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Whether we blog in a tight niche or under the umbrella of a wider one, for some reason we have chosen to write about a specific topic(s).

Being an analytical person, it always intrigues me when I see an author blogging on a subject (or variety of subjects). I ask, “Why did they choose that niche”?

Today’s Lesson

When I started blogging, I carefully picked the subject of my first blog. The process started with me wanting to use my “years” as a teaching tool to help others via what I had learned and observed. I wanted to write unbiased unpaid product reviews on things I use that work well, save time and/or money. I also wanted to share money and time saving tips with my readers. Mixed with these subjects would be observations about life issues that have an affect on our daily lives. I wanted to teach my readers to be informed consumers and to ask questions.

Based on that, I started my Observation Mountain blog.

Blogging Without A Blog (BWAB) was born from pages and pages of notes I was taking as I learned how to blog. Although it wasn’t meant to be a blog that would take up too much of my time, the tides turned and this is now my primary blog.

So in a sense, this blog picked me.

What about you?

Today’s Assignment

Think back to before you started blogging. Why did you decide to blog on the subject(s) you write about?

As time has passed, do you find your “niche” is changing and a new topic is emerging?

Feel free to join in the discussion and share why you’re blogging on your topic of choice. If you’re not a blogger (yet), what subject would you choose to blog about? I’m curious to hear your answers.


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  1. CarlaNo Gravatar says:

    I think my niche kind of picked me. I wanted to start a web based business but when I found out a large part of online marketing included blogging, I almost scrapped the idea. I didn’t like writing, I’m not a professional writer, never took a writing class in school or anything like that. If I wanted this business to go off the ground, I knew I had to start writing whether I like it or not. I started my WordPress blog writing about the theme/subject of the business and it took off from there. Once I started reading blogs on related themes/subjects, about blogging, writing and personal blogs, I became more confident in my own abilities. I’m not where I should be in terms of writing, but at least I enjoy it now.

    Carla´s last blog post..Green and Chic Lists – 10/8/08

  2. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. I’ve been interested in personal development for as long as I can remember, and so in that sense I guess this niche chose me. I chose to blog about it and can’t imagine blogging about anything else.

    Davina´s last blog post..Blog Action: Pass The Change, Be The Change

  3. Scott McIntyreNo Gravatar says:

    I guess the selection of what niche to write for is the most important first step, Barbara.

    For me, as I travel around the blogosphere, I’m particularly interested in blogs that explore lifestyle, self improvement, the ‘art ‘of writing- and, of course, ‘how to blogs’.

    I think it’s a good sign when a blog topic appeals to you and sparks your own ideas on how to develop content that already exists.

    This is likely the niche that will excite you to write about over a long period.

    So, when I start blogging, my focus will be within the areas above.

  4. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    I think my heart led me to where I blog today. It is not where I started. And it’s not really where I thought I would be. But it is definitely the right place for me to be at. My blog has helped me to define who I am – it has given me direction in my life – and it has helped me to find my niche.

    Lance´s last blog post..Poverty Close to Home – Blog Action Day 2008

  5. BetsyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – We’ll blog about just anything. We’re not that weird, are we? Loosely, we’re just a couple of boomers still marveling at the world and sharing. We’d like to think we know about a few things, are learning about more, and interested in all of it. We’re fortunate to have each other to journey together, so maybe it’s about that more than anything.

    Betsy´s last blog post..ENERGY

  6. My niche definitely picked me and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t fantasize about escaping from it. I see what other “internet marketing” gurus are doing and I want to run SCREAMING from this niche!

    Then, I’ll meet someone who has been used and abused by these jerks and I realize, if I leave – that’s one less honest politician in Washington.

    Kathy @ Virtual Impax´s last blog post..Social Media Warning: I am Rubber – You are Glue …

  7. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I would think that the niche picked me as well. I started my site for a different reason and wasn’t keen on taking it to a greater level initially. However, I got more and more interested in my spiritual journey and found myself blogging more on this site. Now, this is my primary site and I’m loving every minute of it!

    Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..Blog Action Day 08: Poverty

  8. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    because i like talking about a lot of different subject. i like getting other people’s feedback and opinions and i just enjoy writing and its ability to influence, inspire and motivate people.

    my niche hasn’t changed, but maybe i have found my “voice”.

