Why I’m not a “Niche Blogger”

Hipstercrite had this great entry last week called How To Gain Blog Followers The Fast Way which I found myself nodding along to so vigorously that I think it stopped being a nod and started being something more of a headbanging motion that required playing some Black Sabbath to get out of my system.

In the post she writes:

The biggest thing I’ve learned is that if you want a lot of followers and want to attract advertisers you need to make your blog niche. The more niche the better.

I’d be lying if I said I don’t give a shit about my traffic (most people are lying if they say they don’t care), but I don’t give a crap enough to completely change my blog in hopes of wooing advertisers. Hey, it would be nice to get paid for this thing, but in the long run, I obviously like having my content all over the place. I have the freedom to write whatever I want.

High five! Right on, sister!

Fifteen years under my belt, and I still run my blog on the same philosophy that I always have. I will write whatever I want, whenever I want, and I don’t give a flying rat ass what anyone thinks about it. If you think I’m interesting, you’ll bear with me while I work it out.

AKA I know about half of my readership comes from real life friends who will not give two shits about this post because I’m rambling on about this mythical community that we call the blogosphere… AGAIN. Even though this largely doesn’t apply to them.

I can’t even imagine being a niche blogger. I’d run out of shit to say if I had to post solely on one topic… I tried to start a music blog once (and if you know me, you know I’m pretty fanatical about music) and I quite literally bored myself to tears within two weeks. It wasn’t fun. AT ALL.

I follow a lot of blogs that would be considered niche… Largely because there’s little other choice these days, you just follow and hope someone posts something more interesting than what they wore today or the color of their fingernail polish….

Most of the blogs I seem to be on fall into one of several categories:

1. DIY bloggers with an Etsy store. These folks post tutorials of how to do shit and try to sell you the stuff they’re making. They’re not a bad niche to follow if you like to make stuff… Except for the fact they have a tendency to make themselves look like they fell out of a magazine, and if they have nothing better to post about they just start posting things that they thought were pretty on Pinterest instead of taking a day off. Oh yeah, and they do a lot of giveaways… Usually of other ladies who sell things on Etsy… and well, some of them go a little bit overboard with it.

2. Web designers who make blog layouts for other bloggers. These are the ones that are after my true heart because truth be told they’re the ones who are most like me… Sure, I’m a web developer / themer person for an entirely different type of client. They can usually do no wrong in my book. Too bad I can only find like three of them.

3. Fashion and thrifting blogs. I always end up following these bloggers by accident. Or because I followed a link from somewhere else and decided to follow them because they had a giveaway for some killer shoes and nowadays you need to follow people to get in their little giveaway things. But for the most part? Boring. Boring. Boring. I rarely ever shop and I wear t-shirts that I got for free at tech conferences. I am so not the target demographic. They just seem to get mixed in with those DIY bloggers with Etsy stores a lot (in fact some of them straddle the two genres).

4. Living with intention / life coaching blogs. I like these bloggers a lot, except for the fact that I usually like them too much and then feel bad because I totally wish I could take their class or buy their program or whatever… but I’m just too freaking broke. But they totally give me the feel goods most of the time.

5. Mommy bloggers. I’m seriously of the mind that mommy blogger isn’t a niche, it’s just personal bloggers that have been rebranded after they pushed out some crotchfruit. The trouble with them is every other blogging community targeted at women is specifically for them and if you’re not looking to become pregnant like now…. You’re not going to have that much in common unless they’re really good storytellers.

There are days where I feel a little bit bad because I’m not any of those things… and I don’t think it’s really fair that someone who posts fifty billion pictures of shoes and has a giveaway every other day has a ton of followers because their content is bawhoring…. and then I’m all… “WHY SHOULD I FEEL BAD? I LIKE MY BLOG, GODDAMNIT!”

I suppose at the end of the day, that makes everything okay.

20 thoughts on “Why I’m not a “Niche Blogger”

  1. I agree with ALL OF THESE THINGS you are saying.

    Since the beginning of my blog, I’ve always struggled and fussed over it – what niche shall I have? Fashion? Nah, too expensive and vain. Beauty? Also vain. DIY, I can’t make jack shit. Blah blah blah blah. I can’t be a Mommy blogger either, partially because I lack the fundamental thing that makes you a Mommy – a kid. Damn.

    I had the philosophy that I’ll write whatever the hell I want when I want. And that got me nowhere, and not many of my friends come to my blog, unlike yours. So I started doing link parties, and sponsors, and taking photos with my new camera. Alas, I have had so many more hits it’s untrue.

    I hate how the niche’s work, and that they DO work in increasing your hits. But I also hate the fact it seems you need to be in one to be “popular” and have you extremely short post seen by others.

    I don’t mind niche’s when posts have context and words behind the images. Instead of “here are my nails today” it’s “I painted my nails like this because we went to so and so etc etc”.
    Rebecca recently posted..DavidMy Profile

    • I’ve always found that a large part of gaining and maintaining a readership is just reaching out to others… whether it be through commenting on other people’s blogs or sending them emails, being an active participant of a blogger community (like BBN or 20sb), getting to know bloggers via doing button swaps, link parties, etc.

      As long as you’re reaching out and trying to make personal connections and you’re making quality posts, your readership will generally grow… It might not grow fast, but it will grow.

