Why a blog should always be niche focused

So you want to create a (new) blog? Congratulations! This is a very good idea!
Before your blog goes live you have to be sure about something really important things: what you will talk about and how you’ll do it so you’ll not end up with an abandonned blog one year after launching your new project. In fact, choosing a niche and stay sticked to it is one of the essential keys for success in blogging.

Why your blog should stick to a single topic

[tweet]You probably know it; there are millions of blogs all over the internet and everyday countless new blogs are created. After one year, less than 1% of all those new blogs are still maintained.

Reaching success in blogging isn’t easy, especially if you never blogged before and don’t know how social media and blogging works. The biggest mistake in blogging, which cause failure to many blogs is definitely blogs which aren’t focused to a particular niche.

Let’s take an easy example : John works at a library, so he knows a lot about books. He also like heavy metal music and would like to share his passion for this music with others. John decides to create his blog and start by publishing 5 books reviews.
In another place, an old woman who recently bought a computer find John’s blog. She really enjoyed his books reviews, so she grabbed the RSS feed and add it to her google reader. (Yeah, I know, she’s a modern grandma…)

The next day, John decide to publish a review of his favorite metal band. A couple of minutes later, the grandma sees a new item on her RSS reader and reads it, believing it was a new book review like those she enjoyed.

I guess you imagine how surprised the grandma should be. She wanted to see books reviews like she was used to, and ended up reading a metal album review. You guessed it, she unsubscribed from the feed and John lost his most loyal reader.

As shown in the example, John’s posts were good, but he lost readers because his blog was talking about too many different subjects.

But what I like different things?

In life, this is in my opinion a good thing to be interested by many different things. To tell you a bit about myself, of course I love blogging, web development and WordPress, but I also love music, guitars, politics, animals and many others.

Imagine just a second that I start to publish articles showing how to play the guitar and playing with your dog on WpRecipes. Those article might be great, but people visit WpRecipes to read about WordPress hacks, not something else.

This is why you should stick to your niche. One of the biggest mistake I’ve done when I started Cats Who Code was to blog about web development, Linux, and blogging tips on the same blog. Since I created this blog and began to remove “blogging tips” articles from Cats Who Code, I got more RSS subscribers than before.

Tips to get a great niche idea

The first tip I’d give is obviously to follow your interest. If you’re a soccer fan, a soccer blog makes sense. But instead of creating another soccer blog, you should find something more specific, as such as transferts or goal videos.

No idea? Visit Dmoz.com. Despite its horrible 90’s looking design, this site is one of the largest directories on the internet, and there’s no doubt that you may find some great niche ideas on there.

Another way to find a great niche is to start with something you love and then move forward to a smaller and more specific niche. For example, let’s start with “Internet”: web development, PHP language, PHP framework…The PHP Symfony framework. In fact, there’s no (or maybe one or two) blogs about the very cool Symfony framework for the PHP programming language.
If you know your subject (of course!) you should definitely focus on a smaller and unexploited niche.

Published on January 25th, 2010 by Jean-Baptiste Jung

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