One of the most important aspects of choosing your niche or topic is your RFB – your “Reason For Being”.
RFB is the reason your website exists, the justification for visitors to go there. Without a good, clear RFB, you’re sunk before you even begin.
RFB answers the question “why would someone take the time & effort to visit your site”, shapes the approach you take, and dictates your content.
Suppose I have a passion for animals and decide I want to create a site in the ‘pets’ niche.
After brainstorming, looking around online, thinking about my own experiences, etc., I decided to create a site about keeping pets for apartment dwellers.
Having lived in big cities and being a pet lover, I know there are unique challenges and restrictions for pet lovers in the city. Large or very active dogs, for instance, don’t typically do well living in an apartment. If it’s a walk-up, that poses additional challenges. Even tropical fish can pose problems – very large aquariums are immensely heavy and require firm, strong flooring underneath.
If I were to simply build a site without consideration of my RFB, it would end up being a hodge-podge of marginally-related articles, with little cohesion or connectedness.
Looking at this example, however, I can come up with a clear, strong RFB: addressing the specific challenges facing apartment dwellers who want to have a pet or pets.
Now, instead of assembling a hodge-podge of articles, I can map out a strategy that will dictate my content:
Dog breeds that adapt well to apartment living
Desensitizing your dog to noise & activity
Treadmills: exercising your dog when you can’t take him out
Your RFB provides the reason for someone to visit your site. The clearer and more specific your RFB, the better off you’ll be.
An easier, obvious example is a review site. A site reviewing coffee makers would have as it’s reason for being, comparing different coffee makers in order to make a purchase decision.
Improving the RFB, we might instead build a review site around a narrower, more specific choice, for example, “Home Espresso Makers”.
While there may be fewer people looking, it will be considerably easier to get and convert visitors looking to find out about and purchase a “Home Espresso Maker” than just a generic “Coffee Maker”.
Taking that a step further still, “Home Espresso Makers For Price-Conscious Shoppers” is a clear, direct, and specific RFB. Someone looking for a low-priced home espresso maker will literally light up if they find a site devoted to “Home Espresso Makers For Price-Conscious
Examples of strong RFB’s include:
Review & comparison sites
‘How To’ and tutorial sites
‘Top X’ and ‘best of’ sites
Unique solutions (i.e. ‘home remedies’, or our example above, etc)
Whatever niche or topic you decide on, make sure you frame it with a clear, specific RFB.