Choosing your Niche
One of the most important initial decisions when you start tocreate a website or new social media platform is which niche youare going to target. This decision will dictate the nature of the kindof content you're going to include, it will impact on the web designand the look of your site, and it will impact on the demographicand types of visitors you will be targeting and dealing with.
There are many factors involved in this decision, and of coursewe will mostly make up our minds here based on what we think islikely to be profitable. Thus we will choose a niche that is a) popular enough to provide a large marketing, but b) not sopopular as to be overcrowded.
But using just these two factors to make up your mind is a verybad idea, and doing so can result in your choosing a niche that isjust plain unsuitable for your site and your SEO. Here we will lookat why some topics should remain off-limits for your website andhow they could be a big mistake.
Example: Technology and Hardware
So let's take the example of technology. As you're looking to workonline you probably have a fair interest in technology and so itmakes sense to choose this as your niche right? Well not if you'reaiming to become a big technology site covering hardware.
Why? Because in order to compete with sites like the Verge andEngadget, you're going to need to have access to all the latestgadgets and tech as it comes out so that you can review it andtake attractive pictures of it. I've seen too many tech sites thatreview perhaps just one phone every now and then and thenwonder why they don't get many visitors.
Likewise, sites like the Verge and Engadget will also cover everypiece of breaking news in that niche as soon as possible. Theywill be able to tell you the specs for a new device long before a one-man site possibly could and that again leaves your tech sitewith no real purpose.
There are more advantages these sites have too: such asreceiving press releases and getting invited to tradeshows.There's just no way that you could start off with that kind ofprivileged access and so your site would always be a second-best. And it's not just technology either: if you create a footballsite then people will expect you to cover what all the teams aredoing and to get interviews, and if you create a comic bookwebsite then you'll need to buy every comic each month. Andread them all...
The Solution To A Saturated Market
So does that mean you can never write about technology or anyother niche that is fast moving? Of course not - it just means thatyou need to recognise your own limitations and specialise.Sidestep the problems mentioned above by writing not about“technology,” but about “indie games,” or “'Kickstarter gadgets.”Or alternatively pick a topic that doesn't need to always beupdated with the latest news like fitness. This allows you to create“ever-green content.”
Better than fitness of course is “fitness for over 50s.” Or “hardcorebodybuilding.” Or “fitness lifestyle for Mums.”
By honing in on a specific area within a niche, you will be able tospeak to a far more specific type of person. You will have asmaller audience, but that audience will be far more engagedbecause you will be targeting them directly with something thatreally speaks to them. Your marketing will become far easier,because you will be able to use the “go-to market” strategy(identify where they spend time) and because you’ll know how tocreate something that your “buyer persona” will respond to.
So don’t just pick a big niche, pick a niche that is more specific toyou. And pick one that will allow you to speak to a particularaudience.
Choosing a Niche You Love and Know
One word of caution is that you should ALWAYS choose a nichethat you know, love, and fully understand. One of the biggestmistakes that companies and “wannabe” influencers will oftenmake, is to choose niches that they don’t really understand orhave any stake in.
It is extremely common for someone with no understanding orinterest in fitness to hire someone to write about fitness for them –who is also a generic writer with no fitness knowledge – and thento hope their content soars.
Firstly, you cannot become an influencer if you don’t practice whatyou preach and demonstrate the lifestyle that you’re promoting.No one wants to follow a fat and out of shape fitness influencer, ora makeup and beauty influencer who doesn’t wear any makeup!
Not only this, but the quality of content will always be FAR higherwhere the writer or creator actually understands and loves thesubject.
THIS is the real key to becoming an influencer. To be aninfluencer, you need to be a thought leader. That means you needa message, and one that is interesting, challenging, andengaging.
The best writer in the world who doesn’t fully understand thefitness niche, will write articles such as “how to get abs” and “howto build big biceps.” These are entirely un-exciting subject mattersthat have been tackled countless times before across hundreds ofwebsites. Suffice to say that this is not enough to build a big andengaged audience.
What’s worse, is that the writer might well rely on resources thatare now out of date – not being fully aware of the most recenttrends and developments in the fitness space.
Conversely, writing yourself as someone who knows and lovesthe subject will result in content that breaks new ground, that ischallenging, and that offers value for other people who know andlove the topic. THIS is how you build a following.
Finally, you need a niche you love simply because you need towrite/talk/post about that thing every single day for years to come.If the topic is bland to you, you won’t manage this.
Creating a Mission Statement and a Logo
Finally, you also need to create a mission statement and logo foryour brand. You’ve chosen your niche, and you’ve honed in on
HOW TO BECOME AN INFLUENCER
one angle to make it unique and specific to you. Now all that is leftis to create a brand from that concept.
You are the brand remember, so there’s no need to come up witha company name (probably). But what you might also considerdoing, is creating a mission statement.
A mission statement is a statement of intent. This is what willdefine the purpose and message behind your content. What areyou trying to say? To who? And why?
In other words, is your content about “getting filthy rich online andliving the baller lifestyle – wearing suits, getting women, andkitting out your apartment” or is it about “making money onlinedoing something you love, so that you can spend more time withyour family and kids.”
There is a HUGE difference here in the way that you will thereforemarket yourself, that you will promote yourself, and who you willtarget. What’s more, is that this will change your “valueproposition.” That’s the kind of lifestyle you are promoting andoffering, the kinds of benefits that someone should be able to gainby acting more like you and by following you.
Your logo should then speak to this. That is to say that your logoor at least the design choices you make around your website andyour social accounts should all reflect this. If you handle your branding correctly, then someone should be able to look at yoursite or your social media account and instantly know if the contentyou are putting out is right for them!