The Problem With Finding Your Blogging Niche

The Problem With Finding Your Blogging Niche

“Find your blogging niche”, they say. “You have to have direction for your blog”, we’re told time and time again. I’ve been to a couple of travel conferences this year and I’ve heard many people talk about this topic and although I agree that it’s good to have a direction for your blog, boy can finding your blogging niche be annoying.

Before April this year, my blog was just a general travel blog. It had no aim, no purpose, I just wanted to write about my travels. It wasn’t until TBEX in Lloret de Mar that the penny dropped. I needed an angle for my blog, something to differentiate from the millions of other travel blogs out there. But, the question was, what was my blogging niche going to be?

The problem with finding your blogging niche in Lloret de Mar

Happiest by the ocean. This is where the inspiration for my blogging niche came from…

I mulled over it for a few days and I eventually realised that most of my travels include being in a coastal destination. Whether that’s being by the beach or travelling to a place that’s by the ocean. So, I came to the conclusion that I was going to make my blog into a beach and coastal destination blog! Perfect! I’d write about the unique accommodation I’d stayed in, the adventures I’d got up to and tips I’d picked up on my travels! Awesome!

The Problem With Finding Your Blogging Niche

And that’s where the problem begins. I’d found my blogging niche but at the same time I’d also limited myself. I’d limited myself to only writing about places and activities that were by the coast. What about the city breaks I go on? What about when I visit London and find an amazing event I want to write about? What about Yorkshire, the place where I currently spend most of my time and is one of the most beautiful places in the UK?

The Problem With Finding Your Blogging Niche - Brimham Rocks, Yorkshire

Even though I do get to travel a lot, I don’t travel full time and therefore I don’t have new beach or coastal destinations to write about all the time. This has recently put me into a blogging rut. And I hate it. I hate sitting at my laptop with the energy to write a post but without the inspiration to write anything useful or – and here’s the key – to write something that fits within my niche. I could, for example, tell you about the amazing ice cream parlour near where I live and the cute alpacas you can see on a walk to the amazing ice cream parlour. I could also tell you about the wild country side that’s here in Yorkshire but that just doesn’t fit with the whole beachy theme I have going on right now.

So I have a bit of a dilemma on my hands. Is it possible to maintain a blogging niche while also writing about different subjects from time to time? I still want to be a travel blogger rather than a lifestyle blogger, so how do I label my niche now if I want to include more local and UK travel – which often wouldn’t include being by the coast? I might eventually want to think of my blog as a business so being specific is probably a good thing right?  Or is having a niche actually that big of a deal in the first place?

Forgive me for the babble in this post but has anyone else had this issue before? Have you struggled with finding your blogging niche and then sticking to it? Have you ever changed your blogging niche before and how did it go?

Follow:
Share:
  • Suz

    I am at exactly the same point a you! I love my blog and it is leaning towards remote travel and wildlife but I don’t want to stop my exotic breaks to London or York! I dive and want to bring more diving into it – do I start a separate dive blog or go with it all in one place. Pick a niche sounds so easy but sticking to it is soooo hard!

    • Yeah it’s so hard sticking to it isn’t Suz? And I often think about starting a separate blog but working on just one takes up enough time!

  • I know what you mean Emma, although my niche is fairly straightforward as I am a van-dwelling baking and travel blogger. How about embracing your awesome Yorkshireness and being a Yorkshire Lass Travel Blogger? A Yorkshire lass’s view of the world!
    My niche is so wide open I do think it harms me, people might come for the cake and not like the backpacking exotic stuff, or vanlifers might not want to read the super popular but not even in my niche posts about learning Finnish! I try not to worry about it, I think I’d have to start over with a new blog if I really want to be niche-driven and streamlined.

