How I Chose A Niche for My Personal Finance Blog

Have you ever wanted to start a business, but you can’t figure out what product or service to sell? I have. Multiple times.

The search

I wanted to start my own business when I was a freshman in college.

I didn’t know what I’d do, but the desire to own and run my own company was burning inside me.

Over the years, life has taken me on a different path. That fire in me subsided until last year.

I liked my current job, but I wanted to do something on the side in the evenings and on the weekends.

Seeing how many bloggers have successfully built their sites, made a good income from their blogs, and become their own bosses gave me an eureka moment.

I decided to start my own blog and wanted grow it into a side business one day.

I contemplated starting a blog as a hobby for 12 years but never followed through with it. But this time, I will.

The niche

I didn’t start out intentionally searching for a niche I could fill. I started Frugal Asian Finance to fill a void I saw in the blogging community.

After more than two years of reading various personal finance blogs, I realized that there were not many female Asian bloggers out there.

Most bloggers I have come across are white. While I enjoy reading what they wrote, I feel like there’s still something missing. I want to see a blog I can relate to in terms of culture, tradition, upbringing, education, food, and the like.

Many blogs offer recipes for low-cost meals, but they’re more like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chili, and mashed potatoes, which are tasty but not what I’m used to eating every day. I want to see more frugal Asian meals and grocery hauls.

While Deb and Al at Saving The Crumbs offer great posts about their groceries, they’re strictly vegetarian, and I’m not. Even after I started blogging and found out about other Asian bloggers, their sites are more about early retirement and investment.

And most importantly, most of them are males. I am not sexist. I just want to see more tips from Asian wives and Asian moms who probably have experienced a similar upbringing as I did and face the struggles maybe unique to Asian females in America.

I want to see what Asian dishes they make to keep their groceries under budget. I want to see how they prepare for and celebrate the Chinese (Lunar) New Year instead of Christmas and the Mid-Autumn Festival instead of Halloween.

I Googled various key words such as “frugal Asian,” “frugal Asian man,” “frugal Asian woman,” “frugal Vietnamese,” “frugal Chinese,” and many other combinations but couldn’t find much. A lot of Asian-related blogs I found had gone defunct years ago.

The options

When I decided to start my own blog about personal finance, I swore to myself that I’d include the two key words “frugal Asian” in the site name  so that it’d be easier for other people to find my blog.

My first personal finance blog was named Frugal Asian Girl. I wanted the site name to capture the essence of what my blog is about: being frugal as an Asian female. It’s short, straightforward, and to the point.

However, setting up a blog wasn’t as easy as I thought. I wasn’t tech-savvy, so even linking the categories to the main menu was such a challenge. I picked a theme where I had to design my logo and upload it onto the site.

The logo I designed for my old blog

Having no graphic design background and not wanting to drop $35-50 on a designer, I made a simple and straight out unattractive logo in a Word document (yes, that’s right).

Discouraged by the whole ordeal and regretting the $120 spent on Bluehost service, I called up Customer Service to cancel the domain the next day.

I lost $11 from the cancellation but still felt happy about getting $110 back.

It wasn’t long until the blogging urge came back to me. I decided to give it a second chance. Unfortunately, the domain frugalasiangirl.com had been taken. Not wanting to spend $12 buying it, I I decided to pick another site name: Frugal Asian Finance.

I actually went back and forth between Frugal Asian Finance and Frugal Finance. While Frugal Asian Finance sounds like a great niche, it’s also a bit restricted. I didn’t want non-Asian readers to be discouraged from reading my blog.

I wanted to appeal to a large audience by writing about personal finance in a way that anyone can relate to me. However, when I looked at Frugal Finance, I didn’t see myself in it. I didn’t see what I saw was missing in the blogs I had read: a perspective on personal finance from an Asian female.

The decision

I eventually decided on Frugal Asian Finance. It also has a nice abbreviation (FAF) which I can use as my nickname (Ms. FAF) on the site.

The only thing that went wrong this time was a typo in the domain name. I set up the blog at 11:30 PM that night. I’m not sure if being sleepy was the reason, but I typed frugalasiangfinance.com. I added a “G” in between Asian and Finance and didn’t notice it until I got a confirmation email from Bluehost.

I called Customer Service, but no one answered. I called again the next day. An agent answered my call. Although I spelled out the name for him better by letter, he managed to make another typo by leaving out the N in Asian. When I found out about this mistake, I was so upset I called the company and cancelled the whole account.

Two months later, the blogging bug refused to leave me. I finally gave in. This time I told myself to check the domain name carefully and never cancel it ever again no matter what might happen. Frugal Asian Finance was born.

Conclusion

By reading other personal finance blogs, I’ve figured out what I like and don’t like about certain features (i.e. layout, pictures, topics, styles). I’ve tried to incorporate what I like into my own blogs, but it’s still a work in progress.

