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How to Choose Your Blog’s Focus & Purpose {+10 pg workbook!}

Whether you are new to blogging or have been around for awhile I am sure you have heard the term niche.

But, what exactly is a niche?

Need help choosing a blog niche? This 10-page workbook will guide you through the process of deciding on your blog's focus and purpose.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Not only can it be confusing trying to find your niche, but do you even know what it means? By definition:

noun

 1.an ornamental recess in a wall or the like, usually semicircular in plan and arched, as for a statue or other decorative object.

2.a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing: to find one's niche in the business world.

3.a distinct segment of a market.

4.Ecology. the position or function of an organism in a community of plants and animals.

For blogging it is finding your focus. It is narrowing down your topics to position your blog into a certain category or purpose that will help you to standout. This is a time in your life when you do not want to be vague. The goal is to become extremely specific.

This is not something you can just conjure out of thin air. It is specialized and needs to be found {or created - this is what happened with me} in such a way that you can define your blog in a very specific manner. You cannot just write about anything and everything {trust me, I made this mistake}.

You are creating your own little corner of the online world and want to position yourself as an expert, but you cannot be an expert in everything.

I know firsthand how hard it can be to find your voice in the blogging world and stick to a niche that not only serves your audience but maintains your personal beliefs and values. It is hard sticking to just one topic.

Many bloggers will ‘categorize’ their site with a very broad term like parenting. I have learned over the years that the more specific you can be with your focus the more you can build an engaged community of like-minded people.

You will find out in this post the mistakes I made when it came to finding a focus, how I created my focus and voice, and the process you can go through to find/create your own niche.

Hint: It was completely OPPOSITE of where I began.

You can use this totally awesome 10 page workbook to help you choose a niche for your blog.

When I first started my blog it was purely created as a hobby. Most of you know that I created Frugal Fanatic as an outlet to share how I was saving money in hopes of helping people learn how they could live a frugal lifestyle.

About two years into my blogging journey I realized that it was time to get serious. Up until that point I was extremely inconsistent. I posted just about anything and everything and considered myself a lifestyle blogger with a heavy emphasis on deals.

I had no idea what I wanted. There were no plans. No goals. No focus. Honestly, I was clueless.

It was definitely an AH-HA moment. I sat there one night thinking…

Why am I doing this?

What do I want to get out of blogging?

My answers shocked me. I surprised myself by creating both short-term and long-term goals. I realized that I was passionate about blogging and decided if I was going to devote any kind of time to my blog that I wanted it to be worthwhile.

From that day forward I made a commitment to be intentional with my blogging process.

One of the first things I did was figure out my niche. I knew if I wanted to grow my blog and build an engaged community I needed to start by defining my blog’s niche and focus.

Before this signifiant turning point, I thought I wanted to appeal to everyone. I was under the impression that if I did not include a bunch of different topics then no one would like my blog. I didn’t want someone to come to my site and not be able to relate to it.

Wow, was I wrong.

Not only did this prevent me from relating to anyone, but the majority of my traffic was made up of people coming and going.

No one stayed on my blog. Nor was I targeting a specific reader. At the time, I was under the impression that if I narrowed down my topics than I would not be able to grow my blog because only certain people would be interested in it.

I wanted to write about anything and everything. I thought it would be more appealing to the masses. Even though you can incorporate a lot of different topics on your blog there still needs to be a common theme or niche.

Once I started to focus on my niche I was able to narrow down the topics while still growing my blog. Even though I started to consider myself a frugal lifestyle blogger I was much more specific with the content that I posted.

Keeping your blog consistent and having a niche will help you to grow your blog with the right type of audience. You want to have an audience that is specific so that you can fulfill their needs and provide value to their life.

Even though you may have a hard time focusing on one topic do not think this will be the only thing you can write about. Once you have built your platform you can branch out. You do not need to be defined by one topic or niche, but you will need to be providing value and creating your platform before expanding and moving to other things. When you focus on one topic you start to become an authority. After you are seen as an 'expert' then you can branch out and start including other interests.

I realized that I did not want to appeal to every single person who landed on my blog. Not only is that impossible, but in order to provide strategic content that would bring people back to my blog I need to consider who that ideal reader was.

In the beginning, my blog was all about me. It was about things that were going on in my life, places I visited or topics I was interested in.

Now, this is not a bad thing but I did not consider my audience. How would my random updates about a cool place we visited have any kind of bearing on their life.

Even though it is your blog it should not be all about you.

