So you have a “niche” fashion blog. Now what? “Niche blogging” gets thrown around out there about as much as “Passion” and “content is king,” but what does it really mean? What is your niche? And how do you grow it?
Ultimately, your niche is what you choose to write about. But I would argue that whatever you THINK your niche is, take it and make it even smaller. “Fashion” isn't a niche, neither is personal style, or beauty – those are categories – a niche should be laser-focused. For example, Into the Gloss is a beauty blog, but Emily Weiss' voice and focus on the fashion industry makes it more of a niche blog than a general beauty blog. And Leandra Medine has a “fashion blog” but it's based upon man-repelling, a niche if there ever was one.
How Do You Find Your Niche?
You should have so much passion for your niche, that you get a thrill when you talk about it with someone else who shares it.
Identify the general category you like to write about – have an interest in – narrow it down, and then narrow it down even more so you're writing about the things that really make your heart skip a beat. You should have so much passion for your niche, that you get a thrill when you talk about it with someone else who shares it; I still get giddy when I meet someone else who has a bag by one of my favorite designers, or a pair of clogs (yes, I'm that obsessed). Done. There's your niche. If you think it might be too small, or no one will want to read about what you have to say, think again. If there's one thing I've learned since I started blogging in 2004, it's that you are not alone; you are definitely not the only person out there who likes XYZ or ABC. You may not be able to build a community of millions, but if you do it right, you'll build a quality community of hundreds or thousands who will be loyal visitors and support your advertisers.
If there's one thing I've learned since I started blogging in 2004, it's that you are not alone; you are definitely not the only person out there who likes XYZ or ABC.
Once you've settled on a niche, identify your keywords and really focus on creating content around them. My keywords are the designers I wear & write about – I tend to put most of my focus and energy on about 5. Create tons of content around your keywords, which will go a long way towards enhancing your search engine position (don't forget to tag your images!). This is where patience and time come in; ranking on the first or second page of Google doesn't happen overnight, but if you do it right (organically), and focus your content on your keywords you will start to see results.
How Do You Grow Your Niche?
After you've built up some content on your blog, work on growing it – start to establish yourself as an influencer, an expert in your niche. If you're not already immersed in your niche, you'll need to move towards it – where are the people who are interested in your niche? Find them, and create a relationship. Interact with other bloggers on their blogs – but be sure to not be spammy though; don't leave your blog link in the body of the comment, and make sure you're adding something valuable to the conversation. Spend time testing out forums, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc. and figure out where you get the most interaction. My readers prefer to interact via email (daily RSS emails & a weekly newsletter), but yours may be on Pinterest.
Wherever they are, GO TO them, don't make them always come to you. Try new ways of interaction and see which one works best for you and your readers. If something isn't working, don't spend more time on it, move on. With social media now, the conversation won't just stay on your blog, so you'll have to go where it IS.
Once you feel established in your niche and you have a growing community, don't forget it – nurture it! Keep interacting with your readers wherever they are, but also start connecting with brands that add value to your site and advertisers who are relevant to what you're already talking about. When you do start to think about monetization, value to your readers should be the first consideration. Work on projects that are relevant, fun, and interactive for your readers, that will keep them interested, and wanting to support your advertisers – and YOU – for the long term.
Your writing should be completely natural, you should feel like you're writing to friends, and engaging with a community. If you don't feel like that every time you hit publish, then you're not doing it right. Try again.
If you've already started a blog and haven't identified a clear niche, or want to narrow it down, don't start completely over, just start shifting your focus towards where you want it to be. Your writing should be completely natural, you should feel like you're writing to friends, and engaging with a community. If you don't feel like that every time you hit publish, then you're not doing it right. Try again. It shouldn't be that hard. Not that being a “blogger” isn't difficult sometimes, especially if it's your business, but the writing part really shouldn't be. You should get a rush every time you put something out there because it's 100%, genuinely you. Your readers will thank you for it 🙂
I'm going to do a follow-up post on how to identify & measure success as well as using your niche blog to drive sales. In the mean time, do you have a narrow niche blog? how have you built it?
Where did you find your community?
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