The Benefits of Not Going Niche

Niche bloggingI know what you’re thinking: “But every blog about blogging talks about the high value of niche blogging. Even this blog talks about how niche blogging is the best.” I am not at all trying to say that niche blogging is bad or ineffective; niche blogs dominate keyword searches and provide detailed, specialized information that is usually hard to come by in a well-written form on the web. I love niche blogs.

At the same token, I am also extremely grateful that not every blog is a niche blog. If I’m your average Joe trying to do some research about mobile computing tablets, I would be incredibly confused and frustrated with all the niche tech blogs out there. I wouldn’t care about processor speeds, what an OS is, what the new screen technology is called, how many MP the camera can shoot in, or whether my data speed technology is HSDPA (with no explanation as to what this acronym stands for or means). Overspecialization can quickly turn readers away.

Why Broad Layman’s Terms Rule

Branching from my example above, the reason that base-level information blogs can be so successful is because they have the potential to have massive appeal, which comes with a massive audience and massive traffic. When you write a more general post or use a more basic vocabulary, more people will understand and identify with your writing.

The Challenges of Going Broad

While it is easier to catch a broader audience when you use simpler language or speak matter-of-fact about potentially complex topics, the only problem with maintaining this type of general blog is that you will have much, much more competition. To compensate for this, you must have extremely brilliant writing and content on your blog; you must be entertaining and enthralling. Perhaps your blog will be funnier, more sincere, or simply much clearer than other blogs out there. Find out what your strengths are in your writing and stick to them if you decide not to use a niche topic.

If You Decide to Go Niche

If your blog is already dedicated to a niche topic or you would really like to create a niche blog, you can still take steps to reach a wider audience. One thing you must do is tone down overly-technical language. If you are using an acronym, define it or at least spell it out – for example, “search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of strategizing your content to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).”

Another great idea is to have a post dedicated completely to the technical vocabulary of your niche (your glossary). Update this post frequently, perhaps even occasionally with an all new post in your archives. Be sure to use the <a name=”example”> anchor in your glossary. Then when you include a technical term into a new post, link to that specific anchor (your blog.com/glossary.html#your term), and your readers will get a link directly to that definition. If this sounds a bit too complicated, read up on links and anchors, and you will understand in no time.

Bottom Line

Both a niche and a broad blog have the potential to be hugely rewarding and successful. I also think both types of blogs should copy elements of each other to increase the potential pool of readers as well as target specific readers to stay loyal. General, broad blogs should attempt a detailed, technical post every once in a while. Niche blogs should have a general, entry-level post every so often to lure in newcomers who might have a budding interest in your niche but just need to grasp the basics first.

22 thoughts on “The Benefits of Not Going Niche”

  1. Avatar of Raj

    I have a personal blog where I write about a variety of topics. Just to experiment. Based on the results out there, I might be inclined to start a nice blog on a particular topic/ concept. But one cannot really build a list on a broad/ generic blog. You need a niche blog for that.

  2. Avatar of Dell

    For the first time in 2012, I read a very factual post. I totally agree with your insights Nadia, i’m not against the niche blogging but I am more in favor of simple, interesting and informative post. Posts that are very easy to comprehend. I hope other bloggers has the initiative to do it.

  3. Avatar of Patricia

    Hi Nadia and Gary

    I get what you are saying with techie blog being too niche but definitely for other blogs/websites it can work well.

    Both my sites are niche and I work at being an “authority” on both. And I definitely haven’t run out of topics to write about.

    Also, if I am looking for specific information I often find niche sites that have researched and know their topic well have the best information.

    But I do agree there is room for both.

    Patricia Perth Australia

  4. Avatar of Nadia Jones

    Thanks for the comments and feedback everyone! I agree with @Raj and @Patricia that there is definitely a lot of room and demand for niche blogs. I think the main thrust of my post was just that niche blogs are often suspect to overspecialization and may end up alienating readers. It’s just something to keep in mind when writing a very detailed of technical post (or series of posts). The information if still valuable, but you may want to make your best effort to make it incredibly clear to multiple perspectives.

    Thanks again!

  5. Avatar of Mark Nett

    Nadia, everyone cant be king & not everyone can go niche.

    As for me I had seen multiple blogs getting into success stride selecting up to 5 topics.

    I think Niche Blogs get more popular by mouth talk & SEO.

    Coming to me I’m not confined to single niche.I put it on web Everything I learnt.

  6. Avatar of Euromillions

    Insightful post Nadia. Nice to see somebody confidently going ‘against the grain’ with some real common sense.

    I’d beg to differ however that the more you broaden your subject matter the greater competition you’ll have on a search engine results page.

    I think you should definitely highlight that while the rewards may be greater for broadening your subject matter the difficulty increases also.

  7. Avatar of used tires

    Pretty interesting points. I hadn’t ever thought of it that way but it is true that when I’m looking for basic info on something, which is most of the time, I wouldn’t necessarily want to go to a site that’s exploring the subject in far more depth than I want to go to.

    -Jean

  8. Avatar of dustin

    nice article! when I was starting blogging a niche was always a problem for me… because I like random stuff.. and decide making my blog a news blog.. thanks.. now I understand

  9. Avatar of Dooley

    Thanks Nadia, great read post. While writing is always a challenge when you need to target a broader audience. But if you start with your own experience it becomes more simpler and effective.

  10. Avatar of Ascentive

    Hello Nadia,

    I came across blogs that cover different types of subjects and others that stay in their nice. For right now I’m experimenting with my blog what works best for me.
    Your point of you view will help me to be on the right path!

    ~Anja~

  11. Avatar of thepinoyblogger

    This is a great article, refreshing view. It’s how we all started to blog. Maybe we need to unlearn some stuff.

    Cheers.

  12. Avatar of Casinos Online

    Awesome. We are starting with a new blog and I think this would help us decide where to take it. I mean if we want to focus on a niche or target a broader subject.

  13. Avatar of Matt

    Magnficient insight, Nadia. If you’re starting out a website and have any inside knowledge on a particular topic that you know is unqiue then you’d be crazy not to focus on that niche and try and call on your knowledge base to help you get ahead. Respectable, authority sites on particular niches are hard to locate so when one is established, advertising dollars can be very, very lucrative!

  14. Avatar of Azam

    Running convention among the bloggers is niche blogging bot broad blogging. Bloggers think that the life of the blog is because of niche.

  15. Avatar of Louis Vuitton Designer Cases
    Louis Vuitton Designer Cases

    It’s hard to say. Every coin has two sides.But if you want to risk averse furthest,you should enter more fields.

  16. Avatar of jony371

    Actually I am also think its more positive news for the real estate market. I think it make a biggest change in real estate field. Thank you for this posting. Keep it up.

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