Forever Nicheless

A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to write a book. One of my trusted advisors told me that I should start a blog in order to get my feet wet and gain a following. So that’s what I did.

I didn’t know too much about the blogging world. I enjoyed reading articles I came across on Facebook, but that was about it.

So I began reading articles on blogging – how to write a successful blog, how to reach a bigger audience, how to monetize my blog.

The first piece of advice every article gives is to find a niche.

I had heard that word before, just not in this context. A few years ago, I taught elementary science. It was pretty much my dream job. One of my favorite units to teach was ecosystems. My fourth graders explored habitats, adaptations, and food webs.

One of their key vocabulary words in that unit was ‘niche.’

turtleniche

A niche is an animal’s role in its habitat. It includes everything the organism does – what it eats, what eats it, what it cleans up, and what it leaves behind.

I used to tell the students, “A niche is like a job. What makes that animal useful in its environment?”

But I’d never seen the word used in literature and writing. I’ve heard of genre or style, but never niche. Apparently, in order to be a successful blogger, I must first identify my target audience. Then I should write articles geared toward that particular group.

That’s simple enough. If your business is dog training, you should write about dog things – dog behaviors, dog treats, dog cages. It makes sense.

But the more I thought about it, the less I wanted to follow that advice. I hated the thought of writing about one subject for the rest of my days. I don’t like anything that much.

I do write quite a bit of articles geared toward autism, but I also write about parenting in general. I even like to dabble in politics and girly things. In fact, my top 3 blog posts had absolutely nothing to do with one another – their topics were racism, special education, and Swiss army knives.

So if I had to choose a target audience, they would be readers.

Now before you start rolling your eyes, just hear me out.

books

I grew up in a house full of books. There were books everywhere – on the bookshelves, on the tables, in the kitchen, in the bathrooms… There were books of every genre – biographies, novels, cookbooks, self-help, and even comics. My parents absolutely love to read.

At no time did I hear them say they weren’t interested in one particular subject. Well, I guess my dad wasn’t reading any of those romance novels with Fabio gracing the cover. But other than that, nothing was off limits.

The same is true of most readers. They enjoy escaping their own world, and entering another. They appreciate being challenged and learning new information.

I want to write stories that are relatable to everyone. Whether the topic of the day is autism or politics, I want to allow readers to enter my world for a couple of minutes. I want to give them something to think about, something to provoke them, something to ignite their emotions.

Maybe it’s not the best business decision, and I’m sure I will evolve as a writer. But for now, this is where I find myself… forever nicheless.

asdkn

 

18 Replies to “Forever Nicheless”

  1. oh YES!!! I love this, Meghan Ashburn!! I have long and often thought of myself as having “serial passions”…. I never really LOSE interest in the ones that fade into the background, but they’re just not getting my attention right now. I also realize that I have been lucky enough to have a series of jobs/work experiences/careers throughout my life…. and I’ve certainly never felt tied to a place!

    I love your description of being nicheless…. it does kind of describe that same fluidity….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel like the push to narrow down your focus isn’t always the way to go. I identify my blog as ‘alternative lifestyle’ but I’ve got posts on everything from pets to baking, household cleaning tips to travelling various locations around the world, tattoos to DIY projects – and I LOVE the variety. Do what works for you, that’s what will attract the right readers!

    Britt | http://alternativelyspeaking.ca

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Not sure what drew me to your blog but I have to say that I agree. I just write what I feel and when I feel like it. I should mention that I am not trying to make money or develop a following. I write for me and if I can help anyone else… that is just awesome. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Having lived in the same home, I must protest I don’t remember Fabio on a cover, but I will read pretty much anything! If necessary, I will read the cereal box if I don’t have a book nearby! Great blog! I agree with the advice to write about anything, including science! Just write to settle your mind and perhaps touch another’s heart. You touch mine all the time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. whew!! I was trying to figure out why you were a Fabio fan!! Thanks for clearing that up! LOL
      One of the things I remember about books at our house growing up is that no one seemed to try to censor them. Being one of the youngest, I loved reading the books that my older sibs were reading in high school.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, this is what I’ve been trying to say for over a year now! I thought I was the only one. Picking a niche would be like setting a limit on what I can and can’t blog about, I don’t really see how that is a good thing, to be honest. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m in the same boat – I write what crosses my frontal cortex at the moment I have time to write! It’s maybe a little more deliberate than that, but not by much. I’ve never expected to make money from my blog (and haven’t!), just hope someone enjoys reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. When I first saw your title, I began laughing. I was going to write a post called the Nichless Blogger. Instead I called it “Forget About Finding a Niche” – https://wp.me/p5q5Ra-jn. I have struggle with this at some point. I love writing about having a child with special needs. It is great. Yet, I have a million other things to write about. I am a teacher, a lover of books, vacationing, and just living my life. Confining my blog to my son is just something I don’t want to do. Thank you for sharing your post. I’m following your now.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s