When I was little, I wanted to be a nurse.
I also wanted to be a teacher. A vet. An egyptologist. An actor. A singer. The owner of a small clothing business.
It was so difficult for me to pick a thing and stick with it.
It’s still so difficult to pick a thing and stick with it.
Today, we’re talking about the process behind choosing your focus – your niche – on youtube.
Picking a career and picking a niche – both v similar, both v strenuous.
WHY FINDING A NICHE IS REALLY FRIGGIN DIFFICULT
Finding the right niche is a long process.
IT’S KIND OF LIKE DATING
(IN ADDITION TO BEING KIND OF LIKE PICKING A CAREER).
You’re not going to find someone that’s made for you first go. Instead, you’ll get someone who’s okay. But from that ‘okay’ relationship, you actually learn what you’re into, what you like and dislike, your standards. And eventually, you’ll move on to someone way better.
And the process continues, until you find that fabulous person that you want around for as long as possible.
Just like dating, picking your niche, the thing that makes you so passionate and enthusiastic, is friggin difficult.
It’s a process that involves some self awareness, intention, and a lot of thought.
In saying that, you’re always moving forward. Don’t not pick a niche because you aren’t 100% that it’s the right niche for you. If you’re not sure, just pick a niche, and if it’s not what you like, figure out what you don’t like about it and move on.
WHY FINDING A NICHE IS REALLY FRIGGIN IMPORTANT
My first ever video on MuchelleB was on nipple piercings. It’s also my most popular video – nearly at 300K.
According to my youtube stats, that video has driven 352 subscriptions. 352. Out of 300,000 people. 0.12% of the total views.
But why would the other 299,648 people subscribe? My channel has NOTHING to do with piercings. I have 2 videos on piercings. The rest are Fashion & Lifestyle. That’s my range.
Anyone that might have liked my video would have clicked on my channel, seen that nearly all of my videos are fashion / lifestyle related, and clicked straight back off.
Having a focus is important from a subscribers point of view – why would you subscribe to a channel if the contents totally random, and not all related to what you’re in to?
A FEW MORE POINTS ON NICHEING DOWN
- Picking one thing to focus on will give you credibility in that ‘field’ – ie. you make videos solely on crazy, film inspired makeup looks. In doing that, people will know you as the ‘expert’ in that field. That sounds so gross and corporate, but I hope you get what I’m saying.
- It’ll be a lot easier to monetise if you have a specific niche, if that’s something that you have in the back of your mind.
- A niche makes it a lot easier to think of new video ideas. If you’re all over the place, and your channel covers everything from paleo recipe walkthroughs to feminist rants, it’s so hard to figure out what you’re going to make next week – because what you make is so broad.
- If you’re making content around the same topic, you’ll be bringing in legit, amazing subscribers, rather than people who watch a few videos, kind of half heartedly subscribe, and never come back.
In the wrong niche – you’re not going to be happy.
5 NICHE SELECTING QUESTIONS
What do people know you for?
A girl that I work with is so, incredibly, organised. And everyone knows it – she’s Debbie, the one that’s weirdly into organisation. In a good way.
I’m Michelle. The creative one that’s good with online stuff.
Maybe you’re Amy, that girl that’s only eats organic or something – I don’t know.
Sometimes, what people know you for could be the perfect niche for you. Debbie could create a full organisation channel on getting your shit together in life. Amy could make a whole channel on organic and clean eating. I’ve already made the channel for me – a channel helping people create and build authentic youtube channels.
What’re you good at?
You’re good at things. You know you’re good at things. Maybe you don’t like saying you’re good at things because it makes you feel kind of gross and braggy – but you are totally good at things.
List the things you’re good at. Everything and anything. The things that people come to you for help with, and the things that maybe only you know you’re awesome at.
Summarising what you’re good at will let you recognise the areas where you kind of thrive. If you have expertise in an area (and you enjoy it) that’s a perfect way to start out.
What do you really, really dig?
Lets talk about things that make you feel alive. I feel alive and in the moment when I’m helping someone grow. Hence – ChannelNotes.
Sometimes it’s really difficult to work out what makes you feel alive. People are the worst at knowing what makes them happy.
Try your best and list the first things that come to mind. Really think about whether these things actually bring you joy – not just momentarily.
You should really, really dig the content that you make on youtube. Like, this is very important. You’ll be potentially making videos on the same topic for years – will you 100% love making videos like that for years to come?
What do you watch/ listen to / read?
What kind of non fiction books do you like?
What kind of documentaries do you watch?
What kind of podcasts do you subscribe to?
List some favourite non fiction books / documentaries / podcasts.
What kind of channels do you subscribe to?
This stuff can be a total indicator of what kind of niche you should choose. I listen to creative business podcasts. I read blogs on personal branding, goal setting, SEO, discovering content ideas. I read books like Manage your Day to Day, Jab Jab, Jab, Right Hook and The Desire Map. I created hustleco.
What’re some odd / different things about you?
Maybe you’re a gluten free vegan, maybe you’ve lived on a houseboat for your whole life, or you grew up homeschooled.
All of your weird backstories or quirks could be a potential niche idea. You’re a gluten free vegan – I think it’s obvious what you could make a channel on if that fits in with what you’d enjoy. You’ve lived on a house boat – there are so many ideas you could turn this in to, but I feel like just vlogging your life every day would be fabulous and always interesting. You grew up homeschooled – you could potentially teach parents on how to better homeschool their kids, make relatable videos on how homeschooling affects your life, getting organised as a homeschooled kid, all o’ that.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
So you’ve gone through the questions and you’ve found your niche. Here are a few other things to think about before you’re 100%.
Is your niche already super saturated?
Some niches, like the beauty niche on youtube, are super super saturated. That isn’t to say that you should go for it, but just keep in mind that you’ll have to work hard to make your channel stand out. Put your own spin on it, be yourself, be original, and you’ll be fine.
Is your niche monetisable?
IF you plan on monetising your youtube channel, which is totally optional and not at all necessary, you should choose your niche with monetisation in mind.
Most channel ideas are monetisable, but have a think whether
- The possibility of a company sponsoring your videos for you to use their products exists
- There’s a way to create your own profitable ‘side business’ based on your channel
Before you choose your niche.
Is your niche specific enough?
Using my example from before, if you decide you want to do a beauty channel, unless your own makeup looks are really unique, it’s kind of a broad choice.
Some more specific ideas that people would really remember
- Insane coloured makeup looks (I literally can’t think of how to word that better right now)
- Celebrity inspired makeup looks
- Movie character inspired makeup looks
- Horror makeup looks
Like I’ve said – because it’s youtube, and a lot of the time people stick around for personality, you can get away with mixing it up for sure, but having a main focus will help you stand out. Don’t be too broad.
Is it going to last?
There are lots of things that fade. Like tamagotchis, and pash bands.
Shoutout to people born in the early 90’s.
If you made a whole channel around tamagotchi techniques and tricks in 2005, it’d be dead today. Choose something that’s going to hang around for at least a while.
You might not find a perfect niche that you’re passionate about and excellent at straight up. If you’re stuck – just choose something you think might work and roll with it. Maybe it’ll end up being totally perfect. Maybe you’ll learn, grow, evolve and revisit this post with a totally new perspective.
WHAT YOU GET:
- A plethora of information on doing youtube authentically, and well
- The occasional free (also v exclusive) work sheet /mini guide
- A lot of good vibes your way from a human being who genuinely wants to see you slay in the youtube community