Almost every blogger’s advice to new bloggers includes “choose a niche.”

Other than “engage with other bloggers”, “choose a niche” is the point doled out the most. The number of bloggers saying this has actually increased in the past few years.

But why is that? There has to be a reason why this is a very popular tip. Why is having a niche so important, and is it actually that important? Today, I want to break down this advice, dig through it, and dissect it.

Considering that this topic has given me pain for most of my blogging journey, and have been slowly building my thoughts around it for all this time, I have a LOT to say.

Note: this post is for bloggers who don't want to monetize written by a blogger who didn't want to monetize at the time of writing this.

what is a “blogging niche”?

It’s basically a content category.

A blogger who talks mostly or always about books is a book blogger, or their blogging niche is "books". Similarly, there are beauty bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, college bloggers, and more. Content categories are endless.

These niches are wide enough to allow a lot of content creation and narrow enough that the target audience will be interested in everything under that umbrella.

how does having a blogging niche help?

There are many reasons for this, and all of them converge into one main reason: popularity. Here’s how:

  • You target a specific audience.

If you only blog about beauty, it is easier to capture your audience because your target is consistent and you have the time to completely get to know them. When people do visit your blog because of 1 post, they are more likely to stay and read other posts because they are also about beauty. You’re basically giving them a ton of content that they will be interested in.

Blogging in multiple niches, or without a niche, doesn’t work the same way. Some readers would be interested in your content about books, but not the rest. Other readers might like lifestyle posts and only read those. Hence, while in theory, it might seem like hitting all targets might be helpful, it is not so easy to keep people interested in all of your content.

In technical terms, customer (or reader) retention is easier with a niche.

  • It helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Domain Authority (DA).

If you stick to a niche, your blog will become a sort of database overtime with many posts in the niche and a sizeable readership who are interested in all the content you post.

Once your blog is established as a valuable source of information in the niche, your ranking is higher in search engines and your blog posts are shown first.

This helps with organically gaining readers and followers because they visit through search results (where you don’t do anything) and not through marketing (where you push your content in front of them).

open laptop on a desk with book and mug with coffee

It’s (technically) easier to grow your blog if you have a niche. This doesn’t mean that your content can be treated casually and you’ll still do better than bloggers without a niche. It means that your efforts are more likely to pay off if you stick to a niche. And I say pay off literally.

If you are monetizing your blog, it is a safer bet to have a blogging niche than go without. It will help with strategizing, keeping your readers hooked and growing your reader base. All of that, in turn, help in more product sales and more effective advertisements and sponsorships.

Obviously, because it helps monetize your blog! This is popular advice because it works.

The blogging scenario today is also very different from a few years back. There are more professional bloggers in this space, and slowly most of the blogging advice and tips posts have taken a professional turn. Terms like SEO, DA, and Google analytics are thrown around often.

The blogging space started with hobby bloggers and few professional bloggers (who earn through blogging) and it is STILL in that ratio but there is far more concentration on tips geared towards professional bloggers.

Most blogging tips posts that are popular are by professional bloggers giving advice to people who also want to monetize blogs and because of that, choosing a niche is given a LOT of importance.

The influence has made its way well into the hobby blogger space as well. Even though they don’t earn through blogging, hobby bloggers also give the same advice which is focused on monetization strategies.

This is also a numbers game, in the end. Growing a follower base is prioritized more than cultivating a readership truly interested in the content people WANT to post.

Related: What Blogging is Actually Like || 10 TRUE FACTS About Blogging

does “choose a niche” actually apply to everyone?

People start blogs for various reasons. A blog is so easy to start and used to be the first place people made their own corner of the internet. Bloggers start out of boredom, out of bursting thoughts, with simple content to share which can help people across the world, and more.

Blogging with the intention of turning it into an income source is one of the rarer reasons. Even today, the number of bloggers who start out of simple interest is way more than bloggers who are here to turn blogging into a side hustle.

Not everyone who wants to blog better does it with the intention of monetizing or quickly growing a readership. Most of the advice is related to followers, statistics, comments, etc. all of which are external forcesWhy are the actual tips, which help someone improve things under their control, rarely given?

I'll take it from here GIF

Actual helpful advice for hobby bloggers:

Blog about whatever you want!

If it is only in one content category like talking about your life or sharing recipes, do that! If you want to branch out and blog about everything that you’re interested in, do that!