  2. I loved reading this. I find myself in a semi constant struggle, wondering how I can squeeze myself into one of those nice little niche boxes lots of bloggers fall into. But at the end of the day, I don’t want to have my blog be like everyone else’s, and I enjoy being able to write about whatever I’m passionate about at any given time. My blog is for me, and if anyone else finds me interesting, and wants to tag along, that’s great!

  3. Dude, I could have written this EXACT. SAME. ENTRY. I don’t WANT to be a niche blogger. I want to talk about beer and knitting and DIY and designery stuff and running, and not have to restrict myself in any way because I’m not staying in my nice little box.

    I’ve been so bored, the times I’ve tried niche blogging too. It’s just not my nature. I do a lot of things! I think if you categorize them on your blog and say ‘hey, this is what I talk about!’ then there’s no issue with talking about everything under the sun!

    So yes. I’m a niche blogger too, as you know, and I’d not want to be any other way.
    Aubrey recently posted..Runner’s Alley / Red Hook 5K!My Profile

  4. oh my gosh i LOVE this post. i am the SAME way. now, i got through phases – where my posts will be all fashion, or all DIY, or all personal, or all enlightenment crap – but i write about what i want to write about when i want to write about it. and i don’t really care if i lose people because of it – because i find that the more i stick to the stuff i LIKE to write about, the more “followers” i get that are genuine and actually want to read the stuff I have to say or see the stuff i have to share. :) you are awesome!
    molly recently posted..FASHION-SPIRATION: Purple and OrangeMy Profile

    • I think it’s pretty normal to go through phases of posting about something in particular a lot. I know I’ve had times when I’ve gone through phases of obsessively posting about a lot of things… There was awhile when I was constantly posting about knitting, I went through a phase where digital scrapbooking took over…

      These days I try and mix things up the best I can because I know the readership that I’ve built over the years has a lot of diverse interests, but by far and large… I just try and blog about what’s on my mind at the time.

      Thanks for stopping by! :D

  5. I can completely relate to this. I’m semi-crafty, but definitely not one of those DIY bloggers. I have no children. I am not particularly fashionable. Etc etc… none of these niches really fit me, and I’m (sort of) okay with that. If push comes to shove, I classify myself as a “Lifestyle” blogger, which basically means that you blog about everything and nothing… just, whatever you’re doing in your life right now. It’s harder to find an audience/advertisers in that category though, since most love the DIY/Fashion/MommyBlogger crowd.
    Jennifer M. recently posted..3 Tips for Better Blog PostsMy Profile

    • I’ve historically just referred to myself as a personal blogger, though when I really think about it… I think lifestyle is probably a better term to describe what I write about…

  6. I don’t believe I call into any niche – I do book reviews, talk about my life, discuss things I’m obsessed with and I’m just starting to do outfit posts. I don’t know, I blog about what I want to . It’s easier that way.

  7. Hey, I totally LOVE this post! And I agree with everything! I do have a niche blog, a music blog. But that’s because I always have ongoing things to write about, since I play music and document my progress or lack of progress in playing, or events I go to. But I also have a general life blog.
    Yes, I will write about whatever I want, whenever I want, and those who don’t like it can go somewhere else. I think non-niche blogs are the most interesting.
    By the way, I like how you fixed up the Toolbox theme. I’ve been using that a lot in the past, but then just got annoyed with it. I may take up blog designing again when I get the energy.
    Susi recently posted..The pink roomMy Profile

  8. Ummm… I guess I’m kind of a mommy blogger because I happen to have a kid but not all my posting is based on him.

    I resist being a “Christian blogger” or a “God blogger” because that’s not all of who I am. I’m a blogger and I happen to be Christian but I also am a whole lot of other things.
    jen recently posted..Yet Another Guest Post (Sorta)My Profile

  9. This resonates with me too! I think there are a lot of us who simply want to express ourselves, then inevitably we become fascinated by the inner workings of social media/the blogosphere and wind up getting dogged by the notion of what “blogging success” entails. I’m attracted to compelling writing more than specific topics, and you can’t exactly categorize that!
    Bobbie recently posted..Tree Becomes Firewood (Without Chopping It)My Profile

  10. You could make an argument that every blog is a niche blog (if it’s real). Like you said, mommy blogging is only a niche because mommy bloggers tend to not talk about much else. But everyone is like that to an extent. If all you do all day is work out, for example, you may not be running a niche blog on purpose, but your readers will probably have to endure a lot of “so I was at the gym today” stories.
    Classic NYer recently posted..On gentrificationMy Profile

  11. 1) crotchfruit hahahahahaha
    2) I think I fell into a niche by accident. I really created my blog just to be more of a journal or things I like, but since now all I really do is web design I don’t have much else to blog about. I keep telling myself that I want to start posting things that I’m doing or random things I like, but uhm… I don’t do anything worth writing about. Maybe once a week I can squeeze out a “life” post, but that’s about it. =\
    On the other hand, I could do more posts if I got dressed or painted my nails. =P
    erin aka eef recently posted..Vlog for AlyxMy Profile

    • 1. I stole that from someone… but I can’t remember for the life of me who. It must have been a blogger who didn’t like kids.

      2. One of the things that I like about your blog is that it’s niche, but there’s a very natural quality to it. It comes across that web design is something you really care about, and I find that really inspiring.

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