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5 Reasons to Start a Niche Blog, and 3 Niches to Consider

When the opportunity came up for us to do a series on niche blogging here on ProBlogger, I jumped at the chance.

Blogging isn’t what it was. I mentioned recently how blogging has changed so much that these days we may not even realise we’re looking at a blog as we use the web.

Picking the winner

Image courtesy stock.xchng user Rbut

This weekend’s little series of posts are a testament to that kind of variety. But niche blogging is also a topic that’s important to me. My main blog, dPS, is a niche blog that started as a personal passion of mine. There are a few things I love about niche blogging, and that’s at the top of the list.

1. Niche blogging lets you indulge a passion

It’s true that if you blog about something that you have a passion for, you’ll probably find it easier to write posts and establish your authority within that space.

But for me, the greatest advantage of niche blogging is that it’s allowed me to really indulge myself in an interest that captivates me: photography. Talking, reading, and posting about something I love—and which really intrigues me—is a great way to spend my work day.

2. It’s easier to create emotional engagement with a niche blog

I honestly believe this is true—and I’ve got a long list of now-defunct blogs to back me up!

If you blog on a topic you genuinely care about, that will come through in your posts. Your readers will be able to see instantly that you know where they’re at, and that’s the fastest way I know to lay the foundations of a strong emotional connection. Over time, you can build upon that connection to create loyalty, and hopefully give readers good reasons to subscribe or buy what you offer.

3. Niche blogging “feels” more creative

This is just my opinion, but I find it easier to be more creative when I think about personal-interest or “hobby” topics than when I’m blogging about business topics.

I think this might have something to do with our natural affinity for the hobby topics we choose to blog about. That passion is innate for most of us—I know my interest for photography is—and so a lot of the creative spark comes from an unconscious place. Often, it feels like it just happens—and I think they’re the moments of true blogging inspiration.

4. Niche blogging can seem more manageable

Cutting down your blog to concentrate on your chosen niche can help you focus your attention and efforts. It can make the often daunting task of blogging seem more manageable, because that focus can help you make decisions and prioritise the things you need to do.

Niche blogging can also help you to home right in on an audience, which, again, can reduce the burden bloggers often feel. If you run a niche blog serving a tightly defined audience, you know you don’t need to meet everyone’s needs. The tighter your audience definition, the more clearly you may be able to picture your readership—which can only help you to create content, as well as products and services, that those readers want.

5. Niche blogging is fun

This is true for all the reasons I’ve already mentioned, but also because your niche blog will allow you to connect deeply with readers who can relate to your passion, who understand your interest in the topic, and who can expand your knowledge, networks, and experience within the niche.

Niche blogging lets you dedicate yourself, your time, and your energies to something that really matters to you—and to help others while you’re doing it. What could be more fun than that?

Carving out three niches

If you think that this all sounds very fun and altruistic, don’t forget that many niche blogs are strong money-makers.

This weekend, we’ll take a tour of three specific blogging niches in which you can make money. And none of them is the “make money blogging” niche. We won’t cover online marketing or business blogs either.

What we’re looking at in these posts are genuine, personal-interest niches that attract strong audiences who have a deep passion for their topics and are willing to spend money on them. Those three niches are:

While our intention with these posts is to profile each of the niches, and provide a bit of market-specific information for those who might be thinking of targeting them, the posts also shed light on key blogging tactics that any blogger can use—no matter which niche you’ve chosen for yourself.

This series is a little different from our multi-topic blog weekend project. You could say that it sits at the other end of the spectrum, since this weekend’s posts focus on picking a specific niche, rather than combining many topics into a single blog. While the latter approach might be more complex, I think that both single-topic and multi-topic blogs can be used to target a given audience niche.

One of the great things about blogging is that it allows us to connect with people who share our interests from all over the world. And as this weekend’s project shows, no matter how particular you feel your interests are, through blogging, you’re sure to find others who share those interests. Moreover, you might be able to make some money at the same time.

