Blogging

Why You DON’T Need a Blog Niche (and What You DO Need Instead)

You’ve heard it all before from every blogger and their mom: you need a super specific niche to stand out and grow your blog. But what exactly is a blogging niche and do you really need one? A niche may work for some people, but it DOESN’T have to work for you. This post will debunk the myth that you need one to build a successful blog and explain what you DO need to instead. Let’s get into it!

Why you don't need a niche for your blog

 

A “niche blog” is a blog that is created with the intention of reaching a specific and targeted market. It’s a blog that only focuses on one topic such as vegan cooking, DIY/crafts, or portrait photography. Yes, it is true that blogging about one topic can bring you “success,” but will it make you happy?

This post is for all the bloggers out there who think they need to put themselves in a box in order to be successful. I’ll be the bold person and say YOU DON’T NEED TO PUT YOURSELF IN A BOX. Standing out in the blogging world definitely takes hard work, but you don’t need to compromise your passions and authenticity to be successful.

Let’s look at 3 reasons why you DON’T need a niche

You Like Writing About Different Topics

Chances are you’re probably multi-passionate and just generally like writing about a bunch of different things. And that’s totally fine! Blogging is meant to be FUN. If you don’t enjoy it, why the heck are you doing it? So many people jump into blogging with the wrong intentions, such as all they can see are dollar signs or they want to grow a massive following. The biggest thing to keep in mind is to blog with your heart. What do you want to share with the world?

The biggest thing to keep in mind is to blog with your heart. Click To Tweet

Blogger Burn Out

Putting yourself into this tight little corner vowing to only write about one certain thing from now until eternity will make you feel VERY restricted. Especially if it’s a subject you think you should be writing about, rather than something you’re passionate about. You’ll get bored, frustrated, and lose motivation. The creative juices will dry up and you’ll be so desperate for inspiration you’ll go mad.

Soon you’ll start to post less frequently until you ultimately stop putting your heart into your posts. All because you’re trying to fit into that little box of yours. The onset of blogger burn out will drive you to stop showing up to your blog every day and you’ll do what many bloggers end up doing shortly after starting: you’ll quit. Is that what you want? I sure as hell hope not!

You Won’t Grow

Before I rebranded my blog, In Search of Sheila was all about da fashion. Then I dived more into lifestyle topics, sharing advice on self-care, personal development and things that made me happy. Now I share authentic growth strategies and tips to help beginner bloggers grow their blogs with intention and purpose. This is what I like to call my blogging journey road map.

Uh, Sheila…where are you going with this?

My point is if you start your blog by being in a box, you won’t grow as a blogger. From the very beginning, it can be very difficult to choose your path. When you sit down to create your very first blog post you are faced with many different roads you can go down. Which one will you choose? Again, you need to follow your heart. Not what you think is profitable or what everyone else is doing.

 

 

Can I share a story?

Growing up I always had many interests. When I went off to college I majored in photography. After I did that for a year, I realized it wasn’t the right career path for me. I took some time off and went back to college with an “undeclared” major. I knew I wanted to go back to school, but I still had no idea what I “wanted to do” with my life. I had interests in photojournalism, sociology, and history. After taking a bunch of different classes to get a feel for all these areas, I decided to pursue a history degree. And here I am with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree working in the history field doing something I genuinely enjoy.

But now I also love blogging. And I’m not afraid to say that. Society tells us we need to go to school, get a job, and that’s it. What’s the fun in that? Also, with the way the economy has been going and the threats on the American education system, my field is becoming less sustainable than I have hoped for. This is why I turned to blogging to make a side income and eventually turn into a business. It’s like my blog and my “real career” both have back up plans. If one fails, I’ll have the other.

I know this story might have veered off the tracks a little bit (I tend to do that in real life conversation ALL the time) but I think it’s a good way to see your blog. If you restrict yourself to one topic, you’re leaving a multitude of other topics behind that could lead to something amazing.

Treat your blog like you’re in college exploring different subjects. You won’t know if you like something or are super good at it until you try!

 

What You DO Need

Can I get a drum roll please? ….FOCUS!

Ah, one of my favorite f-words. You might be wondering where the heck I’m going with this, but hear me out. Having a focus means that your blog revolves around a message or mission. What’s the meaning behind your blog? How can it add value to someone’s life?

Maybe you have a simple living blog, but remember: you don’t want to be in a box. Your focus could revolve around your daily routine and how you incorporate simplicity into your own life in order to help others made changes in their’s. Your posts can cover areas such style, beauty, traveling, finances, decluttering…

See where I’m going with this? Having a focus means you can blog about many different topics, as long as they all relate back to the overall message of your blog.

How do you find your focus?

What are your passions?

What are subjects or activities that really bring you joy? Think about your hobbies and interests, but also your natural strengths. I’m very passionate about learning, helping others, exploring my creativity, and of course–blogging. My blog is my special place where I am able to express these passions and provide a source of inspiration for others.

