Aspiring business leaders and solopreneurs who want to kick-start their business online have many important things to consider.
From the type of business to monetization tactics, all the way to branding and numerous other challenges, there’s no denying that launching a new business can be a daunting task.
One of the first considerations you’ll come across if you’re planning on making money online is what kind of website to build.
Should it be a general blog or a niche website? This right decision can be the difference between blog success and blog failure.
After all, more than 80% of blogs created in 2023 are expected to fail in the first 18 months. And while many factors feed that statistic, choosing the wrong type of site for your needs is definitely one of them.
That’s why today we’ll take a closer look at general blog and niche websites, giving you the insights you need to make the best decision for your professional future.
Here’s what you need to know.
What is a niche website?
As the name might imply, a niche website is a highly specialized site that focuses on a single topic or sector, serving a very niche audience rather than targeting audiences in different industries.
For example, a niche website might be all about baby products and baby topics, which is a niche sector that targets parents and those who are expecting.
Also read: Examples of affiliate websites
Following that logic, it’s easy to deduce that a niche website aims to maximize the value and potential of customers in a narrow field, which can be great for brand positioning and can lead to faster conversions.
After all, when you have a niche website, your visitors know exactly why they’re on your site, because they’re looking for a niche product.
Let me give you an example.
A travel blog, at first glance, it’s referred to the travel industry but if you look at it from the niche point of view, you will spot that it covers only hiking-related routes and trails. Hence, if you decide to go on walking holidays in Italy to trek around mountain areas, you will have a niche website but not a generic travel company.
These types of websites are monetized primarily through affiliate programs and display ads, although you can sell your own products on your niche site.
Your key focus will be on developing a successful content marketing strategy in order to attract and engage your audience, and most importantly, to rank high in search and boost brand visibility and trust.
You then put affiliate links in your articles, with a disclaimer of course, that will lead your readers to the various product pages around the web. When they buy, you get a percentage of the sale.
What is a blog site?
A general blog website is exactly what it says on the tin—a blog site that covers a variety of topics and can serve many different audience groups. Think general business blogs, tech blogs, marketing blogs, and the like.
These blogs are heavily focused on building brand authority and maximizing traffic in order to inspire action and incentivize people to convert into paying customers.
What’s more, blogs typically have more monetization options than niche websites, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll always make more money.
A general blog can use affiliate programs, display ads, sponsored content, and proprietary products and services to generate revenue.
Blog sites aim to drive traffic from search, and it’s interesting to note that the latest crawl stats indicate that Google uses over 200 factors to rank websites in the SERPs.
Of course, blog sites also invest heavily in driving traffic from social media, community platforms, and email lists.
Pros of niche websites
Niche websites bring several perks to the table, the first of which is that you can define your unique purpose and value proposition quickly.
Building a niche website gives you a clear plan, because you know exactly which niche you belong to, what you’re selling, what you’ll be writing about, and the audience you’ll be targeting.
One of the main advantages of niche sites is actually in their SEO potential.
When you have a niche site, you have the ability to dominate with low competition keywords. This is because you’re targeting a very specific market that doesn’t have such a huge competitor base like, say, the global tech sector.
This lack of competition means you can start ranking high relatively quickly and build brand visibility and authority.
You can also outsource that work easily to an SEO consultant and content writers in your industry. What’s more, the process is easy to repeat, meaning that you can quickly start thinking about launching another niche site.
Cons of niche websites
The first and most obvious disadvantage here is that due to having fewer monetization options than general blog sites, niche websites have a lower revenue potential.
That said, this shouldn’t bother you in the long run if you plan to build several niche sites, all of which can generate revenue.
On the other hand, working on a niche website and dishing out content for a specific audience can become tedious and stale. Writing about the same things over and over again can cause a lack of focus, and if you’re not careful, the quality of your content can start to dwindle.
You need to make sure you’re always coming up with fresh ideas when you’re looking to start a website that will attract a devoted audience and inspire them to take action.
You also need to maintain this forward momentum, not just by retaining the content quality standards, but also partnering up with new affiliate brands.
Pros of blog sites
When it comes to blog sites, one of the biggest advantages they have is huge revenue potential.
Given all the monetization options at their disposal, blog owners can better diversify their revenue streams and offer products and services on top of the passive ones to create a blogging empire.
A general blog site also has a lot of potential to build a powerful content strategy and facilitate growth, as successful blogging can lead to partnerships, sponsorships, various business opportunities, even a book deal or a series of webinars and events.
The possibilities are numerous, and experienced bloggers will make sure to capitalize on all of them.
Like with a niche site, running a blog gives you an opportunity to build a powerful personal brand; a general blog allows your brand to have more variety and authority in different fields.
???? Also read: using a blog for building a personal brand
Cons of blog sites
Of course, a blog site is not without its downsides. One of the biggest downsides is that general blogging invariably comes up against a lot of competition.
When you’re running a general blog, you’re constantly up against thousands of other websites that are competing for the same audience. Many of which probably have more marketing and advertising resources to allocate towards ensuring they stay at the forefront of the industry.
Stiffer competition almost guarantees a lower margin of success, and this is where the majority of websites fail within their first year.
If you want to have a chance of succeeding, you have to publish top-of-the-line content regularly, and generate detailed content marketing reports that give you a competitive advantage.
Another con is that building up a successful blog site is a serious investment.
Not only do you have to invest time and effort into SEO and content creation, you also need to invest a lot of money initially into building your online presence and carving out a spot for your brand in an oversaturated online world.
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Who should choose a niche website?
Given everything that we covered today, let’s talk about who should choose a niche website and who should go for a blog site.
A niche website is a great option for beginners and newcomers to the blogging world who want to capitalize on niche affiliate marketing without having to deal with stiff competition.
If you are someone with limited resources and not a lot of time you can invest in your site initially (because of a regular 9-5, perhaps), then a niche site is a good option.
Who should choose a blog site?
On the other hand, a blog site is a great option for you if you want to make blogging your full-time profession, and if you have a lot of resources at your disposal.
If you can pour resources into building your blogging empire, and if you’re an expert in your field, then you should be able to build a name for yourself in the industry.
If you’re also someone who doesn’t want to write about a niche topic all the time but wants to diversify their content output, a blog site is also a good option.
A blog site is a worthwhile investment if you want to manage a single website, rather than building multiple niche sites to generate a lot of revenue for your brand.
Blog or niche website: pick one according to your goals
In the end, it’s important to keep in mind that there is no clear-cut winner when it comes to choosing a blog or a niche website for your online business.
It will come down to your unique goals and aspirations, and what you are trying to build in the online world, as well as the monetization tactics and the sectors you want to establish a presence in.
Now that you know the differences between blogs and niche websites and what both bring to the table, you have all the information you need to decide which one is best for you and the future of your brand.