifestyle blog?

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Lifestyle Blogs

Lifestyle, as a general term can be defined as:

the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level, etc., that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group.
So, does that mean that if I have a “lifestyle blog” that I can post anything about any of those things on my blog? Well, have at it if that’s what you want to do, but that’s not really the true definition of a blog within the lifestyle niche. The lifestyle blogger niche is more about sharing a specific aspect of your life that is less than typical. Often and usually, that particular aspect of your life is the main deciding factor in the way you live life and go about making any given decision.
For instance, if you are a military family, you move often. In order to run a lifestyle blog, your theme would mostly center around the trials and things you do differently because of the simple fact that you never stay in one place very long. You aren’t going to be growing gardens, or getting together with high school friends, or raising chickens. But you are probably an expert packer, have the list of places necessary to every day living down pat because you have to find new ones every time you move, and it’s possible that you throw excellent parties and have great skills at breaking the ice and making new friends. If you have a child with severe disability or allergies, everything that you do, everywhere you go, everything that you allow to come into your home involves major forethought and planning in order to keep your children safe.
That’s a lifestyle blog. It’s one specific thing about your life that is the determining factor for anything else you can consider doing. If the fact that you move often doesn’t really affect your eating habits, then a lifestyle blog about your military life probably wouldn’t include very many posts about food. Your lifestyle blog about caring for your family with certain health considerations probably won’t do much reviewing of things like DVD’s. There isn’t any reason your perspective on these things is different from anyone else’s. Not that your opinion isn’t important, just that it doesn’t generally fit with the theme of your blog.

Find Your True Niche

So, let’s think for a moment. It’s time to decide what your blog’s focus really is. It’s time to pick a niche, honey! If you’ve picked a niche already, but still allowed your blog posts to run the gammut (I’m preaching at myself, now, ladies and gents), then it’s time to gain some control and focus.

How do you do that?

  • You need a vision for your blog. What is it you want to accomplish? What is your message?
  • Determine your audience. Who is it that you are speaking to; who do you want to reach?
  • Tags and Categories. Get these under control! (See my other mini-challenge!)
  • Determine a plan of action, a methodology to your posting.
  • Give yourself grace, and room to post the fun things that might not fit your specific “niche.”

The Niche Challenge

Now for your mini-challenge! If you don’t have a vision for your blog, get one. Do some thinking about why you blog. If you are wanting to gain traffic and be seen, what is it you want people to see? What do you want them to know about you and your life? If writing a blog post about this will help you think through it, then by all means make a post.

After you know why it is you blog, think about who it is that you want to read your blog. Is it others like you? Is it those who sit in judgement of people like you, so that you can help spread awareness about your area of passion? This is more important to your niche than you think it is, because your approach will be vastly different if you consort with those who already agree with you rather than those who disagree or who are just learning about your topic. If you have health considerations that you are blogging about and want to reach others and help them along the way, your blog is going to look much different than it would if you were reaching out to people who don’t have to think about those things in an effort to educate them and bring awareness about your subject area. Your work log is also going to look much different.

Combine, in your mind, your blog mission and your audience. This should point you to your theme.

For me, the reason I blog is to help others grow in their walk with the Lord through practical means in their every day lives. I want to support other Christians, and that is who comprises my target audience. That means that my theme should be related to Christianity, to faith. It also involves teaching by both Biblical study lessons and by showing real examples of walking out those lessons. Have I been doing that? Not nearly as closely as I feel that I should.

Go back and look at your most recent posts. Depending on how often you blog, the time frame might be different for everyone. I have in mind that you should be examining anywhere from a half dozen to a full dozen’s posts. 6 to 12 or maybe even 5 to 10 posts, as your time allows and related to how widely varied your posts have tended to be.

  • Do these posts exemplify what your purpose is?
  • Do they speak to your intended audience?
  • Are your posts good examples of what you want your blog to be?

Your Assignment

In order to be eligible for prizes, this is the assignment you should complete. I’m giving a choice of two assignments. You can pick one or both, but will only be entered for the prize for participating one time. ***Joining the linky is your method of entry.

You have spent some time thinking about your blog’s purpose and your intended audience. You should have a good idea of what you want your blog niche to grow into.

I want you to edit one of your past posts in order to better reflect your niche.

OR (if you don’t want to change old content, this may be a better option for you…)

I want you to make a new post addressing your blog’s mission.

Feel free to comment with questions on THIS POST, if you have any. Please consider sharing this post, and any others on my site that you enjoy, on your social media. Do spend a moment here on my site if you can spare it and look around, follow my social media, sign up for my newsletter if it interests you. I really appreciate it. Thank you! Be blessed!

Link Up Your Mini-Challenge Post Here!