What do you actually want to write about?

What are topics that you always find yourself writing about with ease? No hard thinking or frustration–it just naturally flows? Make a list. Doesn’t matter how long or short–just write down everything that you like writing about. Now, review your list.

Which of these could you talk about for hours and hours without getting bored? These will be the topics for your blog. If it’s just one, awesome. If it’s more than one, that’s awesome too! Now, I do suggest not going overboard with your subjects–you do have to give yourself a cut-off!

 

why you don't need a blog niche and what you do need instead

 

What do your readers want?

After you’ve compiled your list of topics you want to write about, think about the people who read your blog. Why do they show up every week to read your content? How are you helping them? If you’re stumped, simply ask them! Send a survey out to your email list or create a poll on Twitter. While I do think you need to write about sujects you enjoy, you do want to keep your readers’ needs in mind. Without them, who will come to your blog every week?

If you just started your blog, think of your dream reader: who do want to be reading your blog? What’s their gender? What are their hobbies and interests? What do they struggle with? Get an idea of your reader in your head and start writing your content directly to them.

What’s your story?

We all have story that brought us to where we are today. This might take some time to figure out, but I promise once you pinpoint your story or message as I like to call it, everything with your blog will fall into place.

My story is that I “failed” at fashion blogging. I was doing it for over 3 years and didn’t grow a huge following, nor made money with it. Then I hit a dark place where my lack of growth really hit me and I didn’t know where to go. I felt lost and unsure how to bounce back.

But I took this “failure” as a sign of something good. It taught me also that numbers and dollar signs didn’t determine “success.” Finding joy in my blog and using it to teach and empower others, was. Now I use my blog to help others build a strong foundation not only for their blog, but for their soul.

 

If you take any major point from this post, it’s that you don’t need to blog about just one thing in order to be “successful.” There are soo many bloggers out there who are making it and they aren’t putting themselves in a box. They embrace who they are and use their passions and strengths to help others.

If this post helped you and you want to see more, check out my free 7-day eCourse. With close to 100 students (wow, can’t believe it!) you will learn authentic growth strategies to grow a thriving squad of not just readers–but friends. The course mirrors what I did to grow my blog and I’m so happy that others are finding value in it. Come join us today!

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I’d love to hear your story down in the comments! You can also email it to me if you would like. And if this post helped you, please share the image below on Pinterest so it can help others!

Related Posts

Why I Blog: My Purpose and Mission Statement
7 Ways To Keep It Real As a Blogger
Why Bloggers Should Create Community Not Competition
7 Things I’m Doing To Grow My Blog

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  • These are some really great points and I totally agree with them – theres so many things we like why only blog about one thing…

    Beauty Candy Loves

    • Yes, absolutely! Why limit yourself 🙂

  • Lavender Mint Graphics

    Your “failure” statement is where I might be now. I’ve been doing digital design for three years, which I love, but have had minimal success. I have design friends who encourage me to stick with it, but for how long is the question! Blogging has always been appealing to me (I tried it once for about five minutes!) and I’m researching the possibilities again, which led me to find you through Pinterest. Great post, thank you!

    • I can totally relate!! I think the question to ask yourself is if digital design truly makes you happy regardless if you find “success” in it. I stopped blogging about fashion because I didn’t have much success in it but also because I truly stopped enjoying it. I know it’s can be very discouraging to continue doing something without getting anywhere, but if you are truly passionate about it you will stick to it!

      • Lisa

        Therein lies the crux of the whole thing! I love designing and talk about multiple “squirrel!” design directions to go in! I did find two new things to pursue and am hoping one or both will be my “it” factor. Getting in design funks will continue to occur I’m sure. But design seems to be in my bones. I will still need to blog, though, so I enjoy reading about blogging tips. Thanks for all you share with us 😉

        • Glad to hear this and thank you for reading! 🙂

  • You opened my eyes Shelia!!!!!!!! Man, I have been struggling big time with re-branding and questioning everything I know. My biggest and greatest passion is fashion. I love styling, buying, searching for the best products all over the internet and sharing it with my friends. A super high percentage of my readers are from my hometown which kind of bums me out because my reach is soooo small. I have more to offer than just my friends. I have been wondering if I should completely change my blog name, wondering if I even need to dress different or buy clothes that reach a bigger audience (so dumb) because who I am is obviously not attracting anyone else besides friends. Probably not the thoughts I should listen to. The great thing though is that it’s attacking all of my “right” friends who are on a budget, love fashion, need help putting together clothes and are my age group which is basically exactly who I want to reach. I’ve been reading so much about blog and niches lately since fashion is so over saturated and was feeling so boxed in if I only talk about “Florida style” even though that’s mainly what I wear hahaha. I am getting closer and closer to finding my mission and values but not be upset with what I used to blog about in the past. So thanks girl!

