Seriously, I can’t believe I missed this…
The blogosphere has been engaged in a heated debate for months now about whether it’s better to niche blog or spread your topics wide. I published a round-up post on niche versus broad-scope blogging. And I’ve read a number of other articles on it recently. Which is why I can’t believe I missed the answer.
It’s been sitting in front of my face the entire time.
After all the discussions, all the blog posts, all the banter, tweets, IMs and e-mails, a single irrefutable fact led me to conclude…
Niche blogging is the fastest way to popularity.
What was it that convinced me? Technorati. Yes, yes, I know, we’ve all been slamming the big-T over the last few months. Heck, they disappeared my blog for the better part of 2 months.
But, I never really thought of mining it for the answer to my quest to learn whether niche blogging trumps broad-scope blogging. Don’t know why, I just didn’t. Until Friday morning.
It hit me like a bolt of lightning.
Rather than guessing, debating and arguing, why not just reverse-engineer the answer.
What would happen if we looked at the 100 most popular blogs and counted how many were focused on a niche, versus a broad scope of unrelated topics?
Technorati, while a rough tool, allowed me to do just that. I looked at the 100 most popular blogs on Technorati, classified them, then made the comparison. And the results blew me away…
95 of the 100 most popular blogs are niche blogs.
Here they are, ranked by authority | niche/general (topic):
- Huffington Post | general (news)
- TechCrunch | niche (tech)
- Gizmodo | niche (tech)
- Engadget | niche (tech)
- BoinBoing | semi-niche (culture/tech)
- Lifehacker | niche (tech/productivity)
- ArsTechnica | niche (tech)
- Icanhascheezburger | niche (lolcats)
- Mashable | niche (tech)
- Daily Kos | niche (politics)
- ReadWriteWeb | niche (tech trends)
- Smashing Magazine | niche (web dev/design)
- Seth’s Blog | niche (marketing)
- TMZ | niche (entertainment news)
- Gigazine | don’t know, not in English
- DoshDosh | niche (pro-blogging)
- Gawker | niche (NYC gossip)
- Google blog | niche (company/product news)
- PerezHilton | niche (celeb gossip)
- Blog de Beppe Grillo | niche (Italian politics)
- ProBlogger | niche (pro-blogging)
- TreeHugger | niche (green trends)
- Kotaku | niche (gaming)
- PostSecret | niche (secrets)
- CopyBlogger | niche (copywriting for bloggers)
- Think Progress | niche (progressive politics)
- Noscope | niche (design/UI)
- Jauhari | niche (web dev)
- The Consumerist | niche (shopping)
- Valleywag | niche (SV news)
- Scobleizer | niche (tech)
- uThink | general (news)
- GigaOm | niche (tech)
- Neatorama | niche (oddities/cool stuff)
- The Wrong Advices | niche (tech news)
- Tuaw | niche (apple news)
- Shoemoney | niche (make $ online)
- Daily Blog Tips | niche (blogging)
- Drudge Report | niche (politics)
- Joystiq | niche (gaming)
- Dooce | niche (mom-life)
- Daily Dish | niche (gossip)
- Slashfilm | niche (movies)
- Crooks and Liars | niche (politics)
- A list apart | niche (web dev)
- Zen Habits | niche (lifestyle/productivity)
- Talkingpointsmemo | niche (politics)
- Treat Level/Wired | general (news/tech)
- Search Engine Land | niche (SEM)
- Autoblog | niche (cars)
- Blogscoped | niche (web)
- Corner on National Review | niche (politics)
- Microsiervos | niche (tech)
- The Sartorialist | niche (NY culture)
- Deadspin | niche (sports)
- Newsbusters | niche (conservative pol)
- SEOBook | niche (SEO)
- Travelpod | niche (travel)
- Webware | niche (web apps)
- How to change the world | niche (tech-entrepreneurship)
- Yankodesign | niche (design)
- MattCutts | niche (google)
- Kottke | niche (web)
- Crunchgear | niche (gadgets)
- Freakonomics | niche (econ/trends)
- MacRumors | niche (apple)
- Ben Smiths | niche (politics)
- Hot Air | niche (politics)
- BuddyTV | niche (entertainment)
- Download Squad | niche (downloads)
- TopTut | niche (tech tutorials)
- CodingHorror | niche (tech)
- Gadget Lab/Wired | niche (gadgets)
- Political Radar | niche (politics)
- Google System | niche (google dev)
- Wired Science | niche (science news)
- Bad Behavior | niche (spam killer)
- Fanhouse AOL | niche (sports)
- TorrentFreak | niche (filesharing)
- Engadget Japanese | niche (gadget/tech)
- Stereogum | niche (music)
- Apartment Therapy | niche (apt design)
- O’reilly | niche (tech news)
- Gothamist | niche (NY trends)
- Dlisted | niche (entertainment)
- Jalopnik | niche (cars)
- ProNet | niche (online mktg)
- Lifehack | niche (product/lifestyles)
- Performancing WP themes | niche (WP)
- Crave | niche (gadgets)
- Global Voices | niche (world beat)
- Solostream | niche (WP design)
- Paul Stamatiou | niche (tech)
- Venture Beat | niche (deals)
- 43 Folders | niche (lifehacks)
- Joel on Software | niche (software)
- Pajamas Media | general (gen news/opinion)
- Pharyngula | niche (culture)
- Techdirt | niche (tech trends)
- 37 Signals | niche (design/UI)
Game over. End of story. Even if Technorati is an imperfect tool, when it comes to the most popular blogs in the world…
The ratio of niche blogs to general blogs is 20:1.
Remember, I am not talking abot the instrinsic value of a blog, the quality of its content or the sincerity of it’s creators. There are plenty of great blogs that are not hugely popular.
This is about popularity, plain and simple.
And, the cold, hard Technorati facts are telling me niche blogging blows the doors off broad-scope blogging as a format to leverage in a quest for reach and impact.
Agree? Disagree? What am I missing?
Will this change your approach at all?
Bring on the conversation…
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