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