If I had a dime for every time I’ve read some blogging guru insist that you must choose a narrow blog niche, I could easily have retired by now.
Find your blog niche. That’s the advice most would-be bloggers hear whenever they ask how a blog is started.
It’s what I heard shortly after I started my blog. I almost began to believe I’d be a blogging failure without a niche.
What’s a blog niche?
But let’s back up a second: what exactly does that mean? A niche (pronounced “nitch”) is a narrow topic area that a blog is supposed to focus on.
Here’s an article that gives you seven niches that tend to be profitable (after it goes into detail about why a niche isn’t critical. Some niches include personal finance, travel, cooking, quilting, customer service or physical therapy.
You can spend time brainstorming any number of potential niches that you might be passionate enough about.
You must ask yourself, though, whether the topic you choose is one you can blog about forever. (Or at least as long as the blog will continue.)
When I started my blog, the only thing close to a niche that I came up with was my tagline: Regular doses of common sense. I figured it would be a fun-sounding topic area that was at least broad enough to give me plenty of latitude.
I couldn’t come up with anything more narrowed down than that.
As the blog evolved, I did try splitting it into individual blogs that focused on more narrowed topics. It didn’t go well for me. I never felt I was spending enough time on any one of them.
So I merged everything back into a single site.
Do you have to choose a blog niche?
There’s no law that says so. But the answer you get if you ask that question depends on whom you ask.
But for those of you who get anxious just pondering such a selection, perhaps you’ll take comfort in these links:
Elizabeth Tai wrote in 2016, “Well, I say toss that much-touted advice out of the window.” Tai wrote that one of her mistakes in choosing a niche was this:
I wasn’t the type to be able to blog about a topic endlessly, even if it’s one I’m passionate about. Believe me, I’ve tried.
That one definitely resonated with me.
Helene, at HeleneInBetween.com, answered the question of whether one can blog without a niche this way:
HELL YES. First and foremost, I’m doing it. I’m a full-time blogger who makes her income off her blog and I’m doing it without a niche.
She then goes on to name several other bloggers whose sites don’t have a niche, either.
Then there’s Sheila of InSearchOfSheila.com, who says this:
Standing out in the blogging world definitely takes hard work, but you don’t need to compromise your passions and authenticity to be successful.
Sheila then goes on to list three reasons you don’t need a blog niche.
I knew it was wrong for me.
I haven’t actually done the math, mostly because I didn’t want to. But if I were to total the payments from Google AdSense that this blog generates in a year, I’m sure it wouldn’t cover the cost of hosting this site.
I’m not ever going to be a millionaire because of this site.
If I had chosen a narrow niche and focused solely on that, then added a lot of affiliate advertising and sponsored posts on topics I wasn’t passionate about, maybe I would have been bringing in the dough by now.
But I just couldn’t see doing it that way.
While I wouldn’t pretend to have the readership of a site like Huffington Post, I have to point out that it’s not a single-topic site, either. Neither are plenty of informative websites out there, blogs or otherwise.
I hope my content is informative and even that it’s entertaining once in a while.
But there are weeks when I struggle to come up with just one post for one of the seven topics I primarily cover. (And to be fair, some weeks, I skip certain topics.)
I knew I’d never be able to do multiple posts per week — however many I chose — on one single topic.
No, I’m not making an income on this blog. But I’ve been enjoying the blogging process for more than 15 years now.
So I think that has to count for something.