Every so often I see bloggers expressing some apprehension about stepping out of their blogging niche, so I thought it was worth chatting about.
The business-focused blogs
If the main purpose is to make money, niche matters. According to blogging guru Brandon Gaille, the blogging niches that make the most money are (in descending order) personal finance, marketing, food, lifestyle, mommy, and travel. If you want to make money, these niches are good picks. I must admit, though, I still don’t entirely understand what a lifestyle blog is.
However, most of us in the blogging world have other blogging priorities that outweigh any monetary considerations.
I’d consider my blog to fall into this loose category that I’ve basically made up. I’m trying to make a bit of money on the side with my blog, but that’s not even close to being the primary purpose. Mental health is obviously my niche, and having the majority of my content within the niche has made it easy to build up strong internal linking on my site. I’ve gotten to the point where my mental health content tends to do pretty well in search engine results.
Mental health is what I know and what I’m interested in, but I have no desire to be crammed into a box, so I also wrote about other things that interest me, like blogging. It’s interesting, sometimes my out-of-niche posts will do way better than my mental health posts typically do. I see it as confirmation that diversity is a good thing.
Blogging for fun
The world is your oyster. You can write about whatever you want. Some people prefer to have separate blogs for separate topics, but that’s totally your call.
Not every post you publish has to appeal to all of your readers. Several bloggers I follow do some short fiction posts. That’s not really my thing, so I often skip those, but that doesn’t make me any less interested in following those bloggers.
Some people will adapt what they’re publishing to match what readers appear to be interested in. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not something you have to do, and not an approach I’ve used with my own blog. If you want to do a Turtle Tuesday series and it only gets 5 viewers on average, you keep turtling away. Embracing your turtle is likely more important than losing a viewer or two.
And if you’re concerned that your turtles don’t fit in with your poetry blog, turtle it up anyway. If your turtles turn out to be a dead end, no harm, no foul.
Release the shoulds
If you’re starting to get stressed because the should monster is telling you how to run your blog, that’s a good sign that it’s time to start ignoring it. Your blog is your space to do your own thing with. So tell the should monster to take a hike, and then have a nice little snuggle with your turtle (or turtle-tastic substitute).
Do you have a blogging niche you try to stay in? How comfortable do you feel stepping out of it?
The blogging toolbox series has tips to support you in your blogging journey. It includes these posts:
62 thoughts on “Should You Stick to a Single Blogging Niche?”
I’m still very much starting out in learning what to put on the content of my posts. I don’t feel I have found my style or ‘niche’ yet .. apart from the obvious focus on sobriety which is why I started in the first place. I’d like to develop more as a writer but I often feel blocked as to topics.
Maybe you should write about guinea pigs!
True … I think sometimes I should just write about my day but then I’m never sure.
I will start to commit to it soon. I really enjoy reading and commenting on others posts, though I don’t follow many people tbh.
Nothing wrong with that.
I didn’t realise “Mommy blogs” could be so lucrative! I suspect that a “lifestyle” blog is any blog where someone advertises fashion, cosmetics, household goods, luxury holidays and so on.
I have to say that when I started blogging years ago, I blogged about a wide variety of stuff, mostly mental health, Doctor Who and Judaism, but other stuff too. I did not have many readers and I think that was partly due to the scattergun approach to blogging topics (among other things). Later attempts at blogging have seen me limit it to one subject per blog. To be honest, my current blog is the only one that I would consider even close to being a success, and I try to stay quite focused on my personal experiences of autism and mental illness. To me, my Jewish content and occasional digressions on Doctor Who and other TV and books is window dressing that adds character; the autism and mental health/recovery experiences are the fundamental part of my blog. I’ve never seriously tried to make money from a blog, though.
I wonder if it makes a difference to start out diverse vs. starting focused and diversifying a bit later on. I think that at least some of the time, people read as much for the blogger themselves as for the content they’re writing.
Interesting post! I struggle with this question as well. With a primary goal of blogging on occupational therapy research, I know that I have to stay in the research lane. But, similar to Luftmentsch, I add other parts to this blog to add some character. I don’t think people can handle all research, all the time. So, I do some tangential research topics like book reviews and end of the week posts:) Honestly, those topics break up the monotony for me as well. With that being said, my most popular topics are the ones that are research related. I am still learning. But, I will use your post as a guide. Lifestyle bloggers make a TON of money. But, they live on Instagram and their audience is so fickle. It’s a definite tradeoff.
I think it’s nice to have a well-rounded blog, both for readers and the writer. The exact mix may change over time, but I think we all grow as bloggers along with the blogs themselves, and that’s part of what makes it interesting.
Good point. Thanks again for advice.
I have a direction and principles, but would they fall under a niche? I mean like I have my boundaries, but they’re more to do with the style of my posts. Apart from that, any consistency in my content is coincidental. It’s the perk of blogging for personal reasons. I don’t mind much reservations writing about the occasional cake recipe if I felt like it.
I’ve never had a niche, back when I started blogging folks were just writing about their lives tho there were great gooey gobs of blogs about crafting, probably still are – but we were mostly folks playing with a new thing, and we started building a community – I am still reading blogs that started up 15+ years ago and we actually established RL relationships as well. I found on WP that a lot of ‘personal’ blogs do these prompts and challenges which I find boring and impersonal and pointless. I don’t read blogs for information, I read blogs for entertainment and entertainment for me is getting to know people. I do like photography/nature blogs – never much to comment on (how many times can you say “Great photo”) but I do love the beauty and art of them.
