The Pros and Cons of Having a Blog Niche

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There has a lot of conversation in the blogosphere lately about whether or not bloggers should stick to a singular, focused niche, or cover a wide range of topics, in order to achieve ‘success’ as a blogger.

 

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First of all, what is a blog niche?

If you have been following me since the beginning (hi mum), you will have noticed that Urbanity has changed drastically over the past four years. When I started out, I just wanted to be a blogger, so I wrote about everything under the sun that vaguely related to my life, including mental health, food, beauty, style, as well as any blogger event I could get my hands on an invite to. As my writing, social media skills and photography, improved, I narrowed my blog posts down to simply fashion, and then in the past year, ethical and sustainable fashion; this is my niche and is now what I define my ‘brand’ as.

Here are some examples of the most popular blog niches that most sites you visit or Instagram accounts you follow will define themselves as:

– Fashion
– Beauty
– Travel
– Food
– Lifestyle
– Parenting

But there are also dozens more really niche categories within these umbrellas, including:

– Street style or celebrity style
– Cruelty-free and organic beauty
– Travelling on a tight budget
– Vegan or gluten-free food
– Zero waste lifestyle
– Parenting while running a business

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There are lots of different pros and cons of having a specific, niche blog vs. a more wide umbrella of topics covered, whether on a blog or an Instagram feed with a theme. These can vary hugely from person to person, but in general, they can be summarised as follows:

Pros

-You can become an expert in your field; people in your niche or industry will come to you as a source of knowledge, and you can become a thought leader and niche influencer.

-The blogosphere is extremely saturated, and lots of bloggers write about exactly the same things. To stand out, it is a good idea to create a unique niche.

-Having a niche for your blog helps to foster a sense of community, as you engage with a smaller and often more enthusiastic group of similar bloggers.

-You can successfully pitch yourself to brands that closely align with your own interests and ethics, proving that your audience is truly engaged with the exact type of product or service that the company is trying to promote and sell.

Cons

-A more generic, ‘lifestyle’ category means that you can blog about anything that takes your fancy; whatever is happening in your life or the world in general. People are multi-faceted with lots of different interests and ideas and, that can be reflected in your blog.

-If your blog is too niche, it may limit your ideas for posts, and you might get writer’s block more often because you feel you’ve already ‘covered it all’.

-You may create a blog niche, and related URL and social media handles, centered around your passion in life or main hobby, but if you change your mind or your circumstances change, you might have to totally rebrand later on, which is a lot of hassle.

-You might alienate yourself from brand collaborations if you refuse to share content about anything other than your niche.

My personal opinion is that as a blogger, you are your brand. In essence, this means that if you have a really good grasp of the written word, you put your authentic personality across in your content, and you are confident in what you do, it doesn’t really matter what you write about! Are you blogging about the latest makeup products to bump your blog up in the Google search results and Twitter trending topics, but what you really love is DIY and interiors and you are currently decorating your home? Its ok to switch your niche, because your audience follows you for your voice, which you will bring with you wherever you go.

I think it is also important to take a second to reflect upon your choices in your content creation; are you simply following blogging trends, chasing the ‘numbers game’ and trying to emulate the Insta-famous, or are you being truly honest about what you are passionate about? This is why a blog niche works for me; because ethical fashion is my main interest in my career and my personal life; so it is something I am naturally curious about, thus posting about it comes naturally and doesn’t feel tiresome, or ‘icky’ (trying to chase followers, freebies, events, money, without much thought for ethics) like lifestyle blogging did.

 

Finally, I have some recommended reading on this subject, if you are a newbie or aspiring blogger, or maybe you are feeling a bit stuck on your blogging journey and want to make some changes to get your mojo back (I’ve been there!). Start off with ‘Finding Your Blogging Voice Amongst the Noise‘ by The Monday Project over on Blog & Beyond, then read ‘Is it okay not to have a blog niche?’ by Helene In Between. If you need help choosing a niche to start with, visit Melyssa Griffin;’s guide on ‘How to Choose Your Blog’s Focus‘, and if you still can’t decide, try XO Sarah’s post on ‘What to do when you want to blog about two different things‘.

These photos are by the fab photographer Ellie Morag, which she took while we were sipping coffee at Lovecrumbs, for her ‘Creative Conversations’ project. You can read her interview with me about being creative in the modern world here:

elliemorag.com/creative-conversations-ruth

I am wearing my Squint embroidered logo t-shirt with black jeans, a denim shirt, earrings by Stefanie Cheong, and my white Po-Zu trainers.

Have a great week!