How to Identify, Grow and Find Success for Your Blog’s Niche

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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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36 Responses

  1. sacramento

    I find that the site that is moving and growing the fastest, and definitely the future is Google+
    You have to be in Google+
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Reply
    • karen

      Yes….. I agree. I thought that google+ was dead in the water…. But once I have started to mention people through using the google+ tagging feature in blogger, I have been added to quite a few peoples circles and I trying to pay more attention to it.

      Reply
  2. TRENDSURVIVOR

    I love your article and I think it is very useful. Regarding what I publish before I press the button, I think if this was the only post a Vogue editor would read to judge if they are going to promote my blog would I be confident it was the best I could do…
    x
    Nina

    Reply
  3. Bike Pretty

    I love my niche! The most important part of finding your niche is to be honest with yourself.
    Look inward and ask: What do I actually like to spend time doing? What would I write about if I had total creative freedom?
    And then do it!
    Also, you might know more about your niche than anyone else, so take the time to explain the basics to your readers.

    Reply
    • grechen

      i love your niche too! such a cute blog – and you’re right about knowing more about your niche than your readers, it’s important to also speak with authority and educate. WITHOUT being preach-y of course 😉

      Reply
  4. Ashe @ Ash in Fashion

    “My keywords are the designers I wear & write about – I tend to put most of my focus and energy on about 5. ”

    I really love this idea– while I know some bloggers have completely designer focused blogs (Full Time Ford comes to mind), the idea of narrowing our content down to such an easy and manageable means… just kind of seems like a relief! Every time I see people talk about niches, it is in a much broader sense. Thanks for the new way to look at things, Grechen!

    Reply
  5. Erica Joi

    I love this. Thank you so much for emphasizing that point! I am still trying to figure out exactly what my niche is. I think it has been the most difficult part of building my audience. I will definitely do some brainstorming.

    Thanks again!

    Erica J.

    Reply
  6. Kathleen Lisson

    My niche blog focuses on hats. I have found a community of hat lovers by visiting blogs that are focused on the same type of woman that would read my blog – vintage blogs and bloggers with a classic style.

    Visiting every blogger that leaves a comment on my blog has given me valuable information about who is reading my posts.

    Answering comments and providing feedback in the comments section has contributed to building the community of my blog. I always wonder if a blogger is actually reading her comments if she never replies to anyone’s compliment.

    http://thatsaprettyhat.blogspot.com

    Reply
  7. alicatstrut

    Really elegant thoughts on niche blogging – thanks!

    I’ve really struggled to find a community in my niche (tag/estate sale shopping) and finally started exploring other bloggers that did something “close enough” (like thrifting and vintage shopping). Many estate sale companies and shoppers aren’t very tech savvy so I’ve also struggled to reach the people I really want to reach most. Someone reminded me recently that one of the best places to promote your blog may be in person and that hit home for me (much like your “go where your readers are” suggestion) because that’s where my people are: right in front of me. So I’m slowly working on that now.

    Reply
    • grechen

      in person promotion is great! we forget that sometimes because we spend most of our time online (i do anyway).

      Reply
  8. Tanya

    Thanks for the post. I’ve been learning so much from IFB. I also reading all you lovely blogger’s comment, went to some of blog and willling to do visit whover leave a comment here from now on.
    Tanya,
    http://www.attraction2fashion.com

    Reply
  9. Julissa Perez

    This post was very informative and helped me greatly on narrowing down what my niche will be for my blog. I just started my blog and its in between, styling, inspirations, collections and products I’m into…I love a little bit of everything. My niche will come to me and i’ll know when i feel the most passionate about it!

    julesofstyle.blogspot.com

    Reply
  10. Liz

    This post was helpful, thanks! I found I was struggling to identify my niche. I sat down and just jotted down what I was interested in reading on other blogs, magazines, etc. There were some recurring themes there that I wasn’t identifying with before. I realized some of my interests were influencing my writing more than others. You’re definitely right about not being the only one interested in something (no matter how small you think it is). There is always someone else!

    Reply
  11. Raquel Wilson-Sow

    Our niche is being focused on how to go from hobby to business, so we talk about things design entrepreneurs who want to take their brand global in the fashion industry will want to know. We also throw in some general fashion fun things too!

    Reply
  12. BurlyQLady

    My niche is vintage lingerie but that was way too narrow so I had to incorporate vintage fashion, makeup, accessories and now, fragrances! into my blog. It’s much easier that way.

    I find that having a presence in specific vintage related forums really helps.

    Reply
  13. Oddness/Weirdness

    My niche is Kpop and Kpop fashion, with a focus on only a few groups or individuals. It took me awhile onto realize that’s what I really wanted to talk about and o start growing in that community but now I’m steadily building followers daily. It also helps that my blog name is so unique because it stands out from the crowd.

    Your insight about writing as if you’re writing to friends is, I think, exactly why my blog following is growing. I try to be fun and amusing in a sea of blogs that are only news related or only focus on posting pics and videos without commentary. The commentary is what makes my blog different.

