I will be the first to admit. Whenever I have written or talked about monetizing your site, I have brought up the importance of the niche. And why you should find it when attempting to monetize your site. As the years progressed, and I heard more discussions around the topic, I never changed my opinion on this. But, at the same time, I am realistic. If we cut all the hype and BS, realistically, is a niche still the be-all, end-all solution to a successful blog or website?
Why a Niche is Important
This is obvious. If you start a site and go too broad, it can be a killer. Because you didn’t take the time to define and refine your audience. Maybe you want to review and sell smart watches. Or talk about WordPress. Or focus on social media education. I see it time and again with novices. They try to attract every single individual in the world.
Because with those odds, you will make money, right?
On the Flip Side
Now you can also go deep-ended the other way. Your niche can be so narrow and so focused that you are more likely to be doing it because you love it.
I like to use the example we heard from Sonia Simone from Copyblogger years ago. It was based on the naked mole rat.
Now that is one ugly sucker.
Imagine you love the naked mole rate. So much that you start a site and dreams of monetization fill your waking hours. You think of naked mole rat t-shirts and coffee mugs. Posters that are memes with the cute little guy. Maybe you even start your own line of cuddly naked mole rat stuffed animals. It’s a dream come true. Why?
Because no one else is doing it.
That must mean you can fill that niche and become a millionaire.
The sad fact is that there is probably a reason no one is doing it. And even sadder, you may be one of a dozen people worldwide who really has any respect or admiration for this creature.
A Niche Within a Niche or Something Like That
Now tracking back to what I previously said, when it really comes to strategy, there is no simple answer. A site’s niche may seem awfully broad to an outsider, but with the right strategy, taking the time to build and understand your audience and a heck of a lot of testing, it can be done. Look at our site.
On the other hand I’m not going going to send this by saying you should ignore this idea of finding your niche or to take it lightly. But it’s not the only factor in the whole scheme of things. Someone might even take what appears to be a filled niche area and do wonders with it.
They may find a new, creative approach to the topic or subject. They may find that their own personality brings a refreshing perspective to something a ton of other people are doing.
Or they may just be lucky, and hit it at the right time and the right place.
So, in the end, don’t stress over finding that perfect niche. In fact, it may be impossible. But do bend and stretch your ideas. Test them out. Don’t be afraid to cross into what may seem like well-charted territory, only to find a golden nugget buried somewhere.