graphic design

Hatch Mark Drop Shadow Text Effect – Adobe Illustrator

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I earn a small commission. There’s no cost to you whatsoever.

Today I’m going to show you how to add this easy hatch mark drop shadow effect to your text in Adobe Illustrator.

hatch mark drop shadow text effect adobe illustrator

I know hatch mark drop shadow text effect is a mouthful, so here’s a breakdown of what I mean.

A hatch mark simply refers to the little diagonal lines often used in line drawings or sketching to create a shadow-like effect.

Once we create the hatch mark (diagonal lines) pattern, we’ll use it to fill our text and then offset it behind another, solid color text layer.

This is a simple effect that packs a big visual punch!

And the best part is your text will remain completely editable. You can even save this effect as a graphic style to be applied to type in future Illustrator projects.

So roll up your sleeves, fire up Illustrator, and let’s get started!


Want to Learn Adobe Illustrator FREE?

Check out my Easy Beginner Tutorials on Youtube.


If you prefer to watch this hatch drop shadow text effect in Adobe Illustrator tutorial on Youtube, you can do that here instead!

hatch text effect illustrator tutorial on youtube

How to Create a Hatch Mark Drop Shadow Text Effect in Illustrator
Step 1 – Create a New Document

First, let’s create a new Illustrator document to work in. Feel free to create your canvas to your own specs, but I’m using these settings:

  • Size: 500px width by 500px height
  • RGB color mode
  • 72ppi screen resolution
illustrator document setup

How to Create a Hatch Mark Drop Shadow Text Effect in Illustrator
Step 2 – Type Out Your Text

Second, let’s type out some text to add our effect to. I think either a bold sans-serif font or a bold block-serif font looks best with this effect, but you can choose any typeface you like.

I’m using the font Gotham Bold in my design, which you can download online.


Psst! If you’re looking for some good fonts to use, Adobe now offers Adobe Fonts as part of your Creative Cloud Subscription. There’s some real gems – check it out!


type in gotham bold

How to Create a Hatch Mark Drop Shadow Text Effect in Illustrator
Step 3 – Create a Hatch Mark Repeatable Pattern

Before we go any further, let’s create our hatch mark pattern.

The pattern tool allows us to create repeatable patterns and is easily one of my favorite tools in Adobe Illustrator.

To do this, we need to go up to Object > Pattern > Make.

A dialogue box appears- click OK to continue.

object > pattern > make in Illustrator

A bounding box will appear on your screen. My bounding box is 100px by 100px, but yours will be relative to your canvas size.

I’m going to use my pen tool to draw out a diagonal line. I’ll click to place a point in the top left-hand corner of my bounding box, and then I’ll click to place a point in the bottom right-hand corner of my bounding box, creating my line.

Make sure your Smart Guides are turned on while you do this – it will ensure you get things aligned perfectly!

build a repeatable cross hatch mark pattern in adobe illustrator

Instantly, you’ll see the pattern start to take effect. The line is completely editable, so you can select it with your Selection Tool (V) and change the stroke weight and the color.

I’ve set my stroke weight to 3px and the stroke color to yellow #ffc200.

Now let’s drag out a duplicate of this line.

To do this, hold down Shift + Alt/Option on your Keyboard to drag out a duplicate line.

To make sure I have even spacing between my lines, I’m dragging my line out until my Smart Guides indicate I’ve moved it to dX: -5px, dY: 5px.

duplicate hatch line evenly

To finish the pattern, make duplicates of the line until your bounding box is filled. Press Cmd/Ctrl + D on your keyboard to duplicate the lines at even intervals until you reach the bottom left-hand corner.

This should give us ~20 lines inside our bounding box, since 100 divided by 5 is 20. Boom. Math.

fill the bounding box with your pattern

Before I close the Pattern Menu, I’ll rename my pattern to “Gold Hatch,” then Click Done in the bar above.

Our new hatch mark pattern has been added to our Swatches Menu.


Speaking of patterns..

Create an Easy Chevron Pattern in Adobe Illustrator


How to Create a Hatch Mark Drop Shadow Text Effect in Illustrator
Step 4 – The Appearance Menu

Now that we’ve created the hatch mark effect, let’s first make sure our text is selected and then open our Appearance Menu.

