Why New Bloggers Should Gain Experience Before Blogging within the Blogging Niche

Selecting a niche can be difficult for a new blogger. Perhaps when they read blogs like ShoutMeLoud, Problogger or other similar blogs, they become motivated to write about blogging, wanting to create a blog within the same niche. Or, sometimes when a new blogger reads about how a particular blogger is making money, he decides to blog in a similar style with the hope of also making money.

I have seen this trend over time, and while I have seen some who do well, I have also seen many blogs dying off in no time flat.

As a blogger myself, it is clear to me when a fellow blogger has chosen the right niche.  In my own area of expertise, it is easy for me to see whether an article is original or whether it is simply a poor rewrite of a post from another blog.

blogging niche

Why the blogging niche is not for everyone

These days it is common to see new blogs emerging all the time claiming to teach you how to “make money online” or “make money blogging”. Sometimes the advice is coming from someone with very little blogging experience who is struggling to make money online himself.

If you are currently a blogger, I would love to know why you have chosen to blog?  Are you seeking money or fame – or are you blogging because writing or teaching are passions of yours’?

I started ShoutMeLoud as a technology blog, and later transitioned more to WordPress related articles.  After about a year I started covering articles related to blogging and SEO.  I have never written about why I made this shift, and would like to share this part of the story. (For rest of the story, you are welcome to read my blogging journey.)

I started blogging from a sense of passion for technology. If you have a look through ShoutMeLoud’s old archives, you will find articles related to torrenting, software and various computing tips and tricks. I’m not a teacher, but I do like to teach and talk about things I understand well. It feels good to me to know that an article I have written has helped someone to learn something new. That has always been one of my USPs (unique selling points).

When I made my first move to WordPress, I was learning something new myself. I started like everyone else – learning about installing WordPress, finding and installing WordPress plugins (which were actually old but were new to me), and I started e about WordPress SEO.

The order of topics I covered when I started blogging were something like this:

Technology > WordPress plugin> WordPress in general > Facebook > Blogging > Making money online > SEO > Internet marketing > Business blogging > Social media > Branding

I worked hard, and I knew that one poorly constructed article could easily destroy the  credibility and trust that I had earned over time. I also felt that I could not write about anything as an authority that I had not experienced or used myself.  For example, how could I teach you about Dreamhost’s affiliate program until I made my first $47 from them and had the money in my hands?

If you look at the timeline of my niche growth, you can see that I started writing about things after I had learned a lot about them or experienced them. Even to this day I do not write about things until I’m completely comfortable with the subject matter. Surely at times I disappoint my readers by not writing about certain topics, but I believe it is better to say that I’m sorry I haven’t covered a subject they’re interest in rather than simply passing incomplete or incorrect information along to them.

Blogging is all about experience and passion:

As in any field, blogging requires experience. You can’t become an expert in one day after talking about how to blog or how to create a blog.  Only after spending a significant amount of time blogging and experiencing various issues can you write as an authority on topcis like writers blockyour blog getting hacked,  issues like replytocom,  Panda taking your site down, etc.  You learn about all of these issues when you actually face them and have to work through them. Then you can teach others to do the same when they encounter similar issues.

In business school they teach you how about various facets of business, but you actually learn to run a business when you start one of your own.

So, a good way to choose a niche for yourself is to consider the topics in which you have both knowledge and actual experience. It could be anything – technology, mobile devices, dog care, parenting, finance – anything about which you are passionate enough to continually write content on, learn more about, and teach to others who will find what you write interesting because of the passion with which you deliver the information on your blog.

Niches like SEO:

One of the most common categories in a “blogging niche” is SEO. It is not easy to teach someone about search engine optimization.  These can be difficult concepts to grasp.  It took me 6 months to understand the difference between using Robots.txt and noindex tags to stop indexing a certain part of a website, and my education was based on trial and error, after making mistakes on my own blog.

Just yesterday I received a call from one of my blogger friends who writes about finance, and he wanted to start a career in web-development and SEO. He was quite confident about his SEO skills, because he was driving enough traffic from Google for his finance blog.  We were having a friendly discussion about his future plans, and I asked him a simple question regarding Robots.txt and noindex tags, and he looked at me blankly, having little idea of what I was referring to.

