Finding My Niche

Sniffing MeerkatAs I mentioned in my monthly review for June I am currently trying to produce a business plan. The problem is that I have too many ideas to be able to act on them all…

I need to try and focus my ideas a bit to try and narrow my sights. So where better to start than by asking the people who already read what I write.

My plan is to explain the thought processes behind what I write and then ask you, my little group of followers, to help my decide which direction to head in next. Don’t worry though it is only my future you now hold in your hands…

OK so maybe that was a bit over dramatic but you get the basic idea.

Audience

As far as I know the only people who currently read my posts are friends and family. Please feel free to prove me wrong and join in the conversation if there is anyone else out there reading…

Almost every comment so far has come from someone I know personally. The only exception that comes to mind is a comment from another blogger thanking me for linking to one of his posts. This is not a bad thing as I know the comments are real, not just someone trying to promote their own content.

I still have no intentions of making this blog a major source of income in itself but it would be great if I could create a group of followers who might be interested in any products I may have to offer down the line. There is certainly no plan to include any advertising at any stage. I may, however, add some affiliate links down the line but only for items that I have used or read myself and would recommend.

To create this group of followers I have to produce content that someone (hopefully quite a few) will find interesting on a regular basis. I do not expect every reader to be interested in every post, I think that would be futile.

The way I see it to keep someone interested for an extended period there needs to be some underlying focus to at least some of the content on a fairly regular basis. Either that or someone just has a genuine interest in me… Being realistic this latter group of people is likely to be very limited.

Lets take a look at the sort of content I am likely to produce. Then I can try and group related posts together somehow.

Content

So what sort of stuff am I likely to be writing about. Let’s have a quick look back over what I have written about over the past 6 months…

Wow. Has is really been that long? It has become such a habit that I didn’t realise that I have been successfully posting for a while now.

Anyway what sort of areas have I covered to date:

  • Photography – I have written a few articles about my little hobby along with some posts that just contain actual photos.
  • Goals – I write a monthly review to help keep me on track with my goals and there have also been some posts about my bucket list.
  • Reviews – I have written a couple of reviews just to see how that went. One about my scanner and one about he film Avatar.
  • Ramblings – There have also been a few deeper, introspective posts like Exercise The Mind and Information Overload.

What other stuff is on my mind at the moment? Well as you probably know I am about to leave my 9–5 job and become self employed. So there are a few topics there that automatically come to mind:

  • Money – How am I going to make some? Top priority is to get some regular income, otherwise this little adventure won’t last very long.
  • Lifestyle Design – How and why I am doing what I am doing. (Check out this explanation of Lifestyle Design if you are not sure what I am talking about.) This sort of stuff seems to be everywhere on the net but I am probably going to have something to say on the subject.
  • Productivity – I will need to find ways to keep my productivity high.
  • Organisation – This is something I haven’t been great with in the past but I feel it is going to be vital to keep on top of my projects.
  • Development – It is also likely there will be the occasional post about software and web development as this is my other passion and this will hopefully be a valuable source of income down the line.

Categories

So the idea is to try and split up my posts into better defined categories. This process should help me visualise where I may be headed.

First up I need to define what these categories are going to be. Here is a quick list to get me started:

  • Life
  • Work
  • Photography
  • Development
  • Ramblings
  • Travel
  • Goals
  • Finances
  • Productivity
  • Organisation
  • Miscellaneous

OK. Now let’s whittle the list down a bit.

All of the posts in the category for Travel are purely photo based so they would probably be best moved to the Photography category.

Goals and Finances are categories that I think can happily be merged into the new Life category.

Productivity and Organisation are categories that are maybe a bit too specific, at least for now. Posts that would have been placed in these categories could apply to either Work or Life, or maybe both.

The last category is Miscellaneous. This is for posts that didn’t really fit into a category. I think now that the categories are a bit broader then all posts should fit into at least one category. If nothing jumps out then the Life category should be fine.

Do I Need A Niche?

I have been reading a bit recently about the need to find a very narrow focus and creating a little niche for yourself. You can then let people know what you are all about quickly and easily allowing you to create a following of people interested in your particular topic.

Well I am not sure that is the right way to go for me right now as I am not yet sure what I have to offer to the world.

This is where I would like your help…

Is there anything that you think I should write about, or steer clear from? This could be something specific or a topic in general. For example:

  • Would you like to hear about my take no Lifestyle Design or is there enough of that out there already?
  • Do you like the photo based posts or should I stop doing them?
  • Would you like me focus more on my philosophical ramblings?
  • Are my monthly reviews worthwhile or should I keep them to myself?

Are there any particular posts that have caught your imagination? And if so, why? Are my posts too long? Would you like it if I posted more often?

The more information I can get now the better. So please, if you have read this far, leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

This will help me decide which path to take with this blog. And as this blog is my way to focus my thoughts it is likely to influence the direction of my business as well.

Image: Pete O’Shea

4 thoughts on “Finding My Niche

  1. Hi keep up with photo’s and if it helps you when writing your blog then carry on.I find that they contain certain bit’s that will entertain a variety of different readers.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. Hi gorgeous,

      I thought the photo posts would be popular with the people closest to me. Do you think they would appeal to people who do not know me though?

      It’s nice to think that I might reach a variety of readers but do you think I am doing enough for people to come back regularly?

      Cheers
      Pete

  2. ‘Do I Need A Niche?’ – No.
    You’ve already got the grouping sorted, so people can wonder in, have a flick through and mosey on again. While it’s often said that you need to offer something specific, I think this can be thought of in a wider context. Maybe the most specific and unique thing you offer is well organized mixture of hobbies, interests and work that are easily found and returned to. I can always find a better: review, instructional, whatever – site. The ones I return to, offer something far more elusive than content.

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/510-Far-Cry-2

    The hyper-link is one of many games reviews, the time spent on the delivery is more important than the content of the review. I think the best ingredients are: accessible for new people, reward regular followers and those with domain specific knowledge with insights/in-jokes, be subtle – trust that readers are smart enough to pick up.

    More specifically, I enjoy delving around for software/services that improves the way I do stuff. Your piece on Gravatar is a great example, how would I find it without knowing it existed.

    Photos are good to, but I’ll only ever look if I feel it’s shared by design. You seem to be doing this already, keep with the clear titles, if I read ‘Holiday Snaps’ then I’m unlikely to look; Some place I’ve not seen before is interesting, but I don’t want to feel like I’m snooping (maybe that’s just me).

    What I would be interested in, is some form of tracking, so that I can see either on the page (cookie), or from some client, if there’s new content within the sections I’m following.

    1. Hello again Michael,

      Thanks for the insights. Very amusing video by the way…

      As for the photos then they are all definitely meant to be shared so please don’t feel like you are snooping. I make sure that I select photos that aren’t too personal. I have not really settled on the best way to do this yet.

      Take my most recent post about Lianne’s wedding. Even though the name makes it seem like it is just a collection of photos it is supposed to include a few tips for anyone else attempting to photograph a wedding or similar function. The idea is that it will appeal to friends and family who were at the wedding but also for budding amateur photographers. Not sure if I have quite managed that yet though…

      Thanks
      Pete

      P.S. I forgot to mention about the tracking of content within sections. That is something I have on my list of things to look into. There is a global RSS feed but I do not know of a way, yet, of setting up separate feeds for the different categories, if that is even possible.

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