Figuring out what to blog about is one of the most difficult parts of starting a blog – it seems almost impossible to stick to a few topics.
Also, how do you stand out anymore?
Whatever topic you choose to blog about, there are at least a thousand or so blogs that are already sharing information about it.
Or maybe that’s not your issue. Maybe you have too many ideas bouncing around in your head. Or, quite the opposite, you are struggling to come up with just one.
No matter what your roadblock is, I’m here to help figure out the perfect niche for your blog. And in order to do this, we’re going to use the Japanese concept of ikigai.
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What is Ikigai?
Ikigai (生き甲斐) is a Japanese concept that loosely translates to “a reason for being.” Some may call this their life’s mission, their reason for getting out of bed at five in the morning, or if they’re fancy, a raison d’être.
In other words, ikigai aims to provide you with the answer to life’s most burning question: what am I doing here?
When it comes to the art of blogging, ikigai can help you figure out the perfect niche for your blog or come up with an intriguing and fascinating combination of topics that will allow you to stand out from the crowd.
As you can see, one’s blogging ikigai can be figured out if you develop much-needed clarity. You need to blog about a topic you’re passionate about, in a way that appeals to a large number of readers, adding value to them, and being able to monetize the skills you have acquired.
In other words, your blogging ikigai is the space between passion, mission, profession, and vocation.
Okay, now let’s break these down and analyze them.
What You Love to Write About + What You’re Good at = Passion
In order to figure out your passion, ask yourself these questions:
- What are my hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in my free time?
- What are things I enjoy writing about, with no desire to be read or make money off?
- What skills have I acquired?
Without wanting to be too philosophical about this, your passion can be found at the intersection of these two words: suffering and patience.
What are your willing to write about, over and over again, with no benefit whatsoever, for an extended period of time?
You need to answer this question for practical reasons: most blogs only become successful after a couple of years of consistently publishing content, with little external validation.
In other words, you need to figure out something you enjoy writing about for its own sake, and to be motivated solely by the desire to become improve your skills on a consistent basis.
During this first stage of figuring out your blog’s niche, you have to stop thinking about your ideal reader, or trying to monetize your blog.
Just ask yourself, “what makes me feel so alive that I punch the damn keys when writing about it?”
Or, better yet, “what is something I could blog about for an entire year before I get my first reader?”
⚠Warning: most people confuse enthusiasm with passion; the main difference between the two is that the enthusiast is unwilling to go through the trouble of becoming better or acquiring more knowledge about the topic they enjoy writing about. Discipline is the keyword here. If you’re passionate about a topic, you will spend more time trying to develop the skills that are required of you, even long after you’ve lost the enthusiasm to do so.
Next, we need to figure out our blog’s mission.
Your Blog’s Mission: How Will The World Look Like?
Your blog’s mission has everything to do with the value you add to your readers in such a way that you help them solve a problem.
And, yes, this problem can be as simple as the problem of boredom, and you trying to entertain them, make them laugh or smile.
In order to figure out your blog’s mission, you need to identify a problem your words can solve. It’s as simple as that.
Then, you need to develop a compelling vision (how will the world look like if your words could solve those problems), and then you arrive at your mission.
This in turn, becomes something like this:
Problem + Solution + Vision = Mission
Example: Most bloggers struggle with gaining enough clarity when it comes to choosing a blog niche, so I am offering them a clear and concise guide that will help them become far better bloggers.
That’s the mission of this blog post.
Our mission as a blog is to provide aspiring bloggers with all the resources and strategies they need to take their blogs to the next level.
Identify a problem, figure out a solution for it, and then develop a mission statement that includes a vision of how the world will look like after you’ve helped your readers solve that problem.
XYZ Members get access to this:
The Definitive Guide to Blog Niches
Everything you need to figure out the perfect niche for your blog.
If you’re struggling to come up with a great niche for your blog (either because you have no idea or too many ideas), this is the tutorial for you.
Your Blog’s Vocation: It’s Time to Think About $$$
Now, it gets kind of tricky, and now is probably when you will realize how intricately tied all these elements of figuring out the perfect niche for your blog truly are.
Your blog’s mission has to be about providing a solution to a problem that your readers are willing to pay for.
There are two options here:
- You either focus on providing a solution that as many people as possible need, in which case you will be able to monetize via ads, affiliate marketing, selling a premium membership, or offering products and services (digital downloads, coaching, online courses).
As an example, if I were to notice that The Art of Blogging isn’t providing a solution to enough people, so I can monetize the blog, I could reframe my mission (and the blog’s niche) as providing advice and tips to all creative individuals, not just bloggers.
The obvious downside is that I’d be competing in an ultra-competitive and overcrowded niche, and it would be much more difficult for me to stand out from the crowd.
As a rule of thumb, the more broad a niche, the more monetization options you have, but there’s also more competition.
2. You can focus on becoming hyperniche, providing a solution to few people, which you can them price at a premium.
The downside, of course, is that you will struggle to find readers, as not many people will feel they are part of your target audience.
Either way, you will need to be passionate about your blog’s niche, because it takes a lot of time to find the readers, help them solve a problem, and be able to make money from your blog.
Let’s imagine that we were to skip the first two steps, and we’d just try to figure out a niche that’s easy to monetize.
This would mean that we’d waste a lot of time writing about topics we couldn’t care less without helping out readers solve a problem (because we skipped step two and never developed a mission for our blog), so we would also be unable to make money from our blog.