I didn’t realize until now that I was actually doing market research for my current blog and figured out a niche I could fill. I’ve also decided on the blogging style I want to pursue: keeping it personal with great tips along the way.

Related:

How I Went From 0 To 31,104 Views/mo In 7 Months

How To Produce Massive Content For Your Personal Finance Blog

How To Get Over A (Personal Finance) Blogger Burnout

5 Downsides of Personal Finance Blogging

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14 thoughts on “How I Chose A Niche for My Personal Finance Blog”

  • That was interesting. I thought I was the only one in this world who made mistakes like that.
    Let me introduce myself. Blogger, Indian woman, working towards early retirement. Most of the blogs I saw were white, male too. Now I see some female ones as well, but not too many. And I agree what you said about frugal recipes too. I will go through the rest of your site now.
    I have a vague notion of making money from my blog, but right now I am concentrating on adding good content. Still very new.
    Merry Christmas to you!

    • I’ll start reading your blog too! I felt all the blogs were white, male and straight. And it was like they never considered that women exist or that people have disabilities. I got really pissed off at MMM for saying things like having a car means you are fat and lazy and anyone can easily bike 5 miles and if not he will morally judge you. Hello!!! Lots of people have disabilities that make this impossible (such as myself and my girlfriend’s brother who… Wait for it … Got his disability by getting hit by a car while commuting on a bike). And then early retirement extreme saying anyone who can’t do 5 pull ups is not healthy and in bad shape… It’s like he had never met a woman or considered women have different bodies. I be hardly know any women who can do even 1 pull up. The ones I know who can have wide shoulders and also work out a lot. Even when I did different gym classes 5 times a week, I still could not do pull ups.

      I’m glad that more women are starting blogs. Looking forward to reading yours, Busymom!!!

      • I have a bike I don’t use that much- just to ride with my son. And I cannot do a single pull up.
        I saw that you have a blog too, read the first post. Will go back and read the rest.
        Merry Christmas to you!

      • I ride my bike regularly, but Chicago winters aren’t made for biking. Call me a wuss. Oh well, I’ll be warm on the bus.

        As for a pull up…even in the best shape of my life I couldn’t do one. I refuse to allow anyone to make me feel less than because of their narrow world view.

    • Merry Christmas to you too! It’s great to know you, Busy Mom! I really love your logo. It’s so cute and meaningful!

      I’ll check out your site as well. I’m so glad I know another female Asian blogger who’s also working towards early retirement. And you have 2,000 more days? Way to count down to FIRE! 🙂

  • Happy holidays! I think you’ve got a good niche. It’s great to hear an Asian female voice in PF. Really not that many previously. Seems like many more this past 2 years. Enjoy the holidays!
    My kid is up early. 😉

    • Thank you, Joe! Happy Holidays to you and your family as well! ^.^

      It was Mr. FAF’s turn to be in charge of our kid yesterday night, so I got to sleep in this morning haha. I’m having a very merry Christmas while Mr. FAF is taking a long nap :”> I hope you will get to take a nap some time today too! 🙂

  • “By reading other personal finance blogs, I’ve figured out what I like and don’t like about certain features (i.e. layout, pictures, topics, styles)”

    Great points! It takes a consistent routine to stay motivated and to follow through. Congratulations on your progress. Many of the growing pains and experiences you captured here are what I’m (and likely many others are) going through right now.

    It’s slow and steady, but – eventually – getting dividend heavy in more ways than one.

  • I like your niche and the three letter abbreviation especially since I can relate. Originally I wanted a website with only two words and a dot.com but all the ones that I wanted were already taken. And I’m glad you didn’t let the domain name typos stop you 🙂

  • We were having the niche discussion over the Rockstar forums and I am all about embracing our gender, race, ethnicity, cultural background in how we present our blogs. While some people think that race and gender are divisive, I completely disagree. They just are facts of life. I’m as Black as they come and I love your blog. I have learned so much since I started reading it. Heck, you’re one of my blogging role models. Knowing that you’re Asian doesn’t put me off to enjoying your writing and seeking out your perspective.
    Although I didn’t incorporate the fact that I’m Black in my blog title, it’s all over my blog posts, whether it be in my cultural references, sayings, gif choices, or explicit addressing of race. Although very few people read my blog right now, it’s a very diverse few dozen. I too saw a void in the PF blogosphere when it came to Black bloggers. Most of the ones I saw were primarily focused on getting debt free and I didn’t see very many single women with higher income looking to take their finances to the next level. I figured it if I couldn’t find what I wanted to see, I should just be it. And I am having a blast. My blog continues to evolve as I learn more and I have great people from all types of backgrounds to look to for inspiration.

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