Why Choosing a Blog Niche Might Not Be a Good Idea
There are a few pieces of advice that tend to come as standard when you look for help with blogging. “Write compelling content”, “network in your niche”, and “stay consistent” are probably the most common words of wisdom you’ll receive. “Pick the right niche” ranks right up there with them as well.
Choosing the right niche, in the case of blogging, usually just means that you should pick a topic you’re passionate about, which also happens to have a large audience. It’s advice I’ve given myself throughout the years and I still see it on many blogs today.
Yet, I just don’t think it’s relevant anymore.
After more than 15 coaching calls in the last month, I had the realisation that this advice just isn’t helping people, especially with 10 of those calls involving my client stressing out about which industry they should be blogging in.
“Should I define myself as a blog on Lifestyle design or Personal Development?” and “Will people know what I mean by Creative Marketing?” were just some of the related queries that I received.
I instantly replied with “Don’t worry about it” which not only helped bring these people some relief, but also touched upon something that I think everyone should think about. In my opinion, choosing your blog niche – in most cases – just doesn’t really matter anymore.
Defining yourself is a waste of time
I used to run a blog which covered my journey of going from college dropout and leaving England at 18 to working for a big marketing agency in Cape Town where I didn’t know one single person. It was a site that not only grew to thousands of subscribers very quickly, but a site where I worked very hard to define what it was about.
I wanted everyone to know that my blog covered the topic of personal development. Yet, the only place I actually mentioned personal development was in the title tag (to increase search engine rankings for that phrase). The sites’ name, PluginID, didn’t really give much away, and neither did the “Plug into your identity” tagline.
Looking back, my focus on just writing about “personal development” actually hindered me in a number of ways.
The first way being that defining myself was a total waste of time, and probably is for you too. There are simply far more important important aspects to blogging which should be occupying your attention. The most important thing you can do is get the essentials out of the way and then just start writing.
A blog is nothing without its content.
Whether you define yourself as a personal finance blog or a financial advice blog doesn’t really matter. It only matters if you would change your content based on that definition. Nobody is going to look at your blog and think it’s about health if all you write about is money.
Your content is going to show what your site is about; you don’t have to stress about defining it.
Thankfully, there is…
A much better alternative
I can’t write an article which takes out one of the most recommended fundamentals of blogging and not replace it with what I believe is a far superior alternative. Instead of stressing about which direction you’re going to take your blog and the angle of your content, just simply ask yourself “in which way do I want to help my audience?”
Do you want to entertain people?
Do you want to give them the latest news?
Do you want to help them make more money?
Do you want them to become better copywriters?
I can’t answer this question for you, but it should be pretty easy for you. After all, your blog wouldn’t be much without an audience. What do you want to provide for them?
With this one question, you can accomplish a number of things a lot easier.
No longer do you have to worry about whether a certain article fits under the category of ‘personal development’ or whether you’re writing something that your audience doesn’t care about. You simply focus on whether the information you’re providing helps you help your audience.
My aim with ViperChill is to give people the best advice I can about internet marketing and building remarkable websites. I don’t stress if a topic choice is going to be relevant to my readers because I’m always publishing content with that aim so the majority of the time, it just naturally will be.
This question gives you more content ideas, helps you decide if an idea is right for your audience and allows you to twist content ideas from other industries and make them more relevant to your readers.
Another reason people worry about which blog niche they choose is because they want to make sure they’re attracting – and keeping – the right website visitors. The great thing about this question is that it allows you to build an audience that is laser-targeted.
And as most of you know, a laser targeted audience is exactly what you want if you ever come to monetise your website. Although there are other factors besides what you write about that attract a readership – such as your content length and post frequency – it’s still the biggest factor in growing a blog which can make you money.
The only reason people ever read a blog is because of the value that it provides. That value can be in one of hundreds of forms, but it always exists. For instance, the value I receive from Daily Blog Tips is information which helps me become a better writer, which in-turn helps me to grow my business.
Another blog I love, TechCrunch, provides me not only with boredom relief when I’m not sure what to work on next but also information on the newest social media sites I may be able to utilise. Knowing how you can help people through your site is the exact value that you’re providing to them.
As long as you continue to put out content that is inline with your aim, then you’re constantly giving your audience what they want. That’s true providing true value.
If you’re still not convinced, answer me this: Is it easier for you to tell me how you want to help people, or easier to tell me which category your blog fits under?
About the Author: Glen Allsopp is the owner of ViperChill.com. If you liked this post, you may also enjoy his guide to WordPress SEO.