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How Narrowing Your Niche Can Get You Great Results

Narrow Down Your Niche and Get Great Results

When I started out blogging I really had no idea what I was doing.

I chose what I thought was “a niche”, and just hit my keyboard like a madman producing random content as fast as possible.

You have to blog as much as possible, right? Wrong.

I actually used the “spray and pray” technique looking back at it. And it was not very effective.

I wrote on the topic of blogging (social media, marketing, WordPress and SEO) and did not really understand what a niche was.

The poor results I got were my reward for having no idea how to narrow my niche down.

Enter The Age Of The Narrow Niche

If you had not noticed already (get your head out of the sand please!) you are living in a content-saturated online world.

Starting an online business online, or blog, is so easy it seems nearly everyone is doing it!

So, in today’s age of content overload – you need to stand out!

And one of the best keep secrets of the online world is standing out requires you to choose a very narrow niche.

It might seem counter-intuitive. After all, you want to reach as many people as possible, right?

Wrong again (like I was back in 2013).

You don’t need to serve the world to make a living. Just a few hundred, or perhaps thousand people will do.

And with billions of people within your online-reach, that means you can go super narrow and targeted with your niche!

Of course, that does not mean you should be ridiculous and choose something so narrow that there is not market. You need to keep your head screwed on right.

However, don’t be afraid of choosing something narrower than you think is possible. Because in many cases, it really helps!

How Narrow Can You Go? Examples of Niching Down

I want to show you some real-world examples of businesses and blogs that have gone narrow and prospered. This is to demonstrate to you that it is possible and can lead to bigger and better results.

Are you ready?

Let’s jump right in.

Companies Doing It Right

WPEngine

You might have already heard of WPEngine, but keep reading in any case…

WPEngine have specialised in the very crowded market of web hosting.

They have narrowed their niche down to the owners of WordPress websites who want premium services and protection.

In a world where there are hundreds of cheap and cheerful hosting companies (Bluehost, Godaddy, Hostgator etc), and even dozens who are in the mid-range, WPEngine decided to narrow down their market and have profited hugely as a result.

Niche: WordPress, Premium Hosting

Concourse Hosting

This is a similar example, but in some ways very different. Concourse Hosting offer very specific hosting to non-profits (already niche) who are using Blackbaud software to run their systems.

Never heard of Blackbaud, neither had I. But if you want to survive in a crowded marketplace like hosting, choosing your battles is key!

So, if you combine narrowing your customer base (non-profits) with a product that is also very niche, you can really find your sweet spot!

Niche: Non-profit, Blackbaud Software Hosting

Exo Protein Bars

Have you heard of the rising trend of using insect protein in food? Probably not.

I have the pleasure of working with a diverse range of clients around the world which helps expose me to such trends (and I listen to Tim Ferris – who is an investor in Exo too).

With the insane way we are using our animals to feed other animals or wasting land to feed them, people have been looking at cheap, fast and low resource alternatives.

The result: Cricket protein.

Are there enough protein bars (or protein powder for that matter) manufacturers out there? There sure are.

So, Exo is standing out by being a supplier of bars made with cricket powder! Niche enough for you?

Order one and give them a try!

Niche: Protein Bars, Cricket Powder

Blogs Doing It Right

The Manly Pinterest Tips

Jeff Sieh is a great example of how to take a niche and create your own even narrower niche inside it.

Pinterest, as we all know (and assume) is a very female dominated social media platform. It started out heavily in fashion, home decoration and similar feminine topics. But that has long ago stopped being the case.

Jeff was quick to realise this as a big Pinterest user himself and he developed his own manly brand on Pinterest. It has lead him to big things, with a recent appearance on the stage at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego!

Take a slightly different angle in a niche and stand out from the crowd (check out Jeff’s beard too, another great branding/niche trick).

Niche: Pinterest, Social Media, For Men (mostly)

The Branded Solopreneur

There are a lot of websites out there on web design, graphic design, branding and similar topics. But, are there any on branding specifically geared towards solopreneurs? Not many.

Andrea (Dre) Beltrami didn’t think so either.