    Natural´s last blog post..Why Poverty?

  9. Kool AidNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t know that I really have a niche, yet, simply because I’m still figuring this whole blogging thing out. I started initially because I thought it was an easy way to keep family out of state updated with our lives. I don’t have to send numerous emails and such. But sometimes, I find myself writing … I don’t know what to “label” them …. but maybe my-random-musings-and-inspirational-thoughts-geared-to-make-you-think kind of posts?

    Anyway, that’s my two cents…

    Kool Aid´s last blog post..Conversations with a two year old

  10. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    I wanted to do a blog and I had one about clouds for a little while. Then I wanted another blog and I knew it had to be about something I think about all the time – and I think about healing stuff all the time, so healing it is.

    Robin´s last blog post..Galaxy For Blog Action

  11. When I started blogging, I wrote what I had been writing for family and friends for years. Simple, humourous antecdotes about relationships. Every once in awhile, I would throw in a more serious discussion about life. Over time, I have found my more philosophical posts are the ones that are getting stumbled. So, now I have a mix of the more serious ones, and philosophical ones. I guess, in that sense, my niche has found me.

    Urban Panther´s last blog post..How to drive like a native

  12. Writer DadNo Gravatar says:

    Um…. my niche changes every time I shower.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post..My Feet Never Touched the Bahamas, but My Voice Found Paradise.

  13. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    I picked my niche. I actually tested out for a few months whether I will be able to enjoy my niche (in blogging ) for a long term. While I do love personal development ever since I remember, blogging about it has been a different ball game all together.

    Avani-Mehta´s last blog post..How To Balance Life Effortlessly

  14. It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to write about. When I found Steve Pavlina, I thought, “That’s what I want to do!” But then I realized that I didn’t know how to do that. It wasn’t long though before I found a different but related path that was more me. And I guess like most people, it changes over time.

    Hunter Nuttall´s last blog post..MBTI Trial Week 1: Extraversion (Recap)

  15. I think I just naturally came to my niche (which is myself, I guess). Writing conscious (and unconscious) thought super, super fast and not stopping until I’ve drilled the words into your skull.

    (Hope I don’t go to far and mess up your brain.)

    Matthew Dryden´s last blog post..Join The Campaign! Down With Drunk Posting!

  16. SpaceAgeSageNo Gravatar says:

    As a karate instructor of many years, I spent a lot of time helping people of all ages grow out of their fears and limiting thoughts. Martial arts training, done correctly, changes a person from the inside out. After teaching hundreds of students over the years who were striving for their black belt and beyond, I found that so much of what I taught in class applies to life, so I thought I’d share it all with a few more folks.
    I think it was both me picking my niche and my niche picking me.

    SpaceAgeSage´s last blog post..Yes, I survived the week-long media fast — and learned lots!

  17. Ulla HennigNo Gravatar says:

    I began to blog when I had a severe personal loss and wanted to spend the time being alone in a useful way. I love to take pics, so I decided on photo-blogging. As I am not so much interested in technical details (which camera, which lense and such things), I took my pics as a starting point to write about them – the life in Berlin, nature, and sometimes some musings on life in general. I found out that this kind of blogging is the thing I really want to do. It takes some time to go out taking pics, to upload them to Flickr and to select the pic for my blog, but I enjoy it very much, and I am happy to offer the pics to other people.

    Ulla Hennig´s last blog post..Fallen Leaves

  18. Ellen WilsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I started blogging on Blogger and tried to be an analytical sensing person which wasn’t working (sorry I was just over at Hunter Nuttal’s and he’s got that series of posts over there). Well, I switched to WordPress with the intent of making it into a business blog selling my photography which I’m working on now. And Kathy’s book is really helping with the practicalities of all of that. So I need to go over and thank her.

    Anyway, I’m pretty electic and talk about many aspects of freelance writing (fiction included) and photography tips. Not the stuff Darren covers on his blog because I really didn’t want to get into the technical stuff. Well, now I see I would like to highlight more social isssues too involved in journalism and photojournalism, stuff the mainstream media doesn’t pick up. So my niche didn’t pick me, I guess. It just kind of evolved over a long period of time. I was a writer before a photographer. Then a photographer and not a writer. Now the two go together.