Blogs who build a loyal community of readers have traffic, comments and shares on their posts because their readers find the article to be valuable. You can still maintain your voice and personality throughout your blog while focusing on your reader’s needs.

Now that I was dedicating myself to making changes I realized it was time to narrow down my niche for Frugal Fanatic. I knew I was passionate about saving money and I knew I wanted to write about topics that included budgeting, frugal living and saving money. But, there were still key elements I was missing. I started to answer questions like these:

What are your goals?

What do you love reading about?

Who is your audience?

What are you passionate about?

What are your strengths?

What is something that no other blog is doing?

You need to take an honest look at your areas of interest.

Can you write and write and write and then write some more about this same topic?

Over and over again?

If not, you will quickly run out of content ideas and struggle with what to post on your blog.

If you are anything like me then you read that question and think to yourself, “Strengths, I do not have any strengths. Like seriously, what am I good at?”

It may take you some time to answer this but everyone has strengths. Everyone is unique, the goal is figuring out what makes you different.

I was finally able to narrow down Frugal Fanatic, but I still felt like there was something missing when it came to blogging. I felt like I was at a crossroads.

I do love saving money and I am passionate about the topic, but something was off. I almost felt like I was headed in the wrong direction. Yet again, it was time for another change.

Although I absolutely adore Frugal Fanatic {which I still have and blog on regularly because it’s awesome!} I decided it was time for my business to include new topics that I was passionate about. It took my a long time {when I say long, I mean 4 years!} to realize that I was missing a huge part of myself in my blog. I have a teaching degree and my MBA.

Why was I not blogging about my unique experience and expertise? Although it was right in front of my face the whole time I struggled to realize that my passion and interests are in blogging and business.

I started to see this reoccurring theme because all I ever wanted to do was talk about blogging and business. To the point where I know my friends and family were like “shutup!” Does she ever stop talking about blogging?” It was like word vomit for me.

Yes, I know that term is totally gross, but this is exactly what I was doing.

You will see in the workbook I created to help you find your blog’s focus there is an exercise about talking and writing all about what your blog’s niche or focus will be.

If you do not think it is something that you can talk about or write about over and over again then it may be time to narrow down and shift your blog’s purpose.

Not only will you struggle when it comes to curating content, but you will become bored if you are not passionate about your topic. Naturally, this led me to Simply Blogging Along.

I needed a place to share my knowledge and experience in hopes of helping other bloggers who were in the same position I was in.

I knew their was a need for this information because I was one of those people who NEEDED it desperately a few years ago. I had no idea what to do to grow a blog nor did I even know you needed to have an email address.

I wasted a lot of time in the beginning years of my blogging journey wishing for more resources to learn about what to do. The hard part comes when you look at other people in your industry.

I have this PROBLEM where I venture out to good old Google and check out bloggers and businesses in my niche and quickly feel frustrated. I compare myself to them and think, “Wow, I wish my site was like theres.”

Doesn’t it always seem like everyone else has it going on, but you? Trust me, I have been there.

The key for me was realizing my unique approach and playing by my own rules.

I did my research and validated my ideas by conducting surveys and listening to what people were saying.

How was I missing this before?

Once I was able to narrow this down and figure out that this was a new adventure for my business I began to set high goals.

I am definitely my biggest critic.

For years I got caught up thinking that I could NEVER achieve what I see other blogger do online. I have now realized that it was my own mindset holding me back from achieving what I really wanted to do with my business.

I was keeping myself down by trying to maintain everyone eles’s standards and trying to ‘fit the part.’

To tell you the truth, I was scared. I liked my safe little corner of the Internet. I stuck to the same routine and never ventured beyond it.

This goes back to the same mentality of comparing yourself to other blogger’s or businesses in your niche.

I am sure you have heard the term ‘jumping on the bandwagon.’

I would see that someone did something successful and I would stay within their realm instead of having my own dreams and goals. I would overthink every single move I was going to make because I was afraid of failing.

But, the only part I failed on was not trying.

Now that you have been exposed to a TON of my mistakes, let me help guide you to discovering your blog’s purpose.

To make it easy I have created this 10 page workbook so that you can spend some time answering each question.

Your blog’s focus will primarily be made up of

Passion + Value = Focus

Your passion and expertise mixed with how you can help your audience and provide value will lead to your blog’s niche.

The intersection of these major points will help to provide you with clarity. Not only will you start to attract the right readers but you will have a much easier time curating content.

Once you have found this sweet spot you will start to build authority, your content will be more meaningful and people will stick around longer on your blog.

 

I would love to know the process you took to find your blog’s focus. Did it come easy for you?