    • Hey Rachel 🙂 Having a Yorkshire lass’s view of the world sounds pretty good! I could even write everything in a Yorkshire accent haha 🙂 I think I’ll not worry about it too and just have a bit more fun with my blog 🙂

  • Rob

    Although a niche is useful to help you focus, it can also be limiting. You be your niche, your voice, perspective and take on the world is unique! Then have two or three sub niches, coast, city breaks etc… That way, you are focused without clipping your own wings.
    Best of luck!

    • Thanks for your encouraging words Rob 🙂 I thought having a little niche would make things easier but it doesn’t seem to!

  • Rob

    Yeah I’m in the same boat but I think if you focus on a target audience rather than a topic it can broaden your horizons
    For instance beach locations is limited but if you focus on the target audience of travellers maybe you could throw much more information in ya blog

    • What’s your niche on Rob, or what target audience are you aiming at? Thanks for your advice 🙂

      • Rob

        My topic started off as photography but I never wanted to be just a photographer so I seemed to focus more on photo journalism / and regional travel
        its all fairly new to me I have a lot of tweaking to do and lot to learn lol

        Best tip I got was to complete a business plan for your blog it helps with the aims and outcomes and when i become stuck I just revert back to the plan for inspiration

  • I’ve actually written pretty much exactly the same thing about blogging niches over on my blog! I really dislike it – I mean, I understand why a niche important, but it takes away from why you started a blog in the first place. The more blogging events I went to, the more this is said and can really mess with your mind. And for me, it made me really overthink it and it ended up making the blogging way less fun!

    I would say just be you and forget about the voices saying to find a niche, and if you continue writing one may come naturally. The blogging world changes constantly and there are bloggers I love and always go back to reading who I don’t feel have a particular niche. Or, it doesn’t have to be a destination niche, like some are solo travel-focused, some solely do lists and tips, whether that’s budget or luxury, and someone like Jayne from Girl Tweets World started with a goal she set herself (40 countries before 30) and now I don’t really think of her as having a particular niche other than being an expat and an amazingly friendly voice.

    Anyway, I’m blabbering, but this is a topic that has annoyed me a lot! I still don’t know what my niche is because I want to explore the whole world/I travel alone and with my boyfriend/I like cities and nature – it can get confusing and maybe I should have a specific niche to be more successful as a blogger, but honestly, writing whatever I want to write makes me happy, so live your blog how you want to live it!

    • Ah Kirsten, thank you SO much for this 🙂 Yeah I first thought about it when I went to TBEX in Spain this year. It just seemed to be like such a big deal but you’re right, it has made blogging less fun. Well, maybe not less fun but I think a lot more about what I post, rather than writing about everything I want to. I still want to have beach and coastal destinations to be a big part of my blog but including more local travel and city adventures will definitely take the pressure of a bit more and ultimately, will let me enjoy my blog a bit more again!

      Also, you’re right, things can always change so maybe it’s not such a bad thing after all not having a specific niche!

  • Funny how I lately I was wondering about the same thing. I read a blog that advises about finding a niche, and one that is very specific. Like that couple that always get married in every place they go to. So I began wondering about my own niche. What is that one thing that could separate me from the lot.

    But I couldn’t freaking find it. I don’t know if I will ever find it.

    For now I’ll just write what I want but at least limit it to food and travel.

    • I know it’s annoying isn’t it, I thought I’d found mine and beaches and coastal destinations will definitely still be a big feature of my blog but it’s just too limiting. I think food and travel is a niche in itself without being too restrictive, maybe you’ll find it gets more refined over time 🙂

  • I hear the same thing over and over again too. You need to find your niche. What distinguishes you from everyone else? etc etc. But I just don’t have one and I’m not really interested in getting one either. I love writing about all the different adventures we have whether that’s a luxury hotel, a city tour, travel tips or a great restaurant in London. To limit yourself means you’d have to stop talking about some of those things you love and to be honest most travel bloggers just write about travel in general anyway. Just write whatever you want to and as long as your personality shines through that’s all that matters. I guess you could say you are your own niche!

