If there’s anything I would have done differently as a blogger still starting out, it would have been to rein in the excitement until I knew what exactly I was doing. From an attempt to join the make-money-online bandwagon to a platform to hone my writing skills, the blog finally became an avenue to market the skills I’ve acquired since I first started blogging in August 2011 and freelancing in March 2012.
And the way things have gone, I’m not discounting the possibility of the blog turning into something entirely different one day. Much has happened, and much is left to be desired. But life, as we know it, is a continuing journey that ends only when we breathe our last.
Before we start dwelling on the morbid, let’s quickly change gears and talk about this survey I did. I tapped a handful of my blogger friends and posed (or is it imposed?) this question: In blogging, is it important to have a niche? Why or why not?
Here are the answers I got, for which I am very thankful knowing all the respondents are busy with life and more, in no particular order:
I feel the no-niche niche works or me, but if one is looking to earn money, then, one might think otherwise. But then, big blogs like Huff Post don’t have a niche. I feel a no-niche niche works if you can balance it and if one is food with variety.
A niche is easier but I think that really good writers can write on a wide variety of subjects.
It is critical to have a niche. There are millions and millions of blogs out there. People follow blogs because they consistently provide good information on a narrow topic, in my opinion. People can say they like all kinds of blogs, but I bet the most popular, highest ranking blogs are all in a niche.
- Holly Jahangiri
If you want to make money: It may be tempting to build the next Amazon.com – to be all things to all visitors, to try to sell them whatever it is they may be looking for. But you’re not Amazon or Wal-Mart, and you’ll probably have much better luck focusing on your own areas of interest and expertise, unless you can hire managers for each “department.”
Focus on picking the RIGHT niche for you – just as Darren Rowse, aka Problogger, did – and you’re likely to be much more successful. You can always build on more, later.
Recommended reading: Holly Jahangiri – Mom, Writer and Blogger Extraordinaire: An Interview
If money is no object, then all that matters is your comfort zone (do you want to be the book, the genre, a specialty book store, or a mega book store, or Amazon.com books?) and your readers’ tolerance for your particular flights of fancy. Consistency may be the key – my readers tolerate a lot of weirdness from me, and never know what to expect next.
But I think of them as FRIENDS, and my favorite part of blogging is the interaction between friends. Friends don’t stick to one subject or another – they digress frequently. That’s the fun of it, sometimes.
On the other hand, if you’re widely known as the author of hard-boiled detective thrillers and always write about them, then suddenly branch off into children’s books or religion-based historical fiction – well, you can probably do that, if you’re as popular as Anne Rice. But you do run the risk of disappointing hard-core fans of mystery and murder.
Yes, it’s important to have a niche, especially if you want to adapt SEO, and earn from your blog. Having a specific niche would increase the probability of your blog being crawled by search engines. You will have to decide on a set of keywords and use them though, so you could attract organic traffic to your blog.
It depends on the purpose. If it’s a personal blog, not having a niche should be okay. But if you intend to monetize the blog, there has to be a niche.
- Anir Curiano
For me, it’s important to have a niche so you know where your posts point to and what your focus is.
A niche is important so that human visitors, as well as search engines, can easily distinguish the primary topic or main purpose of your blog. Moreover, I feel that, as a reader, a niche blog is perceived to have more valuable content.
- Eymard Siojo
Important, but not a must. As they say, you can’t please everybody, hence, your blog talking about a specific niche is the better option. Aside from the blog being easier to distinguish, you, the blogger, develops a particular specialty.
- Metalpig Nad
If you want to earn fast, there has to be a niche. If it’s a personal blog or a blog that focuses on trending topics, create a general site. Better yet, go for a niche blog and a personal blog.
Mixed bag is better, but there should be a limit of about 4 to 6 topics.
Definitely. If I’m interested about nail art, I will look for a nail art blog rather than a nail art, travel, and fashion blog. The more focused a topic, the greater the revenue returns.
- Jason Cruz
Yes. I wouldn’t write about something I know nothing about. Play on strengths rather than spread my knowledge thinly.
- Aaron James Banda
I prefer niche blog. It’s easier to find an audience, easier to promote and easier to monetize. The downside though is it can get difficult to come up with articles on a daily basis, especially if you’re not well-versed on your blog’s topic. Whereas in a non-niche blog, you can write about anything under the sun, so to speak.
- Rianel Phantomhive
Both are great, but a niche blog still is better.
So there, the bloggers have spoken. If you’re new to blogging and still finding your way, it’s best that you know right out of the gate what you intend your blog to be. This way, you won’t have to start and restart until you run out of steam and quit blogging altogether. Quitters don’t win, yes. But those without a driving purpose end up nowhere as well.
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