Lydia Sweatt is a writer who loves balancing her article/blog time indoors with a healthy dose of nature. She bikes, hikes, and identifies edible plants along the way.
How to Choose the Best Niche for Your YouTube Channel
Choosing a YouTube niche is a big decision. Viewers look at the overall theme of your channel and ask one question: Is this right for me?
But that’s just one end of the spectrum; after that, you have to think about YouTube’s recommendation system. It will analyze your channel’s genre and attempt to serve your videos to people with similar interests. If your content is all over the place, you might get fewer recommendations than someone with a focused channel.
In this episode of TubeTalk, we chat with Jeff of El Jefe Reviews about how to choose a niche for YouTube. On his channel, Jeff transitioned from general tech videos to reviewing personal audio, such as earbuds, headphones, and speakers. That strategy was a huge success, and now Jeff has more than 80,000 subscribers.
But First, What Is a YouTube Niche?
A creator's niche refers to the genre or subgenre they explore in their content.
There are many types of niches on YouTube:
- Makeup and beauty
- Pets and animals
- And so many more
5 Ways to Find a Niche for YouTube
Ready to find the right niche for you? Here are five ways to pick a topic that speaks to you creatively and grows your channel.
1. Choose a Niche Within a Niche
On YouTube, the more specific your content is, the better.
Let’s say you plan to launch a comedy channel. That's a tricky task because while everyone loves to laugh, people are amused by different things. So it's not enough tell jokes or create skits that appeal to a broad audience. You need to reach your ideal viewer by niching down to specific moments that could be funny: being the new employee, leash-training a hyper dog, working in customer service, etc.
El Jefe Reviews takes this concept to the next level. He has a niche within a niche within a niche. There are three levels to his content that get narrower the closer you look.
El Jefe Reviews is:
- A tech channel.
- A tech channel that reviews personal audio.
- A tech channel that reviews personal audio, specifically wireless earbuds, headphones, and speakers.
“I thought general tech was the way to go until somebody sort of educated me and let me know, like, ‘Hey, that isn’t it. You need to laser-focus on a niche, and if you can find a niche within that niche, then that’s really going to be where you find your people,” Jeff says.
To find a focused niche, ask yourself two questions:
- Does my niche have an interesting subgenre?
- Is there an underserved subgenre I could make content for?
2. Choose a Niche That Gives You the Most YouTube Views
Why does El Jefe Reviews focus on personal audio instead of general tech? It’s simple: One topic got more views than the other.
More importantly, Jeff didn't dismiss that phenomenon as fluke. He investigated and realized his audience was interested in personal audio, not general tech.
“When I did my first headphone video, it outperformed my other content,” Jeff says. “I was lucky to get 50 or 60 views on a video before that, but this headphone video was pushing 300, 400, 500 views. Maybe two videos later, I did a video on a set of earbuds that had just been released. That video ended up pushing 1,000 in the first week…. I noticed a pattern there.”
The moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to experiment. It's OK to make a bunch of different videos and see what works best.
3. Check Out the Competition for Your Niche
Choosing a niche isn't as easy as picking up a weekend hobby. What if millions of other creators are getting billions of views for the same topic? You'll be starting from zero, which makes it hard to stand out on YouTube.
Now you have a tough decision to make. Do you fight your way through the crowd or choose a niche with less competition?
We’re not saying the first option is impossible. But it’s easier to grow on YouTube when you choose the road less traveled.
A small creator should never try to compete (at least not directly) with an influencer pushing 1 million subscribers. Making videos about topics your competitors don't explore is a much better option.
“There weren’t that many [channels doing personal audio] when I was doing it at first,” Jeff says about his own competitors. “At the time, there were maybe three or four of us back in 2017, 2018. Now there are 40 or 50.”
The lesson? If you have a unique idea, take it seriously before someone else does. The best YouTube channel niche is one no one's paying attention to, but you know viewers want to see.
4. Choose a Niche that Provides Endless Video Work
In this podcast episode, our co-host Dan asked Jeff an interesting question.
“Do you ever feel like there are only so many headphones, and you’ve reviewed all of them?” Dan asked.
“No,” Jeff answered. “There has been a tidal wave – a tsunami if you will – of wireless headphones and earbuds since 2016-2017, and it has not slowed down. Even the [computer] chip shortage [during the pandemic] barely made a dent in what’s going on here…. If anything, I have too much work.”
Pro tip: Choose a niche that gives you plenty of videos to make. There's nothing worse than running out of ideas in first your three months of creating.
5. Pick a YouTube Niche You’re Passionate About
Does your niche motivate you to wake up, film videos, and actually be excited about the process? It takes time to build a YouTube channel, so that passion has to come from you and only you. Make sure you’re on YouTube for the right reasons, which should be a combination of passion, community building, and, yes, even financial freedom.
The 7 Most Profitable YouTube Niches
Once you've found the right niche, it's time to think about money. Are you trying to earn more YouTube AdSense revenue or build an income through brand deals, affiliate marketing, and products?
If the answer is AdSense, it helps to know which YouTube niches have a high CPM (cost per mille, or in other words, the cost advertisers pay per 1,000 views).
Here are the lucrative niches to look out for:
- Auto reviews
- Real estate
- Online marketing
All of these niches have CPMs between $14 and $21, as shown in the graph below. This data is from a global study by Marina Mogilko, a vidIQ creator partner.
So how does this affect your revenue? If you're from Australia and have an investing channel, for example, you could make $21 per 1,000 views just by allowing video ads on your content.
Now, let's say you have a goal to make $100 per video. With a CPM of $21 per 1,000 views, you would only need 5,000 views per upload to meet your goal – which is totally doable.
However, these figures aren't concrete. CPM rates fluctuate with market demand, seasonality, and even your audience type on YouTube.