Though it is not impossible to build a successful blog by blogging on a wide array of topics, the majority of profitable blogs that I’ve observed target a defined niche.Look at the top 100 blogs as tracked by Technorati.com (Figure 2-1) and you’ll find that the majority of them have a defined niche. Some niches are wider than others—but in nearly all cases they’ve carved out a niche for themselves.There are many reasons why choosing a niche is important to building a successful blog. Let’s explore a few of them:• Loyal readers—Niche blogs tend to develop a loyal readership because readers know that when they log in to a blog they’ll get rele-vant information on topics that they have an interest in, rather than random posts on topics that they have no desire to read. Community—People like to gather with others like them. Many times when you develop a blog focusing on a single topic, you findthat a group of like-minded people will gather around it not just to read what you have to say, but to interact with others who share their passions and interests.• Specialist authors—Authors of niche blogs have the freedom toreally focus upon a topic and don’t feel guilty about doing so. Thiscan lead to an increase in the quantity, quality, and depth of articles.• Brand, credibility, and profile—Blogging consistently on one singletopic increases the chances of that blog (and its blogger) being seenas a credible, trusted source of information in that area. Work this correctly and you can become the “go-to” person in your niche and become known as a specialist or expert in your field. The flow on benefits of this is huge if you have a product or service of your own to sell. Instead of you needing to go and look for customers, you’ll find that people start to seek you out due to your expertise.• Contextual advertising—Contextual ad networks like AdSense tendto work best on sites that are tightly focused. They serve more tar-geted and relevant ads when a whole site is on a defined topic— which in turn increases the likelihood of those ads being clicked by readers. • Direct advertising sales—Niche blogs are more attractive to private advertisers or sponsors who are looking for content to place their adson that is relevant and closely aligned to their product or service.• Search engine optimization—Google and other search engines tendto favor sites with a well-defined topic with pages that relate to oneanother.• More posts—I find that I post more if I have five blogs on five topicsrather than one blog on five topics. There is only so much you canwrite on a blog each day without overwhelming your readership.• Leverage to expand into neighboring niches—One benefit ofbecoming well-known in a highly focused niche is that you can posi-tion yourself to springboard into a neighboring or overarching one. One example of this is blogger Wendy Piersall of eMoms at Home.com (Figure 2-2) who took her home business blog for moms and expanded it into a small network of blogs that related to parents working at home. Wendy leveraged the profile that her first niche blog gave her and used it to launch numerous other blogs in a wider but related field.• Higher conversion—If your blog’s business model is to sell some-thing to your readers, it is to your advantage to have a blog that has areadership with interests that are highly aligned with your own focus. Trying to be all things to all people is a trap that some bloggers fall into. For fear of losing readers, they allow their content to become unfocused and off topic. Though this might help build readership when it comes to selling a product, your conversion rate will be sig- nificantly reduced because a lower percentage of readers will be truly interested in your more targeted product. Niche blogging brings in more qualified prospects.Choosing a niche for your blog enables you, your bloggers, and your read- ers to become more focused and will enable you to grow a readership and monetize it more effectively.