Do you know your own mind?
I’m sure your immediate answer is, “Of course, I do.”
Well, that’s great. Then, maybe your blog has a niche.
Excellent. With 164 million blogs out there*, your blog has got to be standout strong, so strong that it will not only standout from the crowd, but warrant your readers to send their readers to you.
According to recent statistics, 77% of Internet users read blogs. This post will ensure they are reading your blog.
That all starts with finding and maintaining a niche.
Here is a test to see if you need a niche:
ramblings, musings, observations
If any of these words are in your blog name or tag line, I’m sorry, but odds are you didn’t pass.
According to MarianLibrarian.com, Musings is not a niche. Furthermore, defining your blog as musings, or any synonym that denotes a thinker, is amateurish.
People can “muse” over focused content. However, if their focused musings turn into random ramblings, they may need to read the tips in this post.
Why You Need a Niche
1. Visitors will stay longer on your blog. Naturally, this could lead to you getting comments, reblogs, your posts getting shared, return visitors, and permanent visitors in the form of followers.
People are attracted to your blog initially because the content interests them. If you bounce from content to content, these initial visitors will bounce to another blog.
2. Your traffic will increase.
According to BlogTyrant.com, if you are suffering from low page views, the cause could be erratic content that doesn’t go together.
Page views are the amount of pages each visitor checks out while they are on your site. If they are low, it can be a sign that your traffic isn’t suited to your other content.
I saw it in my own statistics. In November, before I found my blogging niche, my visitor count was low. My content was so diverse, my blog was called “bipolar” by a friend. Imagine what my acquaintances were thinking!
Attempting to help me, someone asked me if I knew what my blog was about. I honestly didn’t.
In January, just two months later, when I found my niche, my visitor count tripled. Since then, it has more than quadrupled.
3. According to InspiredBloggersNetwork.com, it technically isn’t even a blog without a niche. The author says the definition of niche in the blogging world is “a group of post topics that are related to one another”. In other words, a niche is a theme.
The blog admin. compares a blog to a tree, and calls the niche the roots or the foundation.
How to Find a Niche
Blogs have two purposes to inform and/or to entertain. Sadly, I am not the Jerry Seinfeld of my day. (I am dating myself. Do my younger readers know who Jerry Seinfeld is? Good thing I did not mention Lucille Ball.) You will not find humor instruction here.
Your blog has to have a purpose. Assuming you are also not a Jerry Seinfeld or a Lucille Ball (Sarah Silverman?), you need to inform your readers.
In order to find your niche, you need to ask yourself three questions:
1. What do I know about?
The tree infographic above says your niche needs subpoints which will become the post topics. Shoot for eight subheads, so you don’t run out of ideas in the future.
Two of my niche’s subpoints are traffic tips and time-management tips, for example. You might take note that these, and my other blog posts, try to solve problems for my readers.
According to thetakeactionwahm.com, some of the most profitable blogs try to solve problems for their readers. Apparently, there are problems bloggers can attempt to solve in any niche.
Don’t feel like you have to have all the answers today. Since I am interested in offering blogging advice, I spend a lot of time reading about it. (See the Sources section at the bottom of this post.)
2. What am I passionately interested in?
Only if you find the topic interesting can you make it interesting enough for others. Also, if you write about a topic that interests you, you won’t get bored and quit.
3. Is that topic popular?
It’s impressive if you know about obscure topics but not if you want traffic to your blog.
Knowing your theme and knowing your audience work together. You can’t inform your audience if you don’t know who that audience is.
Here are ways to come up with a popular theme:
1. Brainstorm topics you might be knowledgeable about. It can be anything at all. Many bloggers blog about TV shows they like, movies, music, crafts, recipes, the news, the possibilities are endless.
2. If you still can’t think of any ideas, go to Pinterest.com. This link will take you to the Popular categories of Pinterest pins. These topics are currently trending. Popular topics are currently listed from family photos to fashion and many other ideas as well.
3. If you want to look further for theme ideas, ask WordPress.
Go to WordPress/tags. WordPress only lists the most popular tags, and the list is kept up-to-date. As of this writing, travel, news, and music seemed the most popular.
4. Are you still stuck for a blog theme? Then, ask your readers. What questions have they asked you in the comments section of your blog posts? That is what your community is interested in knowing about. (I am actually writing this post at the request of a new follower.)
Once you have your list of possible blog themes, go to Buzzsumo.com.
Once you have brainstormed a list of topics that you might be knowledgeable about and are interested in, enter the topic where it asks you.
I searched the popularity of blogging since that is my niche. Looking at the screen shot, I drew a conclusion that my topic is popular. I used the search filter “last six months.” The most popular blogging articles that came up were shared often on all the social media.
How to Maintain Your Niche
Once you find your niche, it is important to keep it focused. You don’t have to write on the same topics all the time, but there should be an umbrella theme.
Once you have found your theme, there is an easy way not to run out of ideas. Make friends with other bloggers in your niche. Read their blogs. Is it okay to steal their ideas? Absolutely! Just make them your own, and don’t plagiarize.
By looking at the Sources section, you can see that I have taken the ideas from six bloggers and combined them to make them my own. Notice that I gave them credit since I used their ideas.
There are many ways to find like-minded bloggers.
Search your theme’s name + best blogs. Type best (your blogging theme) websites.
In the search bar, type your theme’s name. Look for groups to come up. Join them.
Use hashtags to search for like-minded bloggers that are promoting their links on Twitter.
4. LinkedIn has communities full of like-minded bloggers. The Blog Zone has bloggers of many niches.
5. Read the comments of the other blogs in your niche that you follow. If other bloggers’ readers are curious about your topics, you might want to follow their readers’ blogs as well.
6. My post 7 Tips I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging has lists of many groups that enable you to find like-minded bloggers.
In closing, the tips in these posts, compiled from articles from the blogs below, are good tips for everyone to remember, not just bloggers without a niche.
I wrote this post at a follower’s request. If you think other bloggers could benefit from this information about having a blog niche, please share.
Readers, what do you think? Is it necessary to have a niche? If there are successful bloggers without one, are they the exception as opposed to the rule? I look forward to your views.