Niche this, niche that, it seems to be everywhere and it's driving people crazy. What the hell is a niche exactly? It's not the audience, although the niche will define who is listening. It's not keywords, though one can lead to the other. So what is it exactly, and what's the big deal about it anyway??
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I've heard it said a million times, and it's not going away: Find your niche. Some say to start with Google Keyword Planner, others say to follow blogs and forums to figure out where you fit in. But how do you know what you're even looking for?
Falling Down The Rabbit Hole Of Chaos
There's only so many good ideas, right? Well, that may be true, but there's an infinite number of niches. They're everywhere, and you are yourself a walking niche. There's niches inside of niches, which I've heard is called sub-niches. The rabbit hole of niche is never-ending. If you've ever found yourself looking for one, it's likely you fell headfirst into a void with no bottom. Finding your niche is disorienting.
You can climb down the ledges, so to speak, and try to approach it systematically. Overlooking that dizzying maelstrom are a few perches the experts call markets. These are the ladders around the entrance, leading to individual corners where the infinite niches 'live.' Mostly they talk about The Big Three, but there's more than that. Here's the ones I've found so far:
So taking the ladder of health, you'll find different topics like diet, exercise, medicine and such. Follow the diet path and you'll find things like South Beach, Soul Food, Paleo, and whatnot. It's a good idea to explore these paths, but finding your niche this way only slightly simplifies the chaos. Do this exercise to understand how to divide the markets into niches so you can come back later and put your niche in the right place. Or just wait until you've discovered the niche and save yourself the time.
Instead, think about what you do, what you care about, and what you have a passion for. Maybe you really like cooking desserts. It's simple and broad, but follow that to your favorite dish of almond cheesecake. Now we're talking.
Recipes For Almond Cheesecake
Let's pretend you're so into almond cheesecake that you know several recipes for it. There's a Paleo version, a dairy free version, and a normal version you can think of off the top of your head. Oh, but you can envision coming up with more, like making it sugar free and adapting no-bake mixes. You've got yourself a niche (a weird one, but hey it might work. What do I know?).
Going back to the rabbit hole, you can see the health market sort of fits but not really. Your recipes are for the almond cheesecake, not a specific diet. Positioning your niche in health would be a terrible mistake, because people looking for diet recipes expect more than just one dish.
Don't give up on it yet, because you're not out of options at all! You could look down the 'wealth' ladder, through the path of status and luxury and position your recipes as novelties. Or you could take the 'entertainment' ladder and design a channel showing you cooking all these different recipes, and making people eat them to judge how well it turned out.
If you want to go way out there, you could make it a spiritual thing or connect the almond cheesecake to relationships somehow. I don't think those would work as well, but maybe I'm just too conservative. I know how to find a niche, but I don't know what makes one profitable. Jeez.
The almond cheesecake person isn't locked in to the almond cheesecake niche. People are complex, we all have many passions and interests we want to pursue. Just because you find one doesn't mean you're stuck with it.
Go through and write down your interests and see what niches you hold. For each one, brainstorm about where you could position it in the rabbit hole vortex. Don't stop when you find one that sparkles, either, keep going until you literally cannot think of anything else. That will take awhile.
When it's all finished, you should have a large list of places to begin and ways to position them in the current markets and submarkets of the world. Keep that list for later; you may need it if things don't miraculously take off on the first try.
What's your second favorite niche on your list? What's the most wacky one? Comment below, on Facebook or Twitter. So far my favorite wacky one is cataloguing the potential effects of emotions in a magical energy sort of way, but my list keeps growing so it might change.
Anyway, see you here again tomorrow at 9a.
As I begin this anew, I know only one thing: that I know nothing. Learn with me, and together we will figure this out.
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