Choosing Your Blog Topic: Is a Broad or Narrow Niche More Profitable?

J.P. Hicks:

So, you want to make money with a blog but aren't really sure where to begin.  You have a general idea of the topics you want to blog about but can't decide how big to go.

You may have visions of competing with the biggest websites in your field and running a full scale news room.  Or, you're considering zeroing in on a very specific topic, but you're not sure you can make money doing that.

Choosing the scope of your blog niche is perhaps the most important step to beginning your path to make money blogging.

There are basically two approaches; broad or narrow, each with its benefits and drawbacks.  Yet each has the potential to be profitable.

Starting a blog with a broad scope could potentially draw millions of pageviews a month, thus giving you unlimited ways to profit from it.  Whereas, a micro niche will likely attract fewer pageviews but your visitors may be much more targeted allowing for the promotion of specialty products or services.

Much of your decision depends on how competitive your overall topic is, or how quickly you want to start ranking in search engines and making money.

For instance, if you're going to create a broad blog about economics, you'll be competing with some major websites like Bloomberg, Forbes, or CNBC, not to mention thousands of other credible sources.  It will take much more time to gain strength, yet the rewards can be terrific.

If you choose the micro niche of investing in precious metals, or more precisely silver, chances are you will begin ranking much faster in search engines and immediately attract a rabid crowd of silver advocates to your blog. Profits can come quickly with a micro-niche strategy but may ultimately have a cap.

Below is my take on broad versus narrow:

Broad Niche: Personally, I like to go broad.  I don't like to have a cap on what my blogs can become.  Although I enjoy starting new projects, I want my hard work to go towards something with unlimited potential.  Additionally, I view my blogs as long-term projects which is essential when choosing to go broad.

Again, the broader your subject matter the more potential for a large diverse crowd of visitors.  However, it may take much longer to optimize and get to a point where the content is credible enough to compete with the big boys.

To have a successful broad-scope blog, you'll still have to choose your categories wisely as they essentially represent the micro-niches that you'll be targeting for SEO within your overall theme.  Before you can rank high on search engines for mega-popular broad phrases, you'll have to target the smaller ones first.

Additionally, you'll likely need outside help to be successful with a broad topic.  Aggregating content from other websites and blogs and soliciting guest writers or syndicated contributors to fill in the gaps will be essential. All of that takes time and still requires you to build up the platform first.

Since the potential with a broad topic blog is so great, the time it takes to develop may be worth the effort for those who are passionate about the overall subject.  Ultimately, you must be patient and passionate to create a successful broad-scope blog.

Pro:  The pros of choosing a broad blog topic is there's unlimited potential for traffic and income.
Con:  They take much longer to develop.

Small Niche: Making money with narrow niche blog is much easier and faster than a broad topic.  Although traffic and profit potential is less, most bloggers prefer this method over the latter as one can make several small or micro-niche sites, each making some money.

There is no hard and fast rule on how small to go, but the smaller the easier to optimize.

For example, if you're a pet lover and want to make a blog dedicated to attracting an audience of other people who love their pets, you have a decision to make about whether you target a wide variety of domestic animals or just, say, cat lovers.

And if you target cats, do you target a certain breed?  As you narrow the focus, you'll tap into an increasingly passionate audience about that niche and be able to rank very quickly for terms like "Persian cat lovers" for instance.  But, obviously, you'll limit your potential to how many people love Persian cats.

However, there may be excellent products that are tailor made for Persian cats that offer a commission.  If you successfully optimize this niche, you could realize an income quite quickly.  But you may need to make many of these individual breed niche sites to make a full-time income.

Before choosing a micro niche, it's vital to make sure that there are affiliate products with decent commission rates that you can promote. In fact, some bloggers will actually build a blog around specific products to maximize the potential of a particular niche.

Pro: Small niche blogs can rank high and make money very quickly.
Con: They have traffic/profit limitations and may require you to build several blogs if you desire a full-time income.

As a final note, it's imperative that both broad and micro niche bloggers do their keyword research and learn where to use keywords within the blog to be successful.

J.P. Hicks is a professional blogger, editor of Blog Tips, and author of the Secrets to Making Money with a Free Blog.  Follow @ Twitter, or like on Facebook.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license.  It's okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution is included and all links remain intact.

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