    I don’t know if you should pigeon hole yourself too tightly or you could potentially cut off a big part of who you are.

    Ellen Wilson´s last blog post..Work it Like a Turkish Pop Star

  19. MayaNo Gravatar says:

    I have picked my niche for now. But I am getting in the flow and I can see how my the tables might turn here very soon. I cannot wait to see what happens in the near and far future!

    Maya´s last blog post..The key to happiness and balance is right with you, just learn to use it – Part 2 of the thinkmaya framework

  20. CarolineNo Gravatar says:

    I picked my niche! I have always been interested in Spirituality and personal growth. As I say in my “About this Blog”…”I am just someone trying to create a happy little spot in cyber space.”

    Caroline´s last blog post..Mirrors and perspective

  21. JodithNo Gravatar says:

    My blog topics have pretty much picked me. They are all things that I know and enjoy. I’m considering starting a new blog for Blogging Idol II (sponsored by Daily Blog Tips), and I’ll again be going with something that I enjoy and am knowledgeable of.

    I can’t see maintaining a blog longterm, especially a niche blog, if it isn’t about something that you at least some passion about. Eventually, you’ll just get bored and quit. I’m trying to stick to things that I know and enjoy.

  22. SuzieNo Gravatar says:

    I started mine as an online journal for my kids to read someday somehow it became a mommy humor blog. Now because times have been tough its also become a narrative on my life.

    Suzie´s last blog post..I Think I’ve Let Myself Go

  23. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I’d say the core reason I started blogging has remained the same although some aspects have certainly changed. Over the months I have experimented here and there but for the most part, I started out as a mommy blog and remain that today. I am not one of the humorous mommy bloggers. Sure, I get a good one in once in a while, but I’m more of a dramatic writer, if you will. I write to educate others, to help other moms discover they are not alone in their journey and to just rant once in a while.

    Debbie Yost´s last blog post..Know Thy Surroundings!

  24. I think my Niche is our Niche. In other words I started with an idea of what to write about: life hacks, productivity, health, that sort of thing, but…

    Interaction with my readers and browsing other blogs led me to what I call “Wise Productivity”, which is a blend of productivity tips with the search for a meaningful life.

    Miguel de Luis´s last blog post..Generosity is of the brave.

  25. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I had been thinking of what to blog about and then the niche I chose had to be something I could write about and not run out of subjects/items to write about. Well, the world is catching on and so is my blog. What is neat, is that there a more and more items to write about ! :)

    Linda´s last blog post..Air Car Update!

  26. JenniferNo Gravatar says:

    At first I didn’t have a clue what to blog about. Soon I did, and then soon I REALLY did and have settled very well into my niche. Really I think we kind of picked each other as things progressed. There’s nothing I’d rather write about than peace.

    Jennifer´s last blog post..What Reality Have You Created?

  27. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – well when I started my practise blog over at blogspot, I didn’t really do much except run a business and I also liked writing. But really, it started as a hobby to see how it went.

    I know what it’s like to run a business and come up against problem after problem – so I figured I could help others cope better and avoid some of the problems I came up against. And also, learn from some of the things I’ve done right.

    Really I expanded to cover business & life and how it all fits together because of people like you. When I first began blogging, I really thought the only way to go was to spend all my waking hours working on my business. But listening to people like you made me realise that wasn’t what it was all about.

    Cath Lawson´s last blog post..YOU Have Never Been More Powerful

  28. chrisNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t think I have a niche…

    chris´s last blog post..I’m In Heaven

  29. Hi Barbara,

    I’m just being me on my blog, so I guess that’s a niche since there’s no second me. I picked me! :)

    Irene | Light Beckons´s last blog post..Natalie Fights Back

  30. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Carla – That’s interesting how you got into blogging as a result of your web based business. Many of us don’t think of ourselves as writers, but the more we read, blog and learn, it becomes something we’ll get to add to our resume.

    Hi Davina – That’s passion. And your blog shows how much you enjoy what you’re doing.

