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!


  1. GREAT post my friend. I guess our niche is to be nicheless!

    I love that I can write on any topic that comes to mind. Sure they usually end up being a little whacky but whacky's good right? Right?

    Big we need to start a nicheless society and call it, " I got a niche but I can't scratch it" size hugs to you!
    OH MY!
    Love ya my friend!

  2. Some may say I have a niche and some not. I talk about all sorts of things: cooking, faith, family life, homeschooling, etc., so some would say I do not have a niche. I feel like it all blends together, though - at least for me. It is my life as a homeschooling, homemaking, Christian mom. I feel so many of the things I write about affect a lot of women, so in some ways, I feel like it fits the niche of "encouraging women's hearts and homes". That is my purpose. :-) I like your thought, though... about having your own "voice", and I think I have that. Thanks for all of your encouragement. :-)

  3. OMG, does this not hit home. "My voice" has so been on my heart lately.

    Thank you so much for these posts.


  4. Really great post...and a great series. I am one of those "nicheless" blogs. I call my blog a "beautiful things" blog, because I post about things that I think are, teacups, genealogy, vintage treasures. I have sometimes lamented that I don't really have a clear focus, but I've had to just be me and allow my blog to reflect that.

    I like what you said about having a few faithful readers who really like you as opposed to a large number of "followers" who you don't even know and who don't really care about you. While I have close to 200 "followers" (I really don't like that word), there are only about a dozen who read and comment regularly. I feel that I've built sincere friendships with them, and that is more my purpose in blogging than in being the most popular, most well-read blog on the web.

    Thanks for doing this series.


  5. Oh what a wonderful post. I love the encouragement, and YES it's about the voice and the things we as the authors care about. That's important, even if it isn't making us the largest blog ever.

    It reminds me of Blissdom where there were all the tribes. I ended up hanging out with several women where we dubbed ourselves #untribe :)

  6. I do not have a niche... perhaps it is because I pronounce it "nitch", as opposed to "neesh".

    If I would pronounce it "neesh", I must just get somewhere.


    I do tend to gravitate toward a select few topics, though. Missionary issues, parenting, and cooking (the lazy way) are all things that interest me.

    I follow blogs that keep me engaged. Or make me smile. Or challenge me in some way. Those are the kind