    • Lovelovelove this comment Katie! Thank you for always sharing your heart in my comments section <3 Your passions truly shine and I'd be crazy to even question if fashion blogging is right for you or not! I think having a lot of readers from your hometown is good, although I understand that you want to expand your reach. Luckily, there are many ways to do this which I can help you with! 🙂

  • P.S. I think it’s cool you majored in a few different things and have a Masters degree!!! I personally like when bloggers have normal 9-5 jobs and are working their way to full-time. I can totally relate!

  • This is a relief hahaha. Honestly, I was struggling so much to find a niche… I’m just sticking to a few topics I love! And all these reasons are so true!

    • Yes girl, I love your blog and the topics you write about! Keep doing you 🙂

  • I just redid /re-branded my blog and I’m so happy to read this! After months of trying to figure out my passion, I finally discover what I really love in life. This blog post came at just the right time. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Love this Jennifer!! Isn’t it such a great feeling? No more feelings of self-doubt or uncertainty…just a drive to keep pursuing your purpose and passion!

  • Deanna Cornell

    Love this post Sheila. I just wrote about why I treat blogging like college. As long as a blogger isn’t switching stations and niches like a radio glitching out they can totally succeed. I think its great to have a focus that you are passionate about and as those passions change it’s okay to refine and review your desires. After all we want to enjoy what we do and in doing so we will provide more value to the readers. Great article, well written 🙂

    • Hey Deanna! I love that we both compared blogging to college, because they really are similar! Part of the growing process in college and blogging is trying different things to see what you’re good at and what you enjoy!

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this! When I started my blog, I was so worries that it wasn’t specialized enough! But i love having the freedom to take my posts anywhere that interests me (within reason!).

    • Hey Monica! I’m glad I could give you some clarity 🙂 I think starting out with a specialized blog is totally fine, but if you’re heart isn’t in it 100% or you’re having reservations, go with your heart and write about what YOU want to write about!

  • I loved this post, I also agree that it isn’t necessary to “over niche” your blog. It’s hard to infuse your personality into it if you’re restricted to one subject matter. For example, I like to blog about work life balance and career development – there’s a general *focus* (as you put it!) but not overly specific. Recently, I was wondering if I should “niche down” more but reading this has reaffirmed that I don’t need to!

    I also loved your tip about asking your audience what they want to see on your blog. I never thought of doing that – going to try that right now!

    • Hey Corrie! Over niching can turn out ugly and can restrict your creativity! Plus it can also hurt your blog in the long run. And I think your topics are perfectly blended! No need to get even more specific.

      And I’m glad I could help! I love asking my readers what they want and I know they love being asked 🙂 Win-win for everyone.

  • Komposed

    If I made a separate blog for all the things I’m passionate about and want to write about, I’d have 6 or more different blogs! What you say about FOCUS is very true, and Darren over at ProBlogger spoke about it a while back, calling it your angle. It helps to tie all those different topics together. Thank you for sharing!

    • Haha I so feel you on this! This is what I use Instagram for…I can still promote my blog on it, but I can also do more posts on lifestyle, fashion, and personal development.

      I read Darren’s post and am glad more experts in the field are agreeing that a niche isn’t necessary to succeed! There are other ways to be successful, like in your personality and branding 🙂

      • Komposed

        Personality and branding, definitely things to focus on!

  • I totally agree with this!! This is why I consider myself a lifestyle blogger – it pretty much allows me to blog about anything and everything haha. Great post girl!

    • Haha yes! Lifestyle bloggers have a lot of flexibility 🙂 Thanks Jessica!

  • This is such a well-written post, and I totally agree about not needing a blog niche to be successful. This is something I sort of struggled with when I started blogging, but I realized my blog is my blog and I can write about any topic that interests me. The only thing I do like to maintain though is the quality of the photos and the text, so in that sense there is cohesiveness. I love how you rebranded your blog and you’re sharing your blogging expertise with so many people 🙂
    http://www.samanthamariko.com

    • Thank you so much Samantha!! And yes, keeping consistency in other areas beyond just the actual content is a great way to find a focus for your blog! You’ve definitely mastered that 🙂

  • upasna sethi

    Nodded my head with every single line. I started with multi-niche Blog writing whatever I felt like but with time, I narrowed my posts to few categories and then after almost 2 years, I found my passion and a subject for my Niche Blog. It was like a journey -finding my way through it. A lovely insight post and true for most of us.

  • Jess Watters

    Hi Sheila,
    This is a lovely post, that really made me feel genuinely inspired- not pressured, or overwhelmed, or money focused, but excited and inspired.
    I’m super new to blogging, and want to do it to help grow traffic and my business. But I’m still so new I get confused about what I really want to sell (besides website design) and who I am really writing to. This made me feel excited to try new things out and see what happens! Do you think it’s ok to do for a soloprenuer starting a business? Or more for pure bloggers?
    Thanks again!
    Jess 🙂
    http://www.designedbyjess.com

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