It is important to determine your niche when starting any business, whether it's blogging, running an online store, or coaching online. The niche you choose will be a small part of the larger market where you can help solve a specific problem.
By being niche you can easily target your audience. By doing so, brands can build loyalty, grow faster, improve outreach, and sometimes face less competition.
The fact that you are here for help discovering your niche probably means that you already have a good idea of what you want to do or who you would like to help.
Choosing a niche can be confusing if you have many ideas or passions, which is why it's insightful to follow these steps to find your ideal niche.
Let's look at the 5 steps you need to follow to determine your niche:
- Brainstorm your passions and hobbies to help you find a suitable niche market.
- What problem can you help solve in these niche markets?
- Research your competition – does your niche market have an audience?
- Choose your niche.
- What is your unique selling point?
Step 1. Brainstorm your passions and hobbies to help you find a suitable niche market
Writing a list of your passions or hobbies is the best way to get started. What do you love doing in your spare time? This could include interior decorating, DIY projects, sewing, hiking, or traveling. If you love reading books, this is probably something you would be passionate about.
By making a list of your passions or the things that you enjoy doing, you'll start to get inspired and find ideas start flowing. Keep in mind that this is a brainstorming session, not a time to set things in stone, so feel free to throw out ideas.
- In your spare time, what do you enjoy doing?
- What are your passions?
- In what areas do you have strengths or skills?
- On paper or online, what interests you? Think blogs, magazines, YouTube, or Pinterest.
In the beginning, I was nervous about sharing my sewing and homemaking knowledge because I don't know everything. I now know that it doesn't matter because I learn and practice then share my new skills, and my audience enjoys learning from likeminded people who love sewing, not a tutor. Because I enjoy sewing, I’m passionate to learn new things and sharing them online, which makes it less of a job and more fun.
“Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” - Julia Child.
At some point in time, business can become difficult or challenging, so pursuing something you love is a great way to keep yourself motivated when times get hard.
Step 2. What problem can you help solve in these niche markets?
To help your niche or audience, you must determine what problem you will be solving for them. Do you plan to create a sewing course to help beginners learn how to sew? How about a gardening blog where you teach beginners how to grow cut flowers?
Don’t narrow yourself down to one niche just yet. Continue to explore different niche markets by thinking about the problems you can help solve.
Here are some initial questions to help you get started brainstorming:
- Is there a particular area of your passion or expertise that you will be focusing on? Gardening is a broad topic but cut flower gardening is niche.
- What are your strengths in this area? It's okay if they aren't strong, nobody knows everything, but don't force yourself to be passionate about a topic you don't care about. If it is not your strength, you need motivation to learn new things, and if you aren't passionate about them, they can become a chore or easy to give up on.
- Could you imagine helping an age group or a particular type of person? This can help you determine if you want to help beginners or an advanced audience in your niche.
- Is it possible for you to provide quality content to your audience? It’s not a good idea to write a travel blog if you have never been to a new location or don't plan to travel. It just wouldn't make sense, would it?
- How do you plan to serve your audience? Through a blog, YouTube channel or online coaching?
You can begin to gain clarity once you start answering these types of questions. It’s all about finding the problem you can help people resolve.
Look at online forums and see what questions people are asking related to your niche. Would you be able to answer these questions or help in some way?
Forums are goldmines of information because people are asking lots of questions. Usually, they can’t find answers on Google so you can use this to your advantage.
If you are planning to sell a product the best way to show your customers how to use what you are selling is to write a blog or share YouTube videos. Provide them with how-to and helpful guides and if relevant, show them your awesome product that can make their lives easier.
Step 3. Research your competition – does your niche market have an audience?
At this point you have probably started to shape your niche so it’s time to do some research. This step can be one of the scariest stages to figuring out your niche but it’s very important because you don’t want to put hours of energy into building an online blog, coaching or course to find out no one is looking for what you’re sharing.
