Can’t Decide on Your Blog’s Focus? Tips for Baffled Bloggers


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Does your blog need a focus? How do you decide on a specific topic or niche? These tips for bloggers will help you narrow down your ideas; they’re inspired by a question from a reader…

“I want to start a blog I’ll actually publish to frequently for quite some time,” says Jimmy on Ready to Start Blogging? 5 Steps to Setting Up a Blog for Writers. “I think I have a great perspective, but I can’t seem to narrow my focus down to something as specific as yours. When I write, the topics are rather varied, but generally they are basically life lessons we learn in our twenties (I’m 23). Do you have any suggestions? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!”





One of my first tips is to get and stay connected with your creativity. You need to tune into who you are as a blogger, as a writer, as a human being.

I’ve been bored with blogging for a few months. My well was dry, I couldn’t figure if I should keep blogging full-time or get a part-time job out of the house. But then I joined a group of writers reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. And, I started my Morning Pages. I’m filling my well, and realizing that I do love blogging…but I can’t do it on empty.

The Complete Artist’s Way: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice is a fantastic book for bored bloggers – or aspiring bloggers who don’t know what their niche is. It’ll help you stay in touch with your creative, authentic self — so you can be the blogger or writer you’re destined to be.

Here are a few thoughts for writers or other people who can’t decide on a blog niche or focus…

Can’t Decide on Your Blog’s Focus? Tips for Baffled Bloggers

Decide if your blog needs a specific focus

First, you need to decide if you should focus your blog in a specific way. My “pet” blog (my favorite one, but it’s not a blog about pets) is Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals because I can write about anything I want. I write about fitness, career, money, and travel – whatever strikes my fancy! And, whatever readers ask about. I love the freedom and variety of that blog.

Most professional or expert bloggers say you should start a blog with a specific focus or niche. That’s good if you want to brand yourself as an expert, build targeted blog traffic, and create a specific audience.

But there’s a danger to creating a blog that’s too focused…

It’s boring and stifling to be tied to one blog niche, topic,or subject forever.

My least favorite blog is Quips and Tips for Couples Coping With Infertility. I started it when my husband and I discovered we can’t have our own biological kids. But I’m not upset that we can’t have kids – I’d love to get pregnant, but I’m happy with my life, my marriage, and my career! I don’t want to blog about infertility because it bores me, I don’t want to blog about getting pregnant or fertility treatments because I could care less…but I don’t want to let that blog go because it’s getting more and more  popular all the time, and I make money from it. See my dilemma?

When you’re deciding on your blog’s focus or niche, remember that you’re committing to one topic for a long time. Maybe even forever! Yes, you can abandon it midstream or if you get bored – like the majority of bloggers do – but who wants to start a blog with that mindset?

The downside of a niche blog is that you might get tired or bored of it in year…or even a couple of weeks. Even if you absolutely love and are passionate your topic, you may run out of steam or ideas.

So…

Figure out your purpose for blogging

Jimmy wants to share life lessons of 20 year olds. Why does his blog need to be as specific as Quips and Tips for Successful Writers? Why not start a blog that is as broad and general as life lessons? In fact, I don’t think “life lessons we learn in our twenties” is too general. I think it’s a blog niche that 20 year olds would love to follow and participate in. The beauty of that blog niche is that the ideas are endless.

If you’re a baffled blogger – you can’t decide on your blog’s purpose – then you need to figure out why you’re blogging. Why do you want to blog? Who are you writing for? What do you want to say?

The downside of a general blog, like Achieving Your Goals, is that it’s almost impossible to build and sustain a specific readership. But the upside is that I can write about whatever I want! My purpose for blogging is to motivate, inspire, and educate people.

Find your purpose, and don’t worry about narrowing down your blog to an uber-specific niche or topic. Just follow your heart and your gut!

If you want to make money blogging, read How Do Bloggers Make Money? How My Blogs Pay the Bills.

What do you think, fellow bloggers? Are you bored with your blog’s focus or niche? Got any tips for baffled bloggers?


