Is picking a niche that vital to your success online as a creator? Actually, there is a great deal of evidence to support how it is. Regardless of the content you create, focusing on specific topics has a lot of benefits.
Unfortunately, it also comes with a few drawbacks. Being an expert in one specific thing can be daunting, especially if your heart really isn’t into the subject matter.
Still, it’s a good idea to narrow your niche as much as possible without going too deep.
In this post, I’ll go over a few things you should consider before you build that blog or set up a YouTube channel.
Upsides to Picking a Niche
You’ve probably heard this from many experts online. Finding a niche you enjoy is vital to success. I would use the term “passionate,” but I think it’s incredibly overused today.
However, creating content you are passionate about and really like can lead to all kinds of great opportunities.
Let’s start with some of the more positive aspects.
A More Engaged Audience
In many instances, focusing on a specific industry, topic or writing genre leads to a more engaged audience. This means on-page times are higher on blogs and watch time average is greater on things like YouTube.
That’s because your target audience is more interested in the material as opposed to a casual consumer. What do you think would happen if Fortnite streamers on Twitch shifted to play something like Animal Crossing?
If you’re not a gamer, those are two completely different game types. My point is the majority of the audience would find someone else to watch.
Higher Potential for Making Money
When you’re more focused on a particular niche, your audience is more likely to click relevant ad links, make purchases or even send you donations. A fan of your content is also more likely to trust your opinion if and when you get sponsorships.
When you become an expert in something, brands are more likely to toss a lot of money at you. This is because the potential for them to make money for a relevant product is incredibly high.
Online Reputation in an Industry
Having a reputation in a specific niche can vastly improve your success. Whether it’s building a blog or creating videos, your reputation generates a fan base. As a result, positive attention in terms of sponsorships is much greater.
I suppose this can go along the lines of making more money. Then again, so can everything else in this list.
The fact of the matter is your online reputation is weighed against you when looking for opportunities. This includes applying for traditional jobs. More employers are taking to social media as part of a background check.
Often Easier to Create Content
When you thoroughly enjoy picking a specific niche, being able to create content is usually much easier. It takes less brainstorming and the quality is usually far higher.
For example, there are some categories in Textbroker that I didn’t really find all that appealing. After doing those jobs, I found that I often have a higher rate of revision requests and it takes longer to write the piece.
But when I write about something I love, such as WordPress, I am far more focused on the content and can produce content much faster.
Search Engines Love Relevance
When you produce relevant content surrounding your niche, search engines take notice. Google and YouTube especially loves relevance as it helps them make more money as well.
A more focused audience, like I said, is more likely to click ads. And the more time people spend consuming your specific content, the better.
If you can keep a high retention rate on videos or blog posts, your content is pushed in front of more people.
Easier to Compete or Collab with Other Creators
Ok, so there are two points to this one. But, I lumped them together because it has to do with other creators picking a niche similar to your own.
How is it easier to compete?
- You can create similar content that is more focused.
For example, what if you want to compete with someone who focuses on freelance writing in general? You can go deeper for a specific audience and become an expert at content mills.
- Your style and point of view matters.
Your point of view about any topic is going to resonate with certain people. It’s why two people can create content on the same topic but have completely different audiences.
- Once you build an audience, you know what they want and how to keep them.
Knowing your specific target audience will guide the type of content you’ll create. Like I said, people will read and watch because of your personality. What do they want to consume?
OK, so how is it easier to collaborate with others?
- Differing points of view on the same overall niche.
Take the example earlier of the general freelance writer. He or she might add you as a colleague because of your viewpoints on a related, but much deeper, topic. And actually, I’ve been asked a few times to collaborate on writing content.
- Everyone has a different overall audience.
When you collaborate with like-minded individuals, you gain access to each other’s audience. Now, this doesn’t mean that everyone following so-and-so is going to follow you. But some of them might.
- Networking can open all kinds of doors for everyone.
You can meet some amazing people when you network with others in your niche. It’s not always about competition as building a community often generates a huge amount of support.
Of course, this also depends greatly on the type of person you are and your overall personality. How well you play with others is going to affect whether collabs are ideal.
Downsides to Picking a Niche
Alright, so, we looked at the positive aspects of picking a niche, but what about drawbacks? And yes, there are a few you need to consider before jumping into the medium of your choice.
Not everything is sunshine and rainbows.
You Gotta Build Momentum!
Don’t walk into content creation thinking you’re going to become super popular overnight. You need to build momentum before people begin to see you as an expert in your niche.
This could take months or even years depending on the circumstance. So yes, it’s going to take more than just one blog post or video to really get the ball rolling.
Risk of Niching Down too Far
When you focus the content too much, you could niche down so far that your audience is incredibly small. While they may be more engaged, it might not bode well for creating a career out of blogging or video production.
For instance, I am well-known for Textbroker content on YouTube. This means I have a very engaged, but incredibly small audience. I love every one of those people, but I have more to share than just Textbroker material.
Keeping Up with News and Trends
Keeping up with the news and current trends is valuable whether you’re picking a niche or not. Still, you need to focus your efforts on elements that are relevant to your content.
Besides, you don’t want to develop a reputation for being outdated. Where would Microsoft be if they still blogged or created video tutorials for Windows 95?
Lower Number of Visitors and Views
When you focus on a specific niche, you’ll get fewer views and visits. That’s because fewer people are looking for specific content. The trade-off, though, is how more engaged they are.
This is especially disheartening if you niche down way too far.
May Lose Interest After Picking a Niche
I’ve seen this one a lot of times in content creators and clients. Sometimes, if you’re not really into the niche, you can run the risk of losing interest. This means you’re more likely to quit after a short period of time.
This is part of why I say pick something you love or are passionate about. The more interested you are, the longer you’ll be able to keep creating. And, you’ll create a higher quality of material.
The Bottom Line of Picking a Niche
What it all comes down to is accumulating an audience who is supportive of what you create. It doesn’t really matter how many views or visits someone else will get for similar content.
The only one you’re really in competition with is yourself. Strive to improve what you create and set realistic goals to meet every month. Over time, more will see the expertise you offer and become engaged in the content.
Now, some niches will take longer to build that audience than others. For example, gaming content usually grows incredibly fast, especially on YouTube. However, it’s your specific audience of whom you want to create content.
Like I said, your personality will weigh heavily on who continuously consumes your material.
What Do You Consider When Picking a Niche?
I’m not one to follow popular niches because they demonstrate making money. Some of the top niches online are incredibly mundane to me, and that would make for a harder time to offer expertise.
Picking a niche should revolve around whether the topic is sustainable for you. Ask yourself, “Can I do this for the next five years?”