The Appearance Menu is either hanging out in your side toolbar, or go to Window > Appearance to bring it up.

Once it’s open, double click on the word Characters and set the Fill to None. Then click on Type: No Appearance to back out.

under Characters, set the fill to none

How to Create a Hatch Mark Drop Shadow Text Effect in Illustrator
Step 5 – Create a New Fill Layer

Now click on the Add New Fill icon at the bottom of the Appearance Menu to create a new fill.

I’m going to set this fill to a dark charcoal gray color. The hex code is #444444.

Feel free to add a stroke if you’d like. I’m going to leave my stroke on None.

hatch drop shadow effect illustrator - add new fill

Nothing revolutionary has happened yet – I know. The next step is where the magic happens!

How to Create a Hatch Mark Drop Shadow Text Effect in Illustrator
Step 6 – Create a Second Fill Layer and Offset It

Click the Add New Fill icon again to create another Fill Layer. Drag this new layer beneath your charcoal fill layer.

Set the fill color to your new hatch pattern. Yes, it’s there in your swatches!

make a new fill layer and set the fill to your hatch pattern

You can’t see it yet, but that’s because we need to offset this new layer.

Make sure your hatch mark fill layer is selected, and click on Add New Effect at the bottom of the Appearance menu.

Select Distort & Transform > Transform.

In the pop up menu that appears, under Move, change the Horizontal and Vertical Values to 8px (or whatever value you like). Make sure Preview is checked so you can see what’s happening.

offset the hatch pattern fill layer in the appearance menu

Voila! Your hatch mark drop shadow has appeared and has been successfully offset. You can keep creating new stroke and fill layers and adding more patterns and colors and offsetting them into infinity.

Do whatever you like- just make sure the type is always selected when you edit it in the Appearance Menu. Otherwise- you won’t see the changes.

finished hatch drop shadow text effect in illustrator

Go ahead and change your text to another word or phrase if you like – the beauty of creating our hatch mark drop shadow text effect in the Appearance Menu is that it leaves our type completely editable.

See?

hatch mark drop shadow text effect adobe illustrator with editable type edit

How to Create a Hatch Mark Drop Shadow Text Effect in Illustrator
Step 6 – Save Your Graphic Style

But wait! There’s one more important step to do. Let’s save this graphic style so you can add it to text in the future.

Select your text and pull up your Graphic Styles Menu. If it’s not in your sidebar, you’ll find it under Window > Graphic Styles.

Simply click on the New Graphic Style icon to add your new style.

add hatch drop shadow effect to graphic styles menu

With your new style selected, Click on the Graphic Styles Libraries Menu and select Save Graphic Style.

name your graphic style

Give your Style a name and choose Save. Now if you create a new Illustrator Document, you’ll always be able to find this style again under the Graphic Styles Libraries Menu > User Defined.

saved graphic styles under user defined

That’s it!

If you recreate this hatch mark drop shadow text effect in Illustrator, be sure to tag me on Instagram @makerlex so I can check it out!

And be sure to pin this image to come back to this post or share it with friends.

Happy Making!

Maker Lex Signature

How to Create Chevron in Illustrator

How to Make Chevron Easy Tutorial in Illustrator

In today’s tutorial, I’ll be showing you 5 easy steps to make a chevron pattern in Adobe Illustrator.

You can watch the full video below, or scroll down for written directions.

You don’t need the pen tool to create chevron in Illustrator, and this is good news, my friends! Why?  Because it is notoriously difficult to get things perfectly straight, equidistant, and symmetrical with the pen tool. In fact, the pen tool is known to induce headaches. Seriously.

So how will we make perfect chevron without it?

To create a chevron pattern, we’ll use a combination of the Line Segment Tool, the Zig Zag Effect, and the Blend Tool.

For this tutorial I’m using Illustrator Creative Cloud (which is a fancy way of saying that I’m using a cloud-based Illustrator with all the latest & greatest features), but creating chevron is a simple process that you can do in any version of Illustrator. Depending on which version you’re using, it may take you a few additional steps. Also remember that certain tools or features might be located in slightly different places.

How to Create Chevron Pattern in Illustrator

How to Create Chevron in Illustrator Step #1: Draw out two straight lines

In the toolbar, choose the Line Segment Tool. Hold down the Shift key while you drag out a line to keep it perfectly straight/level.

