This post is part of my “Building Your Blog Traffic” series – read the first post here.
Blogs that tackle a specific and limited range of topics generally tend to outdraw those with a more scattered approach. Blogging within a particular niche is usually the best way to experience success. However, there are limits to this idea. If you choose a subject area that is too limited, the potential for high-volume traffic is reduced. Alternatively, if you opt to blog in a well-covered subject matter you risk getting lost in the shuffle and not finding a regular readership.
Two examples of the above include creating a site about say collecting something like angel Beanie Babies (lol .. yes that is an often collected item right?). Anyway … if you begin a website all about colleting the angel Beanie Babies and expect to get thousands of hits a day your expectations may be a big overzealous. On the other hand – if you start a website about the Twilight saga you will get lost in space because there are already hundreds of thousands of websites out there about this topic.
There is no secret formula that will yield the perfect niche for your blog. There are, however, some guidelines you can follow when selecting a blog topic that
will help lead you to a choice that has good traffic potential.
First, remember that you will be revisiting, updating, tweaking and researching the topic of your blog for as long as you decide to maintain it. Thus, it makes a
great deal of sense to choose a subject matter in which you have a keen interest and a developed knowledge base. If you don’t want to write about gardening or cooking than don’t write about it!
Second, remember that there are two different factors you must consider when trying to choose a topic with real traffic potential. You will want to write about something in which others are interested. There must be a group of people out there who are regularly looking for information on your topic. That is a necessary factor. However, you must also consider how many other sources of information are out there already. It can be very tough to break out in a competitive field.
You can get an idea of the competition and interest levels by using any of a number of freely available online tools. One tool that costs a little money yet supposedly yields great results is Nichebot. I’ve personally never used it so if any of my readers have and would like to comment please leave one!
Third, remember that although finding an underserved niche will make your life easier, it is not necessarily a requirement for success. There are some people
who will tell you that operating in a competitive sector is great. After all, you know in advance that there are hordes of potential visitors on a hot topic. All you
have to do is give them a reason to come to you instead of others. That is, of course, easier said than done. However, if you are up for a challenge and believe you can offer something that will truly separate you from the rest; you may consider blogging in a competitive field.
I personally have three blogs that I actively maintain. My personal blog Starryskye has been in existence since around 2000 and has changed several (hundred?) times. I often joke that since I have ADHD my blog does also. It grows as I do – from a teenager to now a mother, wife and even college student. It really has no niche and I often lose brownie points with advertisers because of this. I don’t want to turn this blog into a niche blog though. It would lose it’s “me” value and that would hurt it’s value to me.
My second blog is Atomic-Mama and it’s going through some changes right now. It’s my ‘Mommyblog’ and covers female topics and is geared towards married women with children who want a little ‘more’ from their lives. They still want to have fun and hang out with the girls even though they have a family and responsibilities. I think the niche is wide on Atomic-Mama yet I get a lot of PR companies contacting me for reviews which rocks. I would like to get a few more readers to that blog and am working on adding in more money-saving tips, meal planning, and even movie reviews.
My third blog JustSayOohRah is my “military wife life” blog – way moreso than Starryskye. It now provides news blurbs and life topics that would interest military spouses. I’d like to open it up more and include product reviews that are geared towards military members / families along with featuring “WAH” (work at home) military spouses, tips and even base living reviews and local things to check out.
Some questions for my readers:
- What is your blogs niche?
- How did you decide to choose that niche?
- Did you actually ‘choose’ the niche first or did it come naturally?
Thanks for the comments!