When I first started this blog, I couldn’t settle on a niche. I searched and searched for advice that spoke to how I felt, but I couldn’t seem to find anything helpful.
It was all advice on how a niche is so important, and how you need to know x, y, and z BEFORE you even think about launching your blog.
And I get it.
A niche is super important. It helps you unify your content, reach a very specific target audience, and monetize your blog quickly. But it’s not the only way to get started.
And I’m sure there are others out there (like myself) who still want to take the first step in creating a blog, despite not knowing their niche.
If you don’t have a clear idea on what you’re niche should be, it’s okay! But there are still a few checklist items to make sure you consider that will save you time down the road.
But first, let’s cover the benefits of starting your blog right away.
Why You Should Still Start Your Blog, Even If You Don’t Have A Niche
- Don’t be one of those people who spends time planning and planning until your idea is perfect. It will never be perfect. You’ll learn there will always be areas to improve and changes to make as you go.
- Once you get going, you’ll wish you had started sooner. You’ll have so many ideas exploding in your head, and so much excitement about what you have the ability to create and share with the world, that you’ll wish you had more time to implement it all (provided blogging is the right passion for you).
- You might be uncertain about your niche because you’re not sure what you consider yourself an expert in. Starting a blog about multiple topics and practicing writing about each can bring you more clarity on where you should eventually focus your efforts.
- As long as you’re careful about how you brand yourself from the start, you’re not locked into a niche. You are free to pivot the moment you have some clarity on what your niche will be.
I could go on and on but let’s jump to the checklist of items to make sure you consider before starting your blog.
Checklist for Creating a Blog Without A Niche
1. Define what your goal is in creating a blog
If you can’t define your niche, at a minimum define your GOAL for your blog.
However you define your goal, it does not mean it’s the only thing you’re allowed to pursue. Your goal will undoubtedly evolve over time.
But in order to be able to begin your blog, you should be able to write on paper what you’re looking to accomplish.
- Do you want to make money from your blog?
- Will it serve as a creative outlet, mainly a way to write for yourself?
- Are you trying to connect with like-minded individuals and form a community?
- Do you want to reach as many people as possible with your ideas, but aren’t necessarily concerned with making money?
- A mix of all the above?
Whether or not you pick a “niche”, you at least should know the answer to your “Why.” If you can’t answer the question, it’s worth taking some time to reflect. Your ‘”Why” can change over time, and that’s okay.
But if you don’t know your end goal, you will struggle in terms of what to focus on, what to prioritize, and what to learn. The end result? You can feel overwhelmed and doubt what you’re doing at all.
2. So You Don’t Have a Niche…But Do All Your Ideas Have a Unifying Theme?
You can be successful without a singular niche as long as it’s clear how all your content fits together.
A common way people do this are to create a blog branded on themselves (i.e., use their own name in the domain/blog name). Of course, to do this you have to be a little more comfortable with your audience knowing who you are (no anonymous writers here!). With this type of branding, blog topics can be anything related to the author’s life.
Another way I like to think about it (for those of us know don’t want our name and face all over the blog), is to identify your ‘thesis statement‘ for your blog (don’t worry, it can be modified as you grow!).
In my case, Live Inspired covers a variety of topics that are important to me but the underlying theme of each is the pursuit of all things inspirational in life…everything that inspires us to do what we want to do and be who we want to be (plus specific tools and ideas to guide our journeys).
My multiple “niches” of mental wellness, fitness, travel, and creating online businesses (one of which is blogging), all fall under the bucket of things that inspire me, but I also aim to provide value to my readers. Overtime, I plan to place most of my focus on 2 of these areas, but I don’t believe it held me back to not pick one from the start. If you’re interested in learning more about how I started Live Inspired without a single niche, you can do so here.
If you are passionate about two very specific niches that are difficult to tie together under a unifying theme, it may be difficult (though not impossible) to create a blog. You might want to spend a little more time thinking about your approach.
The point is, if you can create a narrative for how your various ideas tie together, I say pursue it. It can be a helpful part of your process–as it has been for me–to gain clarity on the direction you ultimately want to take. But most importantly, it starts you off on your journey, and taking that first step is the biggest barrier to creating your blog.