Her website almost came out of nowhere and she has quickly become a “household” name in the blogging arena. Ok, not all of it is due to her niche (she has quite a bit of sass about her too) but it certainly helped.

Her content and focus on helping people who are running their businesses on their own (solopreneurs) has grown her a strong and dedicated following in a very short period of time.

Niching-down is something you need to do, as you can now start to see.

Niche: Branding, Graphic Design, Solopreneurs

Brent Jones Online

This last one is an example of re-branding in order to better focus on a niche.

Brent Jones also exploded onto the blogging scene last year and quickly made a name for himself with his interview series of successful bloggers.

But then, at the end of 2015 he decided it was all a waste of time!

Did he quit? No, he pivoted (as it is known in the startup world). He changed niche and focused on an even narrower segment of the online world.

Freelancers.

Not niche enough?

How about freelancers who are just starting out. That is pretty niche.

Niche: Freelancers, Beginners

Starting To See The Pattern? So, Now What?

Now that you have seen the examples that work, I hope you are starting to see the wisdom in narrowing your niche.

In the beginning, it is hard.

You are just starting to define:

  • who you are
  • who you serve
  • and what you have to offer the world

I get it.

I was there not very long ago myself, and in many ways I am still trying to narrow my niche every day (because it really helps).

However, now that we are starting to get to the end of this post I want to leave you with some steps you can take to help you narrow your niche and get more clients, customers or just blog readers as a result.

What Should You Do Next?

One of the best ways to narrow your niche is to actually focus on three core areas:

  • Your Passion
  • Your Skills
  • What People Will Pay For

They actually call this the sweet spot and it is best portrayed in a nice little image like this one:

The Niche Sweet Spot

What you really need to find is the overlap of these three things and then define who it is exactly you want to serve.

Figuring out this “sweet spot” will really help.

Try listing down each area and the things that go in each, and see what comes out of it.

(Note: For more detail on this I recommend reading Troy Dean’s latest post at WPElevation)

You can also check out a recent post I did with 100 online business ideas which can help you find an idea or niche to start with.

Let me give you an example from my work.

I am currently offering SEO and WordPress websites to anyone who asks.

Narrow niche? Not really.

So, late last year I started to ask myself

  1. Who, of all my clients, do I really like working with
  2. Why do I like working with them
  3. What is the best work I do with them
  4. What is the kind of work I really love

After going through that thought process I am starting to see that long-term, I really want to work with smaller businesses or solopreneurs

And, that I really love doing SEO with content that helps these kinds of people rank on Google for the long-term.

I am there yet? No.

Am I constantly working towards this narrow-niche goal? You bet!

Time To Find Your Narrow Niche

When I was starting out I was trying to please everyone. But in the end I was actually pleasing no one.

Now I have slowly started to narrow down my niche and people can not only refer to me by what I do and offer, but also relate to it because it is what they specifically need.

And, if I am talking directly to a specific type of person (my ideal client, based on my sweet spot) then they will hear me loud and clear!

Now get out there and find your niche.

By Ashley Faulkes

Ashley helps solopreneurs and small biz owners create an awesome website and make more money online. Find him at Mad Lemmings. When he is not glued to his Mac, he can be found in the Swiss alps undertaking sometimes dangerous sports! Join him on the road to a freedom lifestyle!

15 replies on “How Narrowing Your Niche Can Get You Great Results”

Hello Ashley,

This is exactly where I am at these days, trying to narrow my focus. My blog covers blogging, WordPress tutorials and marketing, but mostly WordPress tutorials. It is easier to write when it comes so easily.

Thanks for this helpful post!

Hi Ashley,

Great tips!

I myself have noticed this trend. Even SEO companies are doing it. For example there are companies who do only local SEO. some do for a specific sector. I think in the time to come, we will see more companies doing it.

Regards
Tauseef Alam

Hey Ashley,

That’s exactly something I am focusing on these days. I was in process to start a new online business, and that’s exactly the thing I discussed with my friends to know their views. Many understood the point of going micro-niche, and many simply ignored the fact that micro-niche can help me achieve certain results and authority within short-span of time in certain industry.

I like how you showed these varied examples of people who have narrowed their sights.