That’s what the vast majority of bloggers do, and that’s why they struggle. They skip one of these steps, and then they wonder why they’re struggling to either get more readers or earn an income from their blogs.
Your Blog’s Profession: Authority Matters
The fourth and final step in figuring out our blog’s ikigai is understanding this simple concept:
I’m going to be honest with you.
People love authority, people want to learn from the best bloggers in their respective niche.
That’s why social proof matters, that’s why readers look for all sorts of signs that show you are respected, listened to, and admired by others in your niche.
How do you become an authority in your niche?
You write about a topic in which you want to become so good they can’t ignore you.
That’s why it’s so important to start with a topic you’re passionate about and then be willing to spend time and energy to become an authority in your field.
Yes, this simply means knowing more than others and being willing to share that knowledge with your readers.
In other words, your goal should always be to write the best content on your topic that anyone can find on the web.
This means that you need to:
- acquire the knowledge
- develop the skills
- do the research
- extract meaningful lessons and key takeaways
- spend more time thinking about a particular topic than others
Also, and this is where it gets fascinating, you need to provide a solution.
That’s the beauty of figuring out your blog’s ikigai.
There are a lot of bloggers out there who have the authority, meaning they know their stuff, but they are not offering a clear solution.
This, in turn, means they often struggle to find an audience, and they struggle to monetize their blogs.
Let me give you an example. A lot of people are passionate about philosophy. But, if you do not offer some actionable steps (and real-world examples) and show people how they can use philosophy to create frameworks that will allow them to live a better life, you are not offering them a clear solution to a problem.
Or let me put it this way. We’re all the experts of our own destinies. We know more about ourselves, our past experiences, and the lessons we have learned than anyone else on the planet. And, yes, a lot of people write about their personal experiences, but if those experiences don’t entertain, inspire, or provide valuable life lessons, then they are not helping readers solve a problem.
How to Use Ikigai to Figure Out Your Blog’s Niche in 4 Easy Steps
- Figure out a topic you’re passionate about: a topic you can write about, without anyone ever reading you, because you enjoy writing about it and want to become better and better at it.
- Find a way, within the confines of this topic, to solve a clear and concrete problem that some people might have.
- Develop a way you can monetize the solution you provide.
- Become an authority in your niche, by being more knowledgeable and by sharing the best advice and providing more value to your readers than anyone else.
What’s Preventing You From Discovering Your Ikigai
- You don’t think you can earn an income by writing about your passion
- You want to write about a different topic, considering that it’s going to be more popular or easier to monetize
- You mistakenly believe it’s far more important to be an expert in a certain field, and you don’t believe yourself to be knowledgeable enough to provide real value to your readers
- You are not focused on providing a solution to a problem, or adding value to your readers
- You’re worried you do not have the required skills to become so good at your topic that potential readers can’t ignore you
Warning: Lots of Dead Ends Ahead
A lot of bloggers don’t go through this process because they arrive at certain dead ends, and you will too.
You will figure out a topic you’re passionate about, and then you will realize you don’t have the knowledge required to provide your readers with a clear solution to any of their problems.
For instance, I’m a fitness enthusiast, and while I apply the research I do to my own workouts and nutrition, I don’t have the knowledge or the skills (or even the patience, for that matter) to work towards sharing advice and tips that can help others as well.
Pursuing this topic would take me towards a dead end.
Also, you might figure out a niche that’s so limited in its potential (both in terms of audience and monetization) that you will be forced to give up.
That’s why having a plan of action, a strategy, is so important. That’s why I recommend that you spend at least an afternoon thinking about the perfect niche for your blog.
Try to come up with a clear way of adding value to your readers, of helping them solve a problem in such a way that you can easily earn an income from your blog as you work towards becoming so good they just can’t ignore you.
It’s also worth knowing that this exercise (and figuring out your blog’s ikigai) is not meant to act as the ultimate residence for your blog, but rather as a reference you use as you progress as a blogger.
This is a process, after all, so do not worry if you feel that you do not have the expertise, or the authority, or even a clear way to monetize your blog.
You can become better, and ultimately that’s what matters… that you pick a niche you are willing to sweat for, a topic that matters to you, a niche that makes you proud to be a part of.
To make your blog stand out, you need to provide something unique.
Something that your audience can’t get anywhere else.
But how do you do that? How do you figure out a niche that allows you to create meaningful content, enjoy the process, and add massive value to your readers?
If you’re struggling to figure out a clear niche for your blog, this tutorial is going to help you. A lot.
Everything you need to figure out a niche that will be popular, profitable, and inspiring.
By reading this tutorial you will learn:
Why Do I Need a Blog Niche?
What Is a Niche?
1. The WHO
2. The WHAT
3. The HOW
The Secret Ingredient
Kaizen: Continuous Improvement
How to Use Ikigai to Figure Out Your Blog’s Niche
101 Questions to Help You Find Your Niche and Become an Authority (Self-Assesment)
Figuring Out Your Niche and Becoming an Authority
Sharing Your Ideas and Networking
Questions About Productivity and Mindset
Shoshin: Teach While You Learn
The Road is Under-Construction
A massive, 61 page tutorial containing everything you need to figure out a niche you won’t get bored of.
Included is a self-assessment questionnaire comprised of 101 questions that will help you better understand your goals, drives, and ambitions as a blogger, while figuring out what you can use to stand out from the crowd.
An exclusive download for XYZ members.