    • I quite like thinking that I am my own niche 🙂 Thanks Ayla! I love your blog and the variety on there, you can tell you just love going the places you’re writing about. My blog needs a little more of that so I might say bye bye to a specific niche for a while and focus more again on writing what I want to write about 🙂

  • Hey! I keep thinking maybe if I had more of a direct niche I’d be better off but in all honesty I can’t bring myself to narrow it down to just a couple of things. I think as long as you write with passion and honesty it shouldn’t really matter! You can write about exotic beachy locations and cosy staycations in the UK 🙂 If people like your way of writing and/or your photos it doesn’t matter if you have a niche or not.

    x

    • Hey Jess! Yeah I’m in the same boat as you but I’ve tried having a direct niche and to be honest I just don’t think it’s really working right now. What kind of niche would you have if you did narrow it down?

  • Great post Emma!

    Personally, I hate blogging niches! If you’re a really niche person with a very specific interest that other people are interested in too, great! If not, why restrict yourself so much.

    I’ve noticed that most really successful blogs do have niches, but they’re quite broad niches still. For example – solo travel, budget travel, luxury travel… They’re all wide open and allow for a diverse range of topics. I picked a “niche” this year but it too is totally wide open, it allows me to basically write whatever I like depending on where I’ve travelled.

    As someone else said above, your niche is really your unique view and style of writing. You’re a beach loving Yorkshire lass who writes well about various types of travel! Instead if stressing about a niche, why not review write your about me to include a break down of your specific travel interests? So for example, I like beaches, hiking, luxury travel and overland travel. Together they don’t for one niche but a few individual ones which I combine, loosely, under the heading “deep travel”. But in my about me, they add up to my individual travel personality – and they show other people that I’m probably not going to write about partying/clubbing destinations for example. Define yourself by your interests and definitely don’t limit yourself. There’s no formula for blogging!

    • Thank you so much Emily 🙂 To be honest, I thought having a niche would be a good idea but it’s taken the fun out of it a bit. I really like the idea of re-writing the about me section though to show my travel personality. For now that’s probably a better way to go rather than narrowing down my whole blog into one topic. Thank you for your advice 🙂

  • Emma, I’m totally biased because I write the blog as a hobby driven by a massive passion for writing about my adventures but personally, I would LOVE to hear about your Yorkshire tips and your amazing nearby ice cream parlour every bit as much as your amazing beach adventures! It’s obviously totally your choice but there are lots of people like myself who love reading general travel blogs exactly because they do give you such a huge variety of adventures to aspire towards ☺

  • Hey. I have a budget travel blog. But I sometimes have something to tell, that has 0 to do with budget. I usually ends in one of backup categories. I wrote about expats and culture shock. But I don’t write about 5 star hotels and luxury travel. So I guess I have a niche. Nice.

    • Yeah it sounds like you have a pretty good niche there 🙂 I suppose as long as all your blog posts are target towards the budget traveller, you don’t always have to be talking specifically about budget travel!

  • I’ve been struggling with this since TBEX too! Its taken me a few months, but I came to realise the niche is not where you go, or what you do, or anything location dependent – its more your story. You and what differentiates you from every other solo female travel blogger out there (sorry not sorry but theres so many who have made that their niche!). So for example my niche is being Australian, living in Austria, travelling part-time while living in a foreign country. There’s not tooooo many expat blogs in Austria so I can work to own that space and become the expert, go to person. So the question is what makes your perspective different? When you travel to the coast, or around Yorkshire, or anything really, what unique view are you offerring? That really helped me figure out my niche anyway, good luck with it!

