Choosing a YouTube Niche: A Guide for Beginners and Creators Seeking Growth

Andrew Moore-Crispin
January 26, 2024
Target your YouTube niche

The secret to success on YouTube, according to words of wisdom from Jon Youshai: “Marry your niche while you’re varying your format.” 

Choosing a niche is perhaps the most important decision a creator has to make. There’s all kinds of room to experiment with format, but creators need to stay consistent in their niche.

New creators can be successful on YouTube. We have the data to prove the point: if you do the work on YouTube, you can and will grow your channel. You’ll reach the 500 subs / 3,000 watch hours required for early entry into the YouTube Partner Program. You’ll hit the 1,000 subs / 4,000 watch hours required to get a 55% cut of ad revenue generated against your videos. 

And, if you use TubeBuddy, you’ll reach these benchmarks faster.

Before you do any of that though, you need to find your niche.

Do I have to choose a YouTube niche?

If you’re just making content for yourself, you don’t need to pick a niche. You are your niche. If, however, you’re making content with the hope that other people will watch then yes, you have to choose a niche.

How do I choose a YouTube niche?

Choosing a YouTube niche is tough. You need to balance what you are passionate about with what viewers are looking for. Ideally, you want a niche you can own. Aspiring to unseat MrBeast or other big name creators isn’t a good goal to start out with. it’s a journey… and you’re skipping a few steps.

Your passion = your YouTube niche

The first step in choosing your niche is figuring out what you’re passionate about. This could be anything from cooking, tech, travel, education… Your passion is the fuel that will keep you motivated during the challenging early stages of channel growth.

If all goes to plan, you’re going to be making content in your niche for a long time. If you aspire to make money with your content, the stakes will be even higher. 

There’s a saying that applies here “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” That’s basically saying that if you can find a way to make your passions pay, it won’t feel so much like work.

Pick your passion to grow on YouTube

Check the trends

While passion is key, the content sweet spot is where your passion and what viewers are seeking meet. 

Do some research to understand trends and gaps in content. Tools like Google Trends, YouTube’s search bar, and social media can provide insights into what content is in demand. For instance, if you love cooking, is there a demand for vegan recipes, budget meal planning, or cultural cuisines?

See who else is creating content in the niche you’re considering. Use TubeBuddy Videolytics to gather intel. Look into search volume, popular keywords, opportunity score (competition), and so on. TubeBuddy Keyword Explorer, SEO Studio, and other tools can help here. 

Gather intel: what kind of content breaks out? What keywords have low competition and high interest? How can you take this information, apply your unique creator spin, and create content in the sweet spot? 

Find a niche you’re interested in and look for your genius zone within that niche.

Don’t make someone else’s content

It’s great to learn and take inspiration from other creators across a variety of niches and platforms, but you need to make your own content and build your own audience. You need to find your own voice.

What you don’t want to do is become a carbon copy of another creator. Finding your own niche is the key. Take inspiration from other creators, but make your own content, in your own niche, for your own viewers.

Niche down

Niching down means digging into a topic to find the sweet spot of high viewer interest and low competition. You’re looking for a content vacuum that you can fill by creating unique content that viewers love. 

“Gaming” is not a niche, it’s a category… and even if gaming weren’t the most saturated category on YouTube, it’s too broad. The same logic applies to beauty, food, finance and so on.

Minecraft is a niche, but it’s still too broad (and the most saturated niche in the most saturated category.) That’s not to say you can’t create Minecraft content. Because it’s so competitive though, you’ll need to get pretty specific to find a niche where your content can stand out. 

Crafting isn’t a niche, it’s a category. Knitting and crochet is a niche but it’s too broad. Amigurumi crochet is closer but also a bit saturated… so you’ll need to find your unique hook (not sure if pun intended).

Maybe you have a unique skill set, perspective, or presentation style. For instance, in a crowded niche like gaming, could you focus on retro games, gaming for beginners, or game development insights?

Get started

Don’t let this advice — or anything else — stop you. You won’t get it all right with your first attempts. If there’s one thing that all successful content creators have in common, it’s a learning mindset. 

It’s better to start now than to wait for things to be perfect… because things will never be perfect.

Grind. Make mistakes. Look at those mistakes as learning opportunities. Grind some more.

Don’t expect to blow up on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Twitch, or anywhere else with your first attempts. Shoot the moon but set realistic goals. 
Because again, if you do the work, your YouTube channel will grow.

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