I’ve been blogging for almost two years now (WHAT?!) and at first I was convinced I didn’t need a blogging niche. With a name like And Possibly Dinosaurs, I figured I could get away with the “kitchen sink” idea and blog about a ton of different stuff: DIY, movies, books, hockey, travel, animals, and just life in general.
And my blog was fine. It wasn’t great, but I was enjoying it. For a while.
When I wanted to take my blog to the next level, though, I really had to re-evaluate this idea. I couldn’t get away with a niche-less blog forever if I wanted to keep growing.
After all, this isn’t Xanga.
I obviously hadn’t put it on my list when I first started, because I didn’t really know much about it. I was just getting started and was the one taking in the advice, not the one giving it out.
So I slowly started adding blogging tips into my editorial calendar.
But there are so many blogs out there with blogging advice. I knew I didn’t want to write exclusively about it, and I wanted to make And Possibly Dinosaurs unique. But how?
One of my favorite recurring features is Feminist Friday. Feminism is a big part of who I am, so I wanted to continue to write about it. And I wanted to keep my personality in it, so I kept Lifestyle.
Once I knew what I wanted to write about, I had to figure out my target market. When combining blogging and feminism, I realized the perfect audience: women who want to take control of their own lives and support themselves through blogging.
It’s completely different from my original blogging niche (or lack thereof), not because the topics are different, but because it’s incredibly specific. I’m writing to a specific set of people, rather than just writing about whatever strikes my fancy.
It made me nervous at first, because I wasn’t sure I would be able to come up with enough post ideas in two or three categories.
But here’s the thing: I actually had more ideas. Narrowing my topics down really got the creative juices flowing, and it’s never been easier to come up with blog post ideas.
Sure, I still get writer’s block from time to time, but not nearly as often as before.
So, why is it so important to have a blogging niche?
There are two main reasons.
1. You know who your audience is, so you can really write to them.
It gives you a big focus so you know who they are, what they need, and why they need it.
2. You’re more likely to keep your audience sticking around because you’ve got so much helpful information for them.
If I go to a blog and read a post I love about graphic design, but then I click around and find out that the rest of the posts are about the author’s pet cat, am I likely to stick around? No. But if I find other posts about graphic design and other topics that interest me, hell yeah I’m going to stick around.
It’s a tough transition to make at first. Trust me. Taking hockey out of my blogging focus was one of the most painful experiences I’ve had with my blog. #truth #isitoctoberyet?
But I promise you it’s worth it. Not only does it make blogging easier, it also makes it more fun, because you’re only blogging about things you love!
What’s your blogging niche? Let me know in the comments!