How to Make Chevron in Illustrator Step 1 drag out a straight line

After you have your line, make sure it’s selected and hold down Shift + Alt (Option) to drag out an identical line. Drag it to the bottom of your artboard. Now you have one at the top and one below. Next we’ll make them zig-zags.

How to Make Chevron in Illustrator Step 2 Drag an identical line to the bottom of your art board

How to Create Chevron in Illustrator Step #2: Create the zig zag shape

With both lines selected, from the top menu bar, choose Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag. Make sure Preview is checked so you can see how the settings are affecting your lines.

How to Make Chevron in Illustrator Step 3 Choose Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag
How to Make Chevron in Illustrator Step 4 adjust the size and ridges per segment to create zig zag lines
  • Size affects the height of the line.
  • Ridges per Segment will give us more or fewer zig-zags.
  • Make sure Corner is selected; otherwise you’ll have wavy lines.

Play around with the settings until you like what you see, then click OK.

At this stage, if you want the lines to be heavier or thinner, you can adjust the stroke up or down until you reach the desired thickness.

How to Create Chevron in Illustrator Step #3: Create the chevron pattern

Now we’re going to fill up the space between our top and bottom line with more zig-zags to create the chevron pattern. This is simple to do using the Blend Tool.

In the top menu bar, choose Object > Blend > Blend Options.

Edit your blend options. Object > Blend > Blend Options to fill in the chevron pattern.
Adjust your blend options.

In the Blend Options Menu, choose Specified Steps from the Spacing drop-down menu, and for Orientation: Align to Page.

The number you put into the box will be how many chevrons appear between the top and bottom line. For my chevron pattern, I entered 20, but don’t worry. You can always go back and edit this later.

Press OK. Don’t worry— your pattern will not appear yet. To fill in the pattern, go again to Object > Blend > Make

Choose Object > Blend > Make to create the chevron pattern
Once the chevron pattern has generated you can easily make adjustments

How to Create Chevron in Illustrator Step #4: Adjust the Chevron pattern

Now you can use your Direct Selection Tool to fine-tune your chevron pattern. To change the distance between each line, click on the bottom line and hold the Shift key (to keep it straight) while you drag up and down until it looks exactly how you want it. Add to or subtract from the number of chevrons by returning to Blend Options and adjusting the number you typed in the field in Step #3.

Use your direct selection tool in illustrator to drag the bottom line up and down, and notice how the space between the lines changes.

How to Create Chevron in Illustrator Step #5: Change Colors & Make Final Adjustments

Make final adjustments by changing the color of your Chevron or changing the stroke to make the lines thicker or thinner. Any changes you make will apply the same effect to all chevrons in the pattern.

You can adjust the stroke or change the number of chevrons in your pattern. any change you make will affect the whole pattern

That’s it!

If you enjoyed this tutorial, be sure to pin this image to share with others, or follow my Youtube Channel, where I create graphic design tutorials using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop & more!

Check out more of my Tutorials:

How to Create Ric-Rac in Illustrator

Easy Illustrator Ric Rac Tutorial

In today’s tutorial, I’ll be showing you how to make ric rac, or wavy lines, in 5 easy steps using Adobe Illustrator.

You can watch the full video below, or scroll down for written directions.

Ric Rac Illustrator Easy Tutorial

 

The good news is creating wavy lines in Illustrator doesn’t require the pen tool at all. If you’ve ever tried to use the pen tool to create perfectly symmetrical wavy lines, you probably couldn’t achieve it. And if you did, you probably ripped out most of your hair along the way.

To achieve wavy ric rac lines, we’ll be using a combination of the Line Segment Tool and the powerful Zig Zag Effect in the Distort & Transform menu bar.

In this tutorial, I’m using Illustrator Creative Cloud (which is a fancy way of saying that I’m using a cloud-based Illustrator with all the latest & greatest features), but creating wavy lines is a basic process that you can easily recreate in older versions of Illustrator. Keep in mind that depending on which version you’re using, it may require a few additional steps. Certain tools or features might be located in slightly different places as well.

How to Create Ric Rac (Wavy Lines) in Illustrator

How to Create Ric Rac in Illustrator Step #1: Draw out a straight line

In the toolbar, choose the Line Segment Tool. Hold down the Shift key while you drag out a line. Holding shift keeps it perfectly level.

