Let me start by saying that it's my belief, as people, that we are made up of a variety of interests. A person is never one single thing. That's what makes you, uniquely you. Here's just a tiny breakdown of me:
- Frequent traveler
- Hobbyist flower farmer/designer
- Entrepreneur/business owner
You get the point, and the list goes on. Why am I telling you this?
Well, here's the thing, and also unpopular opinion: While I don't think a blog or business should be a stream of consciousness, I do think that "niche down your blog/social" is not the best advice.
Here's why you shouldn't niche down: I have connected with small business owners who read my blogs about email marketing, social media marketing, etc. But then, they will sometimes find their way to my travel guides, realizing that I'm also an avid snowboarder/traveler. Boom: A light bulb goes off because maybe they snowboard too or they've been to the places I mention in my posts. There's an automatic connection or commonality. It's like, "Hey you're my kind of person."
Ok, now to what you really came here for: Top reasons why you shouldn't niche down, plus some photos I took on the farm where I'm growing flowers this year to prove my damn point.
You won't be pigeon holed
This part is a cautionary tale. About 10 years ago, I was working in the music industry as a digital strategist/social media marketer. Being a musician was a BIG part of my identity. It was what a lot of people "knew" me as even before my professional career. I won the superlative for "most musical" in high school, and surprise, surprise, I started college as a music major. Post-college, you could catch me gigging from time to time, and eventually, I started a YouTube channel playing ukulele with my pug by my side.
My first video got 3k views overnight (that video is now up to 71k views), and I started to grow a small following. The problem? Well, I pigeonholed myself because now I have a channel where people expect to see me only playing my ukulele. Yet, here I am writing blogs about business, branding, and digital marketing. Had I started my channel to say, "Hey, I'm this, this, and this," my audience would be more receptive to my content variety. Learn from my mistakes.
Focus on your pillars...that's plural, so you can diversify as you go through your life and career. People change. Passions change. Life happens.
Reach a broader audience
Business owners oftentimes network/connect on topics outside of their business first, right? You can find your common ground when you write about related topics, expanding your overall audience.
I love this quote, "What you lose in topical relevancy, you'll make up for in volume."
That said, I still believe quality over quantity matters the most. If you have thousands of daily hits for one single post that's not related to anything else you write, that's not the right way to broaden your audience. Keep scrolling down to "consider your pillars" for more on that.
Eliminate content fatigue
For many people, niches are saturated. Heck, my "niche" is saturated AF. The question is how do you separate yourself from every "expert" in your field? Easy: You share your other interests/stories and become more human. Consider these stats:
- 27 million pieces of content are shared online every day.
- The average social media user encounters 285 pieces of content daily.
That's a shit ton of "stuff." AND most people do not browse the internet in a linear fashion. We bounce around.
If businesses have a niche because their product solves a problem (think about the storybrand book), a blog's main problem is gaining the attention of people (you need readers). You are presenting yourself as unique, and that makes you irreplaceable as opposed to any Joe Schmo talking about marketing topics (Sorry, Joe Schmo).
So when you get the attention of more people because you've expanded your reach, you will keep that attention because you are different. Trust me, I'm sure some people will probably only come over to this blog to see my lilac photos, and I'm 100% ok with that. I love it.
Consider your pillars
This is the part where you're sort of niching down, and it goes back to the idea that you shouldn't just post a stream of consciousness. By creating about four pillars of your lifestyle brand/blog/business, you can narrow down what you should post and maybe what should stay in your brain or go somewhere else.
For me, my pillars are:
- Digital Marketing
You'll notice that each of them appears on the header of my website too! Here's the connection: I am a digital marketer/consulting and branding specialist first. That's what most people come to me for. But travel is the place and space where I discover my best ideas. It's key to my ability to be creative, and I believe every business owner needs to find that one thing that quiets the mind. Flowers also do that for me. To that same effect, I've always loved fashion. It's a creative outlet for me, and as a business professional, there's some common ground with other women or fashion brands I can find there.
The point is, I'm not writing about random things. There should be something that intertwines the pillars and the lifestyle you're building. In other words, what's your common theme?
As business owners, we're constantly being pushed and pulled in different directions by our peers, our industry, and maybe even our own internal instincts. One thing is clear: Nothing lasts forever, and that goes for a niche too. The best way to grow with all the pushing and pulling without losing the parts that you've built? Be yourself and embrace your pillars (again, plural).
Need help combing through your content? Not a problem. Shoot me an email or fill out the form below. I'll be in touch!