A few months ago I made the decision to officially separate The Happy Arkansan and Amanda Cross Blog. It was a decision that had been weighing on my mind for a few months when I finally decided to take a weekend and create this blog. I don't regret it one bit because both of my blogs have started to flourish because of this decision. Today on the blog I am going to share how to define your perfect blog niche while further discussing a topic I promised way back when I made the decision. Let's chat about getting a niche and sticking to it.
Why I Decided To Finally Niche Down My Blogs
Over the past few years I had heard a million times about the importance of picking a blog niche. Many people I follow and take courses from gave the advice that picking a niche was crucial to success, but I had also seen great examples of lifestyle blogs that worked. I was stuck as to what would work for me. Then, it became difficult. I am not sure when the switch was flipped, but it eventually got to the point where I felt that both sides of my blog were being drug down by the fact that I wouldn't pick a niche for my content.
One weekend, I decided that I really needed to focus on what made each arm of my blog great, and finally I made the move to separate The Happy Arkansan and Amanda Cross Blog.
Since I have separated my two blogs I have made more money with my content--especially the content on The Happy Arkansan. I have worked with amazing brands on that blog like Erin Condren, CORT, Minted, and I also have amazing collaborations coming up in the future. Overall, I feel like making the switch to separate my blogs has done nothing but good for my blogs.
Understand you can't talk about all your loves
When creating a blog it is so easy to get excited and think that you will be able to chat about ALL your favorite things. I mean, if you love ALL the topics, it would be nice to be able to discuss ALL the topics on your blog. Let me give you the best piece of advice that you will probably ever receive about picking a blog niche:
You are not your blog's ideal audience.
This is a simple statement, but it is the best statement for people who want to talk about all the things. Your blog is amazing, special, and you are the writer of your own blog--but at the end of the day you cannot be your blogs only reader (especially if you would like to monetize it in the future.) So finding a way to pick a few complimentary loves and blog about those things on one blog will be extremely useful for you if you want to succeed as a blogger.
Having a lifestyle blog is great, and I still consider The Happy Arkansan to be a lifestyle blog in a lot of ways, but I still had to decide to niche it down as much as possible so that I could expand the readership and make the biggest impact.
How People think they should come up with their blog's focus
This basically perfect circle, will get you nowhere fast. We all have a million likes and we love everything from music to magazines to cars to houses and more. In my opinion, there are ways to inject your personality and the things you love into your writing.
For example, recently on The Happy Arkansan I shared an article called 3 Things House Hunters Taught Me About The College Admissions Process. This was a great article and went over quite well if I do say so myself. I love binging House Hunters, but I can't share an article about hunting for houses on a college lifestyle blog. So, I found a way to combine my love for House Hunters with my love for college lifestyle.
Take lessons away from your favorite shows, musicians, and everything in between for a relatable post that fits in with your actual blog content. If I plopped a literal love letter to House Hunters in the middle on The Happy Arkansan, that would have made zero sense. Instead, I took those lessons and I made a witty and relatable blog post instead.
How people should actually come up with their blog's focus
When it comes to thinking about what you would like to post on your blog, you have to think about a lot of elements to come up with the perfect blog niche. I think about a variety of topics when I figure out the focus of any blog.
What You Are Interested In | Your blog would be pretty boring if you weren't interested in what you blog about. Some blog niches are obviously more easily monetized, but that shouldn't make you more likely to pick it. Pick something you are interested in so you have passion about the subject.
What You Are Good At | Be it a fashion blog or a business blog, you need to be at least somewhat good at what you are talking about. You don't have to be an expert, you just have to know your audience. Obviously if you are an intermediate blogger, you probably won't be giving advice to experts so pick and choose the content that you share so that your advice resonates with new to intermediate bloggers versus expert bloggers.
For example: if you are an intermediate blogger you probably don't want to teach your readers how to create an email newsletter by teaching them on Infusionsoft--that would make no sense. Instead, you would probably choose a more beginner to intermediate platform like Mailchimp, Mailerlite, or Convertkit. If you are an expert at what you do, you will be able to provide advice to many different audiences, but you still need to niche down and pick an audience to make the biggest impact.
What Your Audience Needs | This goes back to what we chatted about just a few seconds ago. Knowing what your audience or ideal audience needs will help you focus your blog and get it into tip top shape.
the sweet spot
Finding the sweet spot between what you love, what you are good at, and what your audience needs will help you the most when it comes to finding the perfect blog niche.
