Do You Really Need A Niche?

Do you really need a niche? Find out what a niche does for your blog as a business.

If you’re starting a new blog or re-working an existing one, settling on a topic is hard. Like really hard. This is a major commitment we’re talking about here! You’re going to invest hundreds, maybe even thousands of hours producing content for this thing. Your niche has got to kick ass.

This is your full on, no nonsense guide to finding a niche and building your business on a subject that you love and one that will start making you money.

A Niche IRL

While I was working in NYC, I had a pretty serious commute in the mornings. My office was in the financial district near the seaport, and I was living on the total opposite side of the city. When you’re looking for housing in NY, getting picky about location isn’t really an option.

At the time, I fell in love with a handful of lifestyle bloggers that I read religiously on my way to work. The ladies I was reading about talked about everything from food, to fashion, to parenting, makeup, and travel. I had about 10 really solid blogs that I loved which, together, made up a nice rotation every morning. Despite the posting schedules, and content I wasn’t super interested in, the group of blogs was always able to push out 1 or 2 good posts that I could read on the train.

I followed my favorite authors for about 4 months before I realized something. I was only actually interested in the fashion and travel posts. Although I kept all those lovely bloggers in my feed, I went out and found a new set of sites that dealt with just those 2 topics. After that, I could depend on my feed to deliver 5-10 (or more) awesome posts, that I was dying to read, every day.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but what I was doing, was responding to a niche.

This little interaction served as the foundation of a long LONG lasting life lesson, which turns out….is backed by a load of research. Cool huh?

You Probably Do

On it’s surface, lifestyle blogs seem “easier”. No limits on content, no threat of ever running out of content. Right? No limits on audience? No limits of brands you can work with or courses you can offer or revenue streams? Right?

Well….not exactly.

If you’re treating your blog like a business, revenue and earning potential are going to be one of your most pressing concerns when choosing a topic to commit to.

Niche blogs attract larger, more focused audiences. They make it easier for bloggers to sell specific products, courses, services, and subscriptions. Brands and marketers prefer blogs with a strong niche focus to work with.

The numbers make it pretty clear. If you look at the total number of bloggers who actually make a full time living from their platforms, the vast majority operate in a very specific niche.

How Exactly Does a Niche Help?

I’ve seen a lot of fluff all over the internet about niche blogging. It seems like a million people are saying “Niches are good!”, but the conversation kind of ends there. So, we’re going to get real right now, and go over the biggest benefits of niche blogging so that you can make the decision for yourself.

Blogging Builds SEO

Organic traffic to your blog is the best way for you to grow your follower base consistently and passively. In order for you to be ranked high on Google and other search engines you need to consistently produce kick ass content on each topic/keyword you are being ranked for.

If you’re blogging on a range of topics and rarely repeating keywords, its going to take much MUCH longer to be recognized as a reliable authority on the subject.

If you’re producing 3 blog posts per week on all different subjects, and only repeat topics 1 time per month, it’s going to take you about 13 posts to build up the same level of recognition as a niche blogger would generate with just 2 posts. If you wanna see those $$ any time soon, choosing a solid niche is the way to go.

Brands Prefer Targeted Readership

When a brand starts looking for bloggers to work with, whether to buy ad space, sponsor a post, or contract you for a collaboration, the marketers are going to be looking at your audience.

Brands of course want the biggest bang for their buck when advertising dollars are concerned. They would much rather pay for an audience that includes 100% of people in their target market.

Lifestyle bloggers can only guarantee a fraction of their readers will fall into any one specific category. This means that brands are willing to pay less for the ad space and will be looking for higher unique visitor counts.

If you haven’t started pitching brands for ad space and sponsored posts on your website, then you need to start right now. Check out this post for everything you need to know.

Easier To Build Email Lists And Social Media Followings

The numbers for niche bloggers work in your favor. When your blog deals with just one subject, the people that click through to your writing from other links on the web are much more likely to find another piece (hopefully, many other pieces) of content that will get them to subscribe. Woohoo!

Find out how to target your audience and get them clicking through to your site. Read this article all about skyrocketing your traffic.

Higher Conversion Rates on Call To Actions

This one is simple. With a focus on just one subject, your subscribers are expecting all kinds of other content and products on that same subject. Any products or services that you pitch to a focused audience will be received with a much higher conversion rate.

For a niche audience, about 2% of your mailing list can be expected to make a conversion every month. For lifestyle bloggers, that number can be cut in half! Or worse!

How To Choose A Niche

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of lifestyle bloggers out there who totally kill it. It can be done and a lot of ladies do it really really well. So, it IS possible.

But, If you can, I strongly suggest choosing a niche and sticking to it. Select a topic that you love, and I mean, REALLY love.

Something that you could talk about all day long, everyday, something you want to read about before you go to bed every night. Something that sits in the back of your head during long walks on the beach with your love interest. Seriously, you need to love it that much.

