For the first 10 years of building my online presence, I (like most beginner bloggers) completely avoided picking a blog niche and wrote about EVERYTHING. Whatever topic I was thinking about that morning, as I procrastinated looking at my to-do list for my corporate job, would be whipped into a blog post and published immediately.
You probably never heard of my blog for the first 10 years because this process was not very well thought out and my content was fairly boring and haphazard.
But when I launched my freelance business in 2011, I knew I needed to get serious and make a choice between creating content that would bring in new clients and blogging about what I had been blogging about for years.
Week after week, new bloggers join Dare to Blog (my beginner blogger course + community) and almost immediately get stuck deciding what to blog about.
The easiest option does seem to be a generic lifestyle blog because then you have the option to blog about literally anything. However, not having a specific set of topics that move you + your audience in a specific direction will tend to leave you at a loss for post ideas more often than not.
And so I highly recommend choosing a very specific niche that helps ONE group of people accomplish ONE goal. (If you’re wondering how to figure this out, the first module in Dare to Blog walks you through this.)
But what happens when you have TWO things you want to write about? Maybe it’s your career (that you’ve been educated in and worked on for years) and a hobby. Maybe it’s two hobbies that you are equally passionate about. Maybe it’s a hobby and a personal experience. Or one topic you know will get more readers and one you enjoy more.
Here’s how to figure out if you should write about one or both and which one to choose in the end.
Can you combine them in some way?
First, is it at all possible to smush your two blog topics together into one unique niche? Maybe you want to blog about fashion and travel. Can you combine them to share how you pack and what you wear while you travel? Brainstorm tips for what to wear depending on the climate? Or document what you learn about the fashions and the cultures you’re experiencing?
Maybe you want to blog about yoga and cooking. Many people who are into yoga will also be interested in healthy lifestyle tips in general. Could you blog about what you eat post- or pre-yoga session? Which foods help energize you to make it through your 9pm ashtanga class?
To successfully combine two different topics into one niche, you’ll need to infuse aspects of each into all of your blog posts, emails, and social content.
>>> Check out this post from a bunch of my blogging students rocking their own unique niche
Do you have more content or experience in one topic or another?
To see if one blog topic will be more viable than the other, brainstorm a year of blog posts (that’s at least 52 ideas) for each. For example, if your expertise is in finance but you really love hiking, you may have more content for one topic or the other.
If you can come up with a year of posts, it’s likely that niche will be sustainable for years as you’ll learn new things yourself and from your audience to keep the ideas flowing.
What types of content would you need to create?
When you think about blogging, are you interested in writing, taking photos, creating worksheets, shooting video, or recording audio? For a hiking blog, photos of beautiful trails and vistas would be necessary. But for a financial blog, not so much – you could get away with purchasing stock photos and creating mostly written content, though adding in some charts and graphs might be helpful.
If you’re not feeling great about your photography skills and don’t have the means to hire a photographer (or convince your hiking buddies to help out), then you’ll be more likely to stay consistent (that’s at least one blog post/week) when you only have to create written content.
What would the audience look like for each topic?
Different topics are going to attract different people, and digging into WHO you’re blogging for may help to solidify your niche. Think about the age of your audience, where they are in their life, and where they are hoping to be in the next few years.
If you have a high-end product, then you probably don’t want to aim for beginners and should be creating content for people who are a little more advanced. Or if you’re hoping to create a support group, then you’ll probably want to aim for readers who are a few steps behind what you’re working on.
What problems does each topic solve?
The best blogs help to solve a problem. Consider the challenges of your audience and how your blog will help them overcome those obstacles. Does one topic or the other have problems you’re more interested in solving? Do you have personal experience or training in solving those problems?
>> Why focusing on the result is SO important when growing your blog
What is your personal, totally selfish goal for writing a blog?
Maybe it’s to change people’s opinions on a topic. To gain more clients or customers. Make a million dollars or simply pay your rent each month. To feel popular and admired. Or find a community online that you haven’t found offline. Will one of your blog topics help you nail that goal faster than the other?
If you’ve gone through all the prompts and you’re still feeling stuck, I recommend 1. jumping into Dare to Blog and leaving a comment in the community for help making a decision, AND 2. Start writing. You can create a website under your own name (so it works for either topic) or simply write blog posts in a Google doc. Try to add a new post every week and see if having to actually create content will pull you in one direction or another.