Niche or no niche, capiche?

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:

  1. quite easily create a blog,
  2. make sure you put your keywords in the domain name,
  3. 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.

Authority blog

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

  1. With a niche blog you can present yourself as an expert.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. In spite of the Google updates your blog will be easier to find if it's about a clearly defined topic
  5. Niche blogs are great for visitors: they know what they're gonna get!
  6. Your visitors will genuinely appreciate your blog.

Cons for a niche blog

  1. By picking a certain topic, you're limiting yourself to that topic. You're painting yourself into a corner.
  2. It can be hard to think of something to write about. You may have said everything there is to say about your topic.
  3. If you have several niche blogs it can be hard work to keep them all going.
  4. You may want to write about other stuff, but you can't because it doesn't 'go' with your blog.
  5. 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.

  1. When you define a niche blog as a cheaply made blog to make money, you should go for an authority blog.
  2. 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’

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?

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10 reacties

  1. Excellent post! This is really informed and very true. I have two blogs, myself. I've been book blogging for over a year and recently decided to create a blog about fashion, music, lifestyle, and whatever I felt like talking about. I was really unsure about stepping out of the usual niches, but the further along I get with this, I'm feeling more confident. I'm just hoping that I made the right choice. As you said, Google Panda has changed a lot.

  2. Not sure how I feel about general blogs being lumped in with Walmart. LOL

    I'm a no niche blogger aka general blogger (and thus my reason for not exactly liking being lumped with Walmart) and I prefer it that way. I have a few topics I am more consistent with writing about (writing in general or thoughts about blogging) but for the most part I am anything goes.

    Niche blogging does serve a valuable purpose but it gets old and boring after awhile unless it's a topic I am very passionate about. I have a short attention span at times so you can probably guess my interests change a bit. I just don't have the interest in putting myself into a corner with only one main topic. I'd get bored too fast and end up hating my blog.

  3. I tend towards a niche blog. That way people know what they're getting when they come to my blog. The great thing about niche's is they can be so diverse. I have never run out of topics to cover in my niche of nutrition. Sometimes I get burned out, but most bloggers do.

    To me, the key is to blog about what you are most passionate about. And remember, it's okay to change a niche.

  4. I have three blogs and I like it that way. The one I work on the most is my creative blog and while it is probably a niche blog, it has a broad topic, so I can really fold anything in, as long as I give it a creative twist.

    My personal opinion is that it's your blog or blogs, so do what makes you happy and doesn't make you nuts.

  5. It's always a tough decision to make. Niche is nice because readers know what to expect. General can mean many things. But, whatever you decide, you must have a cohesiveness about the blog to keep it from being disjointed, and to create an a specific audience..

    Good luck deciding!

  6. I go back and forth between wishing I had started more niche focused blogs rather than one general one. I'm going to leave it as is and in the future probably start with more of a narrowed down niche.

  7. We've always had a "niche" blog in the sense that we've been about one topic. As a person who often goes to blogs to get specific information I love a good niche! However there are momblogs that I am similar to in philosophy that I go to for recipes, childrearing, decorating etc all in one place.

  8. I agree that each does have it's own pros but for me I have a general blog and specialised one but I think having a few topics of interest on the blog is what I am concentrating on..too many topics may make it difficult to focus also.

  9. I really appreciate this post. It is once again a topic I have been thinking about a lot. My current blog is somewhat of a niche, but not really. I have a number of topics I write about. However, my biggest purpose is to send traffic to my online store which is at a different website, On the store website, I don't use their prebuilt blog page, I have my WordPress blog page linked in there. However, the visitor might see a post about my grand-daughter and I doing something, or one created for Etsy shop owners, or maybe one about my newest products.

    I have been thinking about using the built in blog page on my store, and strictly talk about women's accessories, fashions, etc. Even if I can only post once a week there, it would be consistent.

    Anyhow, thanks for giving me a place to share my thoughts about blog niches.

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