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Should You Become a Niche Blogger?

NicheBloggingDo you sometimes struggle on what topics you should focus on for your blog or how narrow or broad you should go? At the recent BlogHer ’13 conference I participated on a panel called “Beyond the Vertical: Into the Niche” with four other awesome women, Anjum Nayyar, Carleen Pruess, Feminista Jones, moderated by Christina S. Brown. The main thing that people were curious about was how narrow should you go and how broad is broad? As Carleen pointed out during the session, you can broaden and narrow your blog niche as you go along and see what works best. Here are some of the highlights from our panel:

How broad is too broad of a niche? 

Broad topics are too broad. For example, if you have a parenting or travel blog, those are big broad categories that can encompass a lot. If you want to stand out in the crowd, a narrow niche blog has a better shot.

How do you figure out how to narrow down your focus?

Consider using keyword search tools to find the keywords that your audience uses for search. You could also look at the past blogs you’ve written and see which blogs have received the most traffic. This is what your reader want you to write more about. You could also look at your blog keyword search and see what people are searching for that brought them to your blog in the first place.  Check out Copyblogger’s article on how to choose a profitable niche through keyword search.

Can you ever go too narrow on your niche?

Sure you can and you’ll figure that out as soon as you suffer from writer’s block. That’s when you can look into expanding it a little. It’s okay to experiment with this until you get it right. However, if you plan on writing about fashion and then decide to write on food trends, well they’re not related at all and you may want to consider splitting those out into two separate blogs.

Should you only have one topic for your blog niche?

No. You can have things that are related. For example, this blog is about social media marketing. We mostly write about social media topics such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus, and Blogging. But we also write about email marketing, content marketing, and vlogging (video blogging). As long as it’s not too much of a stretch and as long as it is easy to find the different categories you blog about on your blog, you’re fine. Navigation is key, however.

In summary

If you’re not entirely sure on what you want to blog about, then when you’re starting out you should go a little broad so you can see what resonates and sticks with your readers. Once you’ve been blogging for a while and you’ve figured out what your audience likes, then consider narrowing down your niche. Be sure to use keyword tools to help you figure out what people are searching on and look at your Google & Blog analytics to see which blogs are getting the most traffic. And definitely make sure it’s easy to find the content through navigation on your blog.

So, what do you think? How narrow will you go?

 

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.