Blogging has come a long way since it first entered the online space.
If you’ve been around online marketing and blogging resources for some time, you’ve inevitably come across articles mentioning that you need to hone in on a blogging niche.
Popular niches include:
- Personal growth
- Health and fitness
- Making money online
- Beauty and lifestyle
Nat Eliason, who runs the SEO and content marketing company Growth Machine, has an interesting post on whether or not your blog needs a niche.
Because what if your blog really doesn’t need one?
Blogging and Personality
If you have a business blog, it makes sense to concentrate on a select number of niche topics. The topics would cater to your target audience and support business goals in terms of blog monetization.
Initially, I sought to niche down for this blog. It took several twists and turns before I settled on a “tips for introverts” sort of niche.
However, I’ve been giving it some thought over the past few weeks. I had a nagging feeling that I had gone a bit too narrow and wanted to inject more personality into the content and topics I’d be blogging about here.
A kind soul recently commented on how my writing at the Optimal Living Daily blog had a “really nice writing style, that was adaptable and sympathetic to the subject matter. . .but also with the ability to inject a bit of personality when required.”
I find myself yearning for this aspect whenever I’ve tried to niche down too much on a personal blog. I suppose my new goal is to open up the topics a little bit and focus on having fun blogging and building a small audience first before grander future plans.
I’ve always had a bunch of interconnected interests that I’d like to share with others. I don’t want to have them under lock and key because they did not neatly fit into a niche or category.
Previous Blogging and Writing Experiences
In my early twenties, I wrote fiction in numerous genres under a pen name.
It wasn’t until I inadvertently started blogging in a socio-political niche that I really saw first hand the power of correctly focusing on the right blogging niche.
When you jump around too many niches, it becomes more difficult for you to establish yourself as an authority in a specific niche.
At the same time, I found that I couldn’t bring myself to do it in terms of commercial fiction. Maybe some time in the future if and when I am drawn towards committing to a certain genre…
Until then, I’m happy spending more time in the non-fiction realm when it comes to writing.
The main thing I enjoyed with not settling on a niche was the ability for different forms of creative exploration and expression. But I have to say it was no match for the thrill in succeeding with connecting with others through a dedicated niche. Perhaps a balanced approach is best, where there’s room for some creativity within an overall structure.
Above all, the human connection is what I usually think about when it comes to my motives for blogging. Aside from stylistic elements of both prose and blog design, the main purpose at the end of the day is to connect with readers.
Pros and Cons of Selecting a Blogging Niche
Pros of keeping to a blog niche include:
- It streamlines your branding and messaging. You have a clearly defined target audience and can easily organize their needs and pain points.
- It brings cohesion to the monetization aspect. If you’re selling products or services, your niche blog posts naturally tie in to the subject matter of what you have for sale. This also translates to your SEO and content marketing strategy.
- It’s possibly easier to replicate a similar route or structure for success. Being in a specific niche allows you to study what works — and what doesn’t — for competitors in the same niche.
And now for some cons of keeping to a blog niche:
- It’s harder to stand out. When there’s more competition, you’ve got to consistently think of what sets your blog apart. What do you do that’s different or better than similar blogs? This is a question you have to ask yourself no matter what niche you’re in, but it becomes more crucial when there are more people doing the same thing.
- Boredom and running out of ideas. This is a big one for me as I like to feel engaged during the writing process. If I feel stifled by regulations…that’s usually not a good thing. I also like having some leeway for creative expression on a blog. I would become quite miserable if I felt like I was rehashing popular content already out there.
- You end up writing for SEO algorithms instead of humans. Reddit has a thread on how content marketing is ruining our ability to learn online. SEO optimized content is part of any blogging strategy, though I appreciate the thought-provoking pieces that go beyond listicle format articles.
The aforementioned Reddit link mentioned the book Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday (whose posts are narrated on the podcast I write/edit for). I’ve ordered a copy of the book as it talks about working on projects that have longevity.
Choosing Not To Niche
At this point in time, I’m choosing not to stick to just one topic on this blog.
The following two posts echo some of the points I’ve made above:
I’d love to blog in favor of…things I like! Like books, tea, astrology, and a number of my other (mostly) introvert-friendly interests.
I like to feel engaged, happy, and inspired when I blog, because how something is expressed can sometimes be more memorable than what actually is expressed.
Life is a journey. I’d like my blogging and writing to reflect this.
I first bought this domain several years ago WITH the intent to have some room to explore and adapt the blog content. If I had chosen a more niche-focused URL, I’d have to commit to sticking to just that topic. I’d probably feel listless after a number of years.
The process of selecting a niche can be a frustrating conundrum. If you’re beginning to feel stuck and uninspired with blogging, take a look at how you could incorporate interconnected topics. You want blogging to be an uplifting activity you look forward to, instead of associating it with solely technical factors and awful drudgery.
Jess Chua is an INFJ blogger who’s passionate about living an introvertedly fulfilling life. She has been quoted in articles on Apartment Therapy, Forbes, and Student Loan Hero.
If you’d like to be a beta reader for Jess’s book project (for…introverts), sign up here!