One of the questions that’s come up a few times in the DailyBlogTips survey is how to select a niche, or how to fix problems with one. Usually, problems crop up because a niche is too broad or too narrow.
When I started out in blogging six years ago, the conventional advice was to choose a very specific niche.
Over the past few years, though, I’ve seen thinking on this shift. Most bloggers now suggest a slightly broader niche, as this makes it much easier to build a real business around your blog. Going too broad, however, is also a mistake.
Is Your Niche Too Broad?
Here’s an example of too broad a niche … in fact, this blog doesn’t really have a niche at all:
My blog covers travel, health, personal development, Twitter, and watercolour painting.
While you might personally have a very wide range of interests, it’s not a good idea to combine these into one blog. Even if you have no intention of making money, you presumably want readers – and they’ll want a blog with a focus.
- Choose a core topic (or two or three closely related topics) to focus on. For instance, it might make sense to combine health and personal development.
- Write down what your blog is really about. You might find it’s useful to use bullet points here. Imagine you’re explaining your blog to a friend or a potential new reader.
- Use different outlets for your other interests. If you have a blog on personal development, with a slant towards health, there’s nothing stopping you writing guest posts about watercolour painting.
Is Your Niche Too Narrow?
A very narrow niche might sound like a good idea, but in practice, it can be very tough to get traffic and readers. A too-narrow niche is also a common cause of burnout: you simply run out of things to say, or lose interest.
It might look like this:
Best brushes for watercolour painting.
While that could make a great blog post or even a great series, it’s not going to be an easy topic for a whole blog.
In my experience, bloggers often choose a too-narrow niche not because they’re passionately interested in it but because they hope it’ll make money. The truth is that a slightly broader niche will usually serve you better.
- Move one step up from your current topic. From best brushes for watercolour painting, you might choose to blog about painting tools (brushes, canvases, etc) or you might blog about watercolour painting.
- Consider buying a new domain. Perhaps your current domain name restricts your topics too much, and it’s time to find a new one.
- Rethink how your blog makes money. Very niche sites are often monetised with affiliate marketing or ads. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you might find a broader niche is easier to monetise in other ways (e.g. by selling products or services).
What’s your blog’s niche? Do you think it’s too narrow or too broad? Let us know in the comments!
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