Anyone (and everyone) can create content these days. If you want to earn a real living as a content creator, you need to find a specialty that sets you apart. You need a niche. The need for original content is only going to grow as brands (and other creators) turn to AI to create art, write content, and make videos.
A niche will not only set you apart from the generic machine-generated content providers that will flood the market in the next few years but will ensure that there is consistent, reliable demand for your unique work and perspective. In this lesson, we'll look at specific niches you can explore and how to find a niche of your own.
What is a content niche?
A content niche refers to a specific topic or area of focus that a content creator becomes specialized in or a unique perspective or angle that sets the creator apart from the competition in the same field. A content niche topic could be vegan cooking, parenting advice, or any other focused area an individual or brand chooses to produce content about. It's also possible to focus on profitable sub-niches, such as becoming a content creator focusing on the family and parenting niche, where one might produce content related to parenting twins, children with autism, or sleep-training young babies.
What are the benefits of niches?
Creating content focusing on a particular niche can be extremely beneficial. Whether you are putting your unique spin on the same things everyone else is talking about or using your expertise and skills to become an online authority about a specific issue or industry, a content niche is a great way to establish yourself and earn money through content creation. Some of the benefits include:
Improved monetization opportunities
Content creators that focus on a niche find it easier to monetize their content because it's far easier to narrow down and market to your audience. Whether you want to sell products or establish yourself as a brand in your own right, picking a niche is the key to finding that audience.
Literally, anything can become a niche (and a lucrative career). Gwyneth Paltrow became known for selling quirky and extremely high-end lifestyle products, Cesar Millan became the global authority on canine behavior, Marie Kondo is an organizational expert, and dermatologist Sandra Lee is now better known as...Doctor Pimple Popper. Focusing on a single area of expertise sets them apart from the others. Once you've built your brand and established yourself as an expert, you can expand your content and explore new monetization opportunities, like selling online courses, booking speaking engagements, or sponsorships from big brands.
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It's easier to find topics...and an audience
Niches make it far easier to create content and come up with ideas that align with your audience's interests and needs. When you focus on one niche or a specific audience, it's often easier to build a relationship with your listeners, viewers, or readers. It's also much easier to connect with other creators and experts in that field, which makes it easier to collaborate and cross-promote.
When you focus on a specific topic, your content can have a real impact on the industry or the audience. Neil Patel, for example, is one of the best-known authorities on SEO and online marketing. Tony Robbins was one of the first true self-improvement influencers in the world. They became both brands and experts in their content niches and are now seen as credible sources of information by a loyal audience.
Is it still possible to find a content niche?
Sometimes it feels as though there's nothing new under the sun...and certainly nothing new on the Internet. The good news is that you can still find a niche that isn't oversaturated, even in today's very crowded online landscape.
Your niche could be:
- Something you know or are an expert in
- Something you've experienced that gives you a unique perspective on a topic
- People you know and can be involved in your content, e.g., inviting comedians or artists to be interviewed on your podcast
- Unique angles on familiar topics
- A personal journey, e.g., sharing your attempt to learn how to cook, lose weight, or become vegan.
We'll cover a few ways to discover a specific niche you can focus on to drive the most engagement and reach the right audience later in this article, but it's a good idea to start doing research early to find gaps in the market. Podcasts like All Killa No Filla put their own twist on the popular true crime niche by combining comedy and crime coverage. The Nerd Fitness blog helps people who aren't typical fitness junkies live a healthy lifestyle and exercise. The Flying Beast shares his career as a pilot (and all the cool places he visits) on his vlog.
How to find your niche as a content creator
Finding a niche isn't always a straightforward process. It may take some experimentation and research to find one that works for you. Give it time, and you'll find the right niche that aligns with your unique interests and goals. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Identify your unique passions and interests
Finding your passion and unique interests will drive your creative work and help you connect with your target audience. Start by reflecting on what you truly enjoy doing and what you are good at. Think about activities and hobbies you love, and consider how they could translate into content pieces. Love cooking authentic food from your culture? Start a food blog. Are you a fashion grad that loves binge-watching period dramas? Start a vlog discussing the costumes in Bridgerton or popular movies.
