Find Your Own Niche

What is your niche? If you don’t have an idea now, the Internet’s wide access to specialized web pages can help you find that out. General news stories appeal to the traditional print newspaper audience, but the web opens up opportunities for people to read exactly what they are looking for. Whether your niche is baking or cars or health or something completely different, the Internet’s new niche network probably has something for you.

While I enjoy reading a print copy of a newspaper, I also find pleasure in reading “niche” web pages or blogs. These sites help me discover information about a specific subject I would not find out elsewhere, and these sites can appeal to others with specific interests as well. In the words of Ken Doctor, author of Newsonomics: Twelve News Trends that will Shape the News You Get, “What we want more of is what we’re interested in, but which the next guy may find boring” (Doctor 140).

WSJ Magazine is the Wall Street Journal's niche magazine which focuses primarily on fashion and is located at http://online.wsj.com/public/page/magazine-index.

Most people have specific interests, but a print newspaper doesn’t exactly have space to fit every single interest every person has ever had. However, the Internet does, and if you want to read about the specifics of salsa dancing or scuba diving, niche sites allow you to do this. More and more publications are branching out from their home websites and creating more specific web pages that are connected to their name. USA Today is one publication that has taken this route with both a music page and Twitter.

USA Today Music is USA Today's niche Twitter site for music and can be found at twitter.com/#!/usatodaymusic.

With the rising popularity of applications (or apps), The Sacramento Bee reports that some companies are making niche app stores to cater to people who want to buy specific apps and don’t want to have to search for hours in a general app store. Whether you are looking for a specific website, blog or app store, niche outlets allow readers and customers to find more information on subjects they care about. As Doctor said, “The Web is tailor-made to easily gather a lot of information about any subject no matter how narrow” (Doctor 141). People can constantly be updated and gather new insight on their interests with nice sites.

The Symbolic Convergence Theory explains why so many people gravitate toward niche websites. The theory, originally proposed by Ernest Bormann, says groups with common fantasies or goals become a unified group through these common objectives. The creators of niche websites and the website readers share the interest and, whether they are aware of this or not, form a group through these interests and make these sites stable because of this. For example, Doctor said motherhood websites like MomsLikeMe.com help mothers connect with each other and keep informed about their niche (Doctor 146-147). Specialized websites like these portray the Symbolic Convergence Theory through the common interest these mothers have.

Niche websites show me that general news stories are not satisfactory enough for modern readers; new technology allows them to find their niche and connect with others through these interests. It is important to see that niche blogs are part of the new news world- niche blogs are more expansive and more effective as a result of this, just as the modern news world is with Internet technology. Instead of appealing to everyone, sites can afford to target a specific audience in order to truly connect with individuals and help them find their niche.

 

Additional references

Doctor, K. (2010). Newsonomics: Twelve new trends that will shape the news you get. New

York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.

 

All photo credits to author.

2 Comments »

  1. Catie said,

    April 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I really liked that you decided to talk about niching, because it is definitely a huge part of online news media today. I remember reading a really great quote in Newsonomics that would have fit perfectly with your blog – “Niching is a sorting-on-steroids that could only be laboriously done by hand not long ago” (page 157). This quote is a great reminder of how far we’ve come technologically and how easy it is for us to tap into our interests with one click.
    Another subject you could have brought into your blog is “man vs. machine” and Doctor’s “Apple the 10 Percent Rule”. You could have explained how this pertains to the creative aspect of niching and how the collaborative efforts of both man and machine make this new trend possible. Overall, great job, your blog was very enjoyable to read!

  2. Mary said,

    April 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    This could also be applied to Ken Doctor’s Law No. 9: Apply the 10 Percent Rule. The internet has so much out there for every person and all you have to do is know what you are looking for and the internet does the rest for you. The apps you download on your smart phone can do a lot of the work for you, you just have no how to use the technology.

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