Should a blog have a niche?

I’m breaking my own rules by blogging about blogging. It feels a little weird, like a writer writing a book about, well, a writer. It’s vaguely self-conscious. Well, hey, I figure you read this blog so whom better to discuss this question with?

Circus Queen has been a parenting blog from the start (in a way). I began it at a time when I was pregnant and my freelance work was slow. I wanted a space to explore this miraculous experience of growing another human being and to keep sharpening my writing.

Then, when Talitha was born and taught me to parent with instinct, attachment and gentleness (ie she never wanted me to put her down) it became a lot about chatting about this newfound passion for a conscious style of parenting.

My own breastfeeding difficulties made me want to help other women at this vulnerable stage in their lives and so, alongside volunteering as a breastfeeding peer supporter, I naturally have blogged a fair bit about breastfeeding – more than a fair bit, maybe!

And it’s not that anything’s wrong with any of that. I think it’s all important stuff to talk about and I really enjoy it. I love talking slings and things. It seems you do too because I always get higher traffic on days when I blog about something related to “natural parenting”.

Still, I’m starting to feel myself strain at the edges of these self-imposed confines. I’m discovering that I want to blog about interests that have little to do with parenting or even with the home. I’m held back by the thought that these things don’t fit…but then they do in my life so why not on this space?

What are your thoughts as blog readers or perhaps even as bloggers? Should a blog have a niche?


18 Comments

  1. Purplemum
    April 9, 2013 / 2:34 pm

    Interesting topic. I blog about anything and everything that’s in my heart and my head. Obviously a lot of that is parenting since I’m a full time mum. However I always consider my blog to be an outlet for my thoughts so naturally I write about anything.
    We are told at conferences that our blog needs a niche. Honestly I think niche blogs probably do get higher traffic. However if I had to stick to one niche I wouldn’t enjoy blogging as much, so I guess I’m going for pleasure over success over on my space.
    Sorry to ramble so much.

    • April 10, 2013 / 3:23 pm

      I would agree with you, Purplemum. Conferences and “successful” bloggers all do say that you should find a niche and focus on that, and I can see why they get higher traffic if people are looking to a blog for information. It would be like picking up a pregnancy magazine, to find that the editor decided to talk about her passion for daschunds! However similarly, unlike a magazine, a blog is your personal space, and I too go for pleasure over success, and blog about whatever I want to, and hope that the writing is what keeps people returning. As with all that you do, go with your heart.
      Mama & More aka Zaz recently posted..Amazing and mundane

  2. April 9, 2013 / 2:40 pm

    A blog should be what its writer wants it to be. There are no rules and you are the one who shapes your blog’s face and I for one like it like that as it makes the blog more personal. I enjoy your parenting posts, but also your more reflective writing and I would be interested in other topics too x
    Carolin recently posted..Silent Sunday – 7 April 2013

  3. April 9, 2013 / 5:36 pm

    It’s your blog, your write about what YOU want write about :)I’m new to my own blog but have been reading other blogs for a few years and the ones I like best are the ones where the blogger writes for themselves. Xx
    Natasha recently posted..Footprint Butterflies

  4. April 9, 2013 / 5:38 pm

    Hi I think you can write a blog about whatever your interests are. You don’t have to stick to a theme and I think loyal readers will enjoy you as a writer, rather than just your subject matter. Having said that I have created a niche with my blog as it is fiction and set in the past. I wanted an outlet that was easily accessible to start my writing career and so far so good. I would love to hear from other fictional bloggers.

