Do I need a niche to start a blog? This seems to be one of the most common questions posed by ‘would be’ bloggers and if you had asked me when I first started my blog, my answer would be completely different to the answer I would give now, and here’s why.
It seems that most people who start a blog these days are hoping that they will be able to earn an income of some sort from their blog – and that’s great. There are a lot of successful bloggers out there and there is no reason why you can’t be one too.
However, I truly believe that to be a successful blogger, you have to be passionate about the content you are writing. I also believe that as you travel through your blogging journey – and it is a journey, a journey of discovery – that your focus may twist and turn and, in some cases, completely change direction.
My own experience has been just like that. When I started this blog, I really wanted my ‘niche’ to be travel. I loved travelling, I liked finding great deals and planning my own travel rather than going on package holidays – but there was one problem! Financially and logistically, I couldn’t be off travelling all the time, so what on earth would I find to write about. The other area that I was interested in was finding ways of saving money and these were also the types of blogs that I enjoyed reading. So, I thought I would write about saving money AND travel. Now this meant I would be covering two ‘niches’ and I became unsure of whether this was the right thing to do. I did it anyway!
Then only a few months down the line I began to have serious doubts about what I was doing. There were now other areas that I felt I wanted to write about and share and these fell into other niches. I had been managing to post on my blog twice a week since starting, but all of a sudden I felt I had hit a crossroads and wasn’t sure which path to take and my blogging journey briefly paused.
It took a couple of weeks of soul searching before I realised what the most important thing was for my blog. My blog would only be successful, both from a personal perspective and from a follower perspective, if I was passionate about what I wrote. It didn’t matter what I wrote about but it had to come from the heart, whether that was how to save money or a favourite place to travel. It also meant that if I applied this to the ‘niches’ I wanted to blog about, I could cover whatever I wanted. I sat and listed everything I really wanted to write about and these fell into 8 distinct areas:
Travelling on a budget
As you can see, the two original areas are still there. Making money made its way onto the list as I was really keen to explore ways to increase my income and wanted to share my finding with my readers. Food and family were added as I love to cook and I do everything with my family. Organisation appeared because I love to be organised and knew I had some tips to share that would help others. Blogging and social media have become things that I am extremely passionate about learning more of and, through the act of learning all I can about them, I want to be able to share this knowledge with others.
Will this be all?
Who knows! To me blogging is a journey of discovery. Through blogging I am discovering things about myself that I either took for granted or didn’t know existed and I am sure there is more to come.
Am I gaining followers?
Yes! To me, at this stage of my blogging journey, that is by far the most important aspect. I write to share with others, otherwise what is the point?
I love every spare minute I get to spend on my blog, whether that is researching and writing my next blog post, posting on social media, fiddling with my widgets or learning about something new.
What would my advice be to anyone who wants to start a blog and doesn’t know what their niche is?
JUST GO FOR IT. I believe if you are passionate about what you are writing then people will enjoy reading it.
If you take a look at some successful bloggers, their blog name doesn’t always match their niche. My theory is that they may have gone on a similar journey to myself – they thought they were going to start a blog with a focus on one thing, but ended up diversifying into all the areas of their lives that they were passionate about, as well as new found passions.
I would love to hear from other bloggers: Do you have one ‘niche’ or a number of ‘niches’? Has your focus changed since you started your blog? What advice would you give to someone who is struggling to find their niche?