    Hi Scott – I’m looking forward to your blog. I know you have been doing your homework, so whatever you choose, I’ve no doubt it will be a smashing success.

    Hi Lance – I love hearing stories like yours. Without knowing where our blog will take us, if we let it, we end up just where we’re suppose to be.

    Hi Betsy – You’re story sounds rather romantic. I always enjoy reading about your travels, especially since you write about two of my favorite states – Michigan and Alaska.

    Hi Kathy – That’s so cool. You’re in a niche that needs “reform” and you’re leading the pack. You go girl!

    Hi Evelyn – I’m happy your blog ended up where it did as your blog is always teaching me something new. Thank you for letting us travel with you on your journey.

    Hi Natural – I do agree, you have found your voice. I know you’ll always have a intriguing story to share, and more often than not, a great laugh.

    Hi KooAid – Welcome to the BWAB community. That’s a wonderful reason for starting a blog. I just read your most recent post and even those who aren’t relatives can identify with it. We gotta love the honesty of those 2 year olds.

    Hi Robin – Your topic suits you well. If you’re thinking about healing all of the time, why not write about it and share with others. Perfect!

    Hi Panther – With you and the Lion having dueling blogs, it’ always fun to see what you’re writing about. I like all of your posts, whether serious, funny or philosophical. A great blend.

    Hi Writer Dad – There’s nothing wrong with changing niches. Your writing is always consistently great, so I’ll read it all.

    Hi Avani – Yes, writing about personal development can take us in different directions. With so many areas to cover, you’ll never be out of topics to write about. It’s always a great surprise to see your latest post.

    Hi Hunter – Like you said, our niches do change over time. With you, I’ve seen the growth and how you’re headed in a different direction. However, some of your first posts are still favorites of mine.

    Hi Matthew – Nope, you didn’t mess up my brain. :) But it sounds like you do enjoy blogging in your own style. That’s what makes your blog great – it’s original.

    Hi SpaceAgeSage – That had to be a real eye opener when you discovered the similarities between karate and life. What you’ve done is take a love of yours and expanded on it. No wonder your blog is such a joy to read.

    Hi Ulla – How therapeutic that must have been to blog and share your photos. Whereas some prefer to not “reach out”, you did, and have probably made a lot of very supportive friends along the way. I pray you’re on the mend.

    Hi Ellen – I agree, when we pigeon hole ourselves, we don’t leave room for our muse to come in and show us a new path. Although your blog is going through a transition, I’m guessing it will only get better.

    Hi Maya – Isn’t it exiting when we realize we’re on the cusp of a new adventure. It’ll be fun to watch your progress. Enjoy the ride.

    Hi Caroline – Creating a happy life is so much fun, whether we write about it or not. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    Hi Jodith – You’ve nailed it. If we don’t blog about that for which we have a passion, we’ll only get bored and quit. It sounds like right on target.

    Hi Suzie – When I interviewed Lorelle she mentioned how important daily online journals are. Can you imagine the joy your children will feel when they’re older and can read your writings. It’s a beautiful gift.

    Hi Debbie – You did forget to mention you also post fabulous photos of your girls and are an advocate for children with Down syndrome and other special needs. What you do is awesome.

    Hi Miguel – What a great combination – productivity and living a meaningful life. I like the originality of your “theme”. You’re helping many.

    Hi Linda – I think your “green” niche is like being on the cutting edge. Let’s face it, we’re all looking for ways to save the planet. Each day you’re sharing money saving, eco friendly tips. I love the air car story.

    Hi Jennifer – The subject of peace is so calming. Just like when I read your blog. I end up feeling “centered”, and leave it feeling good. You have a knack for creating that.

    Hi Catherine – I love how you combine business issues and life. Let’s face it, they do go together. By sharing what you’ve learned helps others to either not make the same mistakes or save time with your great ideas. And yes, life is more than just working 24/7.

    Hi Chris – I would have to agree with you. You just write great stories, and we all like to read them. Keep doing what you’re doing. It’s working.

    Hi Irene – I like that. You can say your niche is “all about me”. That’s a great subject.

  31. To be honest, I chose my topic because of two things.

    1. It’s a topic that I find I have something to say in. That being, self improvement, and quirky observations, or simple humor.