You’re NOT earning from this. You’re only pouring energy and time into this. Even money, in many cases. Why should you stick to a niche and grow a following perfect for monetization if that is not your goal? Why worry about having a perfect blog brand if it doesn’t actually help?

Blog about what makes you happy and gives you satisfaction, or relief. Whatever you want from blogging, make sure you get it. Don’t hold yourself back because of popular advice.

They say to stick to a niche, but are you happy with that? Does it keep you motivated to blog, or does it make you feel restricted? The advice also says to look at SEO and marketing but does that actually help you and give what you want from your blog?

Always follow advice only after careful consideration on whether it will help YOU.*

It helped 20 bloggers out there, yes, but will it help you specifically? All of us are in different situations with different responsibilities and goals. Just because something worked for someone else does not mean it will work for you. In some cases, it’s not even meant for you.

*This applies to any kind of advice, even real life. Not just blogging.

an illustration drawing of

Talk to other bloggers personally

Almost all bloggers are incredibly kind and welcoming. The blogging community is the one place where I reach out to people without hesitation because I know that there is maybe ONE rude person out of a thousand bloggers.

The blogosphere is the one place where people are kind to newcomers and don’t worry about losing their space or hold in the area. We always have more space. This is why it is really easy to reach out to bloggers to ask questions or to ask for help. So do it!

Talking to bloggers personally lets you get to know them more and understand aspects of blogging in detail.

Bloggers don’t post about everything because there is way too much to talk about. And those who don’t post about blogging itself will barely talk about it. It doesn’t mean that they don’t have anything to say.

Also, look for posts that talk about what bloggers learnt in their time as a blogger. Those posts often have more abstract points which don’t fit into typical advice posts.

One day, I might write an advice post specifically for hobby bloggers, but the above are points I wish were told more often.

my personal opinion

I am writing this post purely out of FRUSTRATION. You have no idea how hard it was for me to stay neutral until now, but I did it because I like my discussion posts to have at least some bits of neutrality in them. It allows you to form an opinion without pushing mine on you immediately, and I think a true discussion is one where the basic facts are laid out for everyone to know.

And now, we are past that point of neutrality. So allow me to fully elaborate my thoughts on this topic.

Note: restating that when I wrote this, I was firmly NOT interested in monetization and was only a hobby blogger. I still agree with most of these points because I'm not fully monetizing, but am just open to monetization opportunities if they occur. But monetization is not my main goal and hence most of these points still stand.

*clears throat* GIF

I feel alienated.

Everywhere I see, I’m constantly being told to choose a niche. I've been seeing this for almost my entire blogging journey. Some people are kind enough to add that “in the end, it’s your choice but sticking to a niche helps grow faster”. But a lot of times, this advice is given out bluntly as if it is the universal truth.

“You want some blogging tips? Choose a niche.” “Starting a new blog? Choose a niche first.”

I can take it from professional bloggers pitching ideas to others who want to monetize. it makes sense for them. And it helps, so that’s perfectly fine.

But when I see fellow hobby bloggers give this exact piece of advice? I become angry.

Not only are you asking people to RESTRICT THEIR CONTENT even though they only blog for fun, but you’re also subtly saying that blogging without a niche is detrimental to their blogging. You don’t earn from your blog as well! And (as far as I can see), you don’t plan on it either! So WHY are you giving growth strategies as tips??

If you want to follow those tips even though they involve a TON of work and only result in more stats, which is not guaranteed, great. You do you. But do you have to push it on other people without mentioning WHY they should follow it? Without mentioning that it doesn’t actually help someone become a better blogger, it can just help more people find their blog.

animated GIF conveying frustration

Do you know how hard I work on my blog? I’m constantly writing quality posts and interacting with other blogs. I’m always thinking of new things to share. Blogging is almost a second job for me because of how much time and effort I pour into it.

And one of the things that I like about my blog is that it has something for everyone. I want anyone to come to my blog and be able to find something to enjoy. I’m not going to target a specific market to increase my follower base. I want to post what I want to post and not have external factors influence my content. And yes, followers, likes and comments are EXTERNAL FACTORS.

I started blogging because I had thoughts in my head and things to share and wanted to put them somewhere without inconveniencing my friends. I needed a place to dump those thoughts. And I know that many others started blogs for similar reasons.

Over time, I learnt more about blogging and wanted to improve my blog so that if people do come, it’s not a mess for them to see and readI wanted my blog to be enjoyable for other people the same way how it is to me.

