A Niche Blog Versus A General Blog
If you’re familiar with the IM (that’s Internet Marketing) arena, a lot of people may tell you that if you want to blog for money, you’re going to have to start a blog that’s focused on one niche and just blog about that. And to monetize it, you’re going to have to do affiliate marketing, like ClickBank and use Google AdSense and maybe sell e-books.
They may also tell you that it’s going to be harder to make money with a blog that’s too general, one that talks about pretty much anything and everything and has no focus.
Actually, either way has its own good points and bad points. So let’s take a look at a niche blog versus a relatively general blog, and then you decide which one fits you best.
The Niche Blog
This is where you pick one specific area of interest to talk about and that’s all you talk about. One example is my husband’s blog about deer hunting. Now, that’s a pretty targeted niche. We don’t talk about elk hunting, small game hunting, bear or anything else. Just deer – doe and buck.
And since we live on the east coast, he rarely hunts outside of Pennsylvania, and so most of our articles are based on his 35+ years of experience in the cold weather out in the woods.
My bookmarks blog is another example of a niche blog since it talks specifically about party planning and wedding planning relative to using bookmarks for favors.
Subtopics in a niche blog
But there are a lot of subtopics under deer hunting too. And we haven’t even touched the surface of it because we’ve both been too busy with our other businesses. Also, since I’m not the hunter in the family, I pretty much have to “fake it” and then have my husband look over my posts before I put them on the blog.
So what subtopics come into the deer hunting category? We talk about gear, guns, bows, types of deer hunting seasons, equipment, tree stands, etc. And then there are the articles about camping, because a lot of hunters actually camp while they’re hunting too.
And finally, there’s what you do with the deer once you’ve gotten one. So you can make blankets from the pelt, lamps with the hoofs, and let’s not forget all the venison recipes too.
With the bookmarks site, I blog about a couple of topics besides party and wedding planning such as using bookmarks for fundraising or business promotion.
How do you monetize a niche blog?
All kinds of ways. I have plans to do some videos with my husband to make his blog a lot more appealing and hopefully to get some residual income going with it because I’ve put a lot of time into that blog!
Some monetization options would be YouTube ads, e-books and affiliate links with Amazon and eBay. I can record my husband doing some product reviews on what he uses when he hunts, like special laundry detergents for removing odors and scents before heading out to the woods.
Actually, even with a relatively narrow niche blog about deer hunting, there are a lot of things that can be done with it. It takes time, focus and some creativity, but most topics, regardless of how small they are, can be expanded and still remain on topic.
Also, if your blog is centered around specific seasons or events, you might get more traffic during those trending seasons than at any other time of year. Wedding blogs for instance seem to get most of their traffic around January through March, right around the time as all of the local bridal fairs. This seems to be when most brides-to-be start their wedding planning in earnest for summer and fall weddings.
Similarly, my husband’s deer hunting blog tends to get a decent amount of traffic during the hunting seasons.
What To Do With General Blogs
I like to think of a general blog almost as an online magazine of sorts. You can pick up a beauty magazine from a newsstand and read articles about fashion trends, and vice versa. The “Ladies Home Journal” magazine may be about things to do around the home, but have reviews on family travel and even short stories.
So what would be the purpose of building a general blog versus a niche blog?
Well, here was my thought process behind one of my site conversions, which started out as a niche website that was strictly about general transcription as a home-based freelance business.
I also had a second niche site just for nail art. Neither of those sites were very successful on their own because I just didn’t have enough time to focus on each one separately.
So I decided that since I do my nails at home to save money while working from home, it pertains to working at home, in some roundabout way anyway. And only having one blog with combined content will open the blog up to anyone who’s working at home and trying to make money and save money.
That’s when I decided to build one general blog that talks about working at home in general and I created subcategories to talk about nail art, transcription, Internet Marketing, SEO, etc. And there are a lot of successful blogs that are structured the same way.
So is one blog type better than the other?
That depends on you. If you think you’ll have an easier time talking about one specific niche, and you have a lot of information about that niche, then build a niche blog and stick with one subject.
If you’re passionate about several topics and you don’t want to have to register five or ten separate domain names and build a bunch of different blogs, decide which general topic any of your other topics can fit into easily.
Maybe at some point you may want to be “the authority” of one of the subtopics and branch it out on its own. And maybe not.
If you have the time, passion, creativity and drive to make your one blog a success and make money with it, you’ll stick with it because you enjoy it and your passion and excitement will show through your content.
You don’t really have to carve out tiny little niche blogs anymore if you really feel yu may not have enough time to devote to each one to make them all successful and making money.
If you want to set up one general blog that talks about a variety of topics, go for it. Just be sure to do some keyword research for each topic, and if you can do it, tie the topics in with the general theme of your blog.
When you’re building your blog, remember that each post or page that you have is indexed in the search engines in its own right by whatever keywords you choose. So build categories for those different topics.
As for making money with any type of blog, there’s AdSense, ClickBank, and don’t forget about YouTube! If you can create a video to go with each blog post, you may build a following more quickly as people get to see you “in person” every time they visit your blog.