What is a niche? Is it pronounced “neesh” or “nit-she”? Which reminds me, “JIF” or “GIF”, did we ever decide?
I’ve often been told that I’m really good at working to one. So, I decided to write a post exploring what it means to work to a niche, as well as providing some tips on how to do it best.
So, what is a niche?
Let’s start with a definition:
- denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.
- “other companies in this space had to adapt to being niche players”
In summary, it’s something really defined and specialized to meet a certain need.
You could think of WordPress as a kind of niche in Content Management Systems. But, with such a blossoming market of choice, when selecting or designing a web theme, you can be a lot more specific.
In fact, there are many more niches within WordPress itself we could talk to. Let’s explore a few, and clear up some common misunderstandings.
The Multipurpose Theme Debate
Ever needed to build a website? You’re probably familiar with the Multipurpose vs Niche Themes debate.
As the name implies, Multipurpose Themes don’t work to a niche. They instead suit, well, multiple purposes.
A few years ago, when it first emerged as a trend, ‘multipurpose’ could have been considered a niche of sorts. But, to fit the needs of a niche nowadays you need a theme with a tighter focus.
Consider the WordPress drop down categories on ThemeForest. Blogging, Magazine, Corporate, Retail etc. are some of the categories you will see. Each is targeted to a specific use, meaning if you fit into one of those fields, you’ll find a theme just for you.
Retail’s a great example. If you were creating a site for a business in that field your theme would need to include eCommerce.
A Magazine selling subscriptions would need an eCommerce plugin that charges per month.
A theme tailor made with specific purposes in mind would have elements included.
The Benefits of working to a Niche
As a freelance copywriter I have a very defined niche: copywriting for software designers and developers.
I don’t stray from these boundaries, and I strive to provide high quality services, tailored to this specific audience.
Even more niche, my clients are only Envato Authors.
This has helped me maintain a high quality of service to that customer base. And, it’s established me as an authority in the space.
You can do this too! All you need to do is focus on a field you’re passionate about, and turn it into a business model that works for you.
Yes, but how can I define my niche?
This is where the hard work begins.
It might not be so obvious at first. But as you build your brand and products, you’ll notice what sells, and who your repeat clients are. Use this time to think about what your passions are, and start building from there.
Focusing on creating these has led him to make over $1 million on our marketplace.
For me, writing has always been a passion, and something I excelled at. So, it was very easy to get that part established.
And, that’s my advice to you. Don’t look at what the latest trend is, or what’s selling the most in your chosen industry. Being passionate comes from the core of your being and this will come through in your work.
Marketing for your niche
Go where your people are. It’s that simple.
Think about who your customers are, and where they’re hanging out. What’s their favorite social network? What blogs do they read?
Start communicating the value you can offer them in their home environment. Be it at an event, a speaking engagement, a workshop, or online on social media or a forum.
Targeted networking, and advertising will get you noticed by the right crowd. Knowing what your niche is before you build your product, will make it easier to know the people you need to market to.
Working to a niche can optimize your workflow, and increase your chances of success. But, only if you know who your audience is, know what they want, and know where to find them.
Trying to be everything to everyone will always be a better option for some people, and products.
But, trying to be everything to everyone can sometimes enact the law of diminishing returns.
Focusing on the needs of a small, specialized customer base can lead to more success.
By doing a little expertise, and focusing tight on whatever your niche is, you can find success too.
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