Do you want to start blogging, but aren’t sure what to blog about? Are you stressed because you don’t feel that you have a specific blog niche? In this article, I’ll guide you through my super easy process of how to choose a blog niche and also why I don’t think it’s worth getting stressed over!
Choosing a blog niche is probably one of the biggest obstacles that can hold back new bloggers from getting started.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in choosing the perfect niche, then choosing the perfect blog name for that niche, etc. but I’m here to tell you — it’s not as big of a deal as you think.
In fact, unless you go into your blogging journey with a very specific niche in mind, it will change over time.
So if what’s holding you back from starting a blog is the fact that you can’t seem to narrow down a niche, I promise that it’s actually pretty easy!
I think we often get wrapped up in the word “niche” thinking that our blog has to be focused around this super-specific topic and we can’t talk about anything else.
And while your blog should definitely target related topics, it’s okay to start more broad and then narrow down.
I think that having a cohesive, overarching theme (what I call, your umbrella topic) is way more important than a honed-in niche.
And it’s also just a lot less intimidating to think of it in that terms!
So throughout this post, we’ll talk about why having a niche is important and the steps you can take to find your blog’s sub-topics that fit within an umbrella topic.
Ready to get started?
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Why Is A Blog Niche Important?
The short answer is: It’s good for SEO.
Having a specific niche helps search engines like Google to understand what your content is about so it can serve it to the correct audience.
It also allows your following to know what to expect from you.
Think of it this way…
What if you were following a blogger who posts about meal prep, workout tips, and holistic living, but then one day posted about their favorite dog toys. Weird, right!?
This is a quick path to getting unfollows and unsubscribers. You want to make sure your topics don’t completely catch your reader off guard.
While I don’t think it’s necessary to have a super honed in niche right away, I do think that the topics you write about, at the very least, need to make sense together.
That’s why, for people struggling to decide on a blog niche, I recommend starting your blog with an umbrella topic and subtopics and narrowing it down as time goes on.
This is the route I took and I’ll show you exactly how to find those topics in the following section.
2 Steps To Choosing Your Blog Topics
As I said before, while I don’t think it’s particularly important to have a super honed in niche, I do think that your blog needs to have an overarching “umbrella topic” that will act as your blog’s niche.
Deciding on the umbrella topic is usually what trips us up the most, and while it might seem obvious to decide on your umbrella topic before you find your subtopics, we’re going to work backward.
In the exercise below, you are going to figure out the topics that interest you most and from there, will be able to determine an umbrella topic.
So grab a pen and paper and let’s get started!
Step 1: Brainstorm 10-20 Topic Ideas
–> Create a list of 10-20 things that you are passionate or knowledgeable about.
If you need some inspiration to get started, consider the following:
- What are your hobbies? (reading, crafting, working out, etc.)
- What are your skills? (budgeting, decorating, cooking, etc.)
- What are things you enjoy? (fashion, trying new restaurants, traveling etc.)
- What is important to you? (eating healthy, organization, parenting tips, etc.)
- What are aspects of your character? (being a mom, being a vegan, being an accountant, etc.)
These are all potential sub-topics of your blog! Let’s move on…
Step 2: Choose 5-6 Topics That Are Somewhat Related
–> Looking at your list, what are 5-6 topics that make the most sense together?
Here are some examples of good vs bad combos.
Good Topic Combos:
Food, fitness, self-care, and holistic living
Skincare, fashion, shopping deals, and home decor
Parenting, family planning, cooking, and budgeting
Bad Topic Combos:
Fashion, local restaurants, pets, self-care
Finance, travel, skincare, and fitness
Shopping deals, home decor, pets, and cooking
By “clumping” related topic ideas, you will naturally find your overarching umbrella topic for your blog.
Your umbrella topic will end up being a broad, over-arching theme such as health, lifestyle, marketing, finance, parenting, food, travel, etc.
TIP: If you find yourself super interested in a topic, but can’t figure out how it would fit in with the rest of the topics you choose, think of how you can spin it.
For instance, if you love fashion, but the rest of yout topics fall under the ‘Health’ umbrella, you could incorporate posts like ‘The Best Places To Buy Workout Clothes Online’ or ‘Must-Have Running Shoes for Every Type of Runner’.
As long as your content relates to your umbrella topic in one way or another, it works.
Once you have your list of 5-6 topics, you officially have the sub-topics of your blog!
Step 3: Researching Blog Post Ideas for Each Sub-Topic
You want to make sure that you are going to be able to generate enough content for each of the topics that you chose so this is where we brainstorm and research.
On another sheet of paper, write down your 5-6 topics with enough space to add notes underneath.
Under each of those topics, write down 2-3 general blog post ideas. These should be broad ideas that will be narrowed down through research. For instance…
- If the topic you chose was budgeting, you could write ideas like, “ways to save money”, “monthly budgets”, “budgeting tools”. etc.
- If the topic you chose was cooking, you could write ideas like, “30-minute meals”, “cooking for two”, “favorite kitchen appliances”, etc.
And now give yourself a pat on the back because not only have you discovered your blog’s “niche”, but you just started brainstorming blog post ideas!
Now, head over to my post on My Process For Finding The Best Blog Post Ideas and continue your research.
You’re on a roll!
Post Publishing: How to Evaluate Your Content to Narrow Down Your Niche
Once you’ve done your topic research and found some good blog post ideas, it’s time to start writing, publishing, and evaluating.
Don’t have anything for your blog set up yet? Don’t worry — Here’s How to Start a Blog in 5 Steps.
Evaluating your blog posts to see what’s working and what’s not should be done regardless of whether you started with a super-focused niche or not.
However, evaluating your content is extra important if you started with a more general umbrella topic.
Before you start the evaluation process, you want to make sure that you have a decent amount of content published that you can analyze.
I would say that you need to have at least five blog posts for each topic that have been published for no less than 4-6 months.
That being said, if you’re a new blogger, you should do the evaluation process around the 6-8 month mark.
4 Steps to Evaluating Blog Content
- Open Google Analytics (or whatever analytics tool you use) to see the traffic to your individual blog pages. Switch your date range to see the last 6 months.
In Google Analytics, you do this by going to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.
- On a peice of paper, write down the top 15 blogs that brought you the most traffic during that time period.
- Next to each blog, write down the sub-topic that that particular post falls under (aka, one of the sub-topics you choose from Step 2 in the section above.)
I like to choose a different color pen or highlighter for each topic so that it’s easier to evaluate.
- Look at your list — are certain topics dominating that list of 15? If so, those are the topics that you need to be focusing on.
It doesn’t mean that you should throw the other topics to the way-side, but you should be putting your time and energy into the topics that that perform best!
If you find that you have a pretty even spread and nothing particular stands out, that’s okay too.
Your sub-topics might just be perfect for your umbrella topic or you need to come back and evaluate again in another 6 months (which you should be doing regardless!)
Need More Help?
Hopefully, you found this article resourceful and if there’s one thing I want you to take away from this article, it’s this:
Choosing the perfect blog niche is nothing to get stressed about! As is the digital world, your blog will be ever-evolving. So just start by writing what you know about and then go from there!
If you find yourself super struggling to narrow down an umbrella topic, feel free to shoot me an email and we can walk through it together! I’m always here to help.