How to Pick Your Niche – Learn from My Mistakes

So you want to create content about your favorite topics, earn online & work with people you like.

Who doesn’t? This sounds like my dream life

Traditionally, if you want to be on TV, you have to apply & interview with the TV program. 

If you want to be in the papers, your submission must fit what they want to publish.

Nowadays, the internet has eliminated most industry gatekeepers. 

  • No newspaper or magazine wants to hire you? – Start a website or blog
  • Can’t get in on any radio talk show? – Start a podcast
  • Didn’t make it through a TV audition? – Start your own YouTube channel

You can be anything you put your mind to. All you need are 3 things:

  1. A clear niche & content strategy
  2. A smartphone
  3. An internet connection

Seriously, what a time to be alive!

Most people have a smartphone & an internet connection, so that leaves us with #1:

How to pick your niche, which is luckily the topic for today.

Picking the right niche that fits your personality & goals is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT

You’re not alone if you find it hard to pick a niche. I’ve struggled to find my niche & wasted years creating random content that didn’t lead me anywhere.

So let me save you years of frustration & help you discover your niche. 

This article & video will provide you with a framework & use my personal stories as live examples to help you with yours.

What is a ‘Niche’ Anyway?

Here’s the best definition I found online:

“A niche is a specific solution to a specific problem for your ideal client” – Vanessa Lau

However, this definition could be overwhelming in the context of a new content creator.

Why? Because the ‘solution’ mentioned above implies that you:

  1. Know who your target audience is
  2. Know what their problems are
  3. Have the competence to sell them a product or service to solve their problems

When I started, I had no idea what can I sell online, let alone know my target audience. 

So, I created random content (blog & YouTube videos) on things I like. Anything revolving around personal finance, a broad topic I thought I loved.

I acquired a small audience (4k YouTube subs & 30k monthly blog readers) who liked me and my content.

But I reached a point where I felt something was off.

I Started to Realize I’m in the Wrong ‘Niche’

I noticed 3 things that started to piss me off about my personal finance ‘niche:’

  1. People who wrote on my YouTube comments asked for help to solve their debt problems. First of all, I’m not a financial advisor, nor do I plan to be one to monetize this audience.
  2. I created a video review about Wahed Invest (a robo-advisor investment app) & it got a lot of views. But my followers were messaging me with money advice & what to do when their investment went downhill. I have no qualifications or interest to predict the market.
  3. Companies that contacted me to collab or do a sponsorship are 99% of stocks or Crypto trading platforms. Both topics that I find incredibly dull & overhyped.

With these observations, I concluded that I can’t make a living off the ‘personal finance’ niche as the audience did not align with my personal beliefs & interests (how I wished I realized this earlier).

So I paused creating content for a while & bought a few online courses for new content creators to help define my new niche.

Soul Searching to Find My New Niche

After going through the exercises in the courses, it seems that sharing what I learned about digital content marketing seems promising. My logic:

  1. Content marketing is in high demand
  2. I am genuinely interested & am constantly learning about the topic
  3. My idols on Twitter & YouTube are already selling courses online.

My ultimate goal is to earn a living by selling digital marketing services, such as consulting & online courses.

To make this happen, I have to document my journey of learning & trying things out in that niche. So my target audience are:

  1. New content creators – similar to my past self
  2. Business owners needing content marketing services

But at the time, I felt like writing on my blog & having 4000+ subscribers on my YouTube channel was not good enough to convince people that I am an expert in content marketing.

I realized that I don’t have to be a digital marketing pro in this niche, as that would take years

All I have to do is to know a little more than the average beginner, so I can teach other people who are a few steps behind me.

But how can I learn digital marketing fast?

With a long-term plan in place, I did something drastic.

Convincing Myself that I’m Qualified to Teach

During the height of the global 2020 COVID pandemic, I applied for a full-time marketing job as a content writer at an affiliate marketing tech company.

It was an entry-level marketing job & it did hurt my ego as I was 32, working alongside fresh grads.

But I had a plan. I want to learn as much about digital/content marketing in this job & get paid for it (I had mortgages to pay off).

I went above & beyond to initiate improvements to the company through content marketing.

Within a year, I picked up holistic skills in digital content marketing: 

  • Write SEO articles & work with SEO agencies
  • Copywriting: Social media, paid ads & landing page
  • WordPress development (I did their website)
  • Developed landing pages using Elementor
  • A little bit about UI/UX & graphic designing
  • TikTok strategy & video creation
  • Created a free online course (academy) for our users
  • Hire & manage writers

A little over a year, I was promoted to Content Lead. The person in charge of all ideation & execution of digital content on their website.

Whatever I learned on the job, I applied to my personal brand & wrote case studies about my discoveries on my website, further branding me as somewhat of an authority in the content marketing niche. 

Not long after my promotion, I got a new job as the Head of Media Content for a local media company. 

All thanks to my constant personal branding online (especially on LinkedIn), 

I went from the bottom of the food-chain writer to a department head within 2 years. 

Not bad.

This is not to brag, but the new job & promotion does prove a point; I am good at digital content marketing.

Going back to finding my niche, now all 3 points are confirmed:

  • I love talking about digital/content marketing
  • I see how other people are already making money in this field through courses
  • I have proven to be competent in this field (through my promotions)

So in my case, digital/content marketing is a suitable niche for me to pursue.

Remember, everyone’s niche should be different. 

Let’s use my story to now run an exercise to help you find your niche:

How to Find Your Niche – Step by Step

Your niche (or topic of choice) should be the intersection of

  1. What topics do you like
  2. What you’re good at 
  3. Is it profitable?

Let’s take a look at this a little deeper & use my real examples so you can see how they all tie together:

IntersectionMy DefinitionMy Example
What You LikeTopics you can talk about for hours without getting bored. Look at your YouTube browsing history. Or people you follow on social media or blogs you read & bookmark. What do they talk about?Personal finance, Digital marketing, Earning online, Digital marketing, Content marketing, YouTube, Twitter
What You’re Good atSomething you’ve been paid to do – a skill from your job, or a skill that you’ve gotten compliments from. Ask your friends what they think you’re good at.Articulate & able to explain complicated topics easily
Detailed article writing
Is it Profitable?Are people willing to pay for services in this niche? The easiest way to check is to follow other content creators in this niche (Twitter & YouTube), stalk their profiles & see what they’re selling from their websites.I saw other content creators making money from 1:1 coaching, Online courses & Digital templates 

From my examples above, I concluded that content marketing should be my new niche. 

Don’t overcomplicate this step & spend some time brainstorming two to three niches.

Pick one that you can see yourself:

  1. Talking about this topic for the following years
  2. Learning new updates & trends about this topic
  3. Selling products or services relating to this topic

There you go! I saved you years of frustration by picking the wrong niche.

Click the button below for my FREE video tutorial + downloadable template hosted on Gumroad:

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