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We recently spoke with Darien Gee of Friendship Bread Kitchen about who she turned her interest in the humble starter into a monopoly on the friendship bread blog niche. The not-so-surprising secret to her success is two-prong. She chose a topic that appeals to a broad audience but had few online resources.
That’s right: high interest and low competition is a big win for food bloggers.
Right about now, you’re probably thinking that finding a niche of your own could propel you to the same sort of success that Darien has experienced. But are there any niches that haven’t already been nicked?
If I could start listing them right now off the top of my head, there’s a good chance they’ve already been taken. So instead of providing you with a list of unexplored niches, I’m going to try to give you a jumping off point to find your own.
- Don’t choose a weird niche just because no one else is doing it yet. There’s a reason no one’s started a Cooking with Cockroaches blog. And it’s not because no one’s thought of it. It’s because everyone who thought of it quickly nixed the idea and promptly called their therapist for an emergency session.
- Choose a topic that you either know a lot about already or that you’re really interested in learning about. It takes fortitude to write 250 blog posts on friendship bread variations. Darien wouldn’t have been able to maintain her own interest in maintaining her blog if she wasn’t really into the topic.
While you may immediately think ‘vegan’ or ‘paleo’ when you hear the word niche, niches can come in many forms. Although focusing on a particular type of food is one way to go niche, it’s not the only way. A blogger can also narrow her focus by choosing a unique audience or creating her own distinct style.
We’re going to provide some ideas and inspiration for you to consider, but don’t stop there. These are just a few examples to help get you thinking.
Paleo and vegan bloggers take this approach. In fact, so many bloggers have now addressed these formerly unaddressed lifestyles that the open playing field advantage has probably been lost. However, vegans aren’t the only people with needs. Consider a few of these hyper-focused audiences that could do with their own niche food blogs.
A surprising number of families have opted to sell their homes and live aboard a boat instead. Can you imagine trying to cook in a tiny sailboat galley? And yet, I couldn’t find a single food blog focused on those who’ve chosen this adventurous lifestyle.
Homeschooling is another trend that’s taken off during the past decade. Why not a food blog that shows homeschooling parents how to blend cooking with learning?
Laugh all you want, but I’m pretty sure there are some specialized techniques that nudists need to know when cooking. Is anyone demonstrating those techniques yet? (I’m afraid to look.)
If you love to cook and you love video games, you need to get on this straight away because motivated gamers like Christina of Eat a Byte have already started leveling up in this niche.
You know how I said there were no blogs about eating cockroaches. I was just kidding. Seriously. There’s nothing new under the sun. Girl Meets Bug is one blogger’s attempt to win us all over to bug-eating to save the planet.
Nerds are the new popular kids. If you can win their taste buds, you can rule them all. There are a few early entrants in this field, like The Geeky Chef, but there’s still room for a few more geeks in the front row.
Food writers have already begun to write cookbooks targeting fans of Harry Potter, Disney Princesses, and even the Gilmore Girls, but where are the blogs? Waiting for you to create them. If you’ve got a favorite movie or TV show, why not turn it into a food blogging niche?
You know they’re living on ramen noodles and dreams, but they could be doing so much more with your help. While this niche is growing steadily, there’s still room for a few new standout voices to take us all back to school, especially if you veer away from the “college kid on a budget” focus and try something different, like “100 cures for a hangover” or “how to cook to impress that girl in my Economics class.”
Style is hard. You’ve really got to know yourself, your voice, your strengths, and your weaknesses. But if you’ve got a unique style and you’re not afraid to show it, this could be how you create a niche that no one else can replicate. Consider these food bloggers whose unorthodox styles are beyond compare.
If you haven’t heard of Thug Kitchen, I’ll wait. Go check them out. You may not approve of their unrepentant dropping of F-bombs, but it was that very naughtiness that took this vegan blog from healthy to hell-yeah.
Talk about style. Lee Samantha showcases food as art. I don’t mean she takes pretty pictures. I mean, she turns food into actual works of art.
A finalist for both Saveur’s Best Humor Blog and Best Food Video, My Life in Sourdough is like Love Actually went on a date with Julia and Julia. It’s a food blog. It’s a romantic-comedy. It’s in a class of its own.
Now, take some time to stew over these ideas and audiences, and see what you can come up with to differentiate your food blog and carve out your own niche.