Thursday, September 29, 2011
Encouraging Bloggers ~ Variety Is The Spice Of Life
Welcome back to the Encouraging Bloggers series - Part 4! I hope you've found a few encouraging words along the way! Be sure to check out the Intro, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 if you missed them. Bloggers and readers - you're all welcome to join in to get and give encouragement!
Some bloggers have a clearly defined niche and even know what it will be before starting a blog. Others find a niche after blogging for a while and realizing that they want to focus on one area. But then some of us, like me, never do find a niche for our blog. We don't fit or "belong" in just one category. There isn't really one clear focus - a mish-mash of life in general (I referred to my blog early on as a variety show) and yet each blog has a unique feel to it.
Do you have to have a niche to be a successful blogger? Do you feel stressed when you can't exactly categorize your blog? Do readers gravitate more toward blogs in niches because their interests might not match all of the subjects on a nicheless blog?
It's great to have a niche if you know clearly what you want your focus to be, whether it's a food blog, photo blog, decor blog, ministry blog, etc. But if you don't feel like you fit into just one category or don't want to be limited to writing only certain types of posts - stay nicheless. You can have a successful nicheless blog. There are lots of nicheless blogs out there! Don't look at it as a bad thing - look at the positives.
If you are nicheless, you can post on a variety of subjects whenever you feel like it (within reason anyway)! Don't fret over not focusing on one category - you can be a food blog one day, a photo blog the next, a comedy blog the next, and on and on. There is so much freedom in that! Focus on subjects you enjoy and don't worry about how big or small your audience is. Wouldn't you rather have a smaller audience of readers that all enjoy your blog rather than a large audience that includes some readers who really don't care about your blog one way or the other?
There is something more important than a niche. It's your "voice." A niche may bring a reader to the general category of blogs, but what will draw her into one specific blog and make her decide to return? It's the voice of that blogger. It can take a while to find your voice and sometimes it will even change. Finding and understanding what your voice is on your blog can help you settle into a comfortable rhythm that doesn't require a niche.
Your audience responds to your voice. If they like it, they'll be back even if you occasionally post some things they're not interested in. Your voice helps you make connections online just like your conversations help you make connections in real life. If you're unsure of what your blog voice really is, take a step back, go to your actual blog page and read random posts from the last couple of months as if you're a brand new reader. Perhaps with a clearer focus on your true voice, you'll find it easier to make new blog connections and gain readers.
Whether you have a niche or not - find your voice, or find it again! Be you, but be the most authentic you and don't be afraid to show how you are unique (and beautifully and wonderfully made!). If you do find a niche - yay for you, but don't be afraid to step outside the box and mix things up a little. There are no real rules in the blogosphere. And remember, if there were no variety among blogs, then the blogosphere would become boring!
Be encouraged friends! Lift up those voices and blog! :) Don't forget to check out the list of blogs from last week (at the bottom of the post) and go encourage somebody new! If you know of any posts encouraging bloggers, please share in the comments. If you're on Twitter, feel free to share some bloggy encouragement using the hashtag #encouragingbloggers - see you there!
Do you have a niche? Have you found your blog voice? What brings you to a blog initially? What brings you back to a specific blog again and again?
Have a wonderful day friends!