No Blog Niche: Why Choosing a Niche Is Not a Good Idea

Steven15 responsesBlogging
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Years ago, when I started my very first blog, most bloggers were looking for a niche, a tightly-targeted market where there was a lot of demand and little competitors. If it was your first blog you were encouraged to blog in a niche that you were passionate about. Now, things seem to be changing. Here’s what I think is going on and why I think choosing a niche might not be the best idea anymore.

niche blogging

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Choosing a niche limits your reach

By choosing one, tightly targeted niche, say, microwave ovens, you’re limiting your reach. At any given time there may be 3 million people searching for a microwave but once they buy one they drop out of the market. Yes, someone else takes their place but the number is finite. Everyone in the world doesn’t need to buy a microwave oven every day – forever.

If all your blog is known for is microwave ovens then the only people who’ll be interested in visiting are those people who want to buy a microwave oven today. Since we know that number is finite and there are other blogs out there promoting microwave ovens, your market share is also limited. You have, in essence, put all of your eggs in one very small basket.

Choosing a niche limits your branding opportunities

By definition, choosing a niche immediately limits your branding options. Instead of being knows as the blog with the best information on household appliances, you’re limited to “the blog with all the information on microwave ovens.” If people only thought of ovens when they saw the name Amana they wouldn’t be nearly the company they are today. Instead, Amana has branded itself as one of the top manufacturers of household appliances.

The search engines are getting smarter

In the past it was easier for a blogger to get traffic if he stayed within a tightly-targeted niche. The search engines weren’t as intuitive back then as they are now and keyword density and placement within the content was important. Now, though, Google’s bots are much more advanced. While keywords are still important the crawlers have the ability to “read between” the lines and now the focus is on the quality of your content, not the number of times you use a keyword.

And searchers are getting more demanding

Searchers are also looking for more these days. Those niche blogs only talked about one little product so if you were looking for information on a lot of different things, like most people do, you’d have to find lots of different blogs you could trust. These days, searchers want to find more information under one umbrella.

Lately I’ve noticed an increase in the number of multi-topic and multi-author blogs. For example, you’ll find bloggers in the parenting niche talking about everything from family finances to family meal-planning to parenting advice to family entertainment. These blogs typically have multiple bloggers to handle the mountain of content they need.

The reason these larger blogs are becoming so popular is because they provide information in a variety of “niches” all under the same blog. Readers benefit because they don’t have to go searching for several trustworthy blogs, everything they need is right there. Blog owners benefit because they can promote their blog as a brand now and target a larger audience. You’re also increasing your options for monetization with so many topics on your blog.

In the future, I predict more and more bloggers will be moving away from the niche blogs and start focusing on building up that broader audience. I also think these forward-thinking bloggers will be putting themselves in the best position for growing their business because they won’t be relying on one, small segment of the marketplace.

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  1. So your saying don’t have such a “tight” niche where you only talk about one thing. When I think of this it is more of like a “micro” site no? When I think of a Niche – I think that you are going to select a subject say Basket Weaving and talk about the different techniques and articles relating to that.

    For me I still think it is important to stick close to a topic IF you are only going to go for targeted traffic and use passive advertising as your main source of income. This way the ads you generate are closely related with the Niche as well.

    Personally though? My site covers an unusual mix of topics. I think I do it just to torture myself and Google Adsense to keep them on their toes! But it has started to pay off!

    So.. I suppose I agree with you completely – don’t focus to much on a specific Niche!

    1. Thank you for your comment Jason!

      As with anything, niche blogging has some pros and cons. But if you go into a niche which is too tight, you’ll end up running in circles with very few ideas for your content.

      On the other hand, if you’re too broad, you’ll have trouble getting considered as an authority by your readers because you won’t be the go-to guy for a given subject…

  2. Janet

    I’ve struggled with this issue, but I have kept my topics broad and I think it is more interesting for the readers to get posts on a wider variety of topics. I also have more options for monetization as you mentioned above.

    1. Hey Janet, keeping a variety of topics is healthy for any site. However keep in mind that it’s better if they are somewhat related.

  3. Niche blogging is a nice way to paint yourself into a corner. There’s only so much you can say about one topic before you start repeating yourself.

    1. I have to agree with you on this one Andi-Roo. If your niche is too small, you’ll end up repeating yourself and being quite boring for your readers…

  4. Lisa

    I so agree with you. I have always felt the “niche” market was too binding & like you said very limiting.

    1. Thank you for your comment Lisa :)

  5. I totally agree with you. While revamping my website, I struggled trying to decide how “tight” a niche I really wanted to blog about. As it’s evolved, I’m back to covering a broader range of ideas, still under a particular topic. I’m much happier when writing because I don’t feel so confined and I feel my creative voice is freer than before. Thank you for validating the direction I’ve been heading in. It’s much appreciated.

    1. Hey Stacey, thank you for your comment.

      A lot of people hear that you need to be super targeted on a niche in order to quickly gain authority. It’s partially true, but people then forget that they have to enjoy writing their blog posts to share their enthusiasm with their readers.

      They end up writing 10 or 20 articles and giving up because they are already bored…

      Congratulations on taking the right path with your blog!

  6. Randy Clark

    Our corporate blog, at TKO Graphix, has multiple topics from the obvious graphics to leadership, sales, marketing, and logistics. We post 5 blogs, and 1 video per week. Recently a group of “experts” called us out for not focusing on our specific products, for not creating a niche. Interestingly enough in the same week 4 leads came directly to us from the non-niche segments of our efforts. We believe the proof is in the results. Thanks for the post.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience Randy.

      In my opinion, as long as you write about somewhat-related topics, you will be just fine.

      I read more and more people commenting on marketing and blogging in terms of “I don’t like this” or “This annoys me”. Yet, they have absolutely no numbers to back up their claim.

      You’re completely right to follow what the numbers and results are telling you. This is how you do business! Not because you find something annoying…

  7. Too Lazy To Post

    It’s still kinda less effective (not to mention hugely off topic and weird) to post about chocolate cookies if your site is about web development or something completely unrelated. I think that’s what’s usually meant when people say “pick a blog niche”. Not really sure if it matters in regards to SEO though; I think search engines may be smarter than that.

    1. I think so… But I’ve seen a lot of people taking the opposite to the extreme and stay in very small niches… And run in circles. I’d rather advise people to pick 2 or 3 somewhat-related topics, or find ways to link a few different topics together. It will give them more content possibilities and they won’t get bored with their own content.

  8. Swetha Chandrasekar

    I am able to relate to this article as my blogsite itself contains topics that interests me on day to day as i enjoy doing that. How ever how does one get keyword ranking in google with multi topic blogging method which is deemed so important. Even when doing a registration to a directory, one doesnt find “general” category to list your website. What do you recommend in this scenario.

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