“Is there a market for X?” that people ask when thinking of a venture to pursue.

But two very important considerations that I think takes a backseat is that of, “How much money do I want to make?” and “How much value do I want to place on my time?”

Most people make the mistake of having “I don’t know” be the answer for both of those questions. And of course, this sets them on the path of having roller coaster income and taking on whoever shows up – including customers and clients they don’t want to work with.

And some people might throw out the idea that I’d like to be making a million dollars a year in a niche.

I’ll tell you right now, a person having that “million dollars a year” aspiration is better off than the person who says, “I don’t know.”

“A million dollars” let’s you start doing the math that tells you what niche would make better sense for you to purse.

I come from the world of Copywriting.

I’ve come to find that the smaller the client’s ability to use copy, the smaller the client’s capability to pay you for copy

So think about local small businesses as a niche.

You can find clients who are willing to pay you a thousand bucks over the year to do a little bit of stuff for them.

If you do this, how many of them do you need to make your million? You need a thousand of them.

This means you’d have to find 85 or so clients every month.

But wouldn’t it be easier to find 100 clients who could pay you $10,000 a year?

There are plenty of small businesses and companies out there who can pay you $10,000.

Now the clueless small business owner who doesn’t understand the power of world class direct marketing isn’t going to even entertain this possibility.

This person thinks, “Why would I pay $10K a month for writing? Even if for some weird reason I wanted to do that, where am I supposed to get $10K from?”

But if you had looked at the math of his business and you spotted five opportunities that were gold mines he wasn’t tapping into and you knew that in a WORST case scenario, you could increase his business by $100,000-$200,000… you would know that he would be trading you $10,000 in exchange for $100,000-$200,000 dollars.

A smart person will do that trade with you all day long.

You need to be putting propositions like these in front of people who don’t need to be “sold” on this idea.

So it’s easier to get a 100 of these $10K guys than it is to get a 1,000 of the little ones.

But you have to remember that the downside to getting smaller clients is that doing so clogs up your schedule and this stops you from doing work for any of the big ones when they do appear.

This means that the first thing to get out of your head is the idea that it’s harder to get the big ones.

You need to also consider how by narrowing it down to having to only get 100 clients makes it a more manageable number.

And if you bring it down to 50, that’s even easier to manage.

When you ratchet it down to only needing 20 clients to meet your financial goals – whatever they may be – you can end up getting those, more likely than not, by referrals alone.

But if you need 200 clients, you’re gonna need 50 ways to get them.

So when you’re stocking your pond you’ve gotta think about how much each client is worth and how many of them you need to meet your personal income goal.

And it makes sense that the fewer you need, the better.

Think about how much better your life as a niche marketer can be if you JUST get this straightened out in your mind and you’re finding clients/customers who fit squarely into your sweet spot.

Thank you Ashley for making me give consideration to this topic of narrowing. It is so vital to the person who has zero interest in marketing to the masses.

Lewis you are so right. That is in fact the next step in the process I would think. Understanding what you want to earn, and how you can go about doing that.

I am doing a course on building courses right now and that is in fact one of the key things they teach. Working backwards from your goal to your price in order to determine how many sales you really need. Very similar indeed, and very helpful.

And I have certainly seen the difference in SEO services i offer. The people who “get” what it is I sell, usually have less of a problem buying it. And of course, if they are a slightly larger business, even more so.

Thanks for you very useful comment :>

Wow what a great post this is and the valuable comments.

You rightly said that if you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing none. This is true for any business.

I believe, every narrow niche has vast potential and when one understands this, how wide your niche is, will become clearer. Because, it’s all about exploration. The deeper you dig into something, you’ll discover more and more amazing things and you’ll come across things you have not thought of ever.

This is the truth. The world has evolved this way. We just need to incorporate this into our own thing – Blogging.

Thanks for the wonderful post.
Mukesh

I see the same think on fashion industry. Since there are quite a lot of fashion bloggers around, there have been a lot of them who reprofiled on suck a certain type of styles or colors to appeal to their public. And it’s ok if you want to hit just that profile of user. Sometime just getting that specialised niche can get you a nice revenue, since people will know who to follow if they want specific information.

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