Make Ric Rac in Adobe Illustrator in 5 easy steps by using the line segment tool
Make Ric Rac in Adobe Illustrator in 5 easy steps draw out a line with the line segment tool

How to Create Ric Rac in Illustrator Step #2: Create Waves

In the top menu bar, choose Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag. Make sure Preview is checked so you can adjust the waves to your liking.

Make Ric Rac in Adobe Illustrator in 5 easy steps effect distort & transform zig zag
  • Size affects the height of the line.
  • Ridges per Segment will give us more or fewer waves.
  • To round the waves, select Smooth (rather than Corner).

Play around with the settings until you like what you see, then click Ok.

Make Ric Rac in Adobe Illustrator in 5 easy steps by adjust the size and ridges per segment

 

How to Create Ric Rac in Illustrator Step #3: Adjust the Thickness of the Ric Rac

Using the Selection Tool (keyboard shortcut: V), you can adjust the stroke up or down until you reach the desired thickness.

Make Ric Rac in Adobe Illustrator in 5 easy steps by  choosing rounded versus corner to make waves

How to Create Ric Rac in Illustrator Step #4: Drag out More Ric Rac

If you want more than one wavy line, with the Selection Tool, click the line while holding Shift + Alt (Option).

If you want to create more lines that are the same distance apart, a quick shortcut is to press Command (Control) + D

Make Ric Rac in Adobe Illustrator in 5 easy steps by holding down command or control and D you can drag out even more lines an equal distance apart

How to Create Ric Rac in Illustrator Step #5: Change Colors & Make Final Adjustments

Select each line individually to change the color according to your liking.

With the line (or lines) selected, you can also return to Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag to make adjustments to the number of ridges or the height of your ric rac.

Make Ric Rac in Adobe Illustrator in 5 easy steps you can change the color of each line individually

That’s it!

make ric rac wavy lines in adobe illustrator in five simple steps video tutorial and written directions with pictures

If you enjoyed this tutorial, be sure to follow my Wondernote Youtube Channel, where I create graphic design tutorials using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop & more.

Pin this Image for Later (or to share with friends!) :

Easy Ric Rac Tutorial

Be sure to check out more of my Illustrator & Photoshop Tutorials:

How to Create a Heart in Illustrator

how to make a heart in illustrator

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make a perfect heart in Adobe Illustrator in 5 easy steps.

You can watch the full video below, or scroll down for written directions.

The best part of this how-to is we won’t be using the pen tool at all! And trust me, that’s good news, folks. Because I don’t know about you — but in my past I tried countless times to make a perfect heart using the pen tool. It isn’t impossible, but it nearly is. And by the time you achieve it, you’ll have a few more gray hairs on your head than when you started.

To achieve a perfect heart, we’ll be using a combination of the Rectangle Tool and the powerful Pathfinder Tool.

In this tutorial, I’m using Illustrator Creative Cloud (which is a fancy way of saying that I’m using a cloud-based Illustrator with all the latest & greatest features), but creating shapes like this one is a basic process that you can recreate easily in older versions of Illustrator. Keep in mind that depending on which version you’re using, it may require a few additional steps. Certain tools or features might be located in slightly different places as well.

How to Create a Perfect Heart in Adobe Illustrator

Make a Heart in Illustrator Step #1: Draw out a rounded rectangle.

In your toolbar, click and hold down on the little corner of your rectangle tool to select the rounded rectangle tool and draw out a shape that is longer/wider than it is tall.

Make a Heart: Draw out a Rounded Rectangle in Illustrator

 

Make a Heart in Adobe Illustrator Step #2: Round out the Corners of your rectangle.

With your shape still selected, In the top toolbar, bump the corner radius all the way up until your corners are as round as they can be.

Make a Heart: Adjust the Corner Radius of the Rectangle in Illustrator

Make a Heart in Adobe Illustrator Step #3: Rotate your shape 45 degrees.

Press “V” on your keyboard as a shortcut, or click on the Selection Tool in your tool bar.

Click on your shape and hold down Shift as you drag down with the mouse to rotate the shape 45 degrees. You can rotate it more or less depending on your preferences.