Quickly, I noticed how I was being told to choose a niche, over and over again. In fact, I was being told that without the term “niche” even being used. I actually don’t even remember that. I realized it when I was going through my old blog posts and found somewhere I spoke freely about it.

"oh god! don't care. don't care!" gif

You’re telling me that one of the ways I can blog better is to RESTRICT MYSELF? To entirely change my content? To discard the reason I started a blog in the first place?

Do you know how discouraging it would be if some wanted to start a blog as a hobby and looked up tips only to be told to choose a niche? That being their entire authentic self would be BAD? I know that no one says it’s bad but it’s INSINUATED.

The beauty of having a blog is that it is your content first. It is your space. You do what you want here. There’s no algorithm. There is no influencer culture. It’s the same playing field.

And I don’t see how “having a niche” is a BLOGGING TIP to hobby bloggers. It’s a growth strategy. If you’re going to advise something, at least classify it right and have this tip under “how to grow your blog faster” and not “blogging tips”/”how to blog better”. I’ve even seen some people add it in posts for “how to start a blog”. CHOOSING A NICHE IS NOT A REQUIREMENT.

“Choose a niche” should not come under blogging tips.

In NO WAY does it help someone actually blog better. It just tells them how to make their blog such that it is easier to GROW and MARKET, and NOT how to improve their skills. “Choose a niche” belongs under growth strategies but it has made its way into mainstream blogging like the comment-for-comment culture.

If you search “how to blog better” anywhere, I guarantee you that you will only find advice that is geared towards growth and marketing.

If you search “how to blog better as a hobby” too, you won’t get actual advice. When I searched right now, one result was actually is hobby blogging still relevant? Well, eff you too*.

*I am trying so hard to keep my blog posts free of cursing. Please appreciate the effort that has gone into keeping this specific post free of curses.

the lord is testing me GIF

The worst part is that I’ve seen this from people I followed!* People casually say choose a niche on Twitter and Instagram as if they’re imparting great blogging wisdom and it pisses me off.

I also KNOW that these advice posts that stay "stick to a niche" discourage bloggers from branching out. I’ve personally seen book bloggers struggle with posting content other than bookish because of the “niche.” And it’s partly because everyone says to stick to a niche (unsaid: or your blog will tank).

Well, to heck with that. If your blog is not earning you money and only gives you happiness, don’t compromise anything. Don’t let your blog become a sector of yourself unless that’s your intention. Blog about whatever you want.

If you never want to stick to a niche, good for you! If you want to change your content or branch out after years of blogging, DO IT. Sure, you may have to change your brand and name but that is ALRIGHT. Unless it is for monetary gain, due to which followers and DA etc. are important, having a niche is NOT IMPORTANT.

Thanks for coming to my Ted talk**.

*whom I quickly unfollowed because I did not want that energy around me.

**side note: I’d actually love to give a Ted talk once. Maybe about blogging or bullet journaling. Or identity on the internet. But something. I really want to give a Ted talk one day because that’s one of the things that, according to me, says I’ve “made it”. That I’ve done enough of something to teach and impart wisdom. So if anyone’s looking for a Tedx speaker… hello ? I promise I’m not always raging like this.

Is Having a Blogging Niche Actually Important pinterest

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discuss with me!

Is “choose a niche” good blogging advice and does it come under blogging tips? Do you have any thoughts on hobby bloggers pushing the niche agenda? Have you struggled with your blog because of this advice?

stay wordy, Sumedha
photo of Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more ➔

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33 comments

  • Bianca says:

    Thank you! I’ve been blogging for two years and I still have a lot to learn.

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  • vcreative says:

    Good Ted talk ... Though no one tells me to choose a niche .. I've gotten maybe 3 or 4 emails telling me that readers like that I write diversely and that it makes reading fun ? if you would stick to a niche I would be heartbroken cz we would miss so many of your thoughts !! Let people tell what they want .. I wanna read all you have to offer ??

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  • alimackin2013 says:

    Ah very interesting topic and helpful information, I mainly stick to fashion but do write about other things thanks for posting 🙂

    Allie of
    http://www.allienyc.com

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  • TheQuietGirl (Anissa) says:

    I started my blog the same way as you, just a place to dump my thoughts. After I found out about the 'need' of having a niche, I tried to stick to a niche but I couldn't do it because I couldn't commit to just one thing. I call myself a personal blogger because I can't stick to one thing for my blog. I have no problem with niche bloggers but I can't be one haha, I wanna write about what I want to write about and I think it's been working for me surprisingly. Great post!