Sign up for the newsletter here to get the whole ‘New Blogger’ series! A step-by-step guide to launching a brand new blog and monetizing your site.

Now go start something amazing!

  • This absolutely makes sense, but at the same time, I can’t imagine cornering myself into writing about just one topic!

    • Making it with out a niche IS totally possible, but for a lot of bloggers narrowing their focus gives them the opportunity to position themselves as an expert on one specific topic and actually spawns more content ideas than they otherwise could.

  • This makes a lot of sense… I’ve been trying to narrow my focus and choose a niche but I can’t make up my mind… there are so many things I love writing about!

    Nellwyn | http://www.thecardinalpress.com

    • The best tip I can give you is to select a main topic and figure out how to frame all of that other amazing stuff you love around that topic. Ex: If you’re a food blogger but also love fashion, see if you can blog about date nights, or entertaining and use the two subjects to support one great idea.

      • That’s good advice, thank you!

  • Sarah Emily

    This does make sense but it is not in my nature to just talk about one topic I would feel like i was being fake almost because for me, blogging is a way to let people into my life which is all about cooking, traveling, DIY and beauty!

    • I love that you’re looking at blogging as a way of connecting to people. That’s such an important part of getting the platform to support you. And it is totally possible to make it as a lifestyle blogger. I’m so glad to hear about all of you guys making it in such a competitive space! That’s a huge accomplishment and one to be really really proud of!

  • I’ve read upwards of 200+ content from bloggers who are successful and one common thread you find among all of them is narrowing down your niche. Darren Rowse from problogger even mentioned it in his book. I think the problem that new bloggers face now days is that the blogging world is so overly saturated that the only way to stand out is to be niche specific.

    • You’re so right Channing! The more specific you are the fewer blogs are around to eclipse you.

    • I dont agree that the blogging world is saturated. I believe there is abundance. Billions of humans out there, there is enough readers for all, but they want value and arent as easily fooled with codswallop! And the Search engines are also not fooled at all. So…its down to not being consistent, or offering value. The number of really poorly written, non value blogs out there is mind numbing Echanning! Thats the problem. People arent willing to create VALUE but want to make money blogging, AND brands find it easier to underpay or simply not bother with them!

      • Consistency is also important as are other factors. I was speaking about niche in particular with this post which is why I didn’t talk about the other factors involved. As far as value goes…….value is subjective to the person reading it….so what then constitutes value? One person might find someone’s content extremely valuable while another might not at all.

  • Dana Brillante-Peller

    I’ve tried to narrow down to one topic but it’s too hard! I package everything up in “A modern mom’s point of view” so maybe I am a mom blogger BUT I don’t really talk about just parenting things…oh so confusing!

    • I hear this a lot from clients. Finding a niche is hard, and it can take a lot of time to evolve your writing.

  • Jessica Foley

    I’m glad you noticed that there’s a lot of “you need a niche” and then no way to help you pick one. I fall under the “mom lifestyle” blog right now, but after another few months I plan to take a step back and see what I enjoying posting about the most, and where I get the most engagement from my current readers. Thanks for the great post!
    ~Jess
    http://www.jessicafoley.ca

    • Good luck Jessica! Im so glad you found this helpful.

  • Hi Olivia,

    Thanks for sharing at the Bloggers Pit Stop, we do appreciate it!

    Indeed bloggers and creatives really need a niche. Choosing a niche is really Zoning in on your specific subject and market. And with that in mind zoning in on your target audience. And I agree with you 100% on this topic Lots of bloggers focusing in overcrowded markets and not realizing that even with a wider market yo can zone right in.
    For instance you can be a travel blogger focused solely on Camping or Winter travel, or Hiking, Sports travel etc. Going general is good for the initial attraction then you gotta narrow it right down.
    Its like GPs are great for routine medical needs. But if you had a specific medical problem you would like A “specialist” to be in charge of your care, right! Superb post! loved it and shared too!

    Pit Stop Crew

    • I love the medical analogy. Exactly the same principle here.

  • My main topic is finance/money. It’s quite hard not to deviate from that however it’s what I’m best known for. What you said about SEO and talking about the same topic, really got me thinking. Thank you x

    http://www.thesollifestyle.com

    • A lot of bloggers kind of underestimate SEO. But when you break it down, its not as mysterious and convoluted as it comes off. The more you write, the better you become, the nicer Google is. Its all about creating awesome content on a consistent basis for a focused topic.

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  • Kathleen – Bloggers Lifestyle

    Hi Olivia, I am pleased to say that this post was among the most clicked on the Bloggers Pit Stop. Be looking for a feature on Friday. Congratulations on a great post.

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  • Cassidy

    Thank you for sharing more than “find your niche!” All your reasons and tips were very applicable!

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