If you’re thinking about becoming a YouTuber, you should begin by choosing a niche for your channel. A niche is a specific topic which you’ll produce content for: beauty gurus create videos around cosmetics, gamers make videos about games, minimalists make videos about how to live the minimalist lifestyle, etc. We’ll show you how to choose a niche (the right way!) and talk about different types of YouTube videos you can create.
While a niche isn’t technically required, there are a myriad of benefits that come with belonging to a specific corner of YouTube. Let’s look at some pros and cons that come with having a niche.
Pros of Having a Niche
- Immediately attract followers who are interested in your niche topic
- Target audience is already decided
- Easier to plan and create content (eliminates the paradox of choice)
- Branding is easier
- Potential for fast growth is generally higher
Cons of Having a Niche
- Can be limiting to those who want to make a variety of content
- Higher potential for burnout
- Re-branding down the line can be difficult
- May alienate viewers who aren’t interested in your niche
Why Should I Choose a Niche?
If you’re thinking, “I just want to make videos about whatever I feel like,” while imagining big-name YouTubers who can make videos about literally anything and still get views, it’s time for a reality check. Those YouTubers get views because they are already famous. Right now, no one knows who you are. You need to give people a reason to watch you.
You might have a dazzling personality, superior editing skills, or a fantastic sense of humor but unfortunately, lots of people on YouTube have these qualities. It’s very hard to win people over when you’re peddling content they aren’t interested in. As the saying goes, “Please all and you will please none.” Essentially, it is much harder to please every audience than it is to please one specific audience.
With a niche, you’re making content about a topic certain viewers are deeply interested in. Imagine that your favorite animal in the world is a hedgehog. Now pretend you also love art. Lastly, imagine that you love Japan due to the semester you spent studying abroad in Tokyo. If you stumbled across a YouTube channel where an artist paints hedgehogs wearing kimono in “ukiyo-e” style, you’d probably click “subscribe” with lightning speed. You’d also likely go on to follow the artist on all of their social media, purchase their merch, and share their videos on your own social media.
While there’s no need to get quite so specific, you can see the power of a niche. It’s like meeting someone for the first time and discovering you have the exact same taste in music. It instantly warms them to you and makes you want to spend time with them. This is how viewers interested in your niche will feel when they find your channel.
Won’t Choosing a Niche Alienate Certain Types of Viewers?
If you make videos about baseball, someone who hates sports probably isn’t going to subscribe to your channel. However, consider mega-YouTuber “Simply Nailogical.” With almost 2 billion views, Cristine’s videos about nail polish have delighted audiences from all over the world. If you read the comments on her videos, you’ll almost certainly find one from a person who doesn’t even paint their nails—they just come to watch Cristine. For nail polish enthusiasts, Simply Nailogical is an instant subscribe. For others, Cristine’s down-to-earth personality and self-deprecating humor are what wins them over.
In short, niched content immediately appeals to a specific audience. It is very easy to encourage these viewers to subscribe to your channel. Use your personality and other special characteristics to turn everyday subscribers into your biggest supporters. If you really do have that “special something” or “it-factor,” viewers outside of your niche will eventually find their way to you.
How Do I Decide My Niche?
Now that we’ve inspired you to choose a niche, let’s talk about how to choose the niche that’s right for you. First, ask yourself these questions (write your answers down too!):
- What type of videos do you want to make?
- What topics are you deeply passionate about?
- What is something you could talk about/spend time doing often without getting bored?
- What are you good at?
- What is unique about you?
If you managed to come up with a few topics, are there any areas that overlap? For example, is there something you’re deeply passionate about that you’re also very good at? Furthermore, is there any way for you to combine two or more of the topics (remember our kimono-wearing hedgehog)?
Next, let’s look at your niche’s potential for success. Ask yourself these questions and write down your answers:
- Is there a market/audience for this type of niche?
- If a market exists, is it oversaturated?
- Does the market have a problem that needs to be solved?
- Are you capable of solving the problem? How?
- Is there potential to make money in your niche?
A niche that is too narrow means it may not be marketable. A highly specialized niche only has potential for success if it has mass appeal (art, Japan, and hedgehogs definitely do) or a large audience present. At the same time, a niche that is too wide may be oversaturated. A way around an oversaturated market is to determine a problem that exists and come up with a way to solve it.
Take for example, cosmetics. Beauty gurus are a dime a dozen on YouTube. It would be very hard for an up-and-coming YouTuber to succeed in this market. However, one huge problem that exists in the beauty industry is the lack of cosmetics available for people with dark skin. An aspiring beauty influencer who makes videos/tutorials with dark-skinned make-up wearers in mind not only has a target audience, they can immediately distinguish themselves from the sea of makeup gurus on YouTube.
I’ve Chosen a Niche: Now What?
Now that you have your specific niche in mind, you can begin creating content. You’ll want to find the sweet spot where you’re not only creating content that you enjoy, you’re making videos that your audience is interested in. Before you spend time making a video, first ask yourself if you think it’s something your audience will enjoy. If the answer isn’t a resounding yes, try reworking the video concept a bit more.
If you want to fill out your content calendar with loads of video ideas, take a look at this list of popular videos on YouTube and see if you can make any fit with your chosen niche.
Different Types of YouTube Videos
- Product Reviews
- Lists (“Top 10,” etc.)
- Reaction Videos/Commentary
- Product Demos
- News/Current Events
- Gossip/”Tea” Videos
- “Day in the Life” Videos
- “____ With Me” Videos (“Draw With Me,” “Pack With Me,” etc.)
- Ambience Videos
This list is not exhaustive: there are tons of different video types on YouTube! Try taking a look at the videos in your “Watch Later” or “History” list to get some ideas. If nothing is appealing to you, feel free to think outside the box and create your own video style or format. Just remember to keep one of the most important rules of content creation in mind:
The best content either educates, inspires, or entertains.
Making videos that are specific to your niche, appeal to your audience, and provide some type of value are crucial to creating high-quality content that will put you on the path to a successful career as a YouTuber. Next, let’s look at how to brand your channel so you stand out.