3. What’s in it for your audience?
If you defined your blog’s goal as a creative outlet for yourself (and you’re truly all about writing for yourself and those who already know you), that’s great!
But for just about every other goal you may have listed for your blog, whether its growing your audience or monetizing your blog, you need to write in a tone that gives or provides something to your readers.
Let’s face it. Strangers on the internet are not going to take much interest in what you have to say if they don’t feel there’s any value in it for them.
Whether you’re providing them solutions to their problems, giving helpful advice, or telling your own story in a way that resonates with them and makes them feel less alone, be mindful of your audience (or your ideal audience, if you haven’t built one yet).
If you don’t know who your audience is, spend some time to figure out who you want to reach through your writing. This is where defining your goal comes in again.
Knowing what you hope to get out of your blog helps you identify your ideal audience.
Identifying your ideal audience helps you choose content and work on a style of writing that will attract the type of readers you want.
And this can all still be done, even if you don’t have a single niche. But you have to tie it in with checklist item #2. Identify your ideal audience and provide them with value, all while making it clear to them WHY you have multiple niches and why it works because of your unifying theme.
4. Define and Build Your Brand
In addition to creating a narrative of your unifying blog theme, you’ll need to create some consistency across your niches in the way that you brand and market yourself.
It’s okay if you’re promoting fitness, mental health, photography, & fashion posts. It’s okay if you write about how to code for beginners, while writing about sports. But find some consistency — whether its in the colors you use, your logo, or making yourself a part of your brand, you can do it in a way that your followers will start to recognize both types of content as part of your brand. It doesn’t mean they’ll all be interested in every article you write, but maybe you’ll reach two different types of audiences and in the process, figure out which of the two is more engaged (i.e., which might be a better niche to pursue long term).
Some will argue that it’s easier and more impactful to build your brand around a niche from the start– but you’ll get there if and when your goal is to monetize.
If you’re not there yet, or you’re not interested in that, you can still find ways to standardize your brand and allow people to become familiar with who you are and what you have to share.
5. Grow Your Social Media
And where’s a better place to define and build your brand than social media! Social media is a great way to introduce your future audience to who you are and what you plan to blog about.
This is where you’ll take what you’ve developed as your brand and start to connect with like-minded individuals. They’ll become familiar with who you are, what you’re interested in, and how your multiple niches tie together so that by the time you’ve created your blog and promoted your content via social media, you’ll already have prospective readers.
If the idea of starting social media for your blog is a bit scary to you, I recommend picking one and really researching how best to brand yourself there.
Pinterest has been known to drive the most traffic for bloggers, but it obviously works a little better once you’ve created your blog and have articles to point readers to. However, it may still be beneficial to learn ahead of time, create some boards, and start to pin other content to those boards.
Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (and even LinkedIn) are also great places to start building a following and testing out how people respond to your brand. It’s also a great way to test how strong your ‘unifying theme’ for your blog is. Do people get what you’re about? If not, keep re-working it until its clearer.
6. Be Consistent & Be Patient
These final 2 checklist items apply more to the stage where you’ve taken the leap to create your blog, but are still having concerns over your lack of niche.
If you’re not sure that your multiple niches flow together and make sense to people, or you’re worried that you won’t ever figure out which area to focus on, it’s okay. It’s perfectly natural, I’ve been through it myself.
But don’t let it persuade you to quit. Be consistent with creating content 1-2 times per week until you’ve built up foundational content for each niche of your blog.
Throughout the process, you may discover you like writing about a certain idea more than another. Take what you learn about yourself and your blog and modify your blog’s ‘thesis statement,’ staying true to your overall brand.
To sum things up, you don’t have to have all the answers to start. To create your own blog, you should NOT have to wait until you’ve determined your niche. Chances are, what you think your niche is and what you enjoy writing about (in combination with what your readers enjoy reading the most) might be different from what you had initially envisioned.
And as has been the case for me, you’ll likely learn a lot more by starting than you will through research and planning alone, and this will guide you towards your niche far quicker than if you remain stuck in the planning phase.
If you follow my tips on defining your goal, trying to provide your ideal audience with some value, and building consistency in your brand, you’ll be able to easily adapt and re-write your narrative in a way that doesn’t require you to start over completely. You’ll be farther along than you would have been had you waited until your perfect ‘niche’ magically came to you!