How to Pick a YouTube Niche

Avatar photo
December 20, 2023
find YouTube niche graphic of different hobbies

In the ever-expanding universe of YouTube, it’s crucial for content creators to nail down the answer to one very important question: what’s your channel about? 

A clear understanding of your YouTube niche will help you stand out from the crowd. Anything less than that may sabotage your success.

So, how do you determine your niche?

Finding Your YouTube Niche: The Secret Sauce of Successful Channels

Without a clear theme, you might be steering your content ship into uncertain waters. Potential subscribers may be drawn in by one video, only to lose interest if the next video in the queue is completely unrelated.

Lacking direction also makes it difficult to consistently produce new videos. It may sound counterintuitive, but putting guide rails on a channel often makes it easier to come up with ideas for new content.

If you’re still figuring out what your passion is, take the time to experiment and explore various topics.

Once you find your interest, put in the work and dedication to build it into a passion. Then, when you’re seeing results, settle down and establish a clear identity for your channel. 

The deadly mistake lies in thinking your channel can be about anything and everything. Channels with a scattered focus are the hardest to grow, as YouTube prefers recommending channels with a specific, consistent theme.

The Road to Growth: Two Steps to Channel Focus

Step One: Define Your Network

Imagine yourself as the producer of your own TV network. Great networks have a distinct focus that gives them identity—sports for ESPN, nature and science for the Discovery Channel, and, for us at TubeBuddy, YouTube education and optimization. 

Choose a broad topic that gives you clear direction yet allows flexibility. Examples abound, from media critique to fitness for women over 40. From toddler education to being a real life cartoon character–all of these Youtube niches present a clear idea of what subscribers can expect, without putting too tight of limits on creators.

Take time to find your passion to determine your YouTube niche

Step Two: Program Your Content

Now that you have your network, it’s time to get strategic with programming your content. Avoid the pitfall of posting random content that doesn’t align with your channel’s theme. But explore your niche by varying your approach and format

Complementary topics are the key—topics related to your main focus but approached from different angles. This variety keeps your audience engaged without scattering your content in competing directions.

Conclusion: Niche Down to Blow Up

YouTube success requires more than just uploading random videos. It demands a thoughtful, defined focus, and a content strategy that follows suit. 

As the producer of your YouTube channel, embrace the power of a well-defined network and strategic content programming and you will see results.

Transcript: How to Find the Right YouTube Channel Niche (For You!)

Let’s talk about a deadly mistake that creators make that almost always kills any chance of their channel going anywhere. And if you’re a new YouTuber, pay close attention. Because you might not even know that you’re making this mistake. 

Pop quiz. What’s your YouTube channel about? Did you have a clear, confident answer? Or did your answer sound like, “My channel? What, what do I make videos about? I… Next question.” Not having a focus is like driving a bus without having the destination. You’ll end up going in circles and eventually run out of gas. Plus, what subscriber’s going to hop on a bus that they don’t even know where it’s going? I mean, early on, it’s okay to mingle. Bounce around from topic to topic until you find the content that you’re attracted to.

But at some point you need to settle down and start a family. Don’t make the deadly mistake of thinking your channel can be about anything and everything. Those are the hardest channels to grow. Because who is YouTube going to recommend a channel that is sometimes about fitness and sometimes about family and sometimes about gaming and unboxing and the last vacation you took? You see where I’m going with this.

If you wanna start seeing growth and pull in a community of subscribers who jam with every single video you make, you need focus. And while this could be a super in-depth video about finding your passion and niching down and all that good stuff, I want to focus on two main steps that you can take right now to bring focus and consistency to your channel. And make it much easier to grow.

Step one, decide what type of network you want to build. 

As a YouTube creator, you’re like the producer of your own network. Every great TV network has a focus and that focus gives its channel its identity. So, think big picture. What kind of network are you? Do you wanna build a network like ESPN where sports is the primary focus? Or maybe you wanna build something like Discovery Channel where science and nature is the focus.

There are plenty of examples. YouTube even gives you handpicked categories to choose from when you’re setting up your channel. For us at TubeBuddy, that’s YouTube education. My friend Glen’s network is around faith and fatherhood. Haley Pham’s network is around navigating your twenties and personal growth.

This even works if you want to build your network around vlogging or lifestyle. Take Kelly Wakasa, for example. While his videos might seem all over the place, they’re not. They all fall under the motto for his network. – Do what excites. Do what excites. Do what excites. Do what excites. Do what excites. Do what excites. Do what excites. Do what excites. Do what excites. Do what excites. Do what excites. Do what excites. Do what excites. Do what exits? What? (laughs)

While all these creators might have lots of different content on their channels, everything ladders up to the broad topics that they chose. Whatever you choose should be specific enough that it gives you clear direction, but broad enough where you have plenty of flexibility and content to work with. Having this focus gives your channel structure and makes it much easier to do step number two. 

Step two, you gotta plan your shows and your series.

Okay, Mr. Big TV Producer, you’ve got your network. Now it’s time to start programming it with content. A lot of creators start to bury their channels here by posting all sorts of random content that doesn’t relate or fit with the theme of their channel. I mean, here are some screenshots from the early days of a channel I love watching.

Can you tell what his channel’s about? Not at all. These videos are all over the place and attract competing audiences. This type of approach creates a cycle where one video might pull a subscriber in, but then the next one pushes them back out. And this has nothing to do with you. It’s just not the kind of content that they’re interested in.

Just like if Mr. Beast followed one of his crazy challenges with a tech review. Huh? While some viewers might enjoy both types of content and stick around, I’m out. (dog barks) 

As the producer of your own YouTube channel, you need to choose complimentary topics. These are topics that are related to your main focus, but approach it from different angles that give the channel variety.

The key is for them to work together. MKBHD. Core topic: tech reviews. Complimentary topics: smartphones, laptops, high tech vehicles. Browney. Core topic: fitness. Complimentary topics: fitness challenges, transformations, and public fitness competitions. Yes, occasionally you can go off in other directions. But this is your core and these subtopics bring consistency to your channel without sacrificing variety. 

It also makes it easier to come up with new ideas since you always have a point to start from. And over time, you can experiment with new buckets to see how they perform. What’s your YouTube channel about? 

And this time, leave your answer in a comment so we all can check it out and support you. (dog barks) – We can’t, we can’t hide with you… Dude, you got the toy. Oh my goodness. They just wanna play.