The human race is in an amazing position. Easy access to information and the ability to contribute to the giant shared pool of knowledge has made the world a fascinating place – full of facts, fiction, opinions, viewpoints, personalities, and much, much more.
If you have decided to add your unique insight to the mix, starting a blog is a fantastic option.
Many people choose to start a niche blog to write about their passion. However, in all the excitement of getting a blog up and running, it’s super easy to overlook a number of mistakes that can potentially cast the blog into the pit of despair – meaning it never gains traffic and interest levels deteriorate.
So, what exactly are these detrimental niche blogging mistakes?
Let’s dive in.
Going too Broad
If you don’t have a background in SEO – or any other form of digital marketing – it might seem logical to choose your blogging niche around super general topics to get noticed. Unfortunately, this is not the smart approach.
General topics have VERY high search volumes. Additionally, there are thousands – maybe even millions – of other websites writing about similar topics. That said, you will likely end up spending a ton of time writing content that simply contributes to the noise and gets buried in the search results pages – especially as a new blog.
Take the travel niche for example. This is one of the most saturated blogging niches on the web. If you are writing posts about all sorts of travel with no clear focus, it’s going to take a very long time to get your posts to show up on Google. Keep in mind, most Google searches don’t go past page one!
Say you have started a travel blog and want to write about traveling to Europe. Let’s see what kind of search volume there is for the key phrase “travel to Europe.”
If you look at the top, the search volume is 14,800/month. Moreover, if you wanted to rank on the prestigious page one of the Google search results, you are going up against websites like Costco Travel, Travel & Leisure, and Expedia. As amazing as your content may be, you probably won’t outrank these sites in a million years!
Now, let’s get a little more specific with the niche. Instead of general travel, let’s say your niche is traveling with babies.
Using the term, “travel to Europe with baby,” you’ll notice that the search volume is only 260/month. Therefore, your chances of ranking on Google’s search results within this niche would be much greater.
When you choose a niche to blog about, you don’t want to reach for the biggest and most popular topics. Try to get specific to a certain area of that niche. Otherwise, your blog will essentially function like a personal diary – especially in the early stages.
Going too Narrow
On the other hand, you don’t want to get so specific with your niche that there is little to no search volume for related keywords. This will also mean that your blog functions like a personal diary. For example, if you’re trying to create a niche blog around potential architecture design on Saturn, you probably won’t get a whole lot of traffic (if any) – based on search volumes.
The key is to find the sweet spot in keyword search volumes where there is enough to get noticed, but not too much that you can’t compete. The good news is there are plenty of free tools out there to help with this.
Personally, I love the Keywords Everywhere extension. With any Google search you make, the extension will provide a list of similar keywords along with their search volumes.
When you choose a blogging niche, you should ALWAYS look into the keywords associated with it. As you start writing your niche content, you ideally want to create it for terms with less than 1,000 searches/month, but more than 0 searches/month, obviously.
As you start to gather a following on your blog and build up some credibility on the search engines, you can slowly start to tackle broader topics with higher search volumes.
No Monetization Potential
Hopefully, the passion you have for your blogging niche never dies.
While you may initially love spending the time to research niche keywords, write your posts, manage your website, and everything else involved with running a blog, sooner or later, things might change. Maybe there’s a shift in your day job, you start a family, or maybe you simply lose that spark that drove you to create your blog. The bottom line is that life happens and you will have to prioritize your time.
If you’re dedicating lots of effort to your blog and are seeing little return on the investment, it can be hard to justify spending the time day after day – especially in the midst of a big life change. However, if you are generating a side income from your blog, the drive to keep it going will be A LOT greater.
As you are choosing your blogging niche, you are wise to consider the long term viability for monetization. Ideally, someday you will have a considerable amount of traffic in which you can capitalize on.
Think one, two, and five years down the road. Is there potential to sell a product/service that your readers would be interested in? Or maybe some affiliate opportunities?
For example, let’s say you started a blog focused on interior design for tiny homes. After a few years of writing awesome content, you have a large following of readers who love your posts.
- Could you start a service in which people send you the 3D floor plan of their tiny house and you provide input on how to decorate it?
- Or, could you work with other interior designers and promote their services for a commission?
In the interest of selling products, say you run a blog about camping in cold climates. Could you sell related products (like winter tents, thermoses, cold weather sleeping bags, etc.) directly on your website? Integrating sales capabilities on a blog is super easy these days, especially if you want to shift to a WordPress e-commerce site someday.
When you pour your heart into a blog, it’s a shame to let it go stagnant – whatever the reason may be. If you plan out your blog with monetization potential in mind, there will be a strong motivation to keep it alive. Who knows, maybe it will turn into a full-time gig!
No Ability to Publish Evergreen Content
What is evergreen content?
Just like an evergreen tree retains its leaves all year round, evergreen content retains its value – regardless of the timing.
Evergreen topic = Why You Should Visit Europe at Least Once in Your Lifetime
Non-evergreen topic = X Biggest Takeaways from Super Bowl 52
Evergreen content serves several key purposes. Most importantly, while topical, non-evergreen content is great for traffic, it’s a short game strategy. Evergreen content is in it for the long term and can bring in sustainable traffic.
Depending on your niche, you may be more focused on timely content. But, it’s always good to have a healthy mix of evergreen and non-evergreen posts. Think about a blog that covers sports. Take Bleacher Report for example. Most of the content they publish is related to trending sports news. However, there is also a great deal of evergreen content on the website:
Now, keep in mind, just because a topic is evergreen, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should just let it sit there. There are many evergreen topics that are susceptible to trends.
To give you an example, say you run a blog on web design. A topic like How to Design a High-Converting Website is going to be relevant as long as websites exist. However, the specifics will need to be updated from time-to-time. A blog post on website design written in 2011 isn’t going to be 100% relevant in 2019.
So, when possible, try to update your posts with new keywords, data, examples, or anything else that keeps the takeaways fresh.
Capitalizing on trending topics is fantastic for building awareness and introducing your blog to the world. Evergreen content, on the other hand, is important to ensure that your blog provides value that stands the test of time.
Over to You
The initial excitement and making grand plans for the future are all parts of the process in starting a blog. However, getting caught up in the hype often times results in a number of key infancy stage mistakes.
Ultimately, the big picture plan is about keeping your blog going for the long haul and becoming a force to be reckoned with in the niche. While there are a million mistakes you can commit when starting and operating a blog, these four are some of the most glaring.
I hope this post has given you a good idea of what to do (and more importantly, what not to do) when launching a niche blog!
This post was written by Kevin Svec. Kevin is the Chief Content Strategist at E2M Solutions Inc. He is highly experienced in planning, creating, and distributing blog posts, eBooks, whitepapers, and any other sort of educational content. Kevin is also a seasoned copywriter, with a lot of experience writing website copy and ad content. When he isn’t rock climbing or enjoying one of Southern California’s gorgeous beaches, Kevin is writing for Impulsive Wanderlust, a travel + leisure website he created. Connect with him on LinkedIn.