Uncover Your Niche - It's Already There
One of the most difficult elements of starting your own online business is choosing your niche - what are you going to specialize in? What topic do you consider yourself "expert" enough in to provide some useful information to your readers?
I find some people stress so much about this that they become immobilized, unable to choose a direction. They think they aren't good enough or experienced enough to be a valuable source of information. So they choose something "safe", but bland. And soon they find themselves swimming in a sea of other safe, bland web sites that offer nothing unique at all.
You need to remember that, out of all the "experts" out there, only a scant few are willing to do the work it takes to share their information at all . . . and within that subset, only a few are willing to do it well, to keep the information fresh and interesting.
Choosing your niche needn't be such a daunting task. Here are some questions to consider:
Thinking about your typical week, what do you spend your time doing now?
It may be work (What kind of work? Do you enjoy it? Have you had a job you did enjoy? What was it?) Or it may be a hobby of some kind (Sports? Video games? Watching TV? Going out with friends?) If you like going to events, what are they? Concerts? Car shows? You are already making choices about how you spend your time, and you've probably developed some expertise in it already.
If you had a day to do what you want, what would it be?
If you don't enjoy what you're doing now, what would you rather be doing? If obstacles are removed, what choices would you be making, and why would you choose that? You may have a hidden or buried talent just waiting to be uncovered.
Have any of your friends complimented you on a skill or knowledge you have?
You may not even know you possess a talent until someone points it out to you. For me, it was baking. I enjoyed it, but until friends started complimenting me on things I'd made, I didn't really consider myself anything of an "expert" on it. I knew that I sometimes floundered with techniques I didn't know, and that always sabotaged my confidence. But with a little encouragement, I started diving in to cookbooks and videos and realized everyone struggles with new techniques! That's why they are looking for help and advice!
If you're a reader, look at the books on your shelves - what are they about?
You've made a lot of choices about your interests already - and the answers are on your bookshelf. You chose those books for a reason. When you look at the titles and topics, what categories do you see? Is there a niche there that could be shared with others?
Do you subscribe to any magazines, online or hardcopy? What are they about?
Same thing with magazines - they are physical symbols of what you find interesting. And if there's a magazine about it, there's a market for it!
If you can come up with three or four potential areas of interest, you're well on your way to beginning your site. Don't worry about narrowing it down at the beginning, because that will happen naturally. If you're like me, you'll find yourself drawn to particular aspects of your interest topic. I started with baking, but over time I found myself most interested in recipes that included only all-natural ingredients. I didn't like cooking with artificial flavors or colors, or incorporating processed mixes in my recipes. So that was a natural refinement that happened over time - but it wouldn't have happened at all if I hadn't just started!
I truly believe your niche is already chosen in your mind - you just have to uncover it.