My friend was not wrong to want to start a business in SEO, but when you take on the responsibility of doing SEO for someone, you are taking a big risk. Your responsibility is not only to improve the overall SEO of your client’s website, but also to ensure that nothing goes wrong as a result of your actions.  My friend quickly realized that he still has a lot to learn and experience.

How to become a Celebrity of Blogging/SEO/make money online niche:

If you really want to get into this niche, give yourself sufficient time. Don’t try to jump into a field like this without significant knowledge as a foundation for doing so. Blogging is all about experience, and you can gain that experience by running a blog in any niche that you are passionate and knowledgeable about.

  • Start 1-2 or 3 different blogs in a niche that you are interested in and passionate about.
  • Learn new things such as SEO and monetization and see what works and what doesn’t. You will be amazed to find that half of the information you read on the internet is written by freelance writers, and is usually a re-write of someone else’s original content, and the information is often outdated. Share what you truly know, what you have learned deeply about, and what you are passionate about sharing with others.

There is no limit to your imagination and what you can do with it. All you need to do is be honest with yourself and be honest with your readers.

If you find the information in this post useful, please share it with your friends and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

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Article By
Harsh Agrawal is a blog scientist and a professional blogger. He loves to read & write about Blogging, SEO, WordPress, Make money online & technology. His blog, ShoutMeLoud receives more than half a million PV in a month, and is an award winning blog.

COMMENTs ( 23 )

  1. says

    I agree with you.But, my blog niche is same to SML.But I learned a lot from my two blogs.Maybe my blog niche is same to yours but I have selected few topic for blogging Help.

  2. says

    thanx al0t Harsh !!
    U cleared each n everythng , actually i t0o was g0ing to do same mistake,
    U r absolutely right dat knowing s0methng is c0mpletly diffrs fr0m implementing it !
    Thanxx again

  3. Nicole says

    This is so true… a friend of mine jump head over heel into a niche that she new nothing about and got burned out fast because most of her time was spend searching and researching on a subject that she new nothing about. Long story short her blogging career ended before it ever got started.

  4. Karnal Singh says

    I feel with time,blogging has become more sophisticated and you need to know lot more to run a blog than just the subject knowledge…One more thing – for niche blogs also you need have a decent target audience numbers ….

  5. Nizam Khan says

    Awesome post Harsh! This post will surely create awareness among newbie bloggers about this subject. And agreed! knowing something and actually using it are totally different things. And indeed blogging requires experience and one can’t become an expert in one day, because requires a lot time and patience to be an expert in a particular niche. Thanks for sharing and tweeted :)

  6. says

    Hey Harsh,
    This is really a nice post. It’s true that Starting Blogging with “Blogging Niche” is a grave mistake. But it happens with many bloggers. I don’t know how they dare to teach other about ‘how to make make online’ whether they didn’t earn a penny.
    BTW my story is similar with you. My Blogging journey started with Technology blog with a view to share tech tips, news etc. In the mean time I learnt many thing about WordPress, SEO and related stuffs. And started sharing that. Soon I realized that it is Blogging related site rather than Tech and I’ve changed my niche.

  7. Ahmad Raza says

    I am really inspired by your this post.. :)
    That is the thing which i also noted in the recent 6 months.. Its really one of the great post Harsh..

  8. says

    hey Harsh, yet again a master piece. The post is quite convincing. I too am on same niche though started blogging with different niche without success. But for me starting with this niche has its own advantage i.e.
    They learn and research a lot about ‘How to Blog’ ‘seo’ and ‘Marketing’ which comes in handy when they change their niche of blogging after facing failure in his attempt to start with blogging niche.
    and Yes I second you view that until and unless one have not gone through the path himself, one should not show them the way.
    … But yet I feel if someone wants to be next Harsh Agrawal, one has to forget that SOMEONE Already wrote about blogging tips and seo before.
    I differ a bit Harsh :(
    Saying these with highest Regards
    – Koj

    • says

      @KOj
      Difference in opinion is always welcome, because that give birth to discussions. :)
      My only takeaway from this article is:
      Start a niche that one have experience with. Be it technology, mobile niche or blogging. Niche like blogging, SEO, Internet marketing works best when one have enough experience, and once you have it, it’s always a good idea to start a A-Z of blogging niche. The point is: Advice should be given when one actually tried, worked and succeed with it. I agree that one learn a lot when they actually jump into that niche and research. But what ever one will research about blogging and make money, he can always implement on blog in any niche, and one things started working, help others with your skills.