Make a Heart: Rotate the Shape 45 degrees in Illustrator

 

Make a Heart in Adobe Illustrator Step #4: Rotate & Copy The Shape, adjust depth of the “V”

In the top menu bar, choose Object > Transform > Reflect. Make sure that Vertical is selected and click Copy.

Make a Heart: Transform and Copy the Shape in Illustrator

You can probably  see the heart shape already. Depending on how shallow or deep you want that dip or “V” for your heart, you can hold shift (which will keep everything at the same height) and drag the shapes closer together or further apart, like so:

Make a Heart: Adjust the Placement of overlapping V in Illustrator

 

Make a Heart in Adobe Illustrator Step #5: Divide & Unite with the Pathfinder Tool to Shape our Heart.

If you don’t see your Pathfinder Toolbar on the screen, in the top menu bar,  choose Window > Pathfinder. The pathfinder tool will appear.

Make a Heart: Select the Pathfinder Tool in Illustrator

Using your Selection Tool (keyboard shortcut: V), click down & drag your mouse over both shapes to select them.

First, from your Pathfinder tool, choose Divide. This literally divides our overlapping shapes into 5 separate pieces.

Make a Heart: Divide with the Pathfinder Tool in Illustrator

Using the Direct Selection Tool (keyboard shortcut: A), delete the two bottom pieces you don’t want, like so:

Make a Heart: Delete Extra Pieces from Heart Shape in Illustrator

Select the three remaining shapes. In the pathfinder tool, choose Unite.

Make a Heart: Unite the 3 Remaining Shapes into a Heart with the Pathfinder Tool in Illustrator

Voila! You have a perfect heart every time.

Make a Heart in Illustrator: Change the Color of the Heart

 

If you enjoyed this tutorial, be sure to pin the image below and share with your friends! Also  follow my  Youtube Channel, where I create graphic design tutorials using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop & more.

perfect heart in adobe illustrator

Be sure to check out more of my Illustrator & Photoshop Tutorials:

6 Ways to Boost Creativity Fast

easy ways to boost creativity fast

Feeling uninspired?

About as creative as a straight line?

Feeling as if nothing is new? Like it’s all been done before..

You’re not alone. In a world of perfectly curated social media accounts, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. With the stroke of a key we can be staring into the eyes of the Mona Lisa. In a mouse-click, we’re overlooking the Grand Canyon. The internet has given us instant access to all the creative beauty in this world, and yet, we’ve never felt so uninspired!

And if you’re a blogger, designer, or content creator, you know that’s a problem. Content doesn’t create itself. Clients won’t wait around for your next stroke of genius. So what can you do when you’re feeling stuck?

Here are 6 easy ways you can boost your creativity, and fast!

Easy Way to Boost Creativity #1: Unplug.

The internet is amazing. A simple mouse click can transport you to almost anywhere in the world. Maybe you’ve never been to Paris in real life, but you’ve visited the Eiffel Tower from your cubicle a dozen times. Google Maps is cool like that.

But did you hear the violinist as you strolled through Champ de Mars? Were your tastebuds delighted as you bit into a buttery pain au chocolat? Did a loving arm wrap around your shoulder as you stood staring at the twinkling tower on a warm summer evening? ..Are you catching my drift?

The internet offers cheap thrills. Experiences that leave us wanting more and never truly satisfied. Sometimes the best thing we can do is unplug from it all.

Peel yourself away from the never ending stream of pristine homes and white-washed flat lays; they’ll be there when you get back, I promise. Instead, spend some time admiring the beauty of something tangible. Something that can give back. Feel its weight in your hands. Close your eyes and breathe it in. Ignite your senses!

Easy Way to Boost Creativity #2: Clean Your Desk or Work Area.

And now that you’ve unplugged, how many of us creative types are guilty of living and working in organized chaos? Sure, we know the important paper we need for Monday’s meeting is in that basket. It’s buried under a month’s worth of take-out receipts. And the tax document is in the “important papers pile”, aka papers we have no clue what to do with. Oh, don’t mind the leaning tower of file folders. If it’s in a file, that means it’s organized, right? Hah!

In fact, a cluttered space is a constant reminder of all the unfinished business. And unfinished business is stressful. And stress is a creativity killer.

