I’m aware that the topic of niching down has been covered by every blogger that blogs about blogging ever, but I want to hit the topic at a bit of a different angle.
I hate the rhetoric that bloggers MUST niche down and they MUST only talk about subjects pertaining to their niche in order to become EXPERTS.
Before we start I’m going to make a couple of assumptions that I invite you to hop on board with, because if you don’t, you’ll either give up quickly or you’ll drive yourself mad with boredom.
- Getting eyes on your blog takes time and effort.
- You have more than one idea for a niche.
Ok, so I’ve established that we’re not looking at get-rich-quick schemes here. We’re going to be working on building authority within your niche. Or niches.
And that means starting your blog now. It’s going to take time. Months. Years, even, to gain an organic following without relying on social media.
But it’ll be worth it. Think of the passive income you can gain from providing content that people are searching for without you having to shove it in their face.
Start today. If you get bored of talking about, e.g. astronomy, start another blog tomorrow on Monopoly.
This isn’t so much a post on picking a niche, as much as it about having multiple blogs covering all the niches you’re interested in. You never know which one will take off.
Scope out the competition
This is keyword research. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need any fancy software or to use any website other than Google to conduct useful keyword research. Google your niche. See what’s already out there.
Look for gaps in the market
Say you have an interest in DIY. Look for topics that aren’t covered well. A specific aspect of that niche that isn’t fully explored. You can focus on a specific room of the house, skill, or even location.
Location-specific blogs can do really well in some niches, especially if it involves hiring contractors. You can score affiliate deals, sponsorships, and charge for premium ad space in the future.
Start your blog
Make a list of around 100 blog post ideas.
Write some posts. Get acquainted with Wordpress (whether you choose .com or .org depends on your financial situation). Use Canva to make your feature images. Use Unsplash if you don’t need to take your own pictures.
I use Siteground for my hosting, and I don’t know if this is the case for all hosting companies, but you can buy hosting that allows you to have multiple sites.
It costs extra but comes with other benefits. You can always start at the cheapest package and upgrade whenever.
Or just start multiple sites on wordpress.com and move them over when you start getting traffic.
Your first niche may not be right for you
And that’s ok.
It may be too saturated (in which case, try to find a unique take by niching way down).
Maybe you just weren’t as interested in the topic as you thought you were.
Maybe blogging isn’t for you at all.
I would recommend leaving your blog up if you have a decent amount of posts, especially if you’ve gone the self-hosted route. Often you’ll find that your work is good, Google is just taking its time ranking your posts.
I learned this the hard way.
I went self-hosted about five years ago, with a domain that is myname.com. In that time I’ve gone through about four different niches. This has meant that Google blacklisted me for a while because it knows I’m flighty.
Many of my Pinterest pins went viral which would have been great if the post they linked to existed any more (yes your pins can go viral without you getting many more views — Pinterest is a fickle beast).
Instead of changing your blog when you have a great idea for a new blog, start a whole new blog.
I’m the kind of person that needs organisation to feel secure, and it took me a while to get used to juggling multiple blogs.
But it stopped me being flighty and meant I was finally getting traffic. On multiple sites.
How long should you leave between creating multiple blogs?
That really depends on how much time you have.
I like to get 30 meaty articles on my blog as quickly as I can (one a day is possible if you work hard and do your research on all 30 articles before writing them) so that Google can get to work.
Cover all the bases of your topic. You can dive deeper into individual topics later on. You want someone new to the niche to be able to find everything they need to get started.
Then I try to add three posts a week.
It doesn’t really matter in terms of SEO how often you post, but the more posts you get out there, the quicker you’ll get views.
What if I pick the wrong niche?
Just don't abandon it altogether. Having multiple blogs is great.
It’s a myth that you can’t be an expert in multiple fields. It’s actually a myth that you have to be an expert to build authority, but that’s a whole other post.
Leave the blog where it is. Maybe you’ll come back to it at a later date. It may go viral in the meantime. You’re not losing anything by leaving it there. And if you know you’ll never return to the blog, you can always sell the site.
Hobby blogs can gain large followings
Hell, it’s how blogs got started. It’s what blogs were.
And here’s the kicker: the more times you start a new blog the better you’ll get at it. It won’t take you the best part of a day to pick a theme. You can get content on there by the afternoon.
You can write when you feel like it
If I wake up in the morning and want to write a post about blogging, I come to Medium. If I want to write about something I saw online about veganism, I got to my vegan blog, and if I want to write about plants, I got to my plant blog.
There’s a master content calendar in my planner so I know broadly what topics I’m yet to cover, but the niche is up to me.
And if I suddenly get into basket weaving, or hiking, I can start a blog about those too.
I know, having multiple blogs seems like a massive ballache.
The dream for me is passive income. Generating enough money from ads to allow me to write about what I want. So that I don’t have to bug people to sign up to email lists. Maybe write a book or two that people will want to buy.
Obviously, if I knuckled down and put all my time and effort into one niche I could get there quicker. I could create opt-ins and grow my email list and everything they tell you you have to do to become a successful blogger.
I know me. I’d get bored and burn out.
Many years of experience have proved that.
I’m also sick of email marketing. You’re probably sick of me telling you that, but it’s true. I like that my website is clean.
You go there to learn about houseplants. There’s no secret vault of information. No printable, no email course, no ebook.
All the information is right there, for free.
I picked my niche because I enjoy writing about it, and other people are seeking out that information.
For so long internet marketers have denounced the phrase ‘build it and they will come’, but I believe that if you provide information that people are looking for, they will come.
And if you provide the best information AND you don’t bribe them into parting with your email, they’ll come back.