When I first started blogging, I didn’t have a clue… about anything.

I still don’t have a clue about a lot of things, but thankfully blogging isn’t one of them! However, I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a post or book or anything that really went into the nuts and bolts of finding and choosing the perfect niche market.

There have been a few helpful posts that say things like, “pick a few target keywords” or “think about what you would want to read…” and I’ve even regurgitated the same information to people before.

The advice is correct, just not sound. Saying, “just think of a few keywords that best describe what you’d want to write about, what fits your audience, etc., and then figure out how to ‘niche down’ from there” just doesn’t cut it.

There’s not enough meat to those statements.

So here’s the meat. 

I present to you The Circles Method. It’s dead-simple, because that’s how I roll.

It also works really well to help you get your mind around the “blogging” concepts you’ll from this point forward. I challenge you, even if you already have a “focused” blog topic, to go through this exercise and see if you can’t get even more on-target and “niched.”

It’s quick, fun to do, and it looks cool hanging on your wall. Here we go:

The Circles Method to Finding Your Core Audience

First, print out (or draw) this picture:

What you’re seeing is one of those circle-thingys (a Venn diagram, I think?). It’s meant to help people visualize an idea and the overlap/combination of each portion of that idea.

In our case, the “idea” is your blog — the overall theme, topic, or “niche.”

Next, fill in the empty white spaces with the top three things you’re going to write about. What moves you? What could you focus on for years to come, without getting bored? What ideas do you have floating around in your mind that are big enough to discuss, and helpful enough that other people would want you discussing them? What things/ideas/subject do you really know?

Here’s what mine looks like after this step:

The 12, and 3 are obviously the ways these three ideas overlap and coincide, and you’ll notice that just about all of my posts can be categorized into one of these 7 categories (3 “main” categories, 3 “sub” categories and 1 that’s a combination of all three).

Do the same for your own blog — are your three circles lining up with the three main categories of navigation on your site?

Note: I’ve chosen three here as an example — you might have two, or you might have more. However, I do feel that shooting for three main topics or subjects is a great idea. Any fewer and you risk obscurity due to too much competition, and any more than three and it might be hard to “sell” your blog to readers. 

But you’re not done yet. 

Now it’s time to fill in the “mini” categories. These would end up as tags beneath each of the larger categories, but they’d still be considered part of the topic.

Here’s an example:

As you can see, things start to get a little granular after the first “level” of these mini-categories, but you can take this idea as far as you’d like.

You know, it might even be fun to make a huge version of your Circle Chart and stick it up in your office…

What do you think? Give this a shot and leave a comment with the results! Better yet, take a picture of your Circle Method!