Saturday, January 9, 2016

Opinion: Thoughts on 'Niche' Blogging

I'm sure you would have come across at least one of those articles at some point. The ones that promise to let you in on the secrets to blogging success, how to gain more readers and how to transform your blog into a reputable brand. And I'm sure that you would have read that one of the most important things to do in order to achieve success is to establish your niche.

Having blogged for just over five years now on various platforms, I have come to realise how much my interests and tastes have changed (and undoubtedly will continue to change) in such a short period of time. I have always struggled with the apparent need to find a niche. I consider myself to be a very multifaceted person. This trait can become incredibly overwhelming at times because I am often left wondering what it is I want in life. I don't have any particular, burning passions. All I know is that I'm passionate about learning as much as I can, doing as many things as possible and living as many varied experiences that I can in life. As a result, I have always been at a loss about what my blog is. It's a reflection of myself, but what even is that? I guess you could say that it's an amalgamation of lifestyle, food, travel and book posts. But even then I feel limited. If I wish to post something that veers away from these topics, I second guess myself. But whose to say I can't post whatever the hell I want? I think me being a perfectionist, I still feel that I should establish a niche so my blog can be more ordered and not just comprise of ramblings about anything and everything. So many 'successful' blogs are the case of what you see is what you get. They stick so masterfully to their craft, sometimes delving into their personal lives, but for the most part their content remains 'stable'. It's truly admirable where blogging can take you these days and I say good work to those who have been able to make it a career. But when I think about simplifying my content, defining my 'niche', I just can't fathom it.

The amount of worrying I did in the past may very well have been unnecessarily self-inflicted, but I do feel there is a bigger pressure to be a certain person in the blogging world. That is, to construct an image and be known for posting particular content. Back when I first started blogging, it wasn't really like this. Blogging was a lot more laid back, and when it all comes down to it, that's how I want to blog: when I feel like it and when my words pour so effortlessly from my fingertips as they are right now. Perhaps that's why I have finally come to realise that it doesn't matter what and how I blog. I blog for myself and for my wonderful readers and it makes me so happy. When it comes to that, I say screw the rules!

So, as it stands, my blog may seem to be a bit of a mess. It may just be a reflection of me trying to figure things out and sharing with you little snippets of my life, my interests, my thoughts and ideas along the way. I have wanted to write this for so long but struggled with how to go about writing it and, most of all, being afraid of posting it for such a silly reason that I didn't think it would be something anyone would want to read. In hindsight, the blog posts that I debated putting up (such as this one and this one) are my favourites. I feel that through them I found an integral part of my 'voice'. I will strive to create more pieces I am proud of. I want to continue blogging about food, lifestyle, travel and books, but I also don't want to second guess myself if I ever want to post about more serious topics, whether they be about my personal life or the wider world. I want to achieve a success that is not determined by how well a post is received, but how true, how honest and how passionate a reflection it is of me and the things I care about.

What are your opinions on niche blogging and the topic of 'successful' blogging?

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