Is Having a Niche Really THAT Important?
A quick history about me and this blog: I hated the word “niche”. Seriously. I hated it with passion. I winced at the very word whenever I see it.
In the early days of this blog, I used to rally against its importance. I think I’ve had a few blog posts talking about how I honestly believed you don’t need a niche to have a successful blog.
Do I still believe that now? ABSOLUTELY.
Not gonna lie, though, sometimes I catch myself doubting. Wondering what would happen if I just pick a niche and write most of my posts under that one topic.
Will my blog be more “successful” than I am now?
Will my blog’s growth rate be higher?
Will I feel more validated by all the numbers?
Will the likes of Neil Patel and Lauren Hooker finally notice me* and my tiny blog??
*I need to know, ok???
So let’s take a look at some pros of niche blogging, shall we?
Brainstorming for post ideas is a piece of cake*
Since you already have an established niche, you don’t really have to think so hard about what to talk about. You simply need to think of subtopics from one or two general ones. If you’re a fashion and beauty blogger, you can brainstorm for fashion- and beauty-related blog topic ideas.
*Okay, let’s be real here. Brainstorming for post ideas is NEVER cake. (Or if it is, it’s Hagrid’s super-difficult-to-eat rock cake) But you know what I mean.
You can build a dedicated readership and an engaged community around your blog
Finding readers interested in your topic and fellow bloggers who has the same niche is easy (or at least, easier compared to nicheless bloggers.) If you’re good at your niche and you’ve established yourself as someone knowledgeable about it, people will go to you when they need answers or solutions to questions related to your niche.
Which makes sense, really.
I mean, wouldn’t you go ask help for your Herbology homework to Neville rather than to Draco?
Partnering with brands and sponsorships
If you’re looking to partner with brands, having a niche makes it easier to find the perfect brands for you. Or at least, that’s what I’ve heard and observed.
Companies often approach blogs that usually talk about niches related to their brands. Beauty products look for beauty bloggers, restaurants reach out to food bloggers, and unicorn companies reach out to me. Or at least I’m waiting for them to.
Growing your blog becomes easier
Because you can build a dedicated readership more easily and you have the chance to place yourself as an expert of your niche, the growth of your blog is, often times, faster compared to when you don’t have a niche. Readers and visitors generally prefer it when they know what to expect from you. So if you give them that consistency in your blog content, you will be loved.
All of these have one common denominator: niche is good for blog growth. You know, the technical kind. The numbers, the stats, the brand partnerships. The typical criteria for knowing whether you are a successful blogger.
Now let’s look at the cons, yeah?
You’re limited to the topic you’ve chosen
I mean. I’m not saying you’re utterly forbidden to talk about the nitty-gritty marketing and then you’d suddenly post pictures of your puppy and tortoise fighting over a banana. But there will be people who’ll think, “Really? You could’ve posted that somewhere else.”
Remember when I said people like it when they know what to expect from you? Well there you go.
It gets meh over time
If you’re anything like me, sticking to just one topic could get boring real quick. You can’t expect me to talk about graphic-printed socks for ten consecutive days. I’ll die from blog exhaustion.
Your blog doesn’t stand out
Especially when the niche you pick is a saturated one (like fashion) or a really really narrow one (like green bananas*). How do you plan on making yourself different from the rest of the crowd? Plenty of ways, actually. But I’ll leave that for another post. Still the challenge to get people to read your blog is bigger.
*It was something off the top of my head (hek hek)
Now see, these three things weigh far heavier to me than any amount of pros. I’m a multi-passionate creative person. If my creativity gets restrained, it’s a deal breaker, Martha. Find someone else.
This is why having a niche isn’t important to me. Still. I’m not gonna lie and say I couldn’t care less if my blog grows or not.
Of course I do.
It’s a lovely sense of achievement to witness your little corner in the Interwebs be read by hundreds of people. Not to mention, the healthy amount of validation* I get from people who find what I write about enjoyable or inspiring. It’s a healthy boost of self-esteem and makes me more confident in what I do.
So what can I do instead? How can I create that sense of consistency found in niche blogs into my blog?
*Yes I like being validated. I’m only human ok???
One word: focus.
Ever since I picked a focus for my blog, it has been far easier for me to:
+ think of future blog post ideas
+ establish my blog identity and what my blog is all about
+ find blogs who talk about similar topics as I do
I like to think of focus as the chiller, more relaxed version of niche. You know, greets the neighbor’s dog, drinks 100% apple juice every night, does yoga every weekend. That kind of guy. He cool and not so stern.
You can blog about supposedly different topics so long as you keep your focus in mind.
For example, my focus is on finding and helping others find creativity, passion and inspiration. And this could manifest in different ways: life lessons from a chicken, listening to a podcast, something that happened in my life.
But with every post, the one thing I always think about is, “Hmm, what’s so inspiring about this story? What insight can I share?”