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    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      Unfortunate that you had a similar experience but I'm glad you got out of it and post all the content that you like now! Thank you!

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  • Lois @ My Midnight Musing says:

    I honestly hate the word "niche" cause it feels like I'm defined by this one interest, when I have multiple and so often those interests overlap too. I started as a book blogger, but have since been creating more TV/film content simply because, at times, I consume more content in that format. It's why I deliberately didn't specify a niche in my blog title because I wanted that flexibility to write about what I like. Blogging is a hobby. Would I like to monetize, sure, if the chance came up, but even then the whole reason I started blogging was to connect with people, not make money. Forcing myself to write about my "niche" topic is the easiest way to kill the enjoyment I get out of it. So, big thank you for this post and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you say here (I'd also listen to your Ted Talk too ?)

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    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      Agreed! "Niche" does tend to define us and put us into a box. Glad that you didn't specify a niche in your blog title from the start so it gives you the freedom to branch out.

      I'm glad you liked the post! 😀

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  • Chloe Chats says:

    I love this! I totally agree with everything you've said. It's your blog, so you can do whatever you want with it. Back when I first started blogging a good few years ago now, I worried that I had to choose a niche otherwise I wouldn't get anywhere with it and it probably made the start of my blogging journey more stressful than it had to be. I write about things I want to write about, although I do kind of have a niche with mental wellbeing, it's only because I'm super passionate about it and enjoy writing about it. However if I have something else on my mind that I fancy writing about, I don't not do it because of my 'niche.' Great discussion though!! x

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    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      Thank you! I'm glad you liked this discussion! Unfortunate that you had that worry when you started but its great that you grew out of it and post what you want to write about now 🙂

      Reply ➔
  • Ena J. says:

    Hi, Sumedha! Eleennae sent me the link to this post, and I'm glad she did! This is something I really, really needed to read today. My blog is 5 years old, and when I recently became aware of the bookish creators' community, I felt a lot of pressure to shift from a general-interest blog to a book blog to (((((fit in))))). Now I'm thankful I didn't succumb to the pressure, and I'm just as thankful that you validated Nae's and my sentiments hehe.

    I love your tip about talking to other bloggers personally; that's something I've been trying to get going in the past month over Discord. If I may add, here's another tip that helped me get through recent events: In times of blogging identity crisis, review your About page. We usually mention here why we started our respective blogs, and in my case, just as I was rewriting my About page, I was reminded of who my blogging inspiration was (Maria Popova of Brain Pickings) and why I made my blog in the first place (to gush not just about books, but also about films and games and other things). Cheers! — Ena

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      Hi Ena! I'm so glad this blog post could help you too! It's always wonderful to find a blog post to read for reassurance exactly when we need it.

      It's awesome that you're engaging with bloggers over Discord! Discord has really helped bridge the gap nowadays. I use it a lot with my friends too because of the pandemic. It's a godsend, haha.

      That's a good tip! I didn't think of that! And you're right, we generally write why we started blogging in our About pages and reading them will remind us and set us back on our track. Thanks for mentioning that!

      Reply ➔
  • eleennaeisloved says:

    Hi Sumedha! I so appreciate this post. I started my blog, Inkhaven, with the purpose of making it a safe space to practice writing about everything I want to share. When I became acquainted with bookish creators (booktwt, bookstagram, and book blogs), I felt pressured to write solely about books. But I don’t want to, and thank you for this post that validates that feeling haha. Can I invite you to visit mine as well? https://inkhavenbynae.wordpress.com/ Thank you so much!

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      Hi Eleennae! I'm so glad this post resonated with you and reassured you to write content that you love! I'll make sure to visit your blog soon ?

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  • Lisa's Notebook says:

    When I started blogging I had no clue about all kinds of things: SEO, social media, monetisation. And certainly not that I "should" have a niche. While I have huge respect for niche bloggers, I don't want to do that because I enjoy writing on all kinds of topics. My blog, my rules 🙂

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  • brijwhiz says:

    Thank you - I needed that. This niche business has stopped me working on my blog and been an obstacle to start a podcast or vlog or anything else. I should really think the way you do and just get some stuff out that i would like 🙂

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      I'm glad I could help! All of us, especially us making content as a hobby/passion, need this reminded from time to time. Hope you do what you like!

      Reply ➔