Honestly? I think defining your niche is the most important – and difficult – step in blogging. It’s like playing darts. If you’re off by even a smidgen you lose the game, but lining up that little tiny circle of red from halfway across the bar isn’t as easy as it looks. What about you? Is your aim off, or are you gonna hit the bullseye?
Define Your Audience
I think a lot of bloggers make the mistake of choosing a niche before they do anything else. Or, at least they think they’re choosing a niche. What they’re really thinking in the back of their mind is, “I’m going to blog about puppies and tell new owners all the things I know about caring for a new puppy so I can convince them to buy my ebook”
That may sound like a good game plan but it covers too much turf. You need to break it down and take it one step at a time. First, don’t choose your niche – choose your audience.
Who do you want to blog to? Do you really only want to talk to people who have a new puppy? While that’s a pretty big crowd, everybody’s puppy eventually grows up – even yours. And lots of people don’t have a puppy but they’re thinking about getting one once they learn more about puppies and what happens when they turn into dogs.
A better choice, one which would give you more flexibility and unlimited content ideas and attract a wider audience, would be to blog for people who want information about what it takes to care for a new puppy and raise it to adulthood.
Make Your Blog Unique
No matter what niche you’re blogging in you’re going to have competition and that’s fine. There’s plenty of room for everyone. But you need to make your blog unique so you stand out from the crowd.
Now that you have your audience – people who want information about what it takes to care for a new puppy and raise it to adulthood – it’s time to determine how you’re going to make your blog unique. Obviously, there are tons of other dog blogs out there so how can you make yours stand out?
Look to your own experience and expertise first. Have you done something completely different while raising your puppy? Maybe you have a unique training method, or a unique dog food recipe that helped your puppy grow into an award-winning show dog?
Lots of things can make your blog unique. You could blog in your dog’s “voice” or blog from your dog’s perspective. You could use humor or cartoons. You could use a unique blogging name, like “The Dog Whisperer” and use it to build your online brand.
Visit the top blogs in your niche and see what your competitors are doing and then find some way to make your blog different.
What Is Your Blog’s Purpose?
The final step in defining your niche is to define your purpose for blogging. If you’re like most readers here at Dukeo you want to make money with your blog. While it’s not necessary to have a concrete idea at this point, you do need to start thinking about how you want to make money. Do you want to promote affiliate products like dog collars? Do you want to promote your own products like an ebook about how to train your puppy?
Once you’ve defined your audience, come up with a unique selling perspective and defined your blog’s purpose, it becomes easier to create a mission statement for your blog that helps keep you pointed directly at your target.
“I’m going to use my dog’s voice on my blog, TheDogWhisperer.com, to provide information on training and raising a new puppy for the purpose of promoting affiliate products.”
If you keep this statement forefront and center you won’t have to worry about what niche you’re blogging in because you’ll always be blogging in the right niche.