I hope you’ll enjoy this weekend’s series. First up, though, I’d love to hear in the comments which niche you blog in (or if you’re a multi-topic blogger)—I’m hopeful that we’ll see an interesting cross-section of topics. To get us started, I blog in the amateur photography niche. What about you?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Myrko Thum says:

    I just started the personal development blog and consider a personal finance blog now. I think weight loss can be tough since it tends to be put into the spammy category. If done right, maybe it makes a difference.

  2. I’ve been a general lifestyle “Vanity” blogger for the past 5 years but in the last year I decided to apply more focus to content around fashion and beauty, predominantly Plus Size Fashion.

    I still discuss life like I used to but since I refocused I’ve found that writing and producing content has become even easier. My stats have doubled, as have my followers. I’ve also found that the posts touching on weightloss, active wear and general fitness attract a lot of hits.

    I’m mindful to showcase a broad range of posts covering all facets of a fashionable plus size woman’s life… it seems to be working for the blog, my readers and most importantly, for me.

  3. John says:

    I think the best thing when it comes to niche blogging is to be at the forefront of a new technology or game or social movement.

    For example all those people that started blogging about the iPhone in 2007 and about mobile gaming had the interest as their oyster.

    People who started blogging about World of Warcraft back in 2004 again were able to build the community with the upswing from the popularity of the product.

    Now, I’m not saying that everyone who started blogs about these topics succeeded, just like with anything you have to be good at it, know what you’re talking about, and work extremely hard to get the respect and following.

    However, I do think it’s easier to jump in when something new hits the water and see if you can pull it out.

    I honestly don’t know that you can simply say weight loss, pets and video games are good topics to consider these days. Sure there’s a huge amount of money there, and a lot of interest, but they are also fairly saturated with people already talking about them.

    Currently I just blog about my own personal photography and try to inspire people to get out and shoot themselves. I’ve been keeping ideas in the back of my head for possible niche topics, but have yet to really find anything that both interests me as a person/blogger and potentially could be monetizable down the road.

    • Alan says:

      try to inspire people to get out and shoot themselves….

      Flipp’in eck John, that’s what I call niche ;)

  4. Kathy Kitts says:

    Just wanted to say I totally agree with you. I’ve never blogged before (I know, oh no) but am starting a blog on my passion: alternative & cutting edge education & stimulation for babies & Pre-schoolers. I don’t find many compadres at networking events so I’m forming an industry-specific association. Love helping anyone know more about how to grow & develop the brain (easier learning, better memory for starters) but focusing on the youngest populations 1st, then I’ll expand over time, most likely with a sepate blog for each sub-topic. Would you agree with this approach, or do you think it’ll be too hard to manage ? Thanks!

    • Kaumini says:

      i think it will be too hard to manage. select one topic find information regarding that topic. then try to add something valuable for readers trough ur blog

  5. Eric says:

    I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of these articles! I’ve had a video game blog for a while but just recently decided to put a lot of focus into it. I can definitely use all the help I can get.

  6. I’m in the fiction writing niche (the craft, book reviews with a writer’s slant, along with writer’s life stuff), with music reviews on the weekends.

  7. Currently I’m blogging in the personal productivity niche, particularly focusing on how you can use technology (gadgets, apps, hardware and software) to improve your life. It seems sometimes that there are a bunch of other niches that I’d like to be blogging about (photography, astronomy, fitness/bodybuilding, blog and site setup and configuration) but it’s hard to find the time with a full time job and a small business to do it. I’ll be watching for these articles and reading them intently when they come. You have some great stuff Darren, keep it up.

    -Christopher

  8. These niches are less crowded and looks more attractive. But I am still with one opinion “Choose the niche in which you are best” and let the visitors to be your fan.

    And I think niche blogs will perform better in recent future.

    Darren, What will be the role of Google Panda and Penguin in future. I have seen a lot of people are becoming crazy. They started massive link building and email marketing (Spams)

  9. Surminga says:

    I totally agree with
    “2. It’s easier to create emotional engagement with a niche blog”.
    The main reason why people opt to do a niche blog is down to the fact that they care or have a real indulgence into the chosen topic.
    For example with Darren, he chose to do DPS as he is into photography and so on – the same reason why I have started a holiday and travel site based around holiday ideas and sharing holiday tips

  10. Jon says:

    I totally agree with you, I run a blog where folk send in photo’s of their guitars and amps for the whole wide web to see and it doesn’t ever feel like it’s a chore. I played in bands all my life but, when I found that I wasn’t able to commit the required time anymore as ‘real life’ took over I found that blogging about guitars still made me feel creative and connected. It started off as a Tumblr blog but over the summer I’ve set it up using WordPress to give me more control. A lot of hard work was involved but it’s never been anything but fun.

