This blog title has sat for far too longer than necessary in my blog ideas note. It is long overdue and I sincerely hope that this addresses so many concerns and answers almost all of the questions you have as regards choosing a blog niche and making a success out of your niche blog.
As you know, my own blog is not a niche. This blog is a lifestyle blog with a lot of Blogging articles enough to create a ‘Blogging resources‘ category. I, however, have some other blogs that are completely niched.
They are in the music, health, skincare, and personal development categories. I also have various clients who either started their blogging careers niched or narrowed down into a topic along the line.
Because of my experience as a result of working with niche bloggers in various industries, I have been able to identify 5 big mistakes a lot of bloggers are making when it’s time to start a niche blog or narrow down their already existing blogs.
Let’s dive straight into the top 5 mistakes bloggers make when they want to start a niche blog.
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1. Picking a highly competitive topic
The two major reasons why anyone would find themselves in a niche that is highly competitive are:
You already know that succeeding is going to take all of your money, time, energy. You know deep down that, it is practically impossible to beat all of the many professionals in the niche. Yet, you go on ahead like these are not serious concerns.
ii. Lack of research
I know that when we get excited about something, it might be very difficult to take a step back and look into it objectively and without bias. We forget to do our research, to analyze, to be sure it is worth all of the investment at all.
Deciding, picking and finally starting a blog in a niche that is very competitive will drain you and wear you out. Here in Nigeria, when a young man catches the blogging bug (especially the University students), the niches they pick do not go beyond celebrity gossip, news blogging, and music.
It’s funny how they return after 3 months to say blogging is not worth it, they lied about it, no one visits their blogs. The established blogs are doing all they can, pouring in some marketing money, utilizing the services of an SEO, leveraging on how long they have been around, employing writers and riding on their experiences.
There are so many of them already employing the big guy strategies. There you are, with all of the initial energy and zeal, trying to squeeze into a sea of too many animals. Not worth it!
If there’s too much content and chatter about a niche, standing out will take a lot of creativity and hard work.
2. Neglecting sustainability
Usually, a certain amount of passion comes with considering a blogging niche. You most likely are assured that it is what you want to do online. You have your laptop, your internet connection, and everything is all set.
So, say you go for Fashion as a niche and you have enough clothing items to share for a month or even 6 months, have you considered what happens after then?
Don’t get me wrong, you do not have to figure everything out right now. No, that’s not even possible. But if you must sustain a fashion niche, you have to consider how to get materials to blog about.
You do not have to own all of your outfits but do you have a list of fashion stores that work with Bloggers? Have you approached other Fashion Bloggers to point you in the right direction for content?
What do you do after a year of work? How can you scale what you have now? The issue of sustainability is not only limited to Fashion Blogging. Tech Bloggers that are not going to copy and paste phone/laptop reviews need to brainstorm content beforehand.
3. Basing everything on passion only
In choosing a blog niche, passion is very important. If you are not passionate about the topic, you will wear out and burn out very soon. It is just a known, established fact.
It even goes beyond Blogging. It doesn’t matter what it is, a new business, a new course. Passion is very important but where the problem is for many bloggers starting out is overemphasing passion and magnifying it beyond another important factor – profitability.
You have to get the passion-profit balance right if you must succeed in that niche. Only very few Bloggers do not want to monetize their blogs. I mean, you might even start out blogging as a hobby but many times, it turns out that a lot of bloggers want to monetize their blogs and make a profit from it.
How profitable the niche is will then come to play in this regard. Think long and hard. These are some of the questions that may guide you into determining how profitable a blog niche will be when you want to monetize it.
i. What services can you offer in that space?
If this is a niche where you can offer something you are good at, jump at it. If you think long and hard and can’t find a way to sell a service or a product at least, it might not be a good blog niche for you.
ii. Does that niche solve a common problem?
What problem does the topic solve? How common is that problem? Take, for instance, a lot of people now have natural hair concerns. Maybe some years ago, no one cared about natural hair but now, if you can provide concrete, practical and very helpful solutions to natural hair problems, you are the boss!
iii. What is the potential audience of this niche?
How many people on the average would love to read on that topic? If you don’t have to convince, bait, lure and do a lot of marketing gimmicks, how many people on a monthly basis naturally search for something in or related to that niche?
4. Going too broad
This is in fact, one of the most common mistakes people make when they want to choose a blog niche. I don’t know which is more common though: picking a highly competitive space or picking a topic that is just too broad.
The other day, while I was with someone who was trying to decide what niche to go into, she mentioned to me that she wanted to pick Fashion. I told her that it is a very broad niche to start with. Even though it is just one topic, you will be amazed how broad that niche is.
Because of how much she liked to look for Ankara styles, sew Ankara styles and drool at Ankara pictures, I asked her to consider Ankara fashion and she was livid. What the heck? That is just too narrow, she retorted.
By the time I was done with helping her expanding her horizon, she told me that she is already overwhelmed with how much of subsections she can generate from an Ankara Fashion blog.
There are people out there searching for different ankara tops, skirts, gowns, jumpsuits, mommy and me styles, this is just a few. Even Ankara gowns can further be split into straight gowns, flare gowns, corporate gowns. Do you see where I am going here?
So, picking a topic that is just too broad will drown you in a very large sea. Be careful to narrow down even that niche but enough to have content. This is what I will discuss next.
5. Going too niched
There is the other problem with going too niched and narrow. You have to be careful not to narrow down only to realize that you only have a handful of people looking for what you are blogging about.
For instance, tech. It is cool to pick a specialty, let’s say phones or laptops or other gadgets and accessories but blogging about only Techno phones or online Samsung phones may not be a great choice.
Look at beauty blogging, for example, narrowing down to just makeup tutorials might not be wise. You see, this is not even just a potential audience issue alone, what about content? How much content can you churn out before you are tired?
How much of the narrowed down topic do you know enough for you to produce content or at least repurpose already written content?
So, people, consider avoiding these mistakes when you are about to start a niche blog or narrow down to one. If you still have questions, you can simply send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want me to do an audit of your blog, you can check out my gig here. What I will do is a thorough check of your blog, send you an audit report of the health of your blog as regards SEO, traffic, content, and branding. Depending on the package that you order, I can then send you a personalized recommendation list on what to do going forward to get your blog to success.
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