I’ve spoken a couple times about my blog and not having a niche, but it’s mostly been just mentioning it and not in detail. I haven’t explicitly spoken on what it means to not have a blog niche and everything that comes with it.
Firstly, what does “niche” even mean?
For any of you who are confused, a niche basically means a category. When I searched for the meaning of niche, here were some results which relate to what I’m talking about:
- (as a noun) a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.
- (as an adjective) denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.
In blogging, niche refers to the topic you blog on. For example: books, bullet journals, music, lifestyle, beauty, studying, gardening etc. When a blog has a niche, it means most of the posts are on one of these topics. Depending on that, the blogs are called book blogs, study blogs, lifestyle blogs, beauty blogs and so on.
What does it mean to NOT have a niche?
In simple words, the blogger talks about anything and everything. Taking myself (and this blog) as an example, you can see the range of topics which make up this blog under categories on the footer. Not having a niche means not limiting yourself to one topic.
My blog does not have a niche, and I have a love-hate relationship with this decision. Even after blogging for over a year and a half, I still regularly question myself on whether I should have a niche or not.
The main reason I’m writing this blog post is to help you make an informed decision when you make a blog. This is especially for those bloggers who are also unsure of what to do regarding whether to have a niche or not. I haven’t seen many articles speaking about blog niches, and I thought I’d add one! I find explaining this a little tough (probably why I put off writing on this until now), so bear with me.
Note: I’m talking only based on personal experiences and observations, and I don’t consider myself to be an expert on the subject.
PRO: You can write about anything.
Not having to worry about sticking to the blog’s niche of books/beauty/etc is very liberating. You don’t have to worry about losing readers because your blog isn’t “expected” to be around one (or two, max) certain topics.
Now, I know that many consider “lifestyle” as a category if a blog doesn’t fit into the other categories. As far as blog niches/tags go, lifestyle is applicable to many blogs that don’t talk explicitly about something which would be targeted to a certain audience (beauty, music, technology etc). If the bloggers talk about day-to-day things, they could be called lifestyle bloggers, since they mostly write on lifestyle.
BUT, sometimes we can’t classify a blog as lifestyle. Here’s an instance for example. So-and-so blog consists posts on daily routines, productivity, home decor, summer things etc. This could be called a lifestyle blog. A few posts here and there about books wouldn’t make it a book blog. Unless there’s a significant amount of posts on books, which would make the blogger (and readers) confused on whether it is a book blog or a lifestyle blog. Add more posts from other topics, and you’re a confused mess if you want to categorise the blog.
Which is why having NO niche helps, as you have the freedom to post on anything to your desire without worrying about brand.
CON: You don’t fit into a category.
That’s the whole point, but it also has it’s negatives. The dilemma I spoke about above will be problem when you WANT to categorize your blog. You can call it a “lifestyle blog” or a “book blog” or a “study blog”. It’s all of them. The only way you can categorize is by sorting your POSTS into sections in your blog (as I’ve done).
The want to categorise comes when talking about your blog on social media or while marketing. You can’t use specific hashtags for the whole blog as it is much more than just that hashtag.
I had an Instagram account and I posted pictures of both books and bullet journals. Hence, I couldn’t classify it as a bookstagram or a bullet journal account. Most people look for only one of those and I found it really hard to grow my account, and the new algorithm made it worse. In the end, I deleted it as I didn’t have enough time to spend on growing it along with my blog. But I found it difficult, just as it is with my blog. Especially when someone asks what I blog about. I can only reply “a lot of things” or “everything” but it’s too vague to hook them in.
Speaking of audiences..
PRO: You attract a large audience with the varied topics
If you blog on several topics, readers who are interested in any one of those topics are drawn to your blog through those posts. Several topics means you are targeting a wide range of readers. This can help in growing your blog fast, if you market well.
If you blog about lifestyle and studying (suppose), it’s like doubling the readers whose attention you can catch since you’re talking on TWO topics of interest.
But, like all things, this also poses a problem.
CON: Your audience might not be interested in everything you blog about
Blogs with niches work well because they’re always blogging on the topic which gathered their readers’ attention in the first place. Every post is of interest.
When blogging about different things, there is always the factor that some of your readers might not like some of the content you’re putting up.
My posts on different categories attract different people. Some people read only the bookish posts and others read only life or discussion posts. I can clearly see the increase in engagement on a general post than specific posts. Many readers are open to read about new things and branch out, but not everyone. This could be an obstacle.
PRO: It’s easier to come up with blog posts
It’s rarer to go through blogging slumps because you can blog about anything. If you aren’t in a mood to talk about beauty or lifestyle routines, you can easily switch up and post about a new hobby of yours without worrying about deviating from your niche. The possibilities are endless.
It’s also easier to get ideas for new blog posts since everything is an inspiration. A new product on the market, sunday strolls or window shopping; a little bit of history that fascinated you or new music that you love. Everything is something to blog about.
PRO: You can switch things up and keep your posts interesting
Blogging slumps are very real. Especially when you’re blogging only about one topic. Talking from personal experience, blogging slumps are rarer when you can blog on whatever holds your attention that day/week. To avoid slumps, and also keep your readers interested with new content, you can shuffle topics often.
Again, making an example of my blogging, I don’t blog book reviews continuously (usually), and I also don’t publish discussion posts all at once. I alternate or add other posts in between. It’s fun! I’m someone who tends to get bored doing the same thing for a prolonged period of time (yes, I worry for my career) so talking about different topics and changing focus is good.
CON: It’s difficult to manage all topics
If you blog on a wide range of topics, inevitably, you would miss on talking about at least one topic for a certain amount of time.
For example, I don’t talk on blogging or advice/info for bloggers (such as this post) often. This is because I fill up most of the month with regular posts such as wrap-ups, book reviews, bullet journal posts, weekly memes etc. I am only left with a few slots for general discussion posts and others. And I DO worry about this. I know that my blogging-related posts are much loved and I don’t want to neglect on posting them.
It is a challenge to revisit topics and also not overwhelm the reader with posts.
It’s a very liberating, and also frustrating, situation to not have a blog niche. I don’t think I’ve even spoken about everything that could be said. There are always tiny things that wouldn’t come to mind when trying to think of points.
I struggle with the decision to limit the blog to a niche every so often, especially when the stats are low. But, in the end, I don’t because I love the freedom of blogging on everything. This blog is literally ALL of me.
If you are debating on whether to have a niche or not, I do suggest you think on these points that I’ve mentioned carefully. These are be the major pluses and minuses I’ve had. I hope this post laying down most of it in one place helps.
Do you blog with a niche or without? Do you ever wish it was the other way round? Are there any pros/cons that you think I missed out on? What is YOUR opinion on blog niches? Which, according to you, is better—having a niche or not having one? Views and opinions change person-to-person, and I would LOVE to know what you think.