You may love a lot of things, but once you add in the caveat that you have to be good at it, your niche will be narrowed down. For example, I love to sing but I am not good at singing, so I would never write a blog all about singing.
Further, once you consider the audience that you want to reach the most, you can niche down more because you can choose the best of what you are skilled at/what makes the most sense of what you are skilled at to portray to them.
Making the focus transition
Deciding to focus your blog takes time and energy. There are a couple of ways that you can focus your blog depending on what exactly you are trying to do.
Option #1: You Can't Decide Between Your Two Loves
Separate Your Blog Into Two Blogs
This is the option that I chose. I couldn't chose between my two loves of blogging tips and tricks as well as college lifestyle. I wanted them to coexist, but I couldn't make it work. So I decided to split the two and I have never been happier.
This obviously takes time, patience, and a lot of redirects but in the end it's worth it. You may want to have this professionally done, or you can DIY the move like I did.
Find Ways To Insert A Little Of Your Second Love Into Your Blog
This is the example we chatted about earlier when I told you about my latest post for my other blog. I found ways to share my love of House Hunters with my community on The Happy Arkansan by talking about the lessons the show has taught me about the college admissions process. If you have some things you love, there are so many ways to inject that into your blog:
- X Lessons That _____ (Show, Artist, Movie) Taught Me About _____ (Your Topic)
- Example: 10 Lessons That Legally Blonde Taught Me About Finding My Ideal Audience
- The X Stages Of _______ (Your Topic) As Told By _____ (Your Favorite Show, Actor, Musician)
- Example: The 10 Stages of Creating A Blog As Told By Stephen Colbert
- How ______ (Television Character, Actress, Musician) Inspired Me To Be A Better _____ (Blogger, Entrepreneur, Writer, Student, whatever your topic is.)
- Example: How Olivia Pope Inspired Me To Be A Better Entrepreneur
These are just a few simple blog post ideas that you can plug in with your content and your loves. This is a great way to include some of the other things you are passionate about into your blog while still providing great lessons to your blog readers.
Your readers are multi-passionate, just like you. Providing them with all of these fun posts will really help you connect with them and grow your audience all while being as multi-passionate as you want to be.
Another Way To Merge Your Loves
A lot of people who are interested in topics like fashion but also advice posts find ways to merge the two together throughout their blog. If you are a great storyteller there are many ways to weave stories, pictures, video, and other things together in a way that makes sense for your readers.
Option #2: Injecting And Pivoting To A New Topic
One of the hardest things to do is to start discussing an entirely new topic, especially if you would like to pivot to exclusively talking about that topic in the future. There are a few ways you can go about this.
The Rip The Band-Aid Off Already Approach
Don't sugarcoat it. Let you readers know right away that you will be switching to this different niche and then do it, girlfriend. Hopefully your readers will stick around if it feels like the right fit for them, and if they don't stick around you can focus and find a new audience that appreciates your new direction.
When you do this, you will lose followers, but you are going to lose followers anyway. During this time you will probably have a lot of self-doubt on if this direction is right for you. Let that self-doubt roll off your back because you are exactly where you need to be.
The Slow Transition Approach
Alternatively, you can rip the band-aid away slowly. This takes practice and planning. I would introduce the topic to your readers and get them into your new topic. Start talking about the topic about once a month. Slowly ramp up the amount that you talk about the topic each month until it becomes what you talk about.
This will help you slowly build up a reputation for your new niche and slowly build an audience of people who are interested in your new niche to replace those who will inevitably leave from the switching of your niche.
But, what if I Run Out Of Things To Say?
When it comes to creating a niche for your blog a lot of people worry that they will run out of things to say. If you pick a comfortable enough niche, there will always be things to talk about, new ways to approach things, different ways to bring these topics to your readers.
Before you have to get creative about what you talk about it will always feel like you will in the future run out of things to talk about, this simply isn't true though.
There are a ton of ways to brainstorm and I even have a .PDF that you can purchase that features 10 awesome ways to brainstorm blog topic ideas. If you use the information presented in this guide I know that you will be able to consistently put out great content in your niche.
I am going to leave you with a few final thoughts. Niching down your blog isn't 100% necessary, but I find that it is one of the most practical and easy ways to really hone in on your message and what your blog stands for. There are other ways to accomplish the same goal, but for me, I could never really feel completely free until I made the decision to niche down and separate my content.
At the end of the day, you have to do what feels comfortable for you and what helps you accomplish your goals. I can't decide what helps you accomplish the goals that you have, that is an internal decision for you to decide. Today I shared why niching my blogs helped me, but it's your turn to decide what helps you.