I have about 7 blogs.
I know that's a lot. But they're all about different topics and meant for different kinds of people.
Are niche blogs going extinct?
However, lately I've heard several times niche blogs are not the way to go. And that it's smarter to have one big blog with lots of categories. That way you can use all your energy and SEO prowess on that one blog and make it really strong. Instead of trying to keep up several small blogs.
So should I gather all my blogs and put them into one big blog? Should I put all my eggs into one basket?
Let's find out shall we?
What's a niche when it's at home?
But first things first. Let's start by defining what a niche really is. There are about six different meanings, but the one we're looking for is a blog niche.
According to Wikipedia a blog niche is 'a focused, targetable portion (subset) of a market sector'.
Niche versus general blogs
In Blogland a niche blog is a blog about a clearly defined topic. My blog Mom's Home Run is a niche blog, because it's all about running. And my blog Momfever is the opposite of a niche blog! Because like the tagline says: I talk about everything under the sun on Momfever. No topic is safe for Momfever!
Niche blog versus Authority blog
But there's another definition of a niche blog floating around the internet. And according to that one, a niche blog is a blog that was made quick, easy and cheaply with the sole purpose of raking in the bucks.
Before the Google Panda update you could:
- quite easily create a blog,
- make sure you put your keywords in the domain name,
- write a couple of posts filled with the keywords
And rank quite high in the search results.
But Google Panda changed all that.
Now it's all about authority blogs.
An authority blog is a niche blog in that it focuses on a specific topic. But it offers waaay more information. Authority blogs are what the name says: authorities on a certain topic.
Back to the first definition of a niche blog
Now let's get back to the first definition of a niche blog: a blog about a clearly defined topic.
The question remains: is it a good idea to have several blogs about different topics, or would it be smarter to have one big blog with lots of categories?
Let's look at the pros and cons of a niche blog.
Pros for a niche blog
- With a niche blog you can present yourself as an expert.
- Niche blogs are great community builders. People start following you because they're interested in the topic, and want to know what you have to say about it.
- Niche blogs are attractive to advertisers. Nike for example would be more interested in advertising on Mom's Home Run than on Momfever. Because they know the people who visit Mom's Home Run are more likely to be interested in their products.
- In spite of the Google updates your blog will be easier to find if it's about a clearly defined topic
- Niche blogs are great for visitors: they know what they're gonna get!
- Your visitors will genuinely appreciate your blog.
Cons for a niche blog
- By picking a certain topic, you're limiting yourself to that topic. You're painting yourself into a corner.
- It can be hard to think of something to write about. You may have said everything there is to say about your topic.
- If you have several niche blogs it can be hard work to keep them all going.
- You may want to write about other stuff, but you can't because it doesn't 'go' with your blog.
- Niche blogging is more expensive: you have to fork out for a domain name and hosting.
The answer to the question: to niche or not to niche?
So what's the answer to the question: to niche or not to niche?
Because there are two definitions of a niche blogs, there are two answers.
- When you define a niche blog as a cheaply made blog to make money, you should go for an authority blog.
- When you definite a niche blog as a blog with a clearly defined topic the answer is less clear. But in general I'm with Darren Rowsw, the author of ProBlogger. He wrote: ‘I had an active blog-tips section on my Living Room blog. This didn’t go down too well with some of my readers there, and so I decided to move all of those tips to a new blog called ProBlogger.net.’
You can't be everything to everybody. So why not create different blogs for different types of readers. That way everybody's happy. Yes, it will be more work, but it's also much more clearcut.
Ask yourself these questions
Even though I totally get Darren Rowse, I also see the advantages of having just one blog. So if you're still not sure whether a niche blog is the way to go ask yourself these questions:
- What do I hope to gain by writing about this topic? Do I want to become an expert? Or do I just want to write one post about it?
- It it worth creating and paying for a domain name?
- Can I write about this topic on my current blog? Can it shine on my blog?
- Do I have enough to say about this topic to warrant giving it its own address on the internet?
- Do I have enough time to promote the blog?
- Do I want to invest money in a blog about this topic?
Where do you stand on the subject of niche blogs?