Can a multi-niche blog be successful

The biggest mistake I probably made with beyond nothing .com was attempting multi-niche blog. Over the course of its life, I wrote more than 100 articles on a variety of topics such as squash, cars, optometry, tech, and tourist attractions. The result: an epic fail.

Most of my traffic actually came from less than ten unique articles that hit the spot with certain keywords. The rest got no love. Google could not determine what my website was really about, and therefore I had no “authority” in any particular field. By having a multi-niche blog, I effectively had no niche at all.

The more content I added, the lower my ranking went, and the less traffic I got. Read about other reasons why your blog is getting low traffic.

The Problem with Multi-niche blogs

You may be passionate about several things and possess vast amounts of knowledge about them too. However, noone, especially google, really cares about the diversity of your blog. Infact, google prefers to suggest those sites to its users that are focused in their domain. This way google can serve appropriate (targeted) advertisements that are more likely to be clicked.

For example, if you search for “how to change a tire”, you are more likely to see results from car focused websites, even if the best article on the topic is available on a clothing-related website.

There are some exceptions e.g. medium. However, exceptions should not be the ‘model’ and such websites have matured to the point that they have moved away from the traditional blog to become publishing platforms. You can attempt to do the same only if you can afford to produce lots of high quality content before seeing any revenue for a while.

To summarize, a multi-niche blog is a bad idea simply because search engines cannot easily give preference to your content over another more focused single-niche website.

How much diversity is too much? Keeping relevant categories

While we just went over why having multiple niches is a difficult approach, there is still plenty of room to cover multiple topics within a single niche. In the blogging and wordpress world, we call them “categories”. The catch is that they should be somehow related to each other. For example, a blog about tires can have categories of tire brands, maintenance, and rims. This way you do not deviate too much from the main niche. If you introduce an unrelated category like “shovels”, now you are losing your niche and confusing the search engine. Stay in your niche!

To avoid too much digression too much, it is important to plan your blog before you start creating your content. Read more about planning your blog.

Why single niche blogs do better than multi niche

Even in the non-digital world, we see high degrees of specializations which lead to a reliable degree of authority. For example, popular magazines such as rollingstone, Time, and Destinations stick to their themes of entertainment, current affairs, and tourism respectively. The successful counter-example would be readers digest.

Similarly, think of specialty stores such as home depot, staples, and petsmart. They remain high traffic generating outlets due to their focused activity and diversity within their domains. Note that home depot has the related categories of paints, building materials, and tools. Keeping the customer’s intentions in mind, the store offers just enough diversity for them to purchase items from multiple departments offering the solutions they are most likely to require at the time. No customer is going to start looking for tailored suits at a home depot.

Your blog should therefore also stay within its niche like a magazine or a specialty store if you want quality traffic that google can serve targeted ads to. If its good for google, then its good for you too.

If you are passionate about multiple things and want to blog about them all, it is recommended you establish a new website for each niche rather can keep everything under one roof like a shopping mall. The only ‘shopping mall’ in this context is the search engine, and your blog is only a store in it.