I even do this with tags. I mean, I might be extremely lucky since all tags I’ve been tagged so far has either one inspiration-leading question or the tag itself is created to spread love and inspire others (aka the beautiful and awesome Kiya’s Beautiful Is Tag)
My point here is, by establishing your blog’s focus, the blogging life gets easier. You can have a good amount of perks a niche blog has without feeling like you’ve squeezed every ounce of gray matter out of your brain thinking of a blog post topic related to that one niche.
The question now is: should you follow my footsteps?
As the great Dumbledore once said: Yes. And no.
Whether you’re a niche blogger or a nicheless one, a sense of consistency in your content has to be present. And if you’re the latter, no doubt having a focus is a good alternative for picking a niche.
But remember: it is not, and will never be, essential to your blog’s growth. The kind that’s beyond the numbers. The kind that will impact you and others in a deeper level.
It is only one of many ways.
At the end of the day, it is up to you whether or not you want to pick a niche or a focus or just go and be completely spontaneous with creating your content. What does not work for me or other bloggers, may work for you.
You do you, my friend. And I mean that in the best, most positive way 😉
YOUR TURN: Do you think having a niche is important? Do you have a niche? What other pros are there that I missed out? Are you nicheless like me? Do you have a focus for your blog? What do you struggle the most about blogging?
I would love to hear your thoughts! 🙂 Share them below!
PS. Did anyone notice the teeeeny-tiny changes I made in my featured image??? 😀 That’s in preparation for a huge blog makeover I’m planning to have soon! Eep! I’m super excited! 😀
I think having a niche can be really helpful, but blogging should be something you do mainly for yourself. So I think if your interests very well fit a niche you should go for it, but if you just want to be able to talk about whatever you want, you should not settle on a niche. The only thing that people should then realize is that you’re not going to be popular overnight, not that that ever happens even if you have a niche.
I think I have quite a clear niche (meaning, all things bookish), but that is mainly just because I’m obsessed with all things bookish soooo *thumbs up* I guess it helped me grow my blog (but mainly, I have no clue how my blog grew. Apparently people like me???)
Really liked this post! My blog’s mainly a craft blog but I agree with you, I would get waaaay too bored if I did nothing but blog about craft all the time! Finding a focus for your blog seems way more important to me than a specific niche, very well put! 🙂
Thank you so much, Maddie! I started out in a VERY niche blog too but it was too niche, it didn’t work out. But having a focus seems to so I’m good with that 🙂 And I’ve seen your posts! It’s cool that you included a little life update along with a recipe you shared 😀
This is a wonderful post! I think a niche is important, but also NOT important. I feel like it should be limiting, but not so limiting that you can’t post other things. Also, I think niches can be different things — I feel like I have a writing-book blog niche, instead of just a book blog, or just a writing blog. But I do think that some people follow you for that niche, and if you post something else, they don’t relate to the post as well as other posts. I love this discussion, tho!
Totally agree with you May! And yeah, I’ve seen people with two niches but they usually make sense like you’re a bookworm who’s also a (very awesome) writer. And yes! I once had this stint where most of what I spontaneously post were book-related stuff and people with a bookish niche were following and it got me kinda nervous because I hope they know I’m not a book blogger.
Thank you so much May! I’m glad you love it 🙂
Sort of unknowingly I have created a humor niche, and when I do want to share something else…well… I can’t.
Basically, I totally agree with going nicheless because you have more freedom with posts and you wouldn’t get as much writer’s block (because you don’t have as much of a narrow topic to write in)
I think Niches are definitely important! Your followers need to know you’re mainly going to be posting about to actually follow! It’s also easier when you’re talking about your blog to sum it all up into ‘book blog’. But I don’t think your niche should restrict you. You should use and apply it but definitely not be confined by it. On my book blog, if i wanted to talk about my bullet journal I TOTALLY COULD and I wouldn’t mind. Having a niche helps you focus on what to post about like you said. Brainstorming is MUCH MUCH EASIER when you have a vision. It definitely helps you grow as well! I know that because I follow other book blogs that might check out mine and there’s such a wonderful community. However, I still follow blogs that don’t have a niche because they’re such amazing posts!And even blogs not in my niche I still follow because…LIKE YOUR POSTS ARE SO GOOD OKAY?
Looking at your cons, some I have to agree.I feel that sometimes I want to talk about a topic I’m really passionate about like say a movement but remember it’s a book blog so just cower away. But it’s not that much of a problem for me because I JUST LOVE talking about books!
Standing out is a tricky one. I guess it’s not always necessary to stand out. If you have good quality content and regular posting, people will follow you. However, there are so many other ways to stand out within your own niche. Blogging voice for one, or how you put a spin on the things, or you vibrant photos. Sometimes one thing can really stick out and make an impression, and that does not have to be a niche. However NOT having a niche makes it easier to make the blog YOURS.
Yeah, it does have the pros to though!
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