Ask yourself a few simple questions:
- What makes me different?
- Why would this specific audience want to see my content?
- What difference do I want my content to make?
- What do I want people to know?
You might not have all the answers right away, but it can set you on the right path of self-discovery.
Find your unique voice
Once you have a rough idea of the topics or content you'd like to explore, start experimenting with different styles or formats. It doesn't matter if you aren't a qualified videographer or chef as long as you are willing to embrace the topic with enthusiasm and humor. Blogger Allie Brosh became hugely successful by drawing stick-figure-like cartoons in Microsoft Paint. B Dylan Hollis cooks recipes he finds in vintage cookbooks like Peach Spam Bake and Peanut Butter Stuffed Onions. Whatever you do, stay true to yourself. Audiences will be able to sense if you aren't being authentic or trying to fake a specific persona to increase your likes.
Identify gaps in the market
One of the best ways to find a niche that offers an opportunity to grow and expand is to look for gaps in the market. You need to develop a deep understanding of your niche, including your competitors and the relevant industry or theme.
We've compiled a list of research tools content creators can use for inspiration and insight that you can use as a starting point. Google Trends, BuzzSumo, SEMRush, and AlsoAsked are good platforms you can use to see which topics or creators are performing the best online. You can also do research into trending topics, competitors, and the most asked questions on the web or analyze your own content to see which topics and content are resonating with your target audience.
If there isn't a lot of content out there about your specific sub-niche, try reading industry publications and participating in online communities and forums. You'll be able to find out which topics people are interested in knowing more about and which questions aren't being answered.
If there's already a lot of content being published about the niche you're interested in, do competitor research. Find out what other creators are doing and analyze what they are doing well (or not doing well). Look for areas where you can differentiate and create unique value for your audience.
It's not easy putting yourself out there, and you may find yourself on the receiving end of harsh criticism. Don't ignore your audience (or throw in the towel). Think of the comments as a valuable source of information. Are you reaching the right audience? Is your message coming across? Do the same comments and questions keep coming up? Are there technical or audio glitches you need to address? You can't please everyone, but you can experiment and make changes to see what resonates with your audience. Some content will perform infinitely better than others. Find out why! Remember to stay open-minded. Some of the best ideas and feedback may come from unexpected sources. You might not immediately agree with the feedback you are getting, but it's worth experimenting and making tweaks to see if you get a different result.
Consider the long game
Creating content isn't easy. If you want to succeed in this field, you constantly have to create and post new content, even when you aren't feeling very inspired. Can you see yourself talking or writing about a specific topic for the next year? How about five years? How flexible are you? You may need to adjust and evolve your niche as the market changes.
Start by making a list of 100 pieces of content or topics you can cover in a specific niche. If you can get to 100 pieces of content without being repetitive (or getting bored), you've probably landed on a topic you can mine for years.
If you can't come up with a list of 100 pieces of content, expand your niche. One way of doing this is to focus on a larger industry and then pick 2-3 pillars or sub-niches to hone in on. You could expand your exercise vlog by covering healthy recipes or reviewing home exercise equipment. Your cooking blog could cover Meat-Free Mondays or cocktail recipes. Eventually, you'll find out which content pillar resonates with your audience the most, so you can narrow it down again.
Decide how you'll reach your goals
Every content creator has an end goal in mind. Perhaps you are creating content for purely altruistic reasons, and you just want to get your message to as many people as possible. Maybe you'd like to earn enough money to quit your day job. Whatever your goal, you need to set yourself up for success with a solid content marketing strategy.
While we cover this topic at length on the blog, there are a few basics to consider:
- If your goal is to work with corporate sponsors, you'll need a solid portfolio and metrics to present a proposal. Businesses want something in return for their investment, and you'll need all the facts if you want to persuade them to pay you for your content or to provide you with free products. You need to ensure that your online brand presence is squeaky clean and professional.
