I'll be the first to admit that when I started my blog, I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that I needed an outlet for my compulsive fashion obsession and my love of writing. And so it began: a post here, a post there, with no real reason or rhyme. I don't think anyone reading my early posts would have any idea what my blog was actually about, or have a sense of the person writing it.
Slowly, and sometimes painfully, I learned how to reign in my wandering words. Through both positive and critical reader feedback (and advice from my mother, of all people) I started to refine my content. I honed in on my message, and I found my voice. (It happens to be a fashionable sense of humor.) Once I did, things began to pick up steam. I gained more followers on Twitter, higher traffic, and more comments. It didn't happen overnight, and I'm certainly not crazy internet famous, but I'm proud of the results.
This brings me to today's topic: finding your voice & defining your niche. Like I said, this isn't something that's going to happen overnight. You're already unique among blogs because there's only one you; it's just a matter of clarifying your voice for your audience. Keep in mind, you don't have to rush it. The point of this post is merely to inspire you to get the gears turning in your head. I'm encouraging you to figure out what you love, what you're best at, and how to make your blog shine brighter than its peers!
Here are 6 things to consider when trying to define your blog's niche:
- Start by identifying what's important to you: First and foremost, your blog is about you! No one is forcing your hand, you are in charge. You are the CEO, the CFO and the Editor-in-Chief of your blog. Decide for yourself what you want it to be, and do it with conviction. Sit down and make a list of the characteristics of your ideal blog.
- You don't have to be the one and only to be good: There are going to be other blogs in your niche, and that’s okay. The market is saturated with lots and lots of them, many about the same things. All you can control is the quality and presence of your own blog in the space – so own it! So what if there are 100,000 fashion blogs out there – figure out what is going to make yours special and unique.
- Identify your strengths: What are you good at? Are you a strong writer? An excellent photographer? Can you collage like nobody's business? Are you the funniest person you know? Do your friends always turn to you for styling advice? Maybe you can spot a trend months before anyone is wearing it. If you're not sure – ask! Your friends, family, followers and peers can be a wealth of insight you may have never considered. Ask them if they have a favorite post from your archive. Ask them why they like it. Building a dialog will open up a realm of possibility you might never have considered!
- Study the blogs you admire: Take a closer look at the sites you visit regularly. What is it that keeps you coming back? What do you get from this blog that you don't get anywhere else? Odds are, that blogger has a specific voice and selection of content that you've come to trust and depend on. While you're at it, try to survey the blog landscape as a whole. Do you notice any holes? What's missing? What aren't people talking about?
- Like any good journalist, you need an angle: I think there are a couple of ways you can come at this task: You can commit to restricting the kinds of posts you share (runway trends, personal style, DIY, shopping, etc) or you can decide to post about any number of things, with same tone or angle. Whether that angle is “How I would wear it” or tackling everything with humor or only talking about things that are black – just try to be consistent with it. Before you know it, you may become the go-to source for your special pocket of insight or information.
- Create a mission statement for your blog: Take inspiration from your favorite brands, who often have a mission statement on their web site. Define, in writing, your goal as a publication. This will give you something you can always look back to and remind yourself what your blog is about, and what you stand for!
Ultimately, writing your blog is about pleasing yourself. Each day, every post, you should be happy to write it, happy to share it, and proud of what you're creating.
Some of Our Favorite Niche Blogs:
- Man Repeller – Humor & High Fashion
- Business of Fashion – The Business… of Fashion
- Advanced Style – Street Style Featuring Older Women
- Sammy Davis Vintage – Vintage
- Cupcakes & Cashmere – Personal Style & Recipes
- Sartorially Inclined – Menswear
- Atlantic-Pacific – Personal Style Photos
- P.S. – I Made This… – D.I.Y
[Photo by Nando Alvarez]