  5. Mum2BabyInsomniac
    April 9, 2013 / 5:39 pm

    I think if you have a craft or food blog then you need to stick to the chosen subject as it’s so specific but I think the nice thing about parenting blogs is that you can pretty much get away with writing about anything. I enjoy reading blogs that cover a large range topics and if I didn’t find them interesting then I just wouldn’t read that particular post. I say it’s your blog and write what you want, the people who enjoy reading it should be interested in anything you write 🙂 x
    Mum2BabyInsomniac recently posted..41 Weeks Pregnant

  6. Josephine
    April 9, 2013 / 6:05 pm

    I think it really depends on what you are trying to achieve. Although still very new, I have 2 blogs. The first- the reflux child details my experiences and thoughts associated with being a parent of a child with reflux. It provides an outlet and support network for parents in a similar situation.

    The second is completely different. It focuses on my career achievements and aspirations and has a very different audience. I tried combining them, writing my blog from the perspective of a working mum, trying to create a good balance between ‘mum’ and ‘career’ but I decided that the career blog could help me with future prospects so I have separated them.

    I think having a niche makes your blog different and interesting.

  7. DANY
    April 9, 2013 / 9:57 pm

    I love the way you write, very honest, warm and readable. I think other interests would only expand a great site and remind us mummies we can have time for ourselves and own interests. When you have a newborn it is all consuming but as they get a little older we have a bit of space for our selves…apparently! Anyway I have almost forgotten my other interests which include preventing fgm, improving health in developing countries, travel, books, environmental issues etc etc. Look forward to reading about more of your interests.

  8. Martine
    April 10, 2013 / 6:44 pm

    Blog away, my girl, after all you are so much more than just ‘slings and things’. The Circus Queen is a very fascinating lady. Your authentic and honest point of view always ensures spending time here with you so worthwhile. I may be biased, of course, in always wanting to hear what else you have to say.

  9. April 10, 2013 / 9:17 pm

    Your niche should be “Adele” if you are interested in it then blog it

  10. April 10, 2013 / 11:39 pm

    I think for me I write what interests me; that’s my voice really and with parenting blogs, I agree with the other comments that you can be eclectic and varied and personal or not as the case may be, it’s all down to you. With my style blog I try to be more specific about style realted topics of course but there will always be cross over!
    HonestMum recently posted..Wonderful Women Wednesday-The Interview with Jacqui Paterson, Magazine Features Journalist & Social Media Consultant

  11. Beingbenjysmum
    April 11, 2013 / 7:35 am

    Ur blog is the only one I have ever subscribed to. I find ur blogs very easy to read and they interest me greatly as i’m a mum with a 13 mth old.

  12. April 11, 2013 / 11:41 pm

    You’re such a good writer I would love to see you write about other things and hear your “voice” on a whole range of subjects.

    Go for it I say. And it is not my parenting posts that get the most traffic.

    Liska xx
    Liska (@NewMumOnline) recently posted..The Measles Epidemic – An Alternative View

  13. Lisa | Mama.ie
    April 12, 2013 / 8:40 am

    I write about pretty much anything that takes my fancy. I guess that’s because I see it as a personal blog rather than a niche blog. So I write about personal things, with an emphasis on parenting and family life.
    Lisa | Mama.ie recently posted..Exquisite pain on latching

  14. nyssapod
    April 12, 2013 / 5:33 pm

    Niches are all well and good if you just want to write about one topic, but there’s no law says you have to.

    And your blog name gives you scope to write about a whole range of topics.
    nyssapod recently posted..Bedside reading

  15. April 19, 2013 / 2:58 pm

    I’m having such trouble with Niche’s! I’m an extremely creative person and am passionate about lots of things within that industry, such as: Art, books, singing, fashion and make-up. On top of that I also love talking about my life and sharing some more personal stories with readers. If I had to choose between one of them it would feel as though a part of me was missing. I still would like to have readers. I guess you just have to be yourself and your personality will shine through.
    Amyloo recently posted..Put Yourself Before Your Niche!

  16. Dawn Frazier
    May 20, 2013 / 8:37 pm

    I think that parenting covers so many different subjects that it’s difficult to find a particular niche. I have found this since starting my own blog. I tend to blog about whatever comes into my head at that particular time, which is loosely related to my blog ‘niche’.

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