  11. I blog in the pet space and have two separate ones I post to daily. Myjoyofliving.com is about a variety of pet-related topics like pet nutrition, pet adoption and pet wellness. The other is about a month old and is a digital magazine format. It’s focus is cats, and the name is FullyFeline.com.

    The Joy of Living blog has been live for a couple of years and I’m enjoying both blogs more all the time as I learn how to write content the audience wants to read.

    There is an annual conference for pet bloggers called BlogPaws that draws several hundred attendees. The BlogPaws community is very active year round, providing lots of great information for those in the pet blogging space.

  12. Marcy says:

    I started blogging about doing things out of my comfort zone, but I now seem to blog about anything, sometimes something cool I did, a book I read, a recipe, writing my memoirs. I wonder a lot about whether I should be more focused on a certain niche or not.

  13. I write about dogs, but when I first started, I also blogged in the amateur photography niche.

    We adopted litter mate puppies. When we were doing the research we found very little information on adopting litter mate puppies. Actually, there was tons of DONT DO IT posts, but none that shared how you could do it successful. As I started doing more research on my new niche, I found my voice and started Keep the Tail Wagging.

    Whenever someone asks me about starting a blog, I encourage them to choose a niche that ingnites their passion – I have a blast every day. Do their research. Research keywords, research the competition, and if they can come up with 20 or more articles on their niche (Keep the Tail Wagging was launched with 2 months of material) then they’ll have a great chance of keeping it going.

    Looking forward to the other niche articles!

    Kimberly

  14. I blog about museums. Your article is about niche blogging. Niche means a “a specialized but profitable corner of the market.”*

    Your examples, weight loss, pets, and video games don’t appear that specialized to me. I did a search on all three, and I found many examples.

    I did some research and I found nearly zero sites that have museum reviews. As my blog grows, will I have more hits as a result of being so specialized? We’ll see.

    I want to know what you think, Darren.

    Thanks!

    *New Oxford American Dictionary

  15. Ehsan Ullah says:

    I also love to start a niche blog and that is what I’m already doing, but some people starting a niche blog and are choosing a niche in which they don’t have a passion and aren’t interested in.

    For example, recently I’ve seen one of my friend started a blog on iPhone, but the funny thing in that he don’t have any iPhone with himself :D He started it because he knew that iPhone is popular topic and can make him good money.

  16. Saif says:

    Hey,

    You have explained awesome reasons to start a niche blog, I have been working on Internet Marketing from last 5 years and have never read these kinds of reasons to start a niche blog. I guess we need to start work on our niche blogs and then affiliate marketing so that we can earn a handsome amount.

    Thank you

    Saif

  17. It is sometimes depressing in the niche field because you think the only blogs that make sustainable amounts of money, a livable wage, are the meta ones – the blogs that say “I’ll teach you how to make money by blogging,” personal finance blogs, or something like that.

    This is just in time! I can’t wait!

  18. Aaron says:

    Thanks for the post Darren. Have always wanted to start a really specific niche blog – but am struggling to find one that isn’t already saturated with other bloggers + still holds my interest (that I could write endlessly about). We’ll keep at er. :)

  19. Anabelle says:

    There is a lot of value in niche blogging… as long as it’s not overly obvious that you’re in it for the money.

    I think that blogging should be done for itself first, and then maybe money if it suits the blog and if you have the readership to justify it. And I know bloggers who DO have the readership and refuse to monetize because it might compromise their reputation.

    I personally have a book review blog, and am close to opening a writing blog with a new angle I haven’t seen yet. Maybe I can make money off that one, eventually.

  20. Jason C says:

    Niche blogging allows you to reach a targeted audience and allows you to really shine in your passion. It’s an easy way to get noticed as a trusted authority rather than an expert which takes years or education and knowledge to achieve. Just my two cents.

