Blog Advice New Bloggers’ Need to Consider: You Can Choose a Crowded Blog Niche and Succeed

December 23, 2014
 / 12 comments

blog advice

 

Time for some unconventional blog advice…

Are you feeling pressured to pick “the right niche” for your blog?

By “the right niche”, I mean the conventional wisdom that says this: Pick A Completely Original, Unique, Never-Before-Considered Niche.

Some think this will lead to overnight online success.

You see these headlines all over social media: “Be unique! Provide a service no one else offers! Don’t choose a saturated niche!”

If the online gurus are coming at you left and right with blog advice that says stay away from a crowded niche, I can understand why you might suffer from”buyers remorse”at the moment…Perhaps you picked a blog niche, grabbed a domain name, and now after a few weeks or months, you’re afraid you made a mistake because there’s too many other bloggers in the same niche.

Before you give up or spend years trying to “find something that no one else is doing,” take a closer look at what a “crowded niche” really is and why YOU can reach crowded blog niche success.

Smart Blog Advice from a Super Blogger

Blogging expert Jon Morrow addressed this dilemma between choosing or not choosing a crowded niche in his article “How to Stand Out in a Crowded Niche.” Here is what Jon’s response is to the chicken littles who instantly oppose the choice of a crowded niche:

“Every time I hear someone tell a beginner not to enter a niche because it’s too crowded, I feel like screaming. Yes, I know this is the standard advice, but it’s just not true.

Crowded niches got that way for a reason: they work. Your best bet for succeeding with your blog is to find a subject lots of people are blogging about, and then start a blog about the exact same subject.

You don’t want to be a copycat. Just look for the hidden benefits behind an audience’s interest in your topic, and target those benefits instead.”

Recently, I heard Brian Clark give the same blog advice on a New Rainmaker podcast (couldn’t locate the exact episode he said this)…basically what he said (not exact wording) was people should get excited about a crowded blog niche because it shows there’s a need, a market, for that niche. If advertisers are paying money to be seen in that niche, that’s another good sign. So, you shouldn’t shy away from a crowded blog niche. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel either when choosing an online niche.

A Niche is Like a Song

Look at a new blogger choosing a niche this way: like an aspiring musician that needs a “hit song” (niche.)

Let’s say you’re a musician wanting to find an audience…

Metaphorically, when a band or songwriter creates a new song, they are the first to enter the “niche” of that new song, right?

Yet, the original band that “started” the song may not be the most successful at using it over time.

Many times, a musician will do a cover on an already existing song and find MAJOR success.

Here are some great examples of this illustration from the HuffPost article Cover Songs More Famous Than Originals: 20 Tunes that Fit the Bill

•    Prince originally wrote a song called Nothing Compares 2 U…to this day, most people think Sinead O’Conner wrote it. And for good reason: she performed this song much better than Prince
•    Joan Jett burst onto the scene in the early eighties with two big hits: I Love Rock and Roll and Crimson and Clover. Neither of these songs were originals. Both were cover tunes. They had been performed many times by other bands beforehand. Yet many today will agree, Joan Jett did these songs better than anyone else before or after
•    If you came of age in the early ’90s, you may have spent hours listening to Curt Cobain perform “The Man Who Sold the World.” Cobain achieved a lot of success from this song even though David Bowie had already owned this “niche” the previous two decades.

Here’s one last song metaphor to help you see why its okay to jump into an already crowded blog niche…

The Ultimate “Crowded Niche” Success Story: Christmas Music

Talk about a crowded niche…..how many musicians have performed “Silent Night”? “Jingle Bells”? “Let It Snow”?

Too many to count.

Despite this, we continue to see bands both young and old jumping into the Christmas music niche. And most of the songs they choose to perform are retreads of the same material.

Why? Because it works.

Sure, some bands do create a unique Christmas song that grows in popularity, but most of these “original Christmas tunes” never catch on and are forgotten. That’s why musicians keep performing Silent Night…they know that if they stick to the old songs and simply add their own little flair to it, they will find success, because there’s already a market for “Jingle Bells.”

You can try to make your blog super original like this Christmas song by the Pogues, and it might even be technically good…but is there a demand for what you’re offering?

I Chose a Crowded Blog Niche and I’m Finding Success

I’m a perfect example of this….the blog creating niche was around many years before I dove into it. I knew there were already some highly successful people in the niche, and I saw this as a positive sign. I was passionate about the niche, spotted a lot of unmet needs here, saw the opportunities, and dove in despite what some people were telling me about this niche being too crowded.

I’m happy I didn’t listen to the naysayers.

