How to Be a Game Changer in Your Niche


How many of you started your blog thinking, “I just want a blog that's just like everything else out there.”

Perhaps I'm projecting my own ambitions, but chances are, if you wanted a successful blog, you want a blog that stands out. How do you do that? Well, of course advice like: “Create good content!” and “Be original!” and “Be yourself!” come to mind. But there is more than that. Blogs these days stand out because they transform their niche. Fashion Toast transformed fashion blogging by being one of the first to post editorial style professional grade photos on her blog (as opposed to the digi-cam in the mirror shots of the day), PS I Made This transformed her niche by contextualizing her DIYs to runway trends (as opposed to the crafty DIYs of the time), Into The Gloss transformed her niche by doing kind of The Selby for beauty, Man Repeller transformed her niche with her humor and by connecting high fashion with feminism.

So, what I'm saying is that to REALLY stand out, you have to be a game changer.

Creating a blog that stands out is more difficult today than ever. The truth is that fashion bloggers have it both easy and tough. Easy because basically everyone needs to wear clothes, and a lot of us like to talk about clothes. Hard because it's so easy to just start a blog and talk about clothes.

Research your niche

Do you know what's going on in your niche? Sure, you can just start from anywhere, but then how do you know that your ideas haven't been done already? Look at your niche as objectively as you can, and ask the following questions:

  • How saturated is this niche?
  • What are the people in your niche doing well?
  • What kind of sucks about your niche?
  • What are the best blogs doing?
  • What are the best blogs NOT doing? Why?

Compile a list of your favorite blogs/magazines/books/tv shows/films across all verticals

Like chocolate and peanut butter, your cell phone/camera/internet device, amazing things happen when you mash things together. It's called transformation. This is where copying an idea a little here, a little bit from another idea there and transform it into something that makes sense for you. IFB was born from reading “how to blog” blogs like ProBlogger transformed to make sense for fashion bloggers. You don't have to reinvent the wheel, but you do have to things together in a way that transforms the wheel.

A great way to start is to put together a list of everything you love, blogs that have nothing to do with your niche, tv shows that have an element you really love, magazines of all kinds, and list out how they could transform your niche. The sky is the limit here!

Ask yourself : Where would I want to see this niche evolve?

The next part of figuring out how to be a game changer is to not so much look at what's happening now, but to think about where you would like it to be. Do all the blogs in your niche have crappy design? Could they look more professional? Do you have access to information or people that would elevate your niche? Can you get that access if you don't already?

Don't wait for someone else to evolve your niche. Be that person. Don't make excuses like “I just started.” or “I don't have a professional background.” just go in an do it the best you can. Maybe it's not the best right now, but it will be if you continue to try to create professional-level content.

Take the best elements of your research and develop your mission

This is where the magic happens. Take the best of everything you find and develop your mission. When I was creating Eat, Sleep, Denim, I saw that most of the denim blogs focused on celebrity style. I wanted to create a blog that had personal style elements, like your best friend who knows all about denim. Now, it's not the most popular blog in the world, but it does garner a bit of attention for being different within the niche.

Having a mission is a great way to keep focused on what you goals are. Of course, missions evolve over time. Maybe technology changes, or someone else comes along and does it better than you, or you niche goes out of style, or better yet, you accomplish your goal and have changed your niche. Either way your mission is not set in stone. Once you get started on this path, you'll realize the work is never done, you'll always be looking for ways to transform your niche. That's what game changers do.

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21 Responses

  1. Anita

    Great advice! Now I really have to write down my mission statement, because I’m thinking about it for months! The same with my about page. Ahhh, procrastination.

  2. Emily Jayne Lewis

    Always great tips!

    Hopefully I’ve added a twist on lifestyle blogs by students, as I have a minimalistic style that shows through fashion and graphic design posts. As well as other stuff I love like music and photography.

    Emily x

  3. Dana H. Mook

    Your tips will be helpful once I figure out what my niche is, haha! Right now, I just love writing about whatever’s on my mind. But hopefully one day soon, I can refine my topics a bit.

  4. Asiya

    I never take anything I find on this website for granted, but this is a real gem! I will definitely be trying this out to help focus my brand?

  5. Donna George

    I was just brainstorming this topic when I ran across this post. It’s crazy true. Great post and has my wheels turning.