    • Thanks Carly! Which TBEX did you go to? Was it the one in Lloret de Mar too? Maybe my niche is just seeing the world through a Yorkshire girl’s eyes? Haha, I don’t know. I like the thinking that your niche is your story though, that’s a good way to look at it 🙂

  • Ooooh, tell us about the alpacas and the ice cream! I have struggled with the ‘to niche or not to niche’ question for so long – I love the idea of a coastal blog, but I don’t think you’d lose anyone by talking about the other things you love and the other things that make you YOU. Just go for it, and enjoy it! And I can’t wait to read about it x

    • Haha, Elle, I might just have to write about the alpacas and the ice cream 😉 It’s a difficult dilemma I think with a lot of bloggers at the moment – we’ve been told so many times that we need to have a niche and a brand to be more successful but if that takes the fun out of it, is it worth it? At the end of the day, these blogs are our babies and I can’t wait to blog about more things that are “me” in 2016! Thank you for your words of encouragement 🙂

  • Bee

    I have to tell you this, do what feels right. Goodness, if I didn’t write about a range of subjects my blog would be sparse and it’s a (craft) hobby that I don’t want to limit myself with. I love fashion, I love travel. I will write about the awesome places I’ve eaten too. I want to hear about ALL the nitty gritty places you’ve been whether it be a city break or seaside break. I want to know what you had for lunch for goodness sake! I love your blog, but if you feel in a rut talk about anything and everything that you are passionate about!
    Bee | QueenBeady.com

    • That’s some good advice, thank you lovely 🙂 I’m definitely trying a lot more to just write about what I want to write about. I might not go on about what I eat for lunch every day – usually left over tea and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – but it’s definitely easier to write without such a concentrated niche 🙂

  • I totally feel you! I also have a general travel blog and am struggling about defining a niche. I want to be able to write about whatever I want (travel related obviously;-) but how to stand out from the crowd…

    • I hear you Lotte, it’s a difficult one isn’t it? I think they key is just to be ourselves, write about what we love and let our personalities and interests be our niche!

  • Hey Emma,

    Thanks so much for writing this post! I just came across your blog but I love it and having been feeling a bit uninspired for my own lately – you’ve hit the nail on the head. I often worry I don’t have a specific niche. My blog covers every aspect of my lifestyle – from clothes, to baking to restaurant reviews – sometimes I think I’m being WAY too wide span and should concentrate on a certain subject but then i remember what my niche was when I set my blog up – ME! That was it. I wanted a space where I could write about my life, an online diary of sorts and while I don’t cover every aspect of my life, I do a lot of parts of it. My tagline for my blog originally was – ‘A Scottish country Bumpkin in London’ and it was all about my life in London having moved from a rural town in Scotland. That worked for a while but now I’ve been living in London for seven years, its home and i’m no longer a newbie so the tone has changed slightly.

    I think when people say ‘find your niche’ what they really mean is ‘find your voice’ as I believe that’s the only niche you need. Your travel blog will be different from every other travel blog out there purely because it is written by YOU with your unique take on the places you’ve visited. If you don’t mind me saying I think only talking about a specific type of travelling (coastal destinations) is far too limited as you’re only attracting a very small group of readers who visit only coastal towns. You want your content to be varied to keep it interesting but I guess always follow a similar theme/tone of voice/ unique perspective.

    At least that’s what I’m trying to do anyway! No matter what I write about I try and keep the posts lighthearted and witty so they are always recognisable as my writing.

    Anyway thanks for making me realise it’s not just me who worries about this! I’ll make sure and tune in to your posts from now on – whether they are on coastal holidays or ice cream parlours 😉

    Jac
    xxx

  • Tom

    I got round this problem by using the word “mostly”. As in, my angle is that I *mostly* blog about unusual and offbeat travel – but if I want to write about Venice, or the Costa del Sol, or whatever, I can!

    • Oh that’s a good way round it Tom! Good tip 🙂

  • Ty Sawyer

    Hi Emma!!

