The new year is a great time to start working on the blogging goals you’ve been meaning to accomplish for months, one of which might be to define your blogging niche. This is an important goal for bloggers because it gives your website focus and direction and help guide your content for the rest of the year as a result. From cooking and DIY to parenting and travel, to fashion and beauty, knowing and owning your niche is key to your success as an influencer.

With help from Geneva Vanderzeil of A Pair & A Spare, we’ve compiled the top tips to defining your blogging niche for 2018.

Identify Your Ideal Audience

One of the most important things you can do as a blogger is to identify your target audience, better known as the people you want to reach and interact with through your blog. Think of a person you are close to who you enjoying having conversation with or who frequently comes to you for advice. Now write a letter to them. By keeping this person in mind when you are writing, you will lend your stories a more personal touch. And since your audience consists of real people, you have the ability to make real connections. When you are working on identifying your audience, pull traits from your chosen person and use them to create the outline of your ideal audience member.

Cultivate Consistency

Once you have identified your ideal audience, it will be easier to keep your writing consistent because you already have an idea of what you should be writing and the type of people you are writing to or four. When brainstorming, think of topics that would appeal to both you and the ideal audience. For example, if you’ve identified your audience to be aspiring cooks and chefs, one post could be about taking care of fruit trees while another post could be about cooking with local fruit. Go through your website analytics to identify the most read blog posts and analyze the data to gain insight out why your audience responded so well to them. Use that information to determine the type of content they would be interested in reading in the future.

Don’t Focus on One Thing

Don’t decide on a niche that’s too narrow because as your blogging career continues, you want the ability to eventually expand to other topics. For example, if your blog’s only focus is how to create decorative wreaths, it will throw your audience for a loop if one day you decide to write about cooking or travel. If you find that your blog has expanded to a few different themes (cooking + decor + DIY, for example), make sure you include separate categories on your blog and file the stories accordingly so your audience can easily find what they’re looking for. Remember, something that is super trendy today might not be down the line, so make sure you choose topics that speak to you and allow you to grow in the future.

Find Your Voice

Audiences are drawn to a voice that they can identify with. Think of what makes you unique or why your friends come to you for advice then share that with your audience. Make sure that your personality shines in the topics you choose to write about as well as the tone you write in. You want your readers to feel like they really know you and the more authentic and honest you are, the more they will trust you.