To be honest, we didn’t pick our blog niche. It picked us. Because we can’t say it was an intentional decision to write about travel and alcohol together. But when we thought about it and did our research, we realized it was exactly what we wanted.
Deciding to Blog
It all started when we decided to quit our corporate jobs to travel full time. Once we made the decision, we spent a lot of time focusing on monetizing and income. How do we make money blogging? Can we start a business? What kind of products could we sell?
We had plenty of ideas, but nothing seemed to fit or gain much traction. One thing we knew for sure, we wanted to start a travel blog. So, that’s where we decided the focus. We just needed to determine how we could set ourselves apart.
Why Have a Blog Niche at All?
One of the first things you read over and over when starting a blog is that you need a niche. The perfect blog niche will celebrate your uniqueness. It will offer something to your readers that they can’t get elsewhere. It’s win-win for you and your community of supporters if you do it right.
An incredibly helpful resource we used was Content Inc. How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses by Joe Pulizzi.
For awhile in our planning process, this book became the word of God. And with good reason. It sets a roadmap for how to design, plan, and execute on content to further your goals.
In the book, Pulizzi outlines how to identify your “Sweet Spot” to optimize your content and consider your “Content Tilt” to help set yourself apart. It comes down to being true to where your interests fall. And consequently, what you’ll be excited to cover in your blog.
Choosing Our Blog Niche
If you know us at all, you know that we’ve always enjoyed learning about and imbibing in all types of beverages. Half of our vacation photos involved some kind of drink. I spent a year living in California and made regular trips to Napa, Sonoma, and the surrounding areas. Every time Jason came to visit I would drag him along (willingly, I might add).
Alcohol and drinking are deeply rooted in so many cultures. They can open up a whole new view of the history and sociology of a locale. Beer in Prague. Wine in Mendoza. Whisky in Tokyo. Bars in London.
Our interest was undeniable. But we also considered the interest of our readers. Would people want to hear our stories? So, we took a look at the market. Although our market research wasn’t science, we felt hopeful.
Craft beer is in full swing. Local distilleries are finally starting to pop up in the United States as antiquated prohibition-era laws loosen. Millennials are drinking wine faster than water. All we needed was a quick environmental scan to tell us we might be on to something.
We were excited to travel the world, sipping what each experience had to offer! With that in place, we were ready to start executing.
Giving Our Blog Niche a Name
We had been throwing ideas around for blog names and kept coming back to one: Intoxicating World. Eventually, it just seemed to fit. There was no better way to describe exactly what we were planning to do:
- (Of alcoholic drink or a drug) Liable to cause intoxication. Synonyms: alcoholic, strong, hard, fortified, potent, stiff, intoxicant; spirituous.
- Exhilarating or exciting. Synonyms: heady, exhilarating, thrilling, exciting, rousing, stirring, stimulating, invigorating, electrifying.
Add “World” to the mix, and we had a clever title that couldn’t have been more descriptive.
And that was key. Picking a name that was descriptive, but scalable. Intoxicating World was specific enough to help explain our unique position. But it was also broad enough to apply to multiple topics, situations, and future endeavors.
Our plan was taking shape – we knew we wanted to travel, try new booze, and share it with the rest of the world.
Going One Step Further
Another idea we had was to brand our blog niche with more than just our name. When we talked about what we were planning to do – explore the planet’s best beer, wine, spirits, and bars – it became cumbersome to explain it with so many words.
We needed one word. A verb. Something to describe the act of drinking around the world: bottletrot.
To travel the world, especially regularly or frequently, and while drinking intoxicating beverages, especially habitually. Bottletrotted, bottletrotting, bottletrotters.
It was a unique and memorable way to describe what we were doing.
An Identity Crisis
As we planned, we found ourselves having a minor identity crisis. Are we travel bloggers who write about alcohol? Or are we alcohol bloggers who write about travel?
It was a critical decision point to ensure our blog had a focused format, content, and audience. When we sat back and examined what we were trying to do, the vision was clear: we are travel bloggers who write about alcohol.
The lesson here for us was not letting the blog niche overtake the blog entirely. We’ve found ourselves repeating that phrase several times in the planning process. Whenever we’re conflicted on an avenue to take, we remind ourselves of our identity.
Interested in Bottletrotting?
So, what does that mean for you?
If you’re interested in blogging, consider where your interests fall. And then, see where they intersect. How can you take what you enjoy and build a platform around it?
If you’re interested in our blog niche itself, then stick around and explore! Intoxicating World aims to offer entertainment and information for people that enjoy drinking and people that enjoy traveling (or both!). Are you one of those people? If you have a sense of wanderlust and enjoy having a drink in your hand, you’ll settle in nicely here!
So, what would you like to see us write about? Leave us a comment below to share insights on where we should travel, what we should drink, or the best bar in your hometown!
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