If you’re asking this question, it’s probably too early for you to choose…
A reader wrote this to me:
My passion is to help people lead a happy life. I want to help people achieve fulfillment in 3 important areas of their lives…RELATIONSHIP, FINANCES, and CAREER. These are the things I intend to talk about on my blog.
As I’ve read and researched, I see that many experts recommend tailoring down to a niche, and focusing on specific issues; thereby warning against taking a wide range of topics. I perfectly understand that these 3 areas (Relationship, Money, and Career) are SO WIDE. In fact, each of them has countless sub-topics.
But what I’m trying to do is link the 3 of them together because I believe that they are the core factors that affect people’s happiness and overall well-being. If people do well in these areas, they’re more likely to excel in other things.I imagine some of you reading this are wondering the same thing — having a variety of passions, or being multi-talented, how can you restrict yourself to just one thing?
Here is what most marketing experts will say:
Niche down to ONE of those 3 areas.
In fact, it’s even better to emphasize a specialty within one of those mega-topics. Examples of specialties (or "niching down") might include: “Dating for Urban Millennials” or “Financial Planning for Mid-Life Entrepreneurs” or “Christian Career Coaching.”
I used to offer this advice as well.
But over the past few years, my thoughts have changed on this.
I’ve seen too many people try to constrain themselves into one area, and then getting bored, or otherwise regretting the narrow focus.
I now believe that it’s not always right to niche down, but rather, to ask yourself these questions:
Integrating multiple areas into one?
Many of your potential readers/fans may like having a "one-stop shop" of content, and if you cover multiple areas or integrate them, it could be interesting for them.
The problem is that it's impossible to know, until you start!
Go ahead and experiment, as long as you keep asking the two questions above:
Are you creating consistent content? This is how you become increasingly skilled in your topics, and keep testing what the audience likes.
Are you finding (or creating) offerings that you can sell or do you believe you can? In the beginning you don't have to sell anything yet, but eventually to make a business viable, you will need to offer something your audience wants to buy.
Be open to audience feedback, then niching if needed.
Over time, you might naturally decide you want to niche more specifically, or make it more broad, depending on your audience’s feedback about what topics of content you’re best at creating.
Be open to it, but don’t force yourself to choose before you’re ready.
For example, when I started my consistent rhythm of content a few years ago, I focused on 3 areas:
And for each topic, I created content consistently. I also mixed those topics together in some content.
Over time, though, I noticed that my audience was overwhelmingly in favor of my content about Authentic Marketing.
It seemed like I that was where I could excel the most.
So that’s the one topic for which I now feel inspired to create the most content.
Sometimes, I still integrate my other interests (joyful productivity, and healthy money) into my marketing content. It makes my content more unique.
Ultimately it’s about developing excellence and credibility.
Whatever topics you choose, the goal is to become excellent at it, and therefore, truly credible.
The benefit of a focused niche is that it’s easier to become excellent and credible sooner, due to consistent practice in one focused area. Spreading your energy into multiple topics means that it’ll take you longer to get great at any one thing.
But it’s a tradeoff.
If you really enjoy or are passionate about creating content in multiple topics at once... or if you're not sure which one to choose yet... then don't choose yet!
The bottom line is that you need to have a consistent rhythm of practicing content creation to get excellent at it… whatever the topics may be, and however you integrate them.
It is totally fine to choose later, or stay broad if you're getting good audience feedback.
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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