Alright, I’ve got a confession. I have a failed blog (actually, come to think of it, I think I’ve mentioned this before so I guess it’s not much of a confession, whoops). Now that the cat is out of the bag, I want to share my thoughts based on my personal experience. Here’s a little backstory about my previous blog:
Two years ago I started a craft blog that I was über freaking excited about. I had so many ideas and plans for blog posts and tutorials of crafts I wanted to make; I bought a pretty notebook and went to town, jotting down all of my ideas from possible blog names to all of the crafts I wanted to make. I even got my mom on board (because I got my craftiness from my mama) and we would brainstorm and craft together.
At the time, my leg was pretty badly injured and I discovered the infinite joys of walking around in crutches (sarcasm alert). I became gradually aware of my terrible decision of starting a craft blog when I realized how much I needed my legs for it! Going out, hunting for materials, getting distracted at the craft stores, taking mildly decent photographs of my creations, some standing and kneeling for the actual crafting, etc. It was exhausting!
Although I had many Ideas for blog posts and tutorials, and my mother was visiting so I had extra help, I was unable to keep up. Three months or so into it I stopped posting and my blog that I was once so excited to start had reached the end of its days.
Based on this experience, I want to tell you why this time around I decided not to pick a specific niche:
I really admire bloggers that post about only one specific thing because it’s not easy breezy coming up with niche-appropriate content on a bi-weekly basis. You can have a zillion ideas for crafts, but realistically speaking, some of those might not be feasible, and some might take a long time to make, and that’s when you start sweating a little because you want to put up quality content regularly but can’t because you’ve picked a niche and you gotta stick with it! [Or was that just me?]
Picking a specific niche right away might take away some of the flexibility to post different content if you’ve branded yourself as just that one thing.
I felt I couldn’t write about other things I’m interested in because I had made it clear that I was a craft blogger who blogged about crafts, the whole crafts, and nothing but the crafts. Which brings me to my second point:
More than likely, you are a person with more than just one interest. You may be a food blogger that’s also really into art, or a beauty blogger that’s really into fitness! I know I’m not just into crafting! I also love quotes, art, writing, psychology, music, nail art, animals, comedy, and crime shows on TV. But I would have never said this (or written a post like this one, for that matter) on my craft blog. This lifestyle blog is about my lifestyle, so I feel a bit more free to write about different topics. I’m a rebel.
If you box yourself to fit into just one of these categories, you’re missing the opportunity to share great ideas about other topics you’re also passionate and knowledgeable about! With my previous blog I felt a bit cornered because I felt that there was this expectation that I would only write about crafty things and nothing else.
All of the blogging advice posts that I’ve read say to “pick a niche!” which was the first thing I did before I even started blogging, and it’s probably the thing that eventually lead to my firstborn blog’s demise.
I wish I had waited to pick my niche or at least not made my niche super obvious so that I felt I couldn’t express my other interests without it feeling wrong.
So here are my suggestions
By no means am I an expert on this, but these are just some of the things that I did differently this time around, and other things that I’m learning this time around:
- If you pick a domain name that is representative of what you wish to blog about, but you know you will want to write about other topics as well, make sure you design your blog in a way that is appealing to your target “niche” audience, but also leaves room for your other interests and lets your readers know that they can expect more from your site.
- Choose a handful of things that you are most knowledgeable + passionate about and have a notebook page or a tab on your phone’s “notes” app for each category you will be blogging about. This will help you rank your categories from the one you’ll write the most about to the one you have the least ideas for, and then you can decide the course of your blog and what topics you want to be known for.
- You don’t have to pick a super specific niche right away, if you know you want to blog but are unsure of what kind of niche you would fit into, just go with something like “lifestyle” and write for a few months, then see what special twist you want to put on your blog so it stands out and represents you (this is something I’m en route to right meow)
- Know that you are a unique human with unique qualities + abilities, and that your blog should be a reflection of you in all your glory. Much like you are someone with many qualities and abilities, your blog is going to have many qualities and show your many abilities. It’s all about finding a good balance between what you can offer your readers and what they’re visiting your site for, and I’m learning that that’s something that comes with time and when you can gather enough feedback from your readers to draw those conclusions.
Answer me this:
1. BTW, if you are visiting my site, I would love, love, love to have YOUR feedback. What do you want to read about?
2. If you’re a blogger, did you pick a niche right away? Did you end up just blogging about that topic or did you branch out a bit?