You’ll sleep better when there’s not a pile of dishes in the sink. Your mind can relax knowing there isn’t unfinished work waiting tomorrow morning. And you’ll create better when you come into a clean workspace each day.

Don’t close the door on a pile of disorganized papers, random receipts & unlabeled folders for another day. If you don’t know where to start, a simple rule is this: a place for everything and everything in its place. When you find an organizational system that works for you, the creative juices are guaranteed to flow better.

 

Easy Way to Boost Creativity #3: Get Moving!

One of my favorite ways to boost creativity — and for me, the fastest — is to take a quick walk! If you can’t get to stepping, then do some quick stretching in your seat. Or have a mini dance party in your cubicle. Heck, stand up and then sit back down in your chair for 10 reps. Whatever it takes to get the blood pumping.

There’s something about taking my eyes off the screen and getting my body moving that gets my best ideas flowing. And when you head out, even if it’s only for five minutes, never forget your phone. Why? Because the next tip for boosting creativity is..


Easy Way to Boost Creativity #4: Write everything down!

You never know when a good idea is going to strike. So get used to carrying a journal or phone where you can jot them down before you forget. The Notes App on an iPhone works well for this. However, if you’re like me– your most creative ideas seem to come while you’re on the-go. You’re walking or you’re driving when suddenly you’ve thought up the whole first paragraph for a blog post. And when this happens, I recommend using a Voice Recording App on your smartphone. iPhones have one built in.

Don’t forget to keep a regular journal on top of this. Sometimes you need to explore a topic over time and in-depth the way only honest journaling can. Good ideas build on one another, so the more time you spend exploring a topic on paper, the closer you get to your greatest creative epiphany yet.


Easy Way to Boost Creativity #5: Stop Comparing.

You’ve heard the saying Comparison is the thief of joy. But have you heard Comparison is the thief of creativity? If your first instinct upon beginning a new project  is to see how everyone else is doing it, well.. STOP. RIGHT. THERE.

Don’t you dare type anything into Google. Remove the temptation to mimic what someone else is doing. Log out of Instagram. Turn off your iPhone. Be present with yourself and your own creativity.

Ask yourself deep, intentional questions about your new project. What do you hope to achieve? Who will this benefit? What tools do you need? How long will it take? Etc. After you’ve reflected on these questions, don’t immediately open Google or Instagram for research purposes, either. Get a pen and paper. Make an outline. Write some more until you have a full-blown plan. Take your creativity into your own hands!

 

Easy Way to Boost Creativity #6: Do Literally Anything Else.

If you’ve been trying to solve a problem but haven’t made any progress in hours or even days, it’s probably time to take a break. Note: this does not mean throw in the towel. You may be too close to the situation to see the problem, and if you can’t see the problem, you certainly won’t see a solution. It’s okay if you need to take a whole day (or two week) hiatus. But if you have no time to lose…

A twenty minute break might be all you need to get your creative groove back. During your break, don’t allow yourself to think of the problem at all. Do the dishes. Call a friend. Try a meditation app. You’ll return to the project refreshed, re-inspired, and able to look at things from a whole new perspective.


While these tips should boost creativity instantly, don’t forget to be consistent. Let me know if these tips work for you or how you feel after you’ve given them a try.

Do you know strategies that work better? Feel free to share them with me in a comment or email.

 

Want more?

Read my Best Tips for Choosing a Blog Topic and Download my FREE Worksheet: Find Your Niche.

Want to learn Graphic Design using Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop? Check out my Tutorials:

How To Decide What to Blog About

How to Decide What to Blog About

Want to know a secret?

It took me 10 years to figure out what to blog about.

That’s right. 10 years! 10 years spent launching numerous different blogs, and all of them failed until Wondernote — the blog you’re reading right now. So what changed?

 

Why all my old blogs failed

 

Prior to Wondernote, I wanted to blog about sooo many different things. Every time I tried to pick just one topic, I would immediately think of an idea for something in a different topic to write about. Having only one topic felt limiting! After all, I had so many interests and ideas I wanted to share. Maybe you have a lot of interests or passions also. Some of mine include:

  • Fitness
  • Healthy eating
  • Weight loss
  • Shopping
  • Beauty
  • Design
  • Home decor
  • Travel
  • Photography

 

And I still love all those things, but I don’t blog about all of them on Wondernote. This blog is dedicated to the Graphic Design category, and all my articles fit as closely into my niche as possible.

