Not long ago we showed you how to zero in and find your food blogging niche. Today we're going to build on that by looking at how focusing on a niche can actually help you expand your writing, blogging and income opportunities.
Getting Focused Can Earn Dollars $$$
In our previous article we used the example of a blog that's all about pie so let's continue with that. You might think that by narrowing your blog's focus to pie that you've limited your ability to earn income. On the contrary. Now people know who you are and what you're about. And you've opened up a lot of doors.
But I'm Cutting Myself Off From Brand Opportunities
Ok, yes... and no. Yes, you're going to have to evaluate brand opportunities carefully. If you're writing about pie, you're not going to take an offer from a major car company to test drive their latest mini-van. As awfully tempting as that may be it doesn't fit your focus.
But you can still do product reviews - think pie plates, rolling pins, cooling racks, pastry cutters etc. You can work with brands to develop unique pie fillings. You can work with or test out premade pie crusts or develop filling recipes for the companies that make them. There are still lots of doors open and you are now The Pie Expert so you have a little extra clout (and that can make your recipe development rates higher).
Skip The Ad Networks and Control Your Own Ads
When you run a niche blog, advertising networks aren't necessarily the best option to earn some extra income. You may find your network serving up ads that just don't work for you, or for your readers. But, by writing a blog with focused subject matter you're now in the position where you can source out ads on your own - and often for a higher rate than if your ad network would pay you (and no commission).
Put together a blog media kit and even a business plan for your blog outlining who you are and who your readers are. Not only will these steps help you focus in even more on your goals and content, you can use them to show potential advertisers how you can help them reach their target market. Take it to companies who fit with what you write about.
Provide value to your reader - don't come out of left field by working with a product or service that has nothing to do with what you write about. You don't want to break your readers' trust!
You may choose to sell banner or sidebar ads on a monthly basis. Or you may choose to do sponsored content with companies who you think will bring value to your reader. That's the key. Provide value to your reader - don't come out of left field by working with a product or service that has nothing to do with what you write about. You don't want to break your readers' trust!
You can also choose to work with companies that fit your niche and who offer affiliate programs as an additional way to earn income. If they have products or services that you are passionate about it's easy to write content about those items and you'll never feel bad about putting an ad up on your site for them.
A Niche Lets You Create a Vibrant Reader Community
I worked with a client who blogs almost exclusively about cupcakes. Part of her process is coming up with the ultimate vanilla and chocolate cupcake recipes. She creates the recipe and then recruits her readers to help her test them. They go through a very rigorous process but her readers love it and she creates a very loyal fan base.
Writing in a niche can make you the "go to" person for advice, recipes, and recommendations. That's very valuable both in terms of readership and community and in your appeal to certain brands in your niche. Look at FBC Member Paula from Vanilla Bean Baker. Paula is the "decorated cookie lady" and her blog is full of tutorials and cookie ideas for every possible occasion. If you need to make a decorated cookie, her blog is the place to start. And she has managed to turn her love for decorating cookies into a custom cookie ordering business.
A Vibrant Reader Community Can Give You Entrepreneurial Options
FBC Member Laura-Jane from the Raw-tarian has turned her passion for raw vegan food and recipes into a business complete with cookbooks, mobile apps, videos and a membership based site for people who want access to more tips on "going raw".
She's not the only one. We have niche blogging members who've found ways to leverage their niche to open new doors that lead to paid work that they love and are passionate about.
Aimee from Simple Bites has long focused on family friendly cooking from scratch and, if you read her blog for any length of time, you know she is a big proponent of involving kids in the kitchen from a very early age. So, it's no surprise that Jamie Oliver's team asked her to join them as a regular contributing blogger - her niche was the perfect fit!
Sean at Flavor Town Adventures has made it his mission to promote the street food scene in Vancouver and to focus on making his restaurant food photography the best in the city. He now writes for Food Network Canada's Eat Street blog as their Vancouver correspondent. And his photography has netted him the attention of many Vancouver restaurants who appreciate the extra effort he puts into getting stunning restaurant shots - which has led to many paid photography gigs for the likes of Vikram Vij, Chez Christophe, the Eat Street Cookbook and his work has appeared in Chatelaine magazine.
Jeanine at The Baking Beauties was diagnosed with Celiac disease and chose to focus her blog on creating gluten free recipes for everyone else like her who was missing breads and other baked goods. Her blog features substitution guides, e-books and other useful information related to gluten free cooking making her a great resource for her readers. She has since published her first book, The Everything Guide to Living Gluten Free and she works with many brands to help them develop gluten free recipes for their products.
There are many, many more FBC members who focus in on one or two specific areas and use that to grow their blogs and careers. But there are a few things they all have in common:
- they've found a niche where they can shine - and it's no coincidence that they are all very passionate about their chosen fields
- they stay focused with their content and they work with brands and accept opportunities that fit their niche - they don't dilute their work.
Write what you are passionate about, stay true to your focus and what you love and write content that is useful to your reader and you will open up doors all over the place.
What are some ways finding your blogging focus have helped you grow?
If you are looking for more ways to earn income from your food blog, take a look at our review of Kiersten Frase's book, How To Monetize Your Food Blog e-book.
Creating Income Opportunities Through Niche Blogging, was written by FBC co-founder and Managing Director of editorial, Melissa Hartfiel. By day, Melissa wrangles content for Food Bloggers of Canada while also working as a freelance web designer, writer and photographer at her own studio, Fine Lime Designs. By night she writes Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach, her very niche food photography blog. She hangs out in Vancouver with chocolate and her dog, Sam.