  21. J. Delancy says:

    I write on multiple topics but they all revolve around the concerns of men between the ages of 45 and 65. Hence the name of my blog, http://www.writingsofamidlifeman.com. Does this make me a niche blogger?

  22. Anshu says:

    I have been blogging for little over an year. I blog about sewing, specially for kids. So mine is as niche as it can be..but my experience has been that there’re plenty of audience for every niche. You just have to figure out how to get your content to them. Lot of blogger in my niche seem to have done quite well for themselves.

  23. Well said Darren….particularly agree with the indulging in your passion….there will almost always be people in the world who share your passion and the process of writing is so much less work when you have a deep genuine interest in it……

    Great tips as always

  24. Colby says:

    I can’t wait to see what you have to say about the pet niche. I’ve been in the pet niche for the past 5 years…more specifically I blog about raising and training puppies. I do stray from my niche once in a while and talk about other types of pets, but for the most part I try to keep things focused on puppies.

  25. Ian Eberle says:

    I have two blogs – one about Internet marketing and blogging (similar to ProBlogger) and one about aquarium fish, which are a type of pet. Where do you recommend that I market my fish blog? I’m getting a couple hundred impressions a month, but I feel that most of them are from Google Images. I already post on aquarium forums, but the admins don’t like me sharing my URL in the signature… And compared to the 2,000+ unique monthly impressions my Internet marketing blog gets, my website http://www.aquariumwatch.com is pretty lame!

    • Tom Southern says:

      Ian, you pinpoint a problem with niche blogging…

      Aim your fish site not just at fish enthusiasts. For instance, aquariums inspire relaxation and a sense of calm. You could write about how offices, for example can be enriched by having aquariums in prominent places. Maybe talk about man’s relationship to fish (and water) is bound up in Man’s origins, hence you could write about why people find being around fish swimming about is therapeutic for Personal Development and Green topics blogs.

      I’m learning about how blogging is all about building links between niches. You could do a lot of traffic building by thinking what aquarium fish do for you because they’ll do the same for others.

      You just have to know where your audience hangs out.

  26. Ben Troy says:

    Video game is a cool niche which can attract much traffic but donot get into trouble with copyright issues

  27. Nikki says:

    Great topic Darren. I guess I would describe my blog as a niche about whole food cooking and family life. I find the weight loss niche interesting because I know weight management is such a big issue for so many people, and as it is such a personal issue the internet offers great resources and privacy for people to find their way with it. I touch occasionally on the issue of weight in relation to eating a whole food diet is an excellent way to correct body weight but the mere thought of only blogging on weight loss, pets or video games fills me with dread having to come up with regular posts for those topics so they are clearly not the niches for me! I look forward though to reading the series.

  28. Steve says:

    i have started blogging since last year, But i have no time to update and write contents regularly. in such case what is the best way to carry out my blogging carrier?

  29. Tracy Dion says:

    Great series topic! I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the posts.

    As part of my feline nutrition and behavior education efforts, the home page of my website, CatCentric.org, is a blog. Educating cat owners on species-appropriate nutrition is a deep passion of mine and I’ll continue to do it even if I never make a dime, but finding a way to leverage it into a full-time, self-sustaining activity would be very welcome.

  30. Ayaz says:

    Great article Darren! for me niche blogging is something that you choose and select one to be the master of that product and that’s how you can concentrate on one thing at one time that produce great result.

  31. diane says:

    I blog in the interior design niche not only for myself but as a paid blogger for others in the design industry. I never run out of topics!

  32. I blog in the lucid dreaming niche. I completely agree with everything you said. I’ve made it my passion so it’s about more than a business: it’s part of my life.

  33. Colleeng says:

    My niche is entertainment. I write reviews of movies, TV, music and books. While I love writing my blog and it certainly feeds my passion, I find it difficult to implement many tips I read. I don’t know what I can really offer other than my opinions. Ebooks, tips and how-to-webinars would be difficult for me. Unless I know industry people to interview (I don’t), I find it difficult to know where to go next with my blog. Do you feel some niches are more of a challenge than others, or am I not thinking outside the box enough?

