Broad Niche or Narrow Niche?

21 replies
So, a few days ago I decided I wanted to start a blog, my passion is basically everything related to design, for example: Graphic Design, Web Design, Architecture, Interior Design etc.

I registered what I think is a killer domain that is perfect for branding and ideal for use on social media. I also bought hosting and installed WordPress.

My issue now is content, before buying the domain I planned to have the website split into lots of categories like such as the ones mentioned above however now I'm having second thoughts.

Should I stick with my plan of having a blog that covers multiple categories or should I focus on just one of them such as Architecture.
#broad #narrow #niche
  • Profile picture of the author isaacsmithjones
    You can have the multiple categories, but focus on one "main" category to begin with. That way, the search engines will "notice" a targeted theme. Then you can gradually expand out to other sections over time.
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    • Profile picture of the author Crevans
      Thanks, hopefully I will get it up tomorrow

      Anybody else with any advice?
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      • Profile picture of the author tomako
        Originally Posted by Crevans View Post

        Thanks, hopefully I will get it up tomorrow

        Anybody else with any advice?
        My advice is start tomorrow, if you can't today. Do not postpone it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Clyde Dennis
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Crevans,

      Yes, content is one issue that needs to be addressed with a broad topic site. But greater issues, in my opinion, are:
      1. Targeting your best potential customers in your marketing. The wider the net you cast, the more time, money, and effort you need to spend in order to focus squarely on the problems, wants, and needs of your audience.
      2. Coming up with specific products or services that will appeal to a wide audience. When you are catering to a very focused pool of prospects you can provide very focused solutions. With a broad audience, how are you going to find or create specific products that are going to appeal to everyone?
      3. Competition. The wider the audience, the more you are going to run into huge companies with nearly unlimited resources and muscle. How do you expect to deal with them? Often, these "big boys" don't bother with small focused niches - it's not what they care about . . . which is a good thing for the small owner.
      It's obvious that I have a bias toward specialization. I'm not saying you can't be successful by going broad - I'm saying the broader you go the more difficult time you will have being successful.

      Good luck to you,

      Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
      Originally Posted by Clyde Dennis View Post

      Sent you a PM.
      Thanks for adding so much value to the discussion.

      Often when you try to cover lots of topics and cater to "everyone" you usually end up catering to no one.
      I agree. Pick the topic with the most money being spent and laser focus on that.
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  • Profile picture of the author alvinhy
    Originally Posted by Crevans View Post

    So, a few days ago I decided I wanted to start a blog, my passion is basically everything related to design, for example: Graphic Design, Web Design, Architecture, Interior Design etc.

    I registered what I think is a killer domain that is perfect for branding and ideal for use on social media. I also bought hosting and installed WordPress.

    My issue now is content, before buying the domain I planned to have the website split into lots of categories like such as the ones mentioned above however now I'm having second thoughts.

    Should I stick with my plan of having a blog that covers multiple categories or should I focus on just one of them such as Architecture.
    first start off small then grow out to the other categories.
    Maybe go with graphic design first and then slowly add content relating to architecture and interior design.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikesdebp
    I've tried both and had most success with a fairly broad topic. If you have good content to start you'll get picked up by the search engines, and this will carry over to your more specialized pages.

    As far as social media goes, you're better off with a separate page for each topic.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Forget about the search engines. Worry about people first.

      These are complementary topics and while some people may only be interested in a couple of them others will be interested in multiple topics. There is a lot of cross-influence that happens in design. A graphic designer may be inspired by an interesting architectural feature while an architect might be inspired by a painting. So there's plenty of overlap possible.

      If you have the ability and content to cover multiple topics from the beginning, that's what I would do. If I visited a graphic design site regularly and, one day, they started adding architectural posts, that would seem weird. Yes, they overlap as I've mentioned but it would still seem weird. It would change the nature of the site and that may alienate some established readers. They may feel you're shifting the focus to other things instead of what they came there to read.

      On the flip side, if you cover those topics from the get-go, readers know what the site is about when they first visit it. There's no alienation to be had at a later point because the site is already set up to be the type of site you always intended it to be.

      So, that's what I would do. Build the broad site you want to build and not a narrow site others say you should build. I followed the latter advice years ago instead of going broad like I wanted, and I wish now I could have told my past self to focus on the broad site instead of narrow niche sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author Crevans
    Thank you all for your replies, it is genuinely appreciated. I am going to create the site to how I want it to look in a years time (So all categories). I'm going to try populate each category with a few posts then focus on one or two categories. If I do start to generate income I can then hire writers to help populate the other sections.

    It was mentioned and I think it is a major factor, do you think I should have separate social media accounts and pages for each of the main categories or one main one?
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    Often when you try to cover lots of topics and cater to "everyone" you usually end up catering to no one.

    Lots of mismatched content that really doesn't 'connect' with any one type of person.

    By focusing on ONE quite specific topic you can aim to be the very best site on the net about it and really nail it.

    This can lead to finding a captivating audience who your site really appeals to.

    I don't like going too niche these days, i.e. I'd never create a site around 1 product for example, but I don't like going too wide either.

