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When I first started Jar Of Lemons, I knew that I wanted to revolve it around healthy food and fitness. Those are definitely niches, but they’re still very broad niches! Once I learned how to find my niche and narrow it down, I noticed tremendous growth on my blog.
So what did that look like for a healthy food and fitness blog? For me, this meant defining my ideal reader.defining my ideal reader. We’ll talk about this more in a later post, but for now just know this major/life-changing truth! When I looked at my ideal reader, I narrowed it down to ONE person: A single (or newly married) girl with a busy career. She works all day long and wants to eat healthy and workout, but has SUPER limited time. There’s no time to cook crazy complicated recipes. She needs something more than just a boring salad, but something she can put together quickly. Also, she needs workouts that can be completed quickly and efficiently, while still producing results.
If I could go back to when I started and tell myself to go ahead and really figure out who my ideal reader is, I SO would. So I’m telling you, friend! The quicker you narrow it down, the better. When I started I had crazy complicated healthy desserts, “dramatic” photography (that was by no means good quality), and ridiculous props. RIDICULOUS, y’all. Those posts didn’t perform like I wanted them to. It wasn’t until I started posting recipes like the Sriracha Lime Shrimp Tacos that I realized my audience loved simplicity, straight forward, and easy healthy recipes (and I mean…TACOS, y’all!). Deeeeeeep, deep down I had already defined my ideal reader, but my recipes and photography didn’t align with “her”.
Once I sat down and narrowed it down, my niche went from healthy recipes and fitness to quick, easy, simple healthy recipes that require very little effort and simple ingredients with a side of efficient & intense workouts under 30 minutes.
Here are a few ways that you can narrow it down and really find your niche:
1.) Who are you talking to?
As mentioned above, define your ideal reader. Think about a SPECIFIC person (maybe even someone you know), and plan everything you do for your blog around that person. Would they enjoy this recipe? Would this workout be ideal for their lifestyle? Would they come to this event? Would this post HELP them?
2.) How can I narrow down my niche a little bit more?
It’s not just about learning how to find your niche, but also how to narrow down your niche. Keep narrowing down your niche until you hit a really specific one. Narrow your niche down around your ideal reader. The goal (in my experience) is to have a DEDICATED audience, not a large audience. When this is your goal, your audience will show up and will GROW. If you aim to reach a specific group of people, you’ll become an “expert” in that specific niche and growth will come easier than if you try to do everything (which can come across like you don’t know what you’re doing or what you want)!
3.) STICK TO IT!
Once you find your niche and make it specific, you’ll need to stick to it for awhile! Trust me when I say that temptation will show its terrible face on an almost daily basis. I constantly see and love blogs with dark, dramatic food photos of unhealthy cookies, cakes, and other beautiful desserts. I used to find myself loving their style and accomplishments so much that I would try to duplicate their style in my own brand, which in turn never worked out. Why? Because it’s not MY brand, it’s not my specific niche, it’s not my audience, it’s not my ideal reader.
When you commit to your ideal reader and niche, you will begin finding your OWN creativity in your brand. Remember that there’s a difference in being inspired by other brands and trying to duplicate other brands. Allow yourself to be inspired, to appreciate their hard work (which I can assure you also took a long time to achieve), but stay true to yourself, your ideal reader, your niche, and your brand!
P.S: It took me a long time to figure this out and I’m still working on it. It’s ok if it takes you awhile to find your niche!
I would say this should definitely be your first goal once you launch your blog and get some posts out. And be kind to yourself: it’s not easy to choose what your blog will be centered around for the remainder of it’s existence! Just remember that it’s much easier to move things around and expand your audience once you’ve established yourself.
Now that you’ve really created your blog, we’re moving on to How To Grow Your Blog: Know Your Readers!