If you ask the experts (like Darren Rowse, founder and author behind ProBlogger), niche blogging is the way to go to be a successful blogger. Fashion has proven to be a successful niche for many bloggers, with personal style far and wide the most common subtopic. Just one look at the list of IFB contributors will show you a range of other subtopics within fashion blogging; lingerie, shopping deals, fashion PR, etc.
Being a longtime participant and consumer in the fashion blogging niche (and other niches), the distinction was much more clear a few years ago. With evolution, many blogs have seemed to branch outside of their original niche to cover more of a variety of topics. Fashion bloggers nowadays might include posts about travel, food, health & fitness or (non-fashion) DIY projects. Some have steered their blog's niche focus to align with lifestyle changes they've experienced – becoming a mom or starting a new career, for example. In turn, bloggers of other niche topics – design/home decor, crafts, mommy, etc. – have embraced their personal style in posts on their blogs. This evolution seems natural, but it begs the question – is niche blogging still the expert way to success?
I've forged my path as a blogger by bucking the trend of niche blogging. When I started my blog in 2008, I immediately (and always have) considered myself a lifestyle blogger (Seattle events and lifestyle, specifically.) I'd post about things to do and see in Seattle, but left myself open to covering independent designers, boutiques and other cool things outside of my city too. In 2009, I started using Twitter and other social media to promote my blog and found social to be even more useful for something else – networking with other bloggers. I ‘fell into' a community of fashion bloggers via Twitter, and by nature of this community I'd built online, I gravitated more openly towards covering fashion and style-related topics on my blog.
Has this been successful for me? In many ways, yes, and in many others, no(t yet.) While I might be appealing for a brand to work with in targeting Seattle or fashion, others might not look at me for that same duo-niche. I don't regret my decision to cover more than one niche, nor would I forgo one topic to write exclusively about the other. I do recognize that brands – especially fashion brands – will sometimes prefer to work with bloggers who write primarily about the topic they're interested in.
On the other hand, I've also noticed fashion and other brands targeting bloggers because of their reach and audience, regardless of their primary niche. In that perspective, the field of competition is widened for bloggers. Whereas you may have been considered against just other fashion bloggers, now there are prominent design, foodie, parenting and other bloggers being considered for the same brand campaign as well. In the past year, I've been blogging a lot more about eating better and working out. It's opened me up to opportunities with health, wellness and athletic brands who may not have had my blog on their partnership radar before. It's been so exciting to work with these brands in ways I hadn't worked with other brands before.
I want to leave this post open in hopes of getting your thoughts and conversation around this. As blogging evolves, is focusing on a niche topic still the most viable way to success? Have you focused on one niche, or do you prefer to cover a variety of topics? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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