It can be deflating and demotivating if you are working hours upon hours for nothing so let’s make sure your hard work counts!
Analyse at your competitors and determine what their unique selling points are.
Finding others in your niche is a good sign that it's profitable and worth pursuing further because investing in a brand, blog, or course is pointless if no one is interested in it.
Head over to Google and search your niche, topic or related keywords that will help you find others in the same industry.
You can also perform some keyword research now to see how many people search for your niche. It is likely that you will discover inspiration or other angles to your niche that you weren't aware of.
Write down what you find so that you can analyse how other brands or people approach their business.
Here are some questions to consider when researching your niche:
- Where are they located? Are they an online only business or in another country? This may indicate that you're able to offer a product or service that's not available nationally.
- What are they selling or sharing? Blog content, courses, products? Determine their niche, is it broad or very narrow? Can you provide better content or service?
- What are they’re core values or brand values? Is this easy to see or work out?
- Are they a large or small business? Do they bring personal value or are they just another corporation?
I think it's important to ask yourself "what can I do better?" when researching. Even though these brands or people will be in the same niche area as you, everyone is different. Your audience will be loyal to you over time as they come to love what you share with them as your approach is unique.
Step 4. Choose your niche
It’s time to analyse your research and look at what niche your passion, strengths and target audience align with.
Like I mentioned earlier it’s important to be passionate about your business so you can add more strength and knowledge to an audience who is waiting for your help!
Here’s an example of a niche within gardening:
Imagine that you own a large flower farm that grows only Dahlias. You could start a blog online to share everything about Dahlias. Planting them, growing them, caring for them, pruning and harvesting them, and maybe even selling them.
You know that this blog is about Dahlias, and that your audience will be people who are interested in growing their own Dahlias but need guidance. They have never grown a cut flower garden but want to learn everything there is to know to succeed.
Now, you can determine that you teach people how to grow, care for, harvest, and sell Dahlias. Your niche is a narrower, more defined part of the gardening topic that focuses on one type of cut flower, Dahlias.
You will be able to build an audience that trusts your knowledge and support if you focus on this niche within the broader area of gardening. They will know they can come to your blog or business for helpful tips and guides and will most likely become loyal supporters.
Step 5. What is your unique selling point?
The answer to this question may already have been answered for you if you have determined your niche. If not, that's okay. What makes you different from all the others doing the same thing is your unique selling point.
A good example of this is McDonald’s and Burger King. Both sell fast food such as burgers, fries, and shakes. However, each restaurant sells its own unique burger, which makes them completely different. Burger King is famous for its Whooper, while McDonald's is famous for its Big Mac.
These are unique selling points. If you love burgers, you may prefer a Big Mac over a Whooper, so you may prefer McDonald's over Burger King.
Having a point of difference within your niche sets you apart from the competition. People often become super fans of brands or people who are relatable to them or can help them with their problems.
Perhaps you can create an online course alongside your blog so your audience can get a deeper dive into your niche. You have a significant advantage if none of your competitors do this.
If you are going to sell a product, make it better than others on the market. People appreciate brands who are cruelty free, fair trade, locally made, organic, natural ingredients or ethical.
Makyla Creates is not only an online sewing blog, but I also sell digital sewing patterns so my audience can easily sew their own clothes. I already set myself apart from my competitors with my sewing patterns and blogging style.
To Sum Up
Finding your niche is not an easy task, it's important to make sure you are putting your valuable time and energy into a niche that will succeed and most importantly, one you enjoy.
Taking the time to work through these five steps will lead you to opportunities you might not have considered. When you brainstorm, your mind can be free from restraints and your imagination can flow freely. This is a great way to discover original ideas.
You can then support those ideas with research into other brands or people in your niche. In addition, you can perform keyword research to see how many people are looking for what you offer.
I hope you found this guide helpful in discovering your niche. You can learn more about starting a blog, why you should coach online and discover why you may be postponing starting an online business.
Tell us in the comments below what niche you would like to explore!