Blog Advice Wrap Up: What Niche Are YOU Ready to Conquer?

Are you struggling with your choice of blog niche? If you need some help talking through your decision on the right blog niche, or have any questions about crowded niches vs. a new niche, just leave a comment below. Your questions or comments could help someone else wrestling with their own blog niche decision.

Photo: Crowd by Espen Sundve  CC BY-SA 2.0 

Author Bio:

Matthew Kaboomis Loomis is the owner of Build Your Own Blog. Connect with him on Google+ and Twitter

12 comments

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  1. Sue Chehrenegar says:    •   5 years

    How can I be confident that I will have no trouble locating a crowded niche? So many aspects of my own life have forced me to follow a path that is very different from that of the average, working adult. I am not sure that I could easily name a topic for a crowded niche.

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   5 years Author

      Hi Sue,

      My point here is not to avoid a niche just because it is crowded. Not saying you should always avoid a new, uncharted niche. Make sense?

  2. Jackie robinson says:    •   5 years

    I’m still working on my site, I’ve done some public speaking. I like to talk. I’ve created a few short comical skits. My niche would be inspirational and motivational speaking. My main focus for setting up my blog is affiliate marketing. Tell me your thoughts.

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   5 years Author

      Hi Jackie,

      Providing content marketing with your speaking business is a great way to get new customers. You could include affiliate marketing with your blog as well. Be sure to read some of my other articles, like building an email list, and let me know how things come together.

  3. Rin Porter says:    •   5 years

    Well, Matt, I am certainly in a crowded blog niche: retirement blogs. There are many of them. I read some of them daily, as you suggested in one of your posts a few weeks ago. I’ve left comments too, also as you suggested.

    But after six months of writing my blog, and posting about five times per month, I’m still sitting at under 100 regular readers. In one of your posts you said that no one should expect to be an overnight success, but I had hoped to be in a stronger position than this after six months. But I enjoy writing and researching for my blog, and I will keep at it.

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   5 years Author

      Just stay steady, Rin. Keep learning. Your breakthrough is just around the corner.

  4. steve says:    •   5 years

    I was thinking of getting in to the landscaping blog arena since that is my passion but was worried of all the saturation.

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   5 years Author

      Hey Steve, if you are finding a lot of blogs in landscaping that’s a good sign it’s helping the industry make sales.

      I would start by picking three blogs that are consistently posting good content and study what they’re doing, how they’re doing it and then start coming up with ways you can do it better.

      I can help you get started on Step 1 and then you can devour my tips here as you go. Email me if you have questions.
      Good luck!

  5. shay says:    •   5 years

    Im wanting to start a blog but im not sure what to blog about…like my random thought about things…medical stuff???

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   5 years Author

      Hi Shay,
      Sounds like you want to write and have a myriad of interests. Are you working in the medical field, or are you referring to something different?
      What are you most passionate about? I would pick an area that really interests you. A topic you love. If there’s a topic that jumps out at you, start there. Write in that niche. You’re more likely to stick with it long enough to get good at it. If you just approach it without any plan, and just want to write about anything and everything whenever you feel like it, there’s a good chance you’ll abandon your blog within a few months. Or sooner.
      Maybe “medical stuff” is right for you? Decide on a focus and then start with my Step 1 to get your blog going. It sounds like going through each of the 7 steps would be helpful for you. I’m here if you have any other questions. Much success!

  6. Rich says:    •   3 years

    Hi Matthew,

    what do you suggest to do if for a couple of years you have a blog about trying to survive divorce, career loss and family estrangement and then you start to write about diet, losing weight ..

    and the blog has a cryptic domain name that does not mean anything to anyone and the main keywords that bring traffic are about a different topic, namely deadlifting?

    Initially the blog (hashimashi.com) was about:

    Rebuilding your Life after Divorce

    then

    Hashi Mashi Diet Plan for Men over 50

    then

    Getting Fit after 50

    then

    when I noticed that my most popular posts were on deadlifting of all things, I changed to

    Deadlifts & More ….

    I wonder if I should make the site about deadlifting only?

    And/Or change the domain name?

    The url is hashimashi.com …

    Thanks you for your insights, Richard

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   3 years Author

      Hi Rich,

      If the term “hashi mashi” is not something you want to use for branding purposes, and you want to focus on deadlifting, I would start a new site with a better domain name.

      Once you get that set up, you could move the content you want to save from hashi mashi to your new site.

      In summary, I would let this domain go because it has no value for anyone. If it means nothing to nobody, then no one will want it, and since you are ready to start fresh, consider letting this domain go and starting over.

      Make sense?

      Matt