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Do you have to choose a niche for your blog or podcast?

 

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Finding a niche for your podcast

When you’re starting any creative endeavour everyone always asks the same question: “What’s your niche?”

This is great if you’ve had a one-eyed love of 16th Century Asian ceramics since you were a kid but if you’re a multi-passionate person, the idea of putting a shrink ray on your interests can be terrifying.

If you like a range of different things and want to create a show or website that encompasses all your disparate interests, coming up with a ‘niche’ can result in paralysis by analysis.

So is the idea of finding a niche is wrong?

Not exactly.

There’s no doubt if you’re starting from scratch you’ll always build an audience quicker if you’re not trying to be everything to everyone.

The only exception to this rule is if you have an existing profile and a proven track record of providing entertaining content.

Ricky GervaisRicky Gervais has spent years honing his comedy skills and has a huge body of work that’s proven time and again he can make people laugh.  And after all these years of social proof, if he said he was going to start a show about ‘whatever pops in my head’ millions of people would download it, no questions asked because they know what they’re going to get.

But if you’re starting out, promising people you’ll provide laughter and entertainment is difficult to prove because your audience hasn’t seen your stuff yet.  To get them in the door you have to be able to define what you do so potential listeners will check it out.

And this is exactly where the idea of a niche comes in.

Nicheing down isn’t about getting so specific you end up talking about a single topic week in week out so much as it’s about differentiating yourself in a crowded marketplace. If you’re interested in health and wellbeing but you’re not a well-known fitness guru, just existing won’t be enough to get people to check you out.

That doesn’t mean you have to be a fitness celebrity to have a successful show or blog but if you’re working from the ground up you need a point of difference to make up for the fact that you don’t have a profile to cash in on.

If you’re someone who used to be really lazy and has transformed themselves into a fitness fanatic, you could create a show for people who are inherently lazy and can’t get their butt off the couch.  Your show will still cover a lot of the same things as (insert fitness guru here) but your angle will be what sets you apart and gives people a reason to listen.

When you’re starting out, you have to give people a reason to choose you and unfortunately ‘because I’m interesting’ isn’t enough. You may be funny and amazingly engaging but it’s your job to be those things and your audiences job to tell people that’s what you are.  If you create content with an angle that gives them a reason to listen and deliver it well, they’ll let everyone know you’re worth listening to.

So how do you define your blog or podcast if you want to talk about everything?

Emily Wapnik, creator of Puttylike spoke at the 2016 Problogger event on this very topic and described it beautifully when she said, being interested in a million different things is fine, as long as you find a lens through which to deliver your content.

focusIf you want to talk about fitness, beauty, politics, popular culture and anything else that pops into your head you can, but the lens you do it through can’t be as general as ‘it’s just my take on stuff.’

For example, if you’re a psychologist and you want to write about everything from the Kardashians to why we don’t wave when we cut people off in traffic you could do this from the perspective of the psychology behind the behaviours you’re discussing.

By adding this small defining factor, you go from saying “my blog/podcast is about stuff” to giving people a reason to be interested.  And that’s the essence of finding your niche.

Silence of the LambsSo if you’ve had the butchers paper out for months trying to work out what your specialty or area of expertise is and the idea of focusing on one thing has you feeling like you’re in a psychological straight jacket, stop.

Wriggle yourself out of that thing and realise you don’t have to stop having multiple interests you just need to find your angle and give people a reason to care.

Want help finding a theme for your podcast or blog? Contact me about my one-on-one coaching.

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GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

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Your email address is safe with me!