‘Does my blog need a niche?’ is a question I ask myself fairly often, especially after conversations like this:
Random person: ‘Hey! Lovely to meet you! What do you do?’
Me, thinking to myself ‘well, I eat, sleep, poo…’: ‘I write a blog!’
Random person, a bit confused but trying to sound interested: ‘Oh that’s cool! What about?’
Me, sounding like the lamest person ever: ‘Oh you know, all sorts.’
You see? Rubbish. I do think it might be cooler to be able to say something like ‘Oh yes, I blog specifically about knitting patterns for dog jackets’, or something like that. (Sometimes I also say ‘niche’ in my head in an American accent so it sounds like ‘nitch’. I couldn’t figure out what anyone was talking about when I went to a US blog conference a few years ago.)
If you’re a blogger, you’ve probably felt the same. (Unless you do blog about the dog jacket knitting patterns.)
Except here’s what I think…
YOU ARE YOUR NICHE.
You heard me.
Let’s take another conversation as an example:
Fiancé: ‘Did you see that Paul Merton is presenting a three part series about little used request stops on the UK train network?’ (Genuine thing that we watched.)
Me: ‘Ooh, we should watch that! You like him.’
We might not be especially interested in the Great British transportation system, (we are), but we are interested in the person presenting us with the information. We like the cut of his jib. We know that whatever the subject, Paul Merton will probably make it interesting and fun to learn about.
You don’t need a niche for your blog because you are ALREADY IT!
(I’m shouting a lot in this post because I wrote it in my head in the car and I’m excited that I still remember it.)
People come to read your blog, and hopefully mine, because they like the way you talk about things, as much as the things you talk about. There are hundreds and thousands of blogs out there, and probably a fair few about dog knitting patterns, but there is no one else in the whole world that is you, with your unique voice and take on the world.
I think we worry a lot as bloggers about creating great content and awesome photos that fit some sort of formula for success, but all you really need to do is be yourself, and let your uniqueness shine through and BOOM! That’s what makes you special.
That’s what I think anyway.
So do I need a niche for my blog?
I already have it.
Images: Well dressed pooch – Liliya Kulianionak/shutterstock, less well dressed me – taken by Belle.
You had me at the gratuitous picture of the dachshund!
Any excuse to feature animals in clothes :-)
I love this Jo – I keep thinking ohhhhhh I really ought to do more niche – especially on my instagram – and I shouldn’t do this and that but….i just can’t. I write about what interests me and that seems to work for me!
Yeah, we need to banish the SHOULDS! Especially when what you are already doing clearly works!
OK I’m a bit scared of you in this post so I’m just going to agree
GLAD TO HEAR IT!! RAAAA!
Love love love! But could you try and find a way to write more about dogs in knitted jackets, I like that.
Gah, I’ve made a rod for my own back now haven’t I? I’ll have to somehow squeeze a dog picture into every post…
Brilliant post and so true! Have a great Friday and weekend! x
I love this! I tried niche blogs and failed because I want my blog to be about me not 100% money making or all food – ME! Unless you know you can endlessly talk about the same subject, have an interest in it or are an expert in it then a niche blog never work for you.
Oh, and that dog is adorable!
Exactly! I mean great if you HAVE a passion for something niche, but I just don’t think it’s something you can or need to force.
Oh my gosh this is exactly what I needed to read today. My niche is “inspirational lifestyle and parenting” what the f*ck is that even? DAY MADE!
Haha! What do you mean?? That’s my life?? Inspirational lifestyle and parenting :-)
Fab post! It was just what I needed to read today when I have read loads of bloggers reading about how their niche is changing and I am sat there thinking that my niche is what we get up to and the fact that I like gin. And that didn’t sound like a niche, so maybe I wasn’t a proper blogger.
You are definitely a proper blogger. Gin sounds like an excellent niche to me.
YES! I completely agree! I think it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all the things we “should” do as bloggers – the tick list is neverending. But ultimately, for me as a reader, if a blog has no real personality and I can’t connect with the writer then it doesn’t matter how great the photos or blog design is – I’m not interested.
EXACTLY. I’m judging some blog awards this week and the very first thing I look for is whether or not I feel a connection to the blogger and get a sense of who they are, otherwise what’s the point, we may as well just read newspapers. (And God, who does THAT?!)
I hear you on this! I had a wobbly moment a few months ago about whether I should keep blogging, and I blogged about it. A couple of people who aren’t parents got in touch to tell me that they liked my wy writing even if they couldn’t personally identify with the content. It really helped to re-energise me in figuring out what I was doing.
Yep, I’ve had that a couple of times and it’s really reassuring isn’t it? I love it when people say ‘I don’t have kids and I’m not especially interested in the topics you write about, but I still like reading!’
‘Nitch’ – ha! Going to ask the relatives in the US to say that now.
This was just what I needed yo hear, thank you. Having just started out I’ve done the whole self-doubt thing – who am I? What’s this for? But what is my nitch?!
And now I’m going to stop thinking about it and just be me.
Love the pics btw! Very grrrr
Yeah – GRRRR was what I was going for! Belle was directed me. She said ‘be a warrior!’ :-)
That doggie is so cute! :D
It’s jut an excuse for cute dog pics really ;-)
So great. Someone tweeted this post, I enjoy your voice (especially the shouting and the explanation for it), I like the cut of your jib. I’m subscribing. QED.
Yessssssss. *punches air*
Great post, you are so right. I’d never thought of it that way before. I’d always worried I didn’t fit in, turns out I don’t need to. Thanks lovely x
Nope, no need to worry at all – you can just be you! Pressure off :-)
Hi jo, thanks for a really great bit of inspirational advice. I’m just starting out on the blogging journey and feeling like an imposter but you have made me realise I just need to be me. Hopefully someone, somewhere will like that!
Yay! I’m so glad to have been helpful Janine, and don’t worry about feeling like an imposter, that never goes away! I’m judging some blog award tomorrow and am just looking through the shortlist thinking ‘they are all so good, why did they choose me to win last year?!?’
Ha! Well that is a refreshing approach. I feel like Dorothy and her red shoes now. I’ve found my niche. I had it all the time. (Although now I have the urge to knit both my dogs jumpers. Not good. )
I have a different subject for each day. It makes it a little easier if you at least know the subject when you crawl out of bed in the morning. I wrote building bridges with China this morning. My niche, if I have one, is photography and my photography blogs get published by the local newspaper website. They use a lot of my photos generally. Photography is quite useful for a blogger. :)
Jo, I really enjoyed reading this post because it’s a question I ask myself all the time as well and I am happy you feel the same way about it – I like writing about all sorts because thats me :) In real life I am pretty indecisive about everything and so is the blog in a way
great post Jo!
Agree with this AND with the comments, especially about banning the ‘shoulds’.
Yes Jo!! I loved this post! I’ve always mumbled to people when I say what my blog is about and you are SO right- I don’t need a label! Our blogs change with us and hopefully our readers will come with us, because of us rather than a specific topic. xx