Starting a blog is so much more than throwing a title on the page and writing a few articles.
Heck, it’s more than coding and making your site look pretty.
It’s about reaching an audience, addressing their challenges and providing a solution. In order to do so, you need to make it perfectly clear to visitors what your site is all about.
Yes, you can do this through design – but the most effective means of communicating the theme of your information is to find a niche for your blog. Once readers see the topics of your content, they will quickly understand exactly what kind of information you provide.
They’ll know whether or not you can help them with their problem.
What is a Niche?
A niche is a topic or category that focuses one thing or goal. When you think about a lot of popular sites and blogs, chances are they focus on a particular niche.
For example, a site like Screen Rant is going to focus on movies. You are not going to find holiday gift guides or makeup tutorials on this site. Just movies, that’s it.
Likewise, the blog Twins Mommy is a mompreneur site that focuses on helping mom bloggers make money online. Elna Cain, the site’s owner, doesn’t delve into infant sleep issues and cloth diapering instructions.
You’ve probably heard the term “niche blogging” thrown around the web-o-sphere and it refers to blogs that cater to a particular market or audience. These blogs are designed to appeal to a specific group of people based on factors such as their age group, professions, job roles as well as certain challenges and problems.
Niche blogs offer relevant solutions.
My mom blog, Motherhood+Mayhem, used to be a free-for-all site for all things motherhood. I figured if I could post a large amount of broad information about motherhood, I could attract a larger audience.
I quickly learned that this does not work. Instead, I niched my blog by focusing on a particular challenge that mothers face and began to write articles to offer solutions.
Why Should Your Blog Have a Niche?
When my blog was a dumping ground for every mom-topic I could think of, I was not attracting an audience. This is because I wasn’t offering a collection of valuable information to a particular group of moms – I was offering every solution I could think of to the challenges of motherhood. I was all over the place.
Whereas I may have attracted one or two readers, they were taking my solution to one specific problem and moving along. They had no reason to come back.
Here’s an example:
Say I have three articles on my blog: one about cloth diapering, one about postpartum depression and the other about creating a chore chart.
One reader may want to learn about cloth diapering and reads my article. Because there are no other relevant articles about cloth diapering on my blog, they leave. Same for someone who is suffering from postpartum depression or another who wants to get their kids involved in chores.
Now, if I had relevant articles related to cloth diapering, that reader would have been more likely to continue reading or even return to learn more information.
This is a very broad example, and I’m not saying you should have a blog that only focuses on cloth diapering, but you do have to consider what the overall flavor of your site is.
Now, my blog focuses on coaching mothers who suffer from the overwhelm related to motherhood. Each article is crafted to help mothers make life easier and reduce their stress.
The Benefits of Having a Niche
Having a niche makes you an authority/expert on your topic by providing the best information to solve a particular problem or challenge.
By continually writing articles based on your niche, you are showing your audience that you know what you are talking about. Consequently, you will build trust with them.
Which relates heavily to monetizing your blog. When visitors trust you and the content you are providing, they are likely to feel more comfortable about buying from your site.
Posting related topics will also attract more followers. When readers land on your page to read one helpful article, they are more likely to browse sites for more related posts.
They end up staying on your site longer and become more engaged with your content – either my sharing, leaving comments or making purchases.
Finally, another benefit of having a niche blog is that you will never run out of topics. Once you hone in on one challenge, you can find many topics related to the solution.
You can even cull through previously posted articles and expand upon a specific point, turning it into a new post.
Alternatives to Having a Niche Blog
Again, I don’t want you to think your blog has to be super specific. You can diversify your content to include a variety of solutions to numerous problems.
My point is that you will likely not find a core audience if your topics are all willy-nilly. If you are hesitant to niche your blog, there are alternatives that can be equally successful:
Lifestyle blogs are those that center around various aspects of a blogger’s life. A lifestyle blogger creates content inspired by their personal interests and daily activities. As such, it is a highly personalized site that follows the author’s life stages and experiences.
These blogs feature a broad variety of topics including (but not limited to) family, travel, beauty, food and decor.
The glue that holds these topics together in one blog is how they relate to the blogger.
So while niched blogs tend to address a particular challenge, lifestyle blogs draw in their audience not by answering, “What can I do?” but by answering, “What would [lifestyle blogger’s name here] do?”
The benefit of lifestyle blogging is the potential for powerful online brand advertising. Many lifestyle bloggers connect with big brands and sponsors because of how they integrate their products into their everyday living.
Even though they are not considered niche blogs, lifestyle blogs still follow a general theme. For example, a lifestyle blog may be centered around single mom life, offering advice for single mothers from parenting tips to beauty hacks. Or a homeschooling blog may give tips on home-school curriculums as well as organization hacks for keeping a clean house.
For more information on how to start a lifestyle blog, if that be your thing, I would suggest visiting this site.
Imperfectly Perfect Mama is the perfect example of a multi-writer blog (which I also write for!). The entire site is compromised of different mom bloggers writing articles on different subjects.
Bringing in additional writers is a great way to build up the content of your blog if you don’t have time to do it yourself. With WordPress, you can easily set up writers with an account that allows them to write articles and submit them for review.
When you choose to have a multi-writer blog, you are ensuring that articles are consistently posted by experienced writers. Just as with a niche blog, multiple writers means you are providing expert advice and building trust with your audience.
Be warned, however, that multi-writer blogs are not without their drawbacks. You are going to have to be careful about the authors you invite to write for your blog – their contributions may be staggered and the articles of low quality. This is why it’s important to review and edit the articles yourself before posting to your site.
How to Find Your Niche
If you are new to the blogging game, don’t worry too much about finding your niche. Like I mentioned before, the early days of my blog was a scattered assortment of information. It took some time before I found my voice and narrowed in on exactly how I wanted to help my audience.
Here are some simple steps you can follow to find your niche:
Step 1: Explore Your Passions
When you begin to seek out your niche, you need to at least have a general idea of what you want to blog about.
Think about your passions and expertise. What do you love to do? What are you good at? What kinds of problems have you solved in your life that you can share your solution with others?
When I started my mom blog I was like, “Hey, I’m a mom. I know mom stuff.” So my broad niche was blogging to mothers.
If you’re not sure how to categorize your passion, here are some ideas:
- weight loss
- home decor
Blogging about your passion will also fuel your interest in creating content on a regular basis.
Step 2: Fill a Need
In order to draw in an audience, and monetize your blog, you need to provide a need that a bunch of people are seeking out.
There are a few online tools you can use to determine if your niche topic is popular and profitable. Tools such as Google Trends can show you interest in certain topics on a graph while Google Search can give you an idea of the competition in that niche. When you perform a search, see how many results show.
If you want to narrow down your niche, by the way, look at the “Related Searches” at the bottom of the results. This will give you an idea of related topics people have searched in relation to your original search term.
Alternatively, you can hit up Facebook and other social media groups related to your niche to see what kinds of problems people are seeking help for.
Step 3: Consider Profitability
Remember that the most successful blogs started as a project of passion. If you start your blog with the idea of monetizing before building an audience, you are likely not going to see results.
Knowing how profitable your niche is depends on the popularity of the niche (which you can find out through the tools mentioned above) and how helpful your content is. You’ll get a good sense of this through audience engagement.
Considering profitability as an ongoing process if you are interested in eventually monetizing your blog. It may be the motivation you need to redirect your niche or find one that is more specific.
What is your blog’s niche? How did you come to find it? Let me know in the comments below! (And drop a link!!!)