Even if you’re a beginner food blogger, you’ve probably heard the term “niche” or “niching down”. To “find your niche” is to find your particular area of the blogosphere: the area that you will focus your blog on, and the area that feels most comfortable for you as a writer. It’s the process that determines whether you will specialise in desserts or breakfast, fish or meat, indulgence or counting calories. But why should you choose a niche for your blog? Surely you’ll reach a much bigger audience if you don’t limit yourself too much? Well unfortunately, the exact opposite is true. Here’s why you should choose a niche for your food blog.
Imagine that you start a blog, intending to post about your favourite recipes, great places you’ve travelled to and your favourite things to do with your kids. You create a number of posts full of enthusiasm for your subject, inspiration for readers and printable worksheets so they can try some of your ideas.
But who are your readers? Your mum (naturally – thanks mum!), a few friends or co-workers that travelled with you or meet you at the park with their kids, and…who?!
Food fanatics? No. They’ve already tried all six of your recipes and are looking for more.
Travellers? No. They want a more in-depth look at the countries you talk about, not just a brief retelling of your hotel stays.
Mums? No. They’ve got three kids under the age of five at home and are looking for something a bit more constructive than “going for a nature walk”.
What you need to do, to really pull in the crowds, is to choose a niche.
Related: 100 Tasty Niches for Food Bloggers
Become an authority – the go-to blog
Now imagine that you stick with food, but you ONLY post recipes with six ingredients or fewer (like me!). Or perhaps you niche down even further and restrict yourself to one-pot dishes that only have six ingredients. Whenever somebody needs a really easy recipe for dinner, without lots of complicated ingredients to buy and remember, they’ll go straight to your blog and see what you’ve got that’s new.
Becoming an authority on a subject, the “go-to blog” for a particular ingredient, cuisine or dish, is absolutely the right way to start your food blog. Make yourself indispensable. If you can solve a problem for your audience – like how to take the stress out of dinner time with recipes with just six ingredients – then they’ll remember you and come back again and again.
Become really good at it
If you spend all of your time researching, learning and developing your skills in just one field or subject, then think about how good you will get at it! It’s so important, when you have a food blog, to cover one particular aspect of food in as much detail as possible otherwise you’ll end up referring your readers to sources outside of your blog for more information. Do your research, become an expert, and then keep your visitors on your site for as long as possible by referring them to other posts and recipes you’ve written yourself.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Don’t send your audience somewhere else for information YOU could give them.” quote=”Don’t send your audience somewhere else for information YOU could give them.”]
So your audience knows what to expect
Your visitors need to know what they’re going to get when they click on to your blog – particularly if they’ve found you through social media or a recipe-sharing website where only one of your recipes came up. If you find the most amazing recipe for banana bread online and you click through to the website expecting to see brownies, loaf cakes, muffins and more, then think how disappointed you’ll be if it’s mainly salads – and one or two bread recipes. You’d probably go looking on other sites instead.
From the blogger’s point of view, you’ve just lost a potential customer because you weren’t able to focus your product (your website) in the right way. Stick to what you do best and your audience will reward you for it.
To build a following
One of the primary aims of most blogs is to grow a following on social media and in an email list. However, people are busy and inboxes are already full. What makes your blog stand out? Why should the public follow you and not someone else?
Remember, if you ever want to sell anything, you first need a trusting and engaged following. This is the first step.
Related: Why you NEED an email list
To create a focus for your editorial content
It’s quite common for blogs with a big turnover of written material to keep an editorial calendar so that the blogger knows what needs writing, proof-reading and publishing, and when (heck, I’ve got one for this site!). If you stick to your niche, then you will find it much easier to choose articles, write follow-up posts and pull in guest writers, all the time maintaining your one, unique focus.
To create a sense of cohesiveness
It’s much easier to brand your website and to choose logos, colours, fonts, photograph styles and graphics if you have ONE niche. If you blog about both seafood and desserts, then do you choose the logo with the fish? or the muffin? (tip: don’t combine the two; nobody wants a fish muffin).
Related: Customising your Site
To really getting stuck into a topic – not kind of do everything
If you want to learn how to sew, then would you visit a website about sewing or one about flower arranging where the blogger also sews a bit? Exactly. Many people feel that so-called “lifestyle” blogs where the writer discusses a number of different topics (travel, cookery, gardening and photography, say), never really get deeply into any particular subject but rather dip a toe into many different areas. If your blog is your passion, which it should be, then you should have no problem coming up with many, many posts all within your niche.
How to choose a niche
Whether you’re starting from scratch or simply rebranding, you want to get your niche right otherwise you could waste a lot of time – and money. If you’re in it for the long haul, you could be blogging for the next decade of your life so you need to be certain that you get it right – or you’ll burn out just out of sheer boredom! You also need to have an idea upfront of if you ever intend to monetise your blog, because that will make a difference to the way you set it up, PLUS you really should consider which niches are more profitable in the long term.
Want a head start? Take a look at these 100 Tasty Niches for Food Bloggers and see if anything inspires you!
Try these three steps to help niche down your blog:
#1 What are you passionate about?
I encourage you to list a few things here, BUT try to make them as specific as possible.
#2 Can you see potential methods to monetise this idea?
For example, would your niche suit downloadable e-courses, sponsored posts or an online store?
#3 How can you HELP your readers?
This really should be your number-one concern as a blogger. If you can help your readers by providing solutions to problems that they have, then they will come back to you for help time and time again. If your blog is really only about you and serving your interests, then you’d better send your URL to your mum fast!
Have you got it right?
I’ve heard it said that the best niches can be described in just one sentence. So ask yourself this: what is my niche and how does it help people? If you can answer with one short line, then you’re on the right track!
What is your niche? Tell me in one sentence!