I read your blog for insights into the human psyche. I don’t read all your posts I admit (I totally skip book reviews) but I do check out all your posts…
I like that there’s diversity in the blogging world, because we all like different things. Earlier in my blogging life I tried to read everything written by bloggers I followed, but eventually came to my senses and realized that approach wasn’t working.
I started blogging this week and knew nothing about niches. I started with a thought in my mind of helping others who must going through experiences which I had and need some help dealing with it. I am sure the audience won’t be large but it will be available for those who need. Seriously speaking i won’t be able to write about beauty or tech that smoothly as I write about highly sensitive people and Empaths. So for me, just for earning money I can’t change my niche as I am more comfortable in what I am doing. To be honest, I am still not sure what niche my content comes under(hehehee). Thank you for giving me this information 😊
I think it’s so important to find what’s meaningful for you, and then move forward with that.
I actually don’t have a Niche, because i don’t want to be limited. I want to let my mind free to run wherever it wants!
I like it!
Mine has sorta spilled over into side-niches. It kept expanding over the years. I try to stick to similar-themed blog posts to give some predictability but topics tend to range from student life to minimalism to mental health to creative writing to very rarely, parenting.
I like the variety you’ve got on your blog.
Thank you, Ashley! 🙂
Do you have a blogging niche you try to stay in? No. I’m all over the place I guess. A bit of everything..
How comfortable do you feel stepping out of it? It’s not a problem, because my niche is ‘eclectic’, so any zone is my comfort zone I suppose.
The niche bloggers are more organized and much tidier than I am, but I bet I have more fun!
Eclectic is good! Although perhaps WP didn’t think so as it sent your comment to spam…
I don’t have a niche and whilst l understand those that do, l think niches for me would be too limiting and restrictive whereas diversity is l think the way forwards and despite what the gurus say and we have plenty here that state the same – l think that non niched blogs could still, can and do make money from their blogs perhaps albeit indirectly if they wanted to without covering their blogs with advertising as WP might suggest through their advertising.
Affiliateship or associateship pending where you are in the world works probably more efficiently than many people might think.
Lifestyle blogs are those that specifically cater to their dedicated demography in so far as readership but principally cover everything you could imagine desiring in the lifestyle genre’ fashion, cosmetics, recipes blah blah and more blah – they make a lot of income.
Personal blogs which make up for the vast majority of WP blogs are more specifically entertaining.
Your description of Semi-Business blogging l think is actually very apt and very much the way to progress and in 2021 l will be changing my direction slightly again to encompass this .
The problem l really have is l get bored creamless if l am only writing on one subject which is why niche is not the way forwards for me – l admire those who do run quality niches [your blog is one not just saying it for the benefit of this post as you know l have stated it before anyway so nothing new]. I don’t know what my genre is, maybe reality personal – l don’t know, and l am none too bothered – perhaps it is merely entertainment to some, topical to others, lifestyle to others still and the list goes on as to what it could and might not be you know?
I am like Grace, l just want to read what l consider entertaining, l like a bit more reality and topical coverage than most in my reading, l like quality, if l read fiction l want it to be experimental and a bit risque, perhaps bawdy and funny and genuine. I want to see real people writing real stuff – that will make sense to a lot of people and nonsense to a lot more – but those who know what l mean, will know exactly what l mean.
Another quality post Ashley, l saw this in my email as l was deleting – l don’t often look for anything in my emails – but l saw this, and glad l did.
Thanks! I think a big part of what draws readers to your blog is the level of diversity that you have. I think the typical thought process of the writer influences deciding for or against a niche. My illness slows my thinking, so I’d have a very hard time coming up with ideas if I didn’t have focal areas. And I suppose those kinds of differences is what blogs such unique representations of the person behind them.
“I think the typical thought process of the writer influences deciding for or against a niche.” Yes, l think this is a spot on observation Ashley – very much so.
I can understand what you are saying also – l know when l was in a very deep depression and had a serious mental breakdown many years ago, l was unable to think lots of different thoughts and so l had to hyperfocus in order to glean direction and motivation – l get that completely.
We write to ourself as much as to others. We write to get support. We write to start or continue conversations. We write to learn. We write to share thoughts.
We occasionally write about money and cooking, etc. but it’s mostly about living with mental illness and trying not to die for us.
We follow a nature photographer who includes punny jokes and nature facts. We follow some mental health blogs and a few meditation/dharma type blogs. We don’t follow many because we are easily confused and can’t read every day.
Balance is key. ❤️❤️❤️
I suppose I have a general niche, but it can branch out into a lot of things. I plan on staying under the umbrella of health and fitness, but binge eating issues are more mental health and weight loss is more physical health and fitness.
That’s good to be able to incorporate those elements togther.
I started blogging because the Mental Health nurse that leads the groups talked about it as a way to start healing.
My blog has changed over the years, I like to stick to using my personal experiences to weave them into something about Mental Health. I tried once to step out from that and wrote a rant. It fall totally flat.
I started a second blog talking about Bible things. It has been amazing the number of people following within a short time. I really believe that happened due to the fact I learned how to use Categories and Tags.
Yeah, they definitely make it a lot easier for people to find you.
I have no niche though there are topics I avoid going on about… work, money, family, etc. I write a lot about writing related topics and try to post original poetry/fiction when I can. I’m not a fan of niche bloggers…
Variety is the spice of life!
Knowing my temperament type, I knew that even though my main aim is to write about book reviews I wouldn’t stick strictly to it. So I stated that I would be doing book reviews and other interesting stuffs on my blog. The other interesting stuffs will then cater for when am not in the mood to read.
That sounds like a good plan!