    2. I wanted the topic to be one that large amounts of people were interested in. I mean, sure – if I was interested in the complexity of sea life, it may gain some measurement of an audience, but it would never truly go anywhere.

    And, perhaps most importantly – we should choose to blog about that which we enjoy writing about!

    Bamboo Forest´s last blog post..7 Paths to Excessive Wealth

  32. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I have pneumonia

    I love to write

    I am too ill to write right now and it is driving me a bit crazy

    I can’t think of a niche

    3 psychics have told me I was going to write books – I would say about what ? reply: they will come to you – you will know – it will be different

    I will know when I have a niche?

    Cough, cough…sneeze, sneeze….my brain will not work
    My partner says “turn off the computer”
    I will do that…Good health to you all

  33. Glee GirlNo Gravatar says:

    I’m not sure what my niche is…if I have one. I picked my topic (finding happiness through simple pleasures) as part of my conscious effort to be happier. I was really just doing it for me and it has been great from that perspective, but it turns out that the best thing about it is when someone says I brightened their day.

    Glee Girl´s last blog post..Tonight’s the night!

  34. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Bamboo – You certainly nailed the description of your blog posts. They can be quirky, however, there’s a lot of truth in your words. Now your brother, Flying Llama Fish, his stuff is just plain funny. The two of you are a great combination.

    Hi Patricia – Pneumonia? Oh my gosh. Your partner is right. Turn off the computer and get your rest. I hope you’re feeling better real soon.

    Hi Glee Girl – Isn’t that great how that works? We THINK others might be on the same wave length as us, and when they confirm they are, we realize our words have value. Finding happiness through simple pleasures is a wonderful, positive niche.

  35. Pink InkNo Gravatar says:

    I blog about writing and parenting. Not intentionally, but since those are two areas I am heavily involved in right now, that’s how my blog has evolved.

    Another unintentional niche is realizing how fun it is to discover what makes me happy. And I ask others what makes THEM happy….coz I love posts that leave me feeling good about myself. :-)

    That’s great Barbara, that you wanted to pay forward and share your blogging thoughts here at your place!! More power to you.

    Pink Ink´s last blog post..Day In the Sun

  36. I was just wrestling with this question as I wrote my post this morning. I’m finding that blogging about our adoption journey is bringing up a lot of old feelings, but I wonder if my impulse to start VM in the first place was as a way to process, even after all these years.

    Vintage Mommy´s last blog post..Our Adoption Story, Part 2

  37. Andy BaileyNo Gravatar says:

    a niche is always something someone else has to deal with for me, the only time I made a blog to fit a niche it died after 2 posts. I couldn’t keep the interest up!

    Andy Bailey´s last blog post..Consipiracy in the credit crunch? the Matrix? AI? all of them? arrgh

  38. I started off by choosing the niche to be in. But slowly on it seems that the niche picked me instead. Haha

    Which led me to starting another blog (the one in my nick) to cover more of the other / lighter side of blogging. :)

    @Andy – after 2 posts! Golly. That’s fast!

    Daniel Richard´s last blog post..11 Traits You Need To Getting Things Done With a BIGGER SMILE!

  39. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Pink Ink – You’re right. When we write about that which makes us happy, we enjoy hearing from others on the same subject as well. There’s nothing better than a “feel good” post, is there?

    Hi Vintage Mommy – You may have hit on something. Blogging about your adoption journey may very well be a subconscious way of dealing with buried feelings.

    Hi Andy – At least you knew what NOT to write about. :)

    Hi Daniel – Welcome to the BWAB community. Sometimes that the best thing to do; start all over with a new blog.

  40. David LanoNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Great article! I would say I chose my blog topic(s) simply by what I know and am passionate about.

    David Lano´s last blog post..David on Twitter

  41. Wellll, we do real estate so it kinda picked us! However, we’ve started a few blogs that are real estate related, but with a niche in mind that we personally enjoy. For instance, we are going to host (probably this week) a blog on real estate agents and their health. The ‘health’ part can probably be put into practice by anyone, but we’ll focus it a bit on real estate agents (most are unhealthy!).

    Kennewick Colleen´s last blog post..Great Story Of Hope