      • says

        Thumbs Up for the reply Harsh. Keep on blogging, you are educating millions. I desperately want 95% of 1 million people in my part of world who are unaware of this beautiful thing called blogging to know about it.
        .. and they too deserve to know who the HARSH AGRAWAL is!! :)
        Regards.

  9. Abhijit Guha says

    no fear for me, my niche is completly different from blogging, though I have posted some artcile related to blogger & they stand top on google search :D

  10. Ayoola Ayobami Stephen says

    Nice tips here, I am happy i didnt make this mistake because my first blog focused on Latest Internet Information Technology – http://www.stevenbergy.com.ng then i later included Blogging tips, tutorials and tricks i have already tested myself

  11. Varun says

    This Article is pretty inspiring for me as i started technology site last year in June and i learned a lot about blogging in this period and started a new blog “Blogiri” but now i’m thinking that i wasn’t right in starting a new Blogging Niche Blog. i must have waited for at least a year. but still i’m trying my best to make blogiri a success.
    Thanks for this inspirational and informing post Harsh.

  12. says

    Wise words. I had 30 different blogs before I started writing about blogging and what works and what doesn’t. Even though the majority have good traffic I wouldn’t write “deep” posts about SEO because that’s something that I’ve only experience from my own sites in.

    I also coach clients in blogging, and often they are from the internet marketing niche wanting to write about blogging and how to make $500 a day. My first question is always – do you make $500+ a day? I’ve never had one say yes.

    Many great bloggers share from their experience and their expertise comes from actually “doing” rather than consulting other people’s work and then applying it to their client’s sites. blogging is made up from many different skills in many combinations, and when you “get” that, then you’ll be better at posting about blogging.

  13. says

    I am nothing in the field of blogging but let me share my experience; two years back I started a blog on investment but desperately failed because I didn’t have practical knowledge of the subject; one year ago I started eight blogs simultanously yes eight blogs; after one year full focus on all of them now I dropped the seven and only kept one http://www.leadership-idn.com about success and personal development. Three years struggle and desperation helped me select the best niche for me; and now I instead of working just enjoy it and not very much worry about earning money through it. I think I just narrated the practical gist of your above article and nothing else. God bless you

    • says

      Good one Edson. Actually whenever we think for money we wont be able to write quality content and end up with stolen article, few crack for games and softwares. Enjoy blogging and follow the natural path….means A to Z of blogging.

  14. says

    Dear Harsh,

    A True Eye opener for all especially for newbie. I am following all guest bloggers blog of SML and its very true lots of blog either not updating or dead. Reason is obvious that is you mentioned above. Blogging is a journey of ones experience and experiment.

  15. Nile says

    Thank you for sharing my image, and also covering this topic. I cannot emphasize this enough and it is high time that the message comes across to new bloggers. I am not discouraging anyone either, but I want them to learn instead of push to pull a bunch of sloppy articles together just to try to make $500 per month or more in Adsense or affiliate sales.

    I’ve have spoken with many bloggers over the last decade and it becomes disheartening to visit a site and be disappointed because the lack of knowledge and passion for the topic is not there, but in the dollar signs. I do make money from my site, but I’ve been doing this for years and it makes me feel like I’ve been ripped off.

    Again, thank you and I hope people learn.

    • says

      @Nile
      Thanks for dropping by and for beautiful image you created. Inspiration of this post goes to you, as yesterday only I discovered that image on your Fb profile, and couldn’t stop myself from writing this.
      I could understand how you must have felt seeing such blogs.. Since I use many content discovery app (Zite, news360) and keep coming across such blogs, I tend to ignore them… Though this post was long due, as this message is very important for budding bloggers, who accidentally pick up the niche, without knowing the long-term consequences.

  16. Ammar Ali says

    Harsh, it seems the link “Also read: Don’t spend money online to make money online” is broken , it gives 404 pages. Can you please fix it?

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