Back in January, I started a new blog. Now, if someone was to ask me what exactly it was about, I wouldn’t know what to say. Neither would any of my friends or my actual blog visitors for that matter. That may sound strange, but I think you will find that it is more common than you think. I had fallen into the trap of rushing into start my site and not choosing my blog niche carefully – something that I came to regret!
A blog niche is very important as this is what defines your site. Visitors will want to come and read your blog because it is about a certain subject. This is why you should take care to choose your niche carefully.
In the following post, I will look at why choosing a blog niche that is perfect, both for you and your readers, is important and talk about my own experiences with my site.
Having A Blog About Something Is Good
When I first started blogging I used a free WordPress blog on which I posted articles on a wide variety of subjects (blogs, flash game sites and others). A while later I added another category on saving/making money on the internet. My site had a few email and RSS subscribers who received alerts if new posts were published.
Whilst I was happy with the work I had done, I wanted to take my site a step further, so I bought a domain name, self-hosting, got a free WordPress theme and began writing some articles. I continued to write on the topics I had already been focusing on, hoping that I’ll get some traffic from my old blog and some from search engines (Google, Yahoo! search, Bing and others like that).
Having A Blog About Everything Is Not Good!
That was a pretty good start for my site, but I wanted to take it even higher so I added some more categories, including – ‘blogging’, ‘downloads’ (includes Windows programs), ‘games’, ‘social media’ and some others. Despite adding these new categories, I still didn’t fully know what my site was about (though I didn’t realize it at the time). I kept posting on all of those topics and was happy… at least for a while.
After a few weeks of blogging like this and not getting anywhere, I got in touch with some other blogger asking for their advice. They recommended that I should try to narrow my blog niche down as soon as I can. Why? Well because…
You Can’t Build A Targeted Audience With A Wide Niche
Sites that have too broad a focus (writing on lots of different subjects) tend to struggle attracting traffic. People should know exactly what your site is about when they visit your site. If they are confused and don’t know what your main aim is about, then they are much less likely to remember you and revisit at a later date.
This doesn’t mean that what you have written will not be helpful! People will still find answers to their questions in your posts if your articles show up in their Google search results (or whatever search engine they prefer), but most probably you can’t turn them in subscribers because they aren’t interested in the other topics that you’re writing about.
Don’t Make Your Blog Niche Too Narrow
Whilst you shouldn’t write on a broad range of different subjects, you should also try not to pick a niche that is too narrow. Narrow niches tends to mean that there are much less people who are interested in the subject.
For example, ‘Knitting’ as a whole subject may be too wide a niche to focus on. ’Knitting Striped Sweaters for Dogs’ would be much too narrow a topic to focus on as that may only interest a small minority. ‘Knitting Sweaters’ (of any type) would be a good balanced blog niche to pick.
You have to think about who is going to read and visit your site. Make your category too broad and no one will be interested, whereas make it too small and only a handful of people will be interested. You need to find the right balance of a subject that interests a large portion of people.
Remember, you can always grow out your niche in the future if it proves to be popular.
How I Narrowed Down My Blog Niche
You probably think that I ended up removing the new categories that I had added and left the ones I first had on my first site. Well you’d be wrong!
Since I optimized my site’s name and domain name for the “new” categories, I had to think of something new. One of my new categories was “blogging” and I had a couple of free WordPress blogs before this one so I changed my “internet related stuff” blog into a site that focused on “blogging” (keeping some categories on writing articles and site building tips).
What Changing My Niche Cost Me
I only wrote on the wide niche site for two or three weeks, and though not much, I was getting some traffic. Changing my niche probably costed me some regular visitors and subscribers, but it ended up sending me much more traffic in the long run. Losing one or two subscribers may not be a difference for you but it is a difference for me because I care for every single subscriber I can get.
Of course you can change your niche as many times as you want because it’s YOUR blog, but I advise you – don’t do so! It’s much better to get your niche right before starting your site and will save you a lot of hassle in the future.
What To Do If You Really Want To Write On All Of Those Topics
The best answer I can give is to create multiple blogs for each different topic you want to write about. This is more work than putting all of that stuff in one place, but you will definitely see the results.
A second option is that you can make a wider niche blog with different categories, but remember to post on each category at least twice a week AND make a separate email list for each of them. Some of the larger sites do this (though they tended to start much smaller and grow their niche over time). This way, people that are interested in technologies and gadgets (lets say) probably won’t be happy if they suddenly receive an email with a link to a post about knitting. And you won’t be too confused with emails if you will make separate blogs one day.
At the end of the day, only you decide on what goes on your blog. But if your aim is to drive traffic, I would strongly recommend that you focus your niche. It certainly benefited me!
Have you changed your blog niche or thought about it? What was your experience of doing this Please let us know by leaving a comment below!