    As someone who has hired travel writers (and photographers) for most of my career and given a few travel writing seminars around the world, I have a different perspective on finding one’s niche. Over the years, the most important reason I hired (and read) travel writers and bloggers was their voice, perspective, bias and passions. Their ability to convey a strong sense of place and journey in a unique, evocative, funny, soul searching, healing, interesting, emotionally truthful and even contradictory and oh-so-very-human manner. I hired people that made me feel like I been along for their ride, that I knew them, and was lucky enough to share a small part of their journey. I think it’s much (much much much) more important to FIND YOUR VOICE, the touchstones of the travel experience that matter to YOU. You might love beaches, food, hiking, islands, cities, food trucks, coastal areas, people and all that is great, but that’s not travel writing, they’re elements that all work in concert to bring your story alive, to allow you to convey a sense of place. Passions inspire people. Travel writing is about finding the beating pulse of a place or an experience and engaging all the readers senses, using whatever “niche” element necessary to bring them into YOUR experience of that world. You might have a unforgettable food experience you want to write about, and how terrible would it be to not write about it because you’ve limited your storytelling freedom with an artificial constraint (that you’re not a food writer). Lots of people work in niches and still cannot tell a good story because they have not found their voice, or do not believe in their voice and bias and life perspective. Niches don’t tell stories. And, more-so, travel is about discovery of self and the world, and good travel writers evolve because the more you travel, the more perspective and bias you develop. We all grow. What happens if you cease to be inspired by your chosen “niche” because a new experience has captured your heart, soul, and traveler’s imagination? You’re a travel blogger/writer. The entire world is your office and inspiration. Tell your story and your journey in the most honest way FOR YOU, using every device and experience and emotion, personality and passion you have as a human. The rest will take care of itself and you’ll discover exactly the kind of blogger you are rather than what others tell you you need to be. — Ty

    • Hey Ty! Thank you SO much for these words. Words of advice and inspiration are exactly what I need to hear on this subject. Even months after writing this post, I’m still having an internal battle with myself about whether to create a niche for my blog or not. I’m always erring on the side of the latter though as, just like you say, interests, views and perspectives can change over time and therefore that niche won’t be applicable anymore. Who knows, in 30 years I might absolutely hate going to coastal destinations and feeling the sand between my toes – I highly doubt it but it could happen! I definitely think it’s more important to develop a voice and, like a lot of people have said in response this post, to let your personality and individuality be the thing that sets you apart from everyone else. It’s good to hear from you and thank you for your kind words 🙂

  • I totally know where you’re coming from! We are in the same boat as there is so many other fantastic blogs out there. However it seems that there is no real formula for blogging and as long as you love what you’re doing and you’re motivated I think that shines through! Best of luck 🙂 Sarah

    • I think that’s the best way to do it Sarah, write about what you love and that will show no matter what 🙂

  • I’m so happy I came across this post. I’ve been wanting to start my travel blog for over a year and finally got around to getting things set up yesterday. The thing that has held me back was over obsessing over finding a niche. I love to travel but at this moment I don’t have the ability to travel constantly so what would I even write about?! I read several blogs before discovering this one and was starting to stress over the niche thing way too much. But after reading this and all of the comments I’ve decided that my blog being specifically a travel blog is way too much of a niche for me eventhough travel is my greatest passion in life. Now I think I’ll have travel as being a part of my overall blog but my niche will be me, my journey, and how traveling is a big part of it.

    Hopefully you’ve finally settled the enternal debate that you had with yourself. Write about what makes you happy because your personality will always shine through. Honestly when I read blogs that only focus on their niche I don’t usually comeback after reading a few posts unless they visited an area that I plan to go to in the near future.

    • Hey Tara, oh thank you so much for reading. I think you’ve got the right idea there. It’s too easy to get consumed by all the travel blogs and articles out there. Travel can be your focus but if that’s not what your doing all the time, why limit yourself to just writing about that. Let your readers get to know you and who knows, that might lead to more travel in the future!

      Although, this is easier said than done and I’m always in a little battle with myself although I think I’ve finally settled on what I’m doing with this blog. I can’t travel all the time so why keep it so focussed? I can’t wait to see where your blog takes you! Love the name by the way, it’s really memorable!