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8 thoughts on “Can’t Decide on Your Blog’s Focus? Tips for Baffled Bloggers

  • Laurie Post author

    Hi Beth,

    I think I understand how you feel – it’s scary to think of pouring your heart and soul into your online journal, only to get no readers! Maybe it also feels like a waste of time. I started several blogs, and most of them aren’t nearly as popular as I’d like.

    There is no guarantee that ANY venture will be successful — whether it’s a job, relationship, vacation, new business, move to a new city….or a blog. The only thing we can do is take a leap of faith, and trust that we will learn from whatever happens.

    I do think your blog will speak to people, but you have to be prepared for the long haul. Commit to at least a year of regular blogging, and don’t question yourself or your blog for at least that year. Throw yourself into it, and see where it takes you!

  • Beth

    HI, thanks for the great blogging ideas! I too have the variation dilemma. I like a little bit of everything. But my idea is to have a blog about how my life is changing. I’ve been through some really hard times and am battling not only outside forces but depression as well. I’m trying to change things by educating myself with other blogs, counseling, etc. Would a blog with this type of journey speak to people? I’m afraid of having an online journal that gets no readership. Thanks Beth

  • AstroGremlin@WordPress Blogging

    Really enjoyed this post, Laurie. As a beginning blogger, my main motivation is to learn how to blog, learn SEO and what attracts readers. The second motivation is to have fun and keep writing!

    Also learning that blogging is a dialog. I just installed CommentLuv with DoFollow and (with G.A.S.P. to keep the spammers at bay) looking for readers who also write.

    Lately have been experimenting with superhero-based humor, inventing superheros with weak and silly powers. This is side-by-side with WordPress-oriented tips with links to my more technical friends. Talk about being baffled! With Do Follow on, I may become Zero Authority Man, the blogger who links to all commenter’s web sites.:) My question: Is that a huge mistake?

  • Ekaterina Trayt

    My main blog is about Finland. I moved here a couple of years ago, and still haven’t blogged about everything I’ve experienced! This place is so exciting to live in, that I doubt I’d run out of ideas any time soon. And I love sharing photographs 🙂

    But writing only about Finland wasn’t enough for me, so I started a personal blog. There I can share anything. And, it seems it gets readers faster than the blog about Finland. People like to read general “diaries”.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Vidya ~ Dry well syndrome is exactly what I was suffering from! That’s why I love the Artist’s Way and Morning Pages…because it fills me up.

    Hugh ~ Thanks for your comment. Yup, niche can get boring fast. But if I had a cat or dog blog, I think I’d never run out of things to write about. A pet blog! Quips and Tips for Pet Owners….o dear, I feel another blog coming on…

    S Wesley ~ Good luck with your blog – keep me posted on how things are going! 🙂

  • S Wesley Steam

    I really enjoy reading your blog Laurie. This in especially hits home for me, as I am just getting my own blog started going.

    A lot of the process is overwhelming. I am very thankful to learn from Guru’s like yourself!

  • Hugh Kimura

    I wish I read something like this before I started my previous blog. Like you mention above, I went too niche and I got bored. That being said, I think that sometimes the best thing to do is just start a blog on a free service and work out the kinks there. Sometimes just getting started is the best thing to do. Then when/if you have a solid plan and you are still interested in the topic(s), get a self-hosted account.

  • Vidya Sury, Freelance Writer & Blogger

    This post spoke to me. Earlier, I never cared about the niche-dilemma because I knew I wanted to stick to variety. Okay – so I started my health blog (niche) and love writing it. In fact, I love writing for my three blogs.

    But when I shifted the primary blog from blogspot to its custom domain, I went crazy wondering what direction to take it in. The information overload online didn’t help at all. I realized I was wasting time gathering information I couldn’t understand fully or wouldn’t use. Ever. So I just let it be and continued to write as I always do. The peace is gratifying.

    This also brought home the fact that when we begin to worry too much about other things, and not writing, even the writing part gets messed up. Dry-well syndrome. Ah, but now am back on track. 🙂