Your blogs niche is the topic that you want your blog to focus on. For example if you have a blog that offers information about sports, sports would be your blogs niche. Sports is a very broad topic and your niche needn’t be so broad, you could focus in on the sport niche and blog about a specific sport, an even more targeted niche could focus on a specific sports team.
Broad Niche or Tight Niche?
There’s no right or wrong answer as to whether a broad or tight niche or something in between will work better, but there are some things to consider when you’re choosing your blogs niche.
The tighter your niche, the smaller your audience. If you’re a food blogger blogging about recipes then you’d have quite a large potential audience. If you’re a vegan and focus on vegan recipes then your audience will shrink to only include people looking for vegan recipes. If you focus in further and only blog about vegan desserts, your audience has shrunk even more.
I hate to use the word competition when it comes to blogging because blogging is about community, but irregardless it’s what fits best in this context. The broader your niche the more competition you’re going to have. There are tonnes of blogs out there about recipes so you’ve got a lot of competition. But, if you tightened up your niche to focusing on vegan recipes then there’s going to be less competition. If you tightened it up even further to focus on vegan desserts then there’s going to be even less competition.
If you want to be blogging for a while, then you’ll probably be looking for a niche that you could write about all day long. If you go too tight then you risk running out of things to write about before you’ve really begun. There’s a blog out there that is about theme hospital which is a really specific niche, there is only so much content you can write for a single rather simple computer game and once it’s been written that’s it, your blog becomes a resources rather than an active blog. There isn’t anything wrong with that if that’s your intention, and blogs that act like a resource aren’t to be sneezed at if they offer worthwhile content.
It’s something to consider when choosing your niche, how much content could you really write about this subject before you’ve covered everything?
Passion vs Expertise
It’s easy to write about things you are passionate about, or things that you have a vast knowledge of. If you can find a sweet spot between the two then that’s going to be a pretty good niche to blog about.
You don’t want to blog about something that you have a tonne of knowledge about if it’s not interesting for you. Your lack of passion for the content you are creating will show through in your posts and it will be hard to maintain over the long term. Normally bloggers that blog about something they don’t enjoy blogging about tend to quit pretty quickly.
At the same time, just because you are passionate about something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good choice for your niche if you have very little knowledge about it. It’s not impossible but think about it, if you are passionate about cooking but you only know how to cook two dishes and you’re following recipes from other blogs what content are you going to be publishing? People go to blogs to find new recipes, you can’t have a blog that is just republishing other bloggers recipes, it doesn’t add any value (and it plagiarism).
Finding the right balance
If you go too tight with your niche, then even though you have less competition you might find it hard to grow an audience because there’s just not enough people interested in what you’re blogging about. On the other hand if you go too broad then you could find that your blog is lost amongst all the other blogs that already exist, and that it’s tough to come up with original content that hasn’t already been covered by other blogs.
You want to try and find a balance where you still have a large enough audience of potential readers, but the market isn’t already totally over saturated with the same content you want to produce.
Likewise you want to find a balance where you are going to be able to produce content on that subject for years to come, you’re passionate about and you have a good understanding of.
When you’re looking for your blogs niche you want to keep in mind how you’re adding value to your readers lives. If you’re just republishing things that already exist on the internet 100 times over are you really adding any value? Why should readers come to your blog if you’re just rehashing what’s already out there?
When readers find blogs through search engines they’re looking for some kind of value. Usually, they’re either looking for information or entertainment. You need to think about how your blog is giving your readers something, what purpose does it serve for them.
Just because a topic is already covered doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t choose that for your blogs niche, so long as you’re adding something original. There’s a tonne of film review sites out there, so if you wanted to choose that as your blogs niche think of ways that you can approach it a different way. Maybe you’ll talk about the editing styles of the films and how that plays into the viewers reception of it, you could go for in depth critiques, you could focus on a certain type of film or genre like classics or horror films, you could focus on films that have a deeper message and what it really means.
If your blog is just a hobby that you’re not hoping to make money from, and you’re not really bothered about how many readers you have as long as they’re interested in your content, then you’re probably not going to need to worry too much about your blogs niche. That doesn’t mean you should completely ignore figuring out what it is, but you may be more concerned with identifying your niche rather than worrying about the ins and outs of how it can affect your blog.
There are a lot of hobby blogs out there that have become very successful, but bear in mind that times have changed and a lot of popular blogs began before the great blogging boom that has come into play in the last few years.
If you’re a career blogger, or hoping to become one then factors like your audience and competition are going to carry more weight when it comes to picking your blogs niche. But, it shouldn’t be the determining factor.
Don’t choose a niche just because you think it offers the most earning potential unless it happens to also be something that you are passionate and knowledgable about. Blogging about something just because of it’s earning potential isn’t going to be enjoyable and it’ll be hard to maintain.
When you read a blog written by someone who is not passionate about what they’re writing about it usually shows.
Research Your Niche
It’s all well and good defining your potential audience as “large” or “small”, but it makes more sense to get real data about how many people are searching for keywords related to your niche. You can use online keyword tools to find out how many people are searching for different search terms and that should give you a better idea of your potential audience
I use google trends to get some basic statistics on different keywords and search terms to see how frequently they are searched for. Check out vegan recipes beating out recipes over the last year! There is a reason why Vegan Recipes beats out Recipes. In general when you search for a recipe you just type in “Lasagna” without using the word recipes because you already know that the search results will be for recipes, whereas if you want a vegan recipe you’re going to add the words vegan recipe to your search. Chances are there are more searches for general recipes than vegan recipes, it’s just not as many people bother to add the word recipes to the search query.
Finding your blogs niche
If you’re struggling to find your blogs niche make a list of potential niches, then make lists of some post ideas for each of those niches. You might find that there’s a certain niche that you feel like you have a million ideas for compared to the others and that could be a sign that that is a good niche for your blog. Alternatively, it could be that it’s a very broad niche meaning that it’s a lot easier to come up with content ideas.
If there’s anything on your list that you struggle to come up with more than a handful of ideas for then that’s probably not a good niche for your blog, scratch it off and focus on the rest.
You don’t need to make a decision right away, mull it over for a while, sleep on it for a few nights and see if there’s anything on the list that you keep coming back to. If you keep thinking about a particular niche then that could be a good one to go for. If you’re still struggling to pin down your niche and you’re itching to get started then you could try drafting up some blog posts for different niches in a doc file, see which ones you enjoyed writing the most, which one you found easier to write and maybe that’ll shed some light on the right niche for you.
Having multiple blogs
If you find there’s a couple of blog niches that you are stuck between, it can be tempting to set up multiple blogs. It may seem like the most logical solution but I’d advise against it. Running one blog is a lot of work, it’s better to get up and running with one blog first to test the waters, see how you like it, see how much of your time it takes up, then, if you feel like you could take on a second blog at the same time go for it.
You don’t want to spread yourself too thin. The more time you have to dedicate to your blog in the beginning the more success you’re likely to have with it.
When you start your blog initially you’ll only really be worrying about writing your blog posts and a little bit of social media, so it might seem like you have a lot of extra time. As your blog grows you’ll find that your workload does too.
If you do decide to launch two blogs anyway then at least stagger the launches, so launch one and have it run for three months before you launch the second one.
Don’t Look Back
Once you’ve found your blogs niche, don’t look back. If you’ve taken the time to really consider potential blog niches then chances are you’ve made a good, well informed decision. Don’t worry about your list of other niches any more, just worry about the niche you’ve chosen and focus on that.
In the future once you’ve released a tonne of content and you’ve got a decent amount of analytics data you might want to revisit your blogs niche from a more analytical point of view.