Whether you know it or not, You already have a niche!

Yes, you may not have realized it but if you have a blog, you may even have a niche already.

I am pretty sure you are surprised.

I certainly was surprised when this is exactly what I was told by a dear friend Karen Zara of abaminds the other day. I had mentioned to Karen that I was a bit in a dilemma as to what topics I should be writing about since I had no particular niche. But Karen came back with a surprising answer.

the smile of a man with a wild fan base Whether you know it or not, You already have a niche!

Karen’s email was filled with some great advice but here is the gist of what she thought my niche was:

“Dear Pearl, I spent some time studying Interesting Observations. I noticed your posts tend to vary among “personal development,” “meta-blogging” and “social media,” with some exceptions. In my opinion, you already have a niche. You just don’t see it as such. ;-)”

That one statement made me take a re-look at my blog a bit more closely. And sometime ago, I read mention of this blog in a post by another blogging friend Tad Chef, and in introducing it to his readers, he also mentioned what I blog about here, which was actually the first time I seriously started thinking about my niche.

This is what Tad said:

“Pearl who is the woman behind Interesting Observations who just hit the front page of Digg, del.icio.us and became popular on StumbleUpon at the same time. What more can I say? she writes about blogging, social media, the web, also 2.0 and self improvement among others. She’s a Jane of all trades in e positive sense.”

You see? I had no idea what my niche was and that I was writing about blogging, social media and/or web 2.0. I thought I was mainly writing about self improvement. I blogged about things that interested me and didn’t really worry about a ‘niche’ but I am a firm believer that its not what YOU think about your blog, it is what your READERS think about it, is what is most important. And today I was so glad that whatever I was writing was actually making sense to my readers.

Now, lets assume someone out there is as lost as I was and despite having a blog. What advice would you give her in finding her niche? Here are some of the things that I would suggest

1. Review your past posts

What have you been writing about? Try to categorize these posts to get a better picture of your interests. I confess I have not been paying much attention to my categories on this blog but I soon plan to sit and divvy up the categories that make sense and have fewer and fewer categories.

2. Scan your book/magazine collection

What kind of subjects and topics interest you and you have been reading or intend to read. If you are not into reading books, you might be reading newspapers and magazines. What kind of articles attract you?

3. Take a look at your browser favorites and bookmarks

I have hundreds if not thousands of bookmarks, to sites, to individual articles, in different places – on different computers and in the online bookmarking services like Delicious – and also under various accounts! How many people go through their bookmarks regularly? I realized I had not been through some of my bookmarks that I had saved some years ago. You’ll be amazed looking at some of the links you might have saved months if not years ago. With internet being so vast, I feel I am finding new sites every single day and keep adding them to my favorites and life is so fast, we sometimes forget what we saved to come back to it later someday.

4. Review the articles you voted for on social network sites

Look at the pictures that inspired you, articles that you voted up in the last few months will reveal what has interested you (this is of course only possible if you are not getting influenced by all the requests you are bombarded with every day on all of these sites and you are using some of your own discretion). I have seen some of the top stumblers using a script to go back to their archives, but I have not seen ANY of the bloggers do that. Do you ever go to your pages that you thumbed up months ago? Similarly, on Digg, do you refer to the articles you dugg some months ago?

5. Draw up a list of your interests and hobbies

What do you like to do off line, when you are not in front of the computer. Places you like to visit – restaurants, vacation spots, malls etc. Things you are interested in may not be the things you are very good at, but if your heart is in it, you are likely to put more effort in improving yourself in that area and become good at it, leading to success.

6. Draw up another list of things you are good at

More often than not, things we are good at and can do in our sleep, we may not find very interesting. Listing these things will also give you an idea if you really want to talk about them in your blog, because even if you are not interested in them, you are so good at them, someone else might find them very useful. And because we are all looking for a good reader base around our blogs, more and more people liking your blog may even motivate you to keep doing it and make you more interested in it.

7. Ask your readers

This is one of the most important tips I can give you. Besides going through all of the above points, do ask your readers what they think of your blog.

What has been useful to them from your blog, why do they come to read you?

So, here is my question to you.

What is it that you learn from this blog and what do you expect to read when you come here?

Your answers will help me solidify this blog’s content and help me concentrate on topics you would like to read here. If you have not commented here before, please don’t hesitate to do so now because your ideas will be looked at and reviewed as this blog grows.

pixel Whether you know it or not, You already have a niche!

29 Responses to “ Whether you know it or not, You already have a niche! ”

  1. Many thanks for the link. I’m happy that I’ve managed to help you somehow. :D

    Interestingly, I had also noticed Tad’s description and thought to myself: “I hope this will help Pearl realise that she does have a niche indeed.” Hehehe, it seems it worked. ;)

    Using your difficulties as inspiration for new posts is always an excellent idea. And you’ve achieved a great result by doing this. I’m sure this post will be very helpful to several bloggers and webmasters.

    Just stumbled and delicioused.

    Karen Zara’s last blog post..Write About The Lessons Your Learned From 2007

  2. That is so funny that you posted this as I was just thinking the other day that I don’t really have a niche of my own. But now that I have read this post, I think I may have found it/figured it out for myself. Great post. I’m stumbling it!

    teeni’s last blog post..Why Don’t My Pictures Look Like These?