    For example there's thousands of internet marketing blogs mostly offering general IM advice on everything from blogging to traffic to social media to whatever.

    So to stand out I focus on delivering niche ideas, how to find / research niches and so on with some other more general IM stuff every now and then to keep it interesting.

    But my core content is the niche stuff. And that's what makes me different from other blogs in the market.

    So if I was you I would pick one and position yourself as the authority on that particular subject.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Crevans View Post

    Should I stick with my plan of having a blog that covers multiple categories
    No; it's a very poor idea and will significantly stack the deck against you, in my opinion. (Not everyone will necessarily agree, though!).

    Originally Posted by Crevans View Post

    Broad Niche or Narrow Niche?
    Narrow. For countless reasons. You'll probably get better targeted and more easily monetizable traffic that way, and it'll all be a lot easier.

    The relationship between niche-development and income is a non-linear one. In the early stages, you do the most work for the least money. The wider your "niche"/"market" is, the longer that takes to surpass.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...bie-start.html

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post8561081

    .
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    • Profile picture of the author liquid ice
      If you have experience in all, then cover all those topics. More readers/customers to cater to.

      Just my 2cents
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      • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
        Originally Posted by liquid ice View Post

        If you have experience in all, then cover all those topics. More readers/customers to cater to.

        Just my 2cents
        Not usually true. See my post above.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by liquid ice View Post

        If you have experience in all, then cover all those topics. More readers/customers to cater to.
        Yup - that's the simplistic/superficial view, but if you read the posts above yours, you'll see why it's actually fallacious reasoning, because of the significance of the factors it ignores. You can perhaps see that "more readers to cater to", in this context, is another way of saying "badly targeted"? It's a way of looking at the issue quantitatively instead of qualitatively, isn't it?

        Originally Posted by liquid ice View Post

        Just my 2cents
        Indeed ... well: you valued it yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Stick to 1 niche/idea. People will think you're not *truly* the "go to" site for their interests.
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    • Profile picture of the author Taniwha
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      Stick to 1 niche/idea. People will think you're not *truly* the "go to" site for their interests.
      The Warrior Forum is a site many people go to for all their all their internet marketing needs.

      To the op: If you know there are a lot of people out there with the same broad design interests, and you have your own unique angle, go for it. That is, after all, you have deemed it profitable.

      If you find that the majority of your readers enjoy only one aspect of your site - pivot.

      The rewards for creating a broad authority site are immense. And with those rewards is risk. Weigh them up then play the game.
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      • Profile picture of the author Recruitment Nick
        Originally Posted by Taniwha View Post

        The Warrior Forum is a site many people go to for all their all their internet marketing needs.

        To the op: If you know there are a lot of people out there with the same broad design interests, and you have your own unique angle, go for it. That is, after all, you have deemed it profitable.

        If you find that the majority of your readers enjoy only one aspect of your site - pivot.

        The rewards for creating a broad authority site are immense. And with those rewards is risk. Weigh them up then play the game.
        Indeed. But it was a site that started in it's niche when IM was much smaller, and grew over time. If it was started now, as an IM forum the same as so many out there, would it succeed as well?
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  • Profile picture of the author Recruitment Nick
    Dominating a niche is

    a) easier
    b) often more profitable

    For instance I do recruitment (hence the name) and in theory I could go after "all recruitment in the UK" (though my company would argue with me instantly). But I would be spread thin, end up with no specialist knowledge and rather than calling on existing contacts I would be starting form scratch each time.

    Instead I specialise in environmental recruitment (and actually only a very narrow band within that, about 4 job titles in total). Because of that I can pitch myself as an expert, because I am. It's a small sector and I know a huge number of the good people within those job titles. I speak to them on a frequent to semi frequent basis, clients and candidates know to come to me, I know all the lingo, the terms, etc.

    Now we're growing our niche, and so I'm adding some more job titles to target with a view to adding more team members. We're building from a very narrow niche to a slightly broader one, but we can do that because we have a solid client base to grow from.

    In this instance you could be looking at growing a solid following in ONE niche, where you know the news, the lingo, can interview good people and give an interesting slant. And then, when you are a go to source for people in that sector, you can slowly add logical additional sectors. For instance going into garden design from interior design, or going into mechanical design from product design.

    Make yourself a go to source in one sector, get an income from that, then diversify from there. Remember advertisers will come to an expert if you have a defined audience. They will want to target your audience with new offers, adverts, etc. If your audience is generic and not well defined it won't be as valuable to an advertiser.

    Oh, and the standard WF advice - make sure you're building a list
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  • Profile picture of the author NK
    Focus on one or maybe two topics first. Build up a small readership. The issue I see with going all over at once is that you won't have enough content for one part to get returning visitors so it's better to build one category up and then branch out from there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kikrly
    Narrowing niche is easier for marketing, I'd say that if you are marketing for everyone, you are marketing for nobody. Narrowing the market you focus well, and you can identify the specific segment more easily. You know who your customers are.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheFranchiseMarketer
    Banned
    In my opinion I think you should focus on the narrower niche. The reason being is because you want to check and see if it is a niche worth investing time or money into. If you want to create other niche blogs then you should keep them seperate so that you can monitor the analytics.
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