    Warm regards
    Donna George

  6. Oksana Radionova

    It took a while, but then, through reading IFB and brainstorming on my own, I finally developed a mission for my blog: to encourage and inspire women to add glamour and refinement to every aspect of their lives regardless of limitations, budgets, societal standards, the weather and whatever else that may try to come between them and the beautiful life they’ve always dreamed of. Whether in the wardrobe, home or personal life, I am here to show you that you – yes, YOU! – do not have to settle for mediocrity.

    But there was still a bit of a disconnect between my mission and some of the posts I was writing. It wasn’t until I started a weekly column on the blog about the art of being a lady that I truly understood why I poured so much of my heart, energy and time into blogging. Suddenly, it all came into focus – partially due to the feedback I received from my readers – but mostly because I had found a topic I was passionate about.

    I can’t really relay a step-by-step guide to how it happens, but my advice for anyone looking to streamline their focus is to develop a post series around a topic that first and foremost interests you but is also beneficial to readers. Sure, we all love clothes, but there’s got to be more to it than that. Fashion is connected to every aspect of our lives – you just have to find a connection that piques your interest!

  7. [email protected] Valiantly Varnished

    I have been thinking about ways to incorporate my passions into my blog without alienating my core reader base. But after much thought about it I have decided to go ahead with it. My readers are actually very similar to me as far as interests go and I think if I am open about wanting to expand my blog they will understand

  8. Gissi Jimenez

    I started with my niche and then let it go. But i;m trying to start it up again.

  9. Taylor

    Just an open question to everyone: how many blogs have you run before you created something ‘successful?’ I’m struggling with my blog that I’ve had for 2 1/2 years, and I’m not sure whether to start over or push through… Any insight is welcomed! Thanks!


    • Asia Mays

      Taylor! Hi darling! I have been running my blog about the exact same time, based on questions posed by people I knew, mainly revolving around makeup practices and the like. But I felt a turn in my blog, so after opening up a semi-private blog on tumblr, which acts as my vision board, it allowed me to re-focus my content and understand my audience so that I could better tailor my content and so forth. SO, I didn’t let go of what I’ve worked on, I just found a way to meet my audience (and myself again in a sense) along with networking somewhere in the middle (and I am still learning!).

  10. kiera

    After reading this post, gives me hope, it been hard trying to find a niche and reading this tells me its possible!

  11. Sinead

    Thanks ladies! This is a useful exercise – I’m only starting out in the blogging world and at the moment it’s more of a creative pursuit to help see what I like (photography, craft, design etc). But it’s good to think longer term about how those passions can intertwine to create something a bit more unique.


  12. Seppy

    Interesting post – I’ve been thinking so much about my ‘niche’ lately and have been really struggling to figure it out..and I don’t even know how to figure out. I look at blogs that I love and follow consistently and they basically are doing what I would want my blog to look like, so I have no idea how to make it more unique or put my own spin on it…any ideas of how to get out of this rut is welcome..!

  13. Ann Febraro

    I was doing some research on setting up my own blog and came across your post this morning. Defining a mission statement in the diverse world of fashion can be daunting! I have a wonderful Ebay store filled with Missess and Plus fashion, but I tend to muddy the waters with items that are not directly related, like Men’s dress shirts. Your article helped me realize how important it is to have a focus.

  14. Glamourdaze

    When I started, the general idea was to create a time portal for lovers of vintage fashion. It is really a series of niches, when I come to think about it. Each decade of style, from the 1900s onwards has its own set of seriously enthusiastic followers. There are sooo many ‘get successful’ blogs out there which I’ve read, that all spin the same idea of ‘socialising’ your posts etc etc, and indeed as the social media has spread, I find myself with no option but to do this.( Facebook,Twitter,Pinterest and so on). But my advice to any new fashion bloggers? – there is plenty of room in whatever niche you choose, just make sure you really love doing it. It can take several days to write a really good post, and sometimes months to prepare a top quality page. But Google loves a good long post, with lots of hyperlinks. Then spend a few hours sprinkling the link around to get it off to a good start. But the top of my list of priorities, is still to write good well researched content, and don’t waste time by posting frivolous ‘ isn’t she gorgeous’ posts.