Today we are going to investigate the 7 mistakes to avoid when defining your niche. You may find blogging education that tells you to just explore your passion or hobby and you may think that is enough. It is if you only blog as a hobby.
If you want to blog as a business, and earn an income from your blog, you must think like a business owner. Makes sense right? Here are seven common mistakes that you will want to avoid when defining your niche.
Welcome to Fearless Affiliate. My name is Irma and I help new bloggers to learn the ropes. There is a lot to take in that first year of blogging, from choosing a niche to changing your mindset from worker bee mentality to that of successful entrepreneur.
I like to focus on practical information and positive thinking, so if that sounds good to you please sign up for my weekly newsletter of tips and free stuff for bloggers. In return you will get the password to my resource library of PDF printables for bloggers like my new 5 Secrets To Finding Your Niche report or What Is A Niche? tips ebook #win
1. Not understanding that niche means ‘niche’
The definition of niche from Dictionary.com: (noun)
“A distinct segment of a market”. Note the word distinct, which means “different in nature or quality”.
In blogging terms, a niche is a small pocket of the internet. It is not a huge, broad category but a small cubbyhole that you can call your own. You may have a niche that thousands of other people have, but your voice and opinions will make it your own. The more distinct you can make your niche, the better. This is known as “niching down” and it is what you do to set yourself apart from your competitors.
An example of niching down could be a website that focuses on training puppies, specifically tiny dogs or the “tea cup” breeds. Instead of having a broad category, like information about all dogs, your website is laser focused on tea-cup puppies and their unique needs. This helps you to find your audience faster.
Related Post: 9 Reasons Your Blog Must Have a Niche
2. Going too niche
On the other hand, going too niched can also work against you. It limits your audience as well as the products and services that you can promote to help your visitors.
An example of too niched might be “RV travelling with my 4 dogs and 5 kids in Iowa”. There will be a limited number of people looking for this information (people in Iowa with kids and dogs, who travel extensively by RV).
You can expand this niche a bit by just blogging about RV’ing as a family (tapping into the travel and relationship markets) or RV’ing while homeschooling (tapping the homeschool market) and then write posts on RV’ing within Iowa with the kids and dogs (also appealing to pet owners who travel by RV, but may not have kids at home).
To strike the balance of helping others while earning an income with your website, you will have to consider selling products to people. Going too niche can limit products or services that are available to promote, limiting potential income. Consider expanding your niche just a bit in this case. Try the next 2 tips to see if your blog has viable products that can be promoted on your website.
Try searching your niche idea in Google, Bing, or Yahoo
If you see some ads at the top of the search results, check them to see what they are promoting. Some ads may mean there is earning potential. Click the ads to what type of products are being promoted. In your experience with this niche, do those products ‘work’? Are they missing something? Can you create a product for your niche that no one else has thought of?
Then try searching your niche in pinterest
Pinterest is a great place to search for a niche; their search bar is a gold mine of ideas! When you type your niche into the Pinterest search bar and hit enter, you will be presented with a number of colored tiles under the search results.
The tiles go from left to right in popularity, so lawn care “for beginners” is the most searched topic in that niche. FYI, Pinterest is also a great place to get free, organic traffic.
Related Post: How To Get Blog Traffic From Pinterest
If you do not see any tiles, then your topic is too niche and no one is searching for it on Pinterest. Keep in mind that Pinterest is the #3 search engine in the world right now.
Expand your topic a bit and try again. Or go broad and see what the tiles bring you…there may be a niche opportunity for you in those search results.
Also search Twitter, Facebook and any social media channels that you use to find niche ideas. Instagram is great if your topic is visual (like fashion, recipes, or crafts).
3. You do not know of the many ways that you can help your audience
This is another area that catches up the new bloggers, myself included. I just kept following the mantra of creating a ton of content. The problem? How is it helping people to just write post after post after post? There comes a time to stop writing posts and focus on finding traffic to read them.
It helps to have content on your site, but you can do so much more. The key here is to check your analytics and when you find that some of your content is getting a lot more traffic, replicate the post. And think about how you can enhance the post with a free checklist or cheat sheet to encourage people to subscribe to your newsletter.
Don’t have a newsletter yet?
You may want to get on that. Newsletter subscribers are your fan base and they want to learn what you know. And your subscribers are loyal, much more than random blog visitors.
They read your post, liked what they read, and signed up for more. These are your future customers. These are the people who are already liking your content. You do not have to guess what they want. Missing out on potential customers is another one of the mistakes when defining your niche.
Related Post: How To Use MailerLite – The best free email service provider is, in my opinion, MailerLite.
Once you know what is popular on your website, start brainstorming how you can make it even better. Can you offer video education? Write an ebook on the topic (or compile a series of blog posts into an ebook) or create a course on how to help your audience learn how to do whatever you are teaching?
You can ‘upsell’ your blog posts into passive income by creating a blog post, then an accompanying freebie item, then an more expansive ebook or course and then an even better course. This is a sales funnel and many new bloggers do not know anything about them because it is not something you think about in the early days of your blog.