- If you want to make your money through affiliate marketing, you'll need to ensure that your niche attracts the widest possible audience to hit your revenue targets.
- If you want to get your message out there, explore partnerships with other influencers and media publications. Establish yourself as an expert on the topic, and write professional pitches and proposals to media outlets and industry events to get the word out.
- Are you dreaming about becoming a brand and selling a book or course down the road? You'll need to build up credibility and align yourself with industry publications and experts. Encourage your clients, followers, and fans to leave positive reviews.
Content creators can easily become stuck because they are too afraid to experiment or deviate from the norm. Virality isn't something that you can manufacture. All of the research in the world can't predict which topic or piece of content will be the one that launches your career.
Be willing to take chances—and be willing to be less than perfect. Producing highly polished and perfect articles and videos is a great way to keep your audience coming back for more, but a shaky video recorded on your phone to take advantage of a trending topic or live comment on a breaking news event on Twitter can be the key to gaining very real traction in a short amount of time.
Success comes from taking chances and taking the occasional risk. If you are sincere and passionate about what you do, you'll find common ground with the right audience and build a loyal following.
What are some of the most profitable niches?
There are several niches that still enjoy high demand:
The personal development niche
The personal development niche focuses on offering career, self-improvement, and self-help advice to others. Tony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Tim Ferriss are content creators in this niche. To succeed in this niche, you need great communication skills and a good understanding of various personal development concepts and techniques. It's best suited to charismatic speakers who can engage an audience. You'll also need the ability to create and edit visual content, such as videos and graphs.
The health and wellness niche
Health and wellness content focuses on content related to physical and mental health, fitness, nutrition, and overall well-being. It may include articles, videos, and social media posts that provide information and advice on topics such as exercise, healthy eating, stress management, and disease prevention. Jillian Michaels, Dr. Axe, and Brené Brown are well-known content creators in this field. There are several sub-niches in this category, including fitness, dieting, mental health, and recovery from serious illnesses. You'll need a solid understanding of health and wellness principles and should be able to back up your claims with research and trends. Experience in the field as a practitioner or a researcher is advisable.
The travel and adventure niche
The travel and adventure niche focuses on creating and sharing stories and experiences related to travel and adventure. This can include destination reviews, travel guides or photographs and videos, blog posts, articles, social media posts, and videos. This niche is great if you are passionate about exploring new places, learning about different cultures, and experiencing the great outdoors. You will need excellent writing and photography skills if you want to succeed in this field, along with a solid knowledge of social media. Rick Steves, Samantha Brown, and the late Anthony Bourdain are all examples of travel and adventure content creators.
The tech/digital marketing niche
The tech and digital marketing niche focus on sharing insights and strategies related to technology and digital marketing, including the latest technology trends, social media marketing, SEO, data analysis, e-commerce, and more. It may include blog posts, podcasts, videos, and infographics that target businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals that want to learn how to effectively use technology to achieve their goals. As a content creator in this niche, you should have a firm grip on various digital marketing channels, such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising. You should also be able to break down complex topics and technology in simple terms for novices who aren't familiar with the field. Check out content producers in this niche, like Neil Patel, Rand Fishkin, and Brian Dean.
The personal finance niche
This niche focuses on sharing tips and strategies related to managing money and achieving financial goals. Topics may include budgeting, saving money, investing, debt management, retirement planning, credit score management, or tax management. If you want to pursue this niche, you need to understand personal finance concepts, have strong analytical and mathematical skills, and have some knowledge related to the regulations and laws related to personal finance. Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, and Ramit Sethi are good influencers to research in this area.
Finding your niche as a content creator may not be easy, but it is the key to unlocking your career and building your audience. Content creators with a unique niche will find it easier to monetize their content, engage their audience, and build their personal brands.
If you are still struggling to find your niche, spend some time identifying what you are passionate about. Use digital tools and strategies to find gaps in the market and decide whether you'll be able to produce content in the long term. Remember, you may have to stay flexible and keep an open mind as you pursue this career. You never know where your content will take you!
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