In fact, once I identified a niche to write about, I didn’t feel limited. I actually felt the opposite: BLOG FREEDOM. Sounds crazy, right?

What is a niche, anyway?

A niche relates to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population, which actually means my blog is targeted at less people rather than more.

Maybe that sounds like the opposite of what you think you should do when it comes to blogging. But let me explain why identifying your niche can actually lead to more blogging success (read: a money-making blog).

 

Why You Need A Niche

 

Trends come and go in blogging, and one you may have noticed is the “Lifestyle Blog.” Although, it seems to be going by a different name now.. self-identified “Content Creators,” as seen in Instagram bio’s everywhere. First of all, there’s nothing wrong with have a lifestyle blog, and being a content creator is a great thing.

But lifestyle blog doesn’t mean a lot to search engines. And it doesn’t mean a lot to searchers themselves. Think about it. Imagine a 23 year old girl searching Google for “how to french braid your own hair.”

Imagine you have written a great tutorial on your blog about how to do this, but you also write about personal style, family-friendly recipes, and your vacation to Mexico. Imagine your competition with a nearly identical article.. a blog entirely dedicated to hair care. Who do you think will rank first in Google’s search results? Your lifestyle blog with one article about hair, or the blog with two hundred optimized articles about hair?

See what I mean? A niche of hair care blog vs lifestyle blog gives you the competitive edge when it comes to SEO, and search engine optimization is vital to increasing traffic, which in turn increases the chance of earning money from your blog.

Ok, ok.. I get it. I need a niche. But how do I figure out my blog niche?

 

How to Find Your Blog Niche

 

I knew my need of a niche long before I actually figured out what it was.  All those interests, remember? It was really hard to narrow it down to just one thing to blog about. But I finally did it.

I had an Aha! Moment when an Instagram influencer I follow shared her blog post titled “Top 10 Tips for Beginner Bloggers.” The very last tip was this: LOVE TO BLOG OR GET OUT.

My first thought after reading that statement was, “Ouch!” I mean, it was a bit harsh, especially coming from someone making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year and basically living my dream life in NYC. Talk about blunt force trauma to my blogging ego.

But as I dwelt on that phrase for the next few days, something clicked for me.

I realized that if I didn’t choose a topic to blog about that I genuinely LOVED, then I wasn’t going to enjoy it..ever. And if I didn’t enjoy, I would never do it. I already do plenty of things I don’t enjoy, like my day job, so why would I add another thing I dread to the mix?

For me that meant I didn’t want to blog about fashion or share my makeup looks. I wear the same makeup everyday. It works great for me, but that’s not very interesting to others! And blogging successfully, afterall, is about OTHERS. Not about us. It’s about the value we can add to the lives of others by sharing what we do best.

For me, it was graphic design.

But it took days for me to arrive at that conclusion. I had to really sit in silence with some questions and my journal.

 

If you’re ready to identify what you should blog about, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I truly enjoy doing?

  • What don’t I get tired of learning about?

  • What do I want to learn more about?

  • What skills do I have that I could teach others?

  • What do my friends say I’m good at?

  • What do my friends ask me for advice about?

  • What topic do I want to shout about from the rooftops?

  • What would I be happy doing for the rest of my life?

  • If I could have any career EVER– regardless of my current credentials– what would it be?

  • Is my passion something I can make money with?

  • How can I make money from my passion?

 

As you reflect on these questions & more, make lists. Lists of Pros & Cons.

Think. Think Harder.

For hours! Take your time. Don’t rush.

Resist the temptation to copy someone else’s formula for success. By all means, take good advice. But make your own path to success.

 

If you want to dig deeper, you can download my FREE Worksheet Find Your Niche here. And if you’re stuck in Lifestyle Blog limbo, you may be interested in reading my article Why Lifestyle Blogs Don’t Make Money.

& Tell Me. Have you identified your blogging niche? If so, how did you pick your niche?

If you don’t know what to blog about, read my Best Tips for Choosing a Blog Topic and Download my FREE Worksheet: Find Your Niche.

Want to learn Graphic Design using Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop? Check out my Tutorials:

Copyright © 2020 · Theme by 17th Avenue