  34. Hassan Azam says:

    Cool post for those who are doing niche blogging

  35. I have been blogging for about a year about mid-century modern architecture and design. The blog started as a home remodel project but is evolving into mid-century modern in general. I find the niche to be a challenging constraint. If I have something I want to talk about, how can I also include mid-century modern? Or as I am out and about in the world, where is mid-century and how can I bring it back to the blog. I find the constraint of the niche unifying. Also, there are bloggers in this niche who definitely have readers, but not tons so I think this is a good choice. Time will tell.

  36. I’ve run a few niche blogs, some successful, some not. One thing seldom mentioned is that it is much harder to advertise a niche blog………..well……….because it’s niche! Something to keep in mind before you invest hours upon hours of time.

  37. Lee Anne says:

    I don’t understand how someone decides that they can be a good blogger. I understand intense passion on a subject and that they are sharing the knowledge, intuition and viewpoints. Does there not come a point where everything has been said on a subject?

  38. Richard Ng says:

    I have 3 main blogs which cover 3 different niche:
    1) Inspirational/Motivational Topic
    2) 3D Movies
    3) Internet Marketing for Newbies

    I totally agreed with you about creating the niche blog will make us more creative (this is evident with my 3D movies blogs as I tend to write more freely and smoothly with it since I am a movie buff).

    Cheers!

  39. Greg De Tisi says:

    Great, thanks for the heads up here. I am seriously considering looking at this as well as what I currently do so finding this info has been a great help.

    Many thnaks

    Greg:)

  40. patrick says:

    My niche site is with tennis racket stringing, I don’t know how many hours i have put in with this blog over the past year but if I really wasn’t passionate about this subject or an expert I don’t think I could have gone this long. And still I feel like I hit a wall….. Stay with your passion and never quit.

  41. Julie says:

    I recently started a niche blog about Hotel Swimming Pools, just because I love them. Interesting to see I’m not alone in this kind of thing!

  42. Tom Clark says:

    What a great read! I am a niche blog owner and find it very inspiring to hear such positive words on blogging in a niche. I am in the competitive guitar tuition niche and I am finding it hard to find enough guest post opportunities to make a strong campaign where I can post across a wide spread of sites in my niche. It seems there is a few that have a strong guest posting community and then others who are accepting but don’t have a lot of guest posts. Thanks for the great information!

  43. Dana says:

    Niche blogs are definitely the way to go. I’m learning though that it might be better to start out with a niche that isn’t already saturated. My blog is geared toward beginner bloggers, helping them navigate through the process. When I first started blogging, I couldn’t find the answers to most of the questions I had in “plain English,” (other than at ProBlogger of course :-)) so I started my own blog to help those struggling along the way.

  44. Jeff says:

    I think niche blogging is the only way to go. Unless you somehow get in on the cutting edge of some new topic to blog about.

    I have a niche blog dealing with currency and futures trading, where there is a surprising lack of good and readable blogs…

  45. Grear article. I blog on a very niche subject – classical guitar. I started up around 8 months ago, but have been taking it more seriously since June this year and getting ever increasing traffic. I post consistently twice a week (Weds and Sat) and find that very manageable. The subject is a true passion of mine so very easy to write about. I now need to look at a strategy to monetize the blog.

    Nicole

  46. Very insight post Darren, I even shared this post with my mom lol because she thinks her passion wont generate any income online but I keep telling her the small niches are better than broad niches sometimes because they are highly targeted and only speak to a direct audience…She’ll get it sooner or later lol

    As for me, I’m a personal development blogger, I provide tips on self realization the importance of valuing your identity. Everyone should stop by the blog and check us out. Anyways, great post Darren, as always!

  47. Hello, Niche Blogging Is Definitely The Way To Go You HAVE To Stay Persistent Though And Never Let Off Cause Once You Do It’s Twice As Hard To Get Back Right Up Where You Were. Pretty Much Always Promote And Write Rich New Content That You Think A Reader Would Want To Blog About Themselves After Reading ; )

    Great Articles My Friend Keep Up The Good Work And God Bless