Are you just starting your blog? If you are, chances are that you’re probably feeling overwhelmed already. That’s because there is so much to do and what’s worse, you feel like there’s not enough time to do it all in the time provided.
And the one thing all bloggers believe when they begin is that they need to have their niche all chalked out in stone.
I’m here to tell you that your niche does not matter. Nope, not at all.
Stop Worrying About Your Niche
A lot of bloggers ask me how to find a niche; I turn around and ask them another question: What can you write about with your own unique flavour?
In my own experience, I started writing about parenting, then dabbled in fiction and creative non-fiction and finally turned to blog strategy and mindfulness.
How did I find my ‘niche’? It took trial and error and 10 years. And the best part is I don’t have a niche- not really. But I do have a voice. In other words, when I write, there’s a sense of unique markers that make the writing my own.
I honestly didn’t plan it that way. It just happened.
But people don’t want to wait 10 years.
How many writing coaches have you had? How many of them tell you that niche matters, especially if you want to make it as a writer?
They aren’t wrong, but they aren’t completely right either.
The truth is, the more you worry about getting your niche right, the harder it is for you to just start writing. Instead, here are a few things I want you to try the next time you sit down to write something.
Create Content Consistently
Show up consistently and write on a variety of topics
Writer’s block is a myth. I’ve mentioned this before, several times. Motivation? it’s an even bigger myth. Most writers don’t wait for motivation to write. They just write.
Not everything has to be perfect and not everything has to be exactly the way it should be. But put writing time on the calendar, the way you brush your teeth every morning and every night.
Block out that time — the sacred and precious writing time — and see what develops. The more you exercise the writing muscle, the more you find that words begin to flow freely and comfortably.
The more topics you write about, the more you will observe something. You tend to get drawn toward certain ideas more than others.
Does that mean that is your niche? Maybe. But don’t let that limit you.
It’s far easier for me to tell people that I am a writer and a coach instead of telling them that I write about blogging, social media, productivity, business growth and personal development. You are a writer. That’s what matters.
Listen to the sound of resonance
As you keep writing, you remember I asked you to identify what topics draw you towards them. That’s good! But more than that, pay attention to those topics that your audience connects with.
In other words, don’t just write for the sake of writing, although there’s nothing wrong with that, by itself. As you write, test the pulse of the reader.
Find out what strikes a chord or energizes them to talk to you. Determine what works and what doesn’t. Take these learnings and re-apply them to your craft. Start writing and this time, put yourself in the reader’s shoes
Tap into your authentic voice
When you start writing, you’d observe that you tend to unconsciously pick up writing style and nuances from some of your favourite authors/writers.
It’s almost automatic. You sense a bit of kinship and you let it flow into your writing. Over time, though, slowly develop a voice of your own
People relate to your work because you are writing it, not someone else. When you identify what this is, exactly, you’ll observe that you can talk about any topic in any niche and people will read.
That’s because you’ve stumbled upon the secret to good writing: putting a piece of you into it, without making it obvious.
Why do I say this?
Because, as a writer, I’ve gone through different versions of the writer I was supposed to be over the past 14 years. And at the end of it all, the one thing that helps me write regularly is not trying to be straitjacketed into a niche.
When I began blogging in 2007, I started off with a simple journal of my thoughts as a new parent. It evolved into a way for me to connect with my daughter through letters and notes on positive parenting.
A few years later, I found myself dabbling in creative non-fiction. Spurred by the success of that (and when I say success, I mean resonance- not a book deal), I ventured into writing fiction, poetry and microfiction.
Much later (a decade after that start in 2007) I moved into writing deeper, tutorial-form posts on this website, Blogging and Social Media Simplified.
What Matters More Than Niche
The truth is, who I am as a writer today has been shaped by all of those experiments and every single word I’ve put down on the screen. If I had stuck to my niche (I still don’t have one, to be honest), I’d never have found the possibilities that writing has opened up for me in myriad different ways.
In other words, writing matters; the art of writing is far more powerful than confining yourself to a niche.
Don’t let limits stop you from expressing your true, authentic self.
As long as you write from a space of clear and unfounded joy, the writing will have readers. What’s more: the readers will end up reading you no matter what you write about.
Does Having a Niche Help with Making More Money?
Another question bloggers ask me is, ‘How quickly can I expect to make money blogging?’
I honestly have no concrete answer to this question.
Because when I started blogging in 2007, making money from blogging was the farthest thing from my mind. Even when I started blogging for a slightly bigger audience in 2013, I was just delighted that my words were reaching more people; money never entered the picture.
And I know, that as a blogging coach, I should be telling you that, “If you follow every single thing that I say, you’d see the money start rolling in at the 18-month mark.”
But the truth is, I can’t do that. I briefly did that but realised how hollow it sounded. Why?
Because every single blogger I know, who makes money blogging, either full-time or as a side hustle, started as a blogger who was truly dedicated to their craft.
Their intention was to share what they knew with the world; the rest just happened.
Do I need a Course on Picking my Niche?
There are courses out there that will teach you how to pick a money-making niche. My advice? You don’t need it. Instead, start writing and publishing content on a regular rhythm. Listen to the sound of your heart and listen to your true audience.
That’s the only training that will actually help.
Because there’s a huge challenge with those who buy a course with a specific promise at the end; they must obviously see results within a given time frame. If they don’t, it’s the course that is at fault, right?
Did you know that for every 100 people who buy a course, only 3% actually see results? And of that 3%, only about 1% actually see consistent results, meaning they are the ones who stuck with the hard work beyond the short-lived time frame.