    Reply
    • RikaConfesses

      “..in a sea of blogs that are only news related or only focus on posting pics and videos without commentary.”

      I hate the blogs that predominantly post photos that they didn’t take without commentary or even crediting the source. I see a picture I like , get excited – and then get mad. I wish more people would do (good) commentary.

      Reply
  14. tasha

    This is a great article. Everyone should focus on their niche when it comes to writing. Its more genuine then a million post all under the realm of fashion or cooking or beauty. I do like to point out that SEO, keywords and all that jazz should come natural. When forcing it, it will make it harder for you. Start out small and also read books on the matter. Overloading your post with keywords for the sake of thinking its going increase your google ranking is nuts. Plus there are easier ways. Such as Google Author that does that for you.

    Reply
  15. RidingPretty

    I so agree with your approach to creating the niche blog. Here’s what I’ve found: Pay super attention to what your readers really like about your blog because it totally helps you to focus on giving your readers exactly what they’ve come to you for in the first place!

    You can know and be THE EXPERT in a niche — just create it out of whatever passions inspire you, (and of course ultimately inspires your readers too)!

    Take the lead, innovate and others will be sure to follow, emulate you, use and appreciate the expertise you have to offer.

    Reply
  16. Adela

    Great article, very useful. And there was me thinking personal style was niche..
    Adela x

    MISSPINKSTYLE.net

    Reply
  17. Bunnie

    I really like this. Especially since starting from day one, I knew I would be a niche blogger, it’s nice to know that this is a positive thing. When I started out my J-fashion and kawaii style blog, I thought that maybe that was too narrow, and hoped I wouldn’t be limiting my audience too much to matter.

    But the way that I see other bloggers flourishing even when their actual styles and niches are very specific is so encouraging! It makes me feel more like I can focus on what I’m good at and what I love, and not feel inadequate.

    Reply
  18. RikaConfesses

    I thought I knew what my blog niche was when I first started – I thought it would be confessions from my life trying to pay the rent as a model – how uncool a lot of it was, how people presented success when they were really supporting themselves through other means, how I got or failed to get gigs.. but it turned out that I needed to succeed too bad, and wasn’t willing to expose most of the best stories I had. (I couldn’t burn bridges by calling people out in the way I would have needed to to be really interesting.)
    I stopped modeling, and the blog drifted. I thought I had hit on my niche a few more times, on other topics, but wasn’t consistent, or eventually realized I was reaching.
    After getting more into reading other style and life style blogs, and getting a bit disillusioned with some of them, I think I have found my true niche. My tag line now is “Lifestyle for classless bastards”. Its an aesthetic that’s unmanicured; its not being devoid of class, but instead refusing to conform to the tenets of any one class. I blog life, places, video game culture, and style that doesn’t kiss the ass of trends because I’ve finally stopped trying to write what I think “people” will be interested in.

    Reply
  19. Shammara

    I’m a new blogger to the blogosphere and the only problem I have with the concept of a niche is how do you make sure it is not to limiting. I always struggle with topics to include on my blog because my niche might be too narrow.

    FashionPopQueen.com <3

    Reply
  20. Michaela

    This is such great advice for bloggers. We tend to get really excited about lots of subjects and throw them in as we grow our blogs. Sometimes it works, other times its like “hey! I love vampy dresses, lipstick and green juice!” It can get messy if its too haphazard.

    Check out my recent post about things that are sure to make you happy!
    http://fashion415.com/monday-musings-why-dont-you/
    Xxx
    M

    Reply
  21. Ceri

    I had been thinking for a while that I should be more sustainable with my style so it made sense for me to move into the sustainable fashion niche. I have to say since I have been blogging in this niche rather than just general fashion, I feel I have so much more interesting and useful things to say.

    Reply
  22. Destiny

    I love this article Gretchen. It’s so true and motivating for bloggers. I linked to this article on my blog as I think it’s a great reminder for my readers. I talk a lot about blog niche and specifically writing about something you love or are excited about. Thanks for a great read!

    Reply
  23. Rob

    Hi Grechen, loved the article but still have a dilemma for my niche.

    I’m currently looking to set up a blog on something I’m absolutely passionate about but is highly saturated – Internet marketing. Some of the categories I would be talking about are web videos, podcasting, social media etc. As this market is so crowded I was thinking of specialising in one category such as podcasting for example. I could niche down even further like you suggest and my niche could be ‘podcasting for itunes’ or something. Pros – This would give me a strong identity and people would prob rather work with a specialist than a generalist that talks about podcasting along with other marketing media. Cons – I don’t want to be restricted to talk just about podcasting or have a seperate website for each category. Any ideas on which route to take?

    Reply
  24. Lyz G

    My problem is I don’t want to have a niche. My interests are just so varied. Hopefully I can find my perfect niche or perhaps reach some sort of success without one.

    Reply
  25. jamie

    Thanks so much! As a new blolgger, I have been a bit overwhelmed with finding my niche. I have such a love for fashion that a part of me just wants to do it all! But it’s thrifitng that makes it possible for me to style my ootd stylishly and affordably. So there’s my first niche!

    Reply