Nov 262012

This guest post is by Charles Manfre of

When I started my blog, I made the mistake of not defining my niche well enough.

In fact, I defined it with one word: “coding.”

Defining the niche my blog targeted with one word was never going to be enough. Perhaps for the pioneers of the internet it was okay, but in this day and age, with millions of websites in the competition, you need more than a one-word topic name for a niche.

I can’t emphasize how important it is to define your niche. You need to be able to know the focus of your blog inside out, what makes it so great and how it’s different from every other blog. A one word simply isn’t enough.

I didn’t know this when starting my blog. But when it did dawn on me, I knew I needed to change. I overhauled my About page, I changed my tagline, and I generally wasted a lot of time deciding on what the heck my site was about.

Luckily for me, the site was still new and unknown, and I doubt a single person noticed my change of focus, but this was time I could have spent building great content and promoting my blog.

I hope that you can learn from my mistakes. So here are the main things you need to think about when defining your niche.

Choose an audience, not a topic

This was the first mistake I made. When you decided what your blog was going to be about, did you choose a topic like business, blogging, or photography? Or in my case, coding?

I did. And it wasn’t long before I realized it wasn’t going to work. Coding is a hugely broad topic, and I had no idea who I was writing for. Beginners? Experienced coders? What kind of coding were they interested in? What needs did they have that I could address?

I didn’t even know my own blog! My blog posts were lacking purpose. They weren’t targeting anyone, they weren’t addressing any needs. No wonder no one was reading them!

Think of all the successful blogs you know. ProBlogger, Digital Photography School, Zen Habits. They don’t just blog about a topic, they’re aimed at a specific audience.

Coding was a weak topic. But those who are learning to write code and want to apply their skills to real projects—now that’s a

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