  3. Hey Karen… of course it worked.. I have a whole new way of thinking now.. and a good direction on what I should focus on. Hope I am able to write better posts this year :)

    thank you so much for stumbling and bookmarking!

  4. wow, great it helped teeni :) thanks for stumbling!

  5. I agree with Karen – those topics are overall what you blog about, and if I were you, I wouldn’t change that! I love this blog the way it is. :D

    Tay – Super Blogging’s last blog post..The Best of the Blogosphere: January 4, 2008

  6. I agree fully with your (excellent) post. I guess that as long as you say within some -not to tight- boundaries, you could call it a niche.
    Anyway, I enjoy blogs that diversify more than those who tend to stick to one topic exclusively. They tend to repeat themselves and I lose interest.

    Olivier.

    Law of attraction guy’s last blog post..On being and having

  7. I agree with that post! Great post! love her ideas! That post helped me figure mine out alot!

    kaylee’s last blog post..Interesting day

  8. This tips will works very well. This ideas will help a lot for other bloggers in finding their niche. Writing quality and useful posts really makes sense, readers will surely look forward to see more from your blog.

    Martin Welch’s last blog post..Things To Consider In Starting A Business

  9. thank you Tay… :) happy Tuesday!

    Olivier: thanks for commenting, good to have you back….

    kaylee… Im glad it helped you :)

    Martin… glad you like the tips :) hope to see you around more often

    pearl’s last blog post..Whether you know it or not, You already have a niche!

  10. Pearl, not only that you have a niche, but your entries are getting better and better. It’s wonderful to come back to your pages and find each time what I define as quality and authenticity.

    Mig’s last blog post..Requiem

  11. thank you for coming back Mig and continuing your support…. I have learned so much from you in all these months I have known you!

  12. Great post Pearl,

    I think this is a fact that people are slowly becoming aware of over time. You provide value to the blogging community by being you, by sharing your knowledge, interests and perspectives in a way that is unique to you. Thats the fantastic thing about social media.

    Keep up the good work !

    Steve Mills’s last blog post..What I expect from my blog

  13. Hey…very nice post..sometimes the most obvious things are just not looked at eh! But this is awesome…nice to see such good post!

  14. […] you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for […]

  15. @Steve: Those are some very nice things you said… thank you :) hope to have you around here more often

    @abi: right… anything that can help with blogging ideas really :) thanks for stopping by abi… please visit again!

  16. You do indeed have a niche, and I am glad you have “found” it! I usually visit your site for social media, blogging and self-improvement. So, just by writing what you love writing about, you’ve developed a special niche of your own. :)

    JenWriter’s last blog post..Why You Should Use Writer’s Market in Your Freelance Writing Career

  17. I’ve loved blogging but now I feel even better ‘coz I have some direction :) thank you Jen… good having you back!

  18. Pearl – this is really a fantastic post, and a subject I was just thinking about while I was out walking my dog this morning.

    At the moment, I too, am struggling with the same identity crisis but I know there is a niche in there somewhere….I think :)

    Thanks for the great tips! I am off to shuffle through my surf magazines and humanitarian aid books to see what I can come up with.

    Mark

    Mark from MyTropicalEscape’s last blog post..The Cat Is Outta The Bag – How Top Bloggers Divide Their Time For Maximum Exposure

  19. Hi Mark… glad you found it helpful :) Its amazing that with all the noise of the blogosphere, we sort of forget what our initial ideas were to dominate it

    … Can’t wait to see what your new sites will be about ;)

    Pearl’s last blog post..Getting Stuck in the Moderation Queue

  20. […] that I have found my niche, it should really be a piece of cake for me to churn out some wonderful posts, right? Well, as it […]

  21. […] Whether you know it or not, You already have a niche! […]

  22. […] Whether you know it or not, You already have a niche! – by Pearl […]

  23. Pearl, reading this post really helped push me into finally deciding to start a dental blog. I work full time in the dental industry, and am surprised to find there aren’t very many dental blogs. So I must thank you for this post. I’ve posted already informing the readers of my current blog of the upcoming dental blog, and I made sure to link to your post here, since my starting a new (my second one) blog is all your fault! :) Just kidding.

    Lin’s last blog post..By: Teresa Duncan

  24. wow, that is so wonderful! thank you so much for the compliment Lin… I am really happy this helped you.. :) keep us posted on how it does…..

    Pearl’s last blog post..Interesting Posts Around the Web – Jan 11th

  25. […] Whether You Know it or Not, You Already Have a Niche from Interesting Observations. […]

  26. Hi Pearl! I think we all tend to forget all about defining a niche because most of us are people of many interests. They seem so varied we tend to think none of them takes more of our minds and posts. But it the end, some topics, no matter how eclectic we are, take the spotlight more often. That leads to a niche. Reading through your post and taking your advice is a great way to have a clearer view of that niche.

    Alina Popescu’s last blog post..How to Handle Being Under-appreciated

  27. Hi Alina – thats so true, and I’ve always believed if there are some ambiguities, to not worry and continue to write whatever is interesting at the moment, and in time the niche will emerge!

    thanks for stopping by Alina… hope to see you here again soon :)

  28. I thought about the same thing when starting my first blog. The shear magnitude of different niches out there is simply amazing. It is actually probably harder to narrow one down then actually find one.

    Mike’s last blog post..Niche Store Writer

  29. Great article.. Totally agree on that..

    Erwin Tans last blog post..Unleashing The Niche Genius In You