Thinking ahead of the types of products that you can create to help others can either limit or expand your niche choices. For some niches, you will have to be more creative when it comes to how you can earn money.
4. Choosing a Popular Niche Because of The Money Making Potential
This happens a lot with people who jump in to affiliate marketing. I admit that this happened to me. I was so sure that this was the one and only way to go and I promoted products ruthlessly. I was sure that promoting affiliate products would make me rich.
While I got lucky with my first review post, I realized much later that it was my passion about the subject that make that post popular, not my brand new skill of promoting affiliate products. I was so naive. Don’t do like I did! This is also one of the mistakes to avoid when defining your niche.
Instead, your priority thinking should always be about how you can help people. A common adage in the blogging world is this:
“Nobody likes to be sold to but everyone likes to buy”
Think about that for a second. If you prioritize selling, you will not make sales. If you prioritize helping, people will buy if they trust you. This is how successful bloggers make money; by being the helpful person ready with solutions for their visitors problems.
If you read self-help books like Think and Grow Rich, they focus on success thinking and being ready to help others. In other words, focus on helping people and money will follow. You won’t have to do anything, it just shows up. The more passionate you are with helping, the more successful you will be.
Related Post: 7 Tips For Finding Your Blogs Niche
Seek out a niche with problems that can be solved
Again, Google the niche and see if any ads pop show up in the first few results. Then look at what the ads are selling. Is this something that you would promote to people? Are the products really designed to help or just generate money for someone?
Try not to choose a niche that you are totally unfamiliar with unless it is a topic that interests you. You will want to learn everything that you can about the topic, so that you can share the information with your readers. You may be writing on this topic for many years, so find one that you like.
If you want to have a successful blog or online business
…then you have to have a certain level of experience and knowledge in the niche you chose. The good news is that you only have to be a step or two ahead of anyone completely new to that topic. There is no shame in telling people that you are new to the game. Everyone has to start somewhere.
If you are regularly asked to share your knowledge on a topic, then you have niche potential. New homeowners want to know how to have a great looking lawn; new parents want to know how to get things done while tending to a colicky baby. You do have skills, so share them in your niche website.
5. is your Niche Oversaturated?
This is actually a bit misleading. I think that anyone can work with any niche and make it their own. So technically there is no over saturation. My niche can be considered over saturated, but that just means I have to work a bit harder to niche down and really be distinct among my competitors.
The easiest way to tell if a market is over saturated is to look at the websites on the first two pages of Google to see what they are blogging about. I say the first two pages, because if that topic is ‘over saturated’ (or really popular), there will a ton of ads on page one.
Related Post: Find Your Niche In 15 Minutes or Less
Go through these websites looking for what they offer that is unique. If you did keyword research (see my linked post above on how to do keyword research), you should have a list of keywords and/or ideas for posts. Do any of the websites check off ideas from your list? And more importantly, did they miss any? This may be your chance to shine. Any unique twist on your niche can make your website stand out among the competitors.
6. Is your niche under saturated?
Please do not go looking for an easy niche that you think does not require much work. This is an important mistake when defining your niche. I can tell you straight up, it will not work. Blogging requires regular content creation, and if you find a small pocket of the internet, you will have to work to maintain it.
Other bloggers will come along looking for a way to knock you down and take your traffic. I am not telling you this to scare you! I just want you to know that other people will be following tips like the one above, seeking out websites that missed some crucial information. Then they swoop in to scoop your audience.
Do not let them! Keep creating more valuable content that offers solutions to problems. This will help you stay ahead of the game.
7. Not thinking ahead to how your website will grow
I can tell you honestly, I missed this for like the first 9 or 10 months. I just followed the “if you write it, they will come” way of thinking. Yup, naive. I took wrong advice to not seek out more traffic. And I followed wrong advice to not set up an opt-in to capture visitors to my email list. My bad for taking bad advice.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”
– this quote is usually attributed to Benjamin Franklin. Regardless, it is good advice!
Many new bloggers fall into the same trap. We blindly follow some teaching, without being able to define where we are going or how we will get there. Do some research to see all the ways to grow a website and see which ones fit with your values and business ethics.
Why do you want a website?
What are your 1 year, 3 year, 5 year and 10 years goals? How does your blog fit in with them?
You will need traffic to find people to help…where will it come from?
How do you plan to earn with your website? Affiliate products? Your own products?
How long can you realistically write about your niche?
Will you keep your website or sell it once it reaches certain milestones that make it easy to sell?
Thinking of your website or blog as a business can help you to find answers to these questions. Trust me, it is not enough to just build it. You really need to figure out how people will find you so that you can provide solutions for people while earning an income.
Finding the right niche for your business doesn’t have to be hard. Keep these seven mistakes to avoid when defining your niche in mind as you move through the process. You can ensure that you find the right niche so you can build a profitable online business.
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Until next time, happy blogging and follow me on Pinterest!