Market Research: When You Discover Your Niche Isn’t a Thing

If there’s one thing to learn about creative endeavors, it’s that you will probably work really hard while having no idea where you’ll land.

First, you’ll wear a blind-fold for the creative process itself. Then, there’s being in the dark regarding how people may react to what you’ve created. Then there’s you… landing somewhere.

If you want to have a closer idea where you might land, market research in your chosen area (or areas) is a good place to start. That being said, I haven’t really made time for it until now. 

  • Who is out there doing what I am doing (studying creative psychology, writing history songs about business using the process of bibliotherapy, and on a business journey)?
  • How are they succeeding at it?
  • What can I learn from them?
  • What key words will get me closer to my audience?

What I found was… close to nothing. And kind of surprising. Let me take you on a trip.

My interests... with small numbers.

Caution For the Unique Niche

If your creativity has caused you to stumble across something genuinely unique, you may have a harder time than others finding an audience online. 

This can happen for a variety of reasons. How can people recognize something if they don’t know it exists?

  • For one, they certainly aren’t searching for it if they don’t know about it (and they probably don’t think they need it either).
  • Secondly, they may not recognize it even when they do see it, leaving you with some explaining to do.

Basically, if you want to embrace a unique path without an established community, you will have extra work ahead of you.

For example, you may need to start a niche above where you thought you would start. If your niche is so small not many people are in it, there’s no way around this. For example, I need to be in a genre like “folk music” instead of “history songs.” 

Side note: I still think people are into “history songs” or “songs about history.” I have certainly experienced a lot of enthusiasm about this when I play my songs live. In addition, it seems history is the foundation of folk music (telling true stories through song) and a pretty obvious idea. However, apparently people doubling down on history are rare. 

Niche Talk: Cross Pollinating = Does This Exist?

"But how does one create a new niche for oneself? Obviously a person who emulates only one model has little choice but to follow in that model's footsteps. This is not a workable means to develop new roles. Yet increase the number of models, and the individual acquires the capacity to synthesize a new role from various dissociated parts of the other roles."  - Dean Keith Simonton

Maybe you’ve combined two things that are interesting to you but others may not see the connection? (For example, maybe my connection of folk music to bibliotherapy and creative psychology is just confusing.) 

Maybe you are too hooked on being clever or unique that you have very little insight into being descriptive about yourself or what you do? (This was me when I was younger - give me confusing over boring any day, hence my interest in Bob Dylan). 

Overall, I absolutely love it when people combine the unexpected. For example, I found a blog that combines history and dogs. I think it’s brilliant. Someone else? Might be confused. That’s the risk we take when we embrace cross pollinating our passions.

Google Research Results: Is This a Thing? 

When I explored Google Trends regarding the keyword “bibliotherapy” I found my state in dark blue for the top number of searches. I couldn’t help but think, “THAT IS ME!” searching for it. ME! It’s not a hidden "hit" topic in my state. 

I almost laughed out loud.

Now? I wonder if I’m running down a dead end trying to research and offer something no one wants. Bibliotherapy might just be a passion tucked in my pocket. The word “bibliophile” is much more popular for some reason.

The lessons keep going. 

I searched “creative psychology” - which is something I studied formally and continue to read about extensively. What did I find? There was a search interest of 100 in NC, 73 in CA, 47 in TX, and zero in all other states.

I also found this:

Creative process” does a little bit better and “creativity” in general does the best as far as search volume. 

Market Research is Interesting

This has been a brief learning curve *slightly* connected to my efforts to learn more about SEO. I do find trends and keywords fascinating, and I will continue to do market research online (definitely before surveying people) because it leaves me with some sense of direction as I think about where to go next with the blog.

Most of all, I learned I probably overcomplicate the blog with my numerous interests… and I won’t be starting a bibliotherapy blog anytime soon. 

Did you learn anything? How would you describe your niche? Have you ever explored Google Trends or hashtags related to your interests?

DISCLAIMER: AS ALWAYS, IF YOU NEED PSYCHOLOGICAL OR FINANCIAL ADVICE PLEASE SEEK A PROFESSIONAL FOR YOUR SPECIFIC SITUATION.

 

4 Replies to “Market Research: When You Discover Your Niche Isn’t a Thing”

  1. My blog is waaaay too diverse to satisfy the blog gurus who claim to know the best way to do it. I do FIRE content, mapping content, graphics, silly satire, curation posts, and also pitch my design side hustle. It’s my blog, my rules. You do you 🙂

    1. I agree! Be a human first and a market researcher second. I find most people interested in history also like reading… so at least I have that going for me!

  2. I formally describe myself/niche as ‘FIRE Aethernaut” ) aka Man Who Writes About His Ridiculous Adventures, Music, Books, Cats & Sundry Topics While Under the Extremely Flimsy Guise of Financial Independence & Early Retirement). This limited/no niche is intentional and because of it, my readership selective and discriminating (small, bit possessing a rarified coolness). And I love it.

    And, it’s that very super-unusual, but extremely compelling confluence of interests/focal topic that makes SavvyHistory such an amazing site. I read your articles each week because it’s the only place I can get something like that which you offer. It makes you, you – so keep on doing your thing.

    1. Thank you for the compliment! I have (in my opinion) created some very high quality, unique, and informative pieces (the exact material I would like to read). I think what you are onto – combining interests – is definitely a way to create a niche and offer people something out of the ordinary.

      However, this writing is time-consuming and I need to become more focused with it (or find more people like you who appreciate it)! Or maybe podcast with no edits because talking is easier? We’ll see! Thanks again.

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