Niche – And Why You Don’t Necessarily Need One

If you’re getting started as a writer or freelance blogger, you’ll have heard plenty of advice about defining your niche. It’s something that you should consider carefully before committing to a specific genre of creation. Once you put yourself into a certain box, content-wise, it can be very difficult to break out of it later.

It’s important to give this some serious thought before you begin setting up an online presence. Niche writing works well for some people. However, it isn’t for everyone, and ideally, should be something flexible enough to grow alongside you as you develop your skills and online visibility.

Ultimately, what you put out there on the internet matters more than ever before. The digital footprint you leave behind can have a potential knock-on effect on your prospects. So it does pay to think carefully about the content you’re creating. In this post, I’m going to be looking at the idea of keeping your writing within a niche. Is it something you have to do?

Your content matters

It’s true of course; nobody wants to read about the deep emotional connection that you felt with the latest brand of quilted toilet roll you use, or what your stance is on a random gadget that doesn’t fit whatsoever with the themes of your writing.

However, it’s increasingly apparent that we’re writing things because we think they’re good content, rather than being content with our writing.

Your ‘content’ needs to be compelling because you’ve got something compelling to share, and that’s the bottom line. I often struggle to write something if I’m not feeling inspired to do so. However, upping the output but not producing something of quality is a very easy trap to fall into, especially when you’re just starting out.

Working out which writing themes are important to you can make a huge difference here. If you’re regularly producing posts that don’t have anything to say, you’ll quickly find your enthusiasm for writing vanishing. Take some time to plot out the themes (plural) that you’re passionate about, and use those as building blocks for your body of work.

How to work within (or without) a niche

Next comes the idea of defining your niche. Again, there is some sense in this. Consistency in a topic area is important, but you should consider the pitfalls of niche writing too. For example, there’s the potential for your writing to become stale or feel predictable if you stick to one specific niche or genre. I don’t know if pigeonholing your writing style so early on is a great move, but of course, it’s a personal choice.

I’ve spoken to lots of writers and blogger friends about this and almost all of them have said the same thing. They’re sick of having the niche that they felt they had to have, but it’s really hard to reverse back up that road once you’ve started on it. 

I can see why, to be honest. You’ve got to be engaged with the work you put out there yourself, otherwise, how can you expect other people to be?  I’m the first to admit I’ll only read posts and articles if I think they’ve got some use or relevance to my life.

So while it can be useful to write on one specific topic and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field, it can also become stifling. The idea of picking and sticking to one main theme for your website or blog seems so limiting. Is it really necessary?

Working around a niche

It makes sense to establish your identity and thought leadership on a topic you’re skilled in or knowledgeable about. However, there’s no reason why you can’t incorporate other content into your work, provided you do so carefully. You don’t want to alienate your readership by throwing out too many mix-and-match posts! With that said, you should still try and cultivate a space that feels authentic to you.

To do this, I’d suggest categorising your content carefully. Present your primary topic knowledge first, but also create sections of your site where additional, less niche content can live. It can be a difficult balance to strike, but it’s not impossible!

It’s important to establish your authority on a specific topic to attract a consistent audience. However, you don’t need to completely strip down your interests to one barebones area just to be successful. Putting the right level of thought and prior planning into setting up your online space can ensure this doesn’t happen.

As long as you regularly revisit and reevaluate your output, it’s possible to work around a niche, instead of becoming trapped by it.

Final thoughts

Do you sometimes feel trapped by your niche? I’m genuinely interested to know what you think if you’re a writer, blogger or digital content creator. Has sticking with a niche for your writing or blog helped or hindered you so far? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, please give it a share or a pin on Pinterest. You might also enjoy some of my boards over there on blogging for beginners and freelancing for creatives.

4 thoughts on “Niche – And Why You Don’t Necessarily Need One”

  1. Hi Ar,
    I can resonate with this blog post. My main site is in the matched betting area, but then I want to branch out in to other content areas. I guess one idea is to have a non-specific domain name to not pigeon hole one’s writing efforts – kind of like an Eastenders character asking for “a pint” (a pint of what?…exactly).
    I really like your writing style by the way.

  2. Unsolved murders haaaaaaahahhhahahhaha!

    I think you're right like, you can totally change it though and I think those who love reading your writing won't give a shit if you do, they'll read anyway. At least I would lol xx

  3. I definitely feel trapped by my niche. I started off as a parent blogger by stupidly sticking "mum" in my domain following advice from someone who said "Your domain must give a clue to what most of your content is about". I wish I'd just used my name now, as I don't feel most people will care about my obsession with unsolved murders as much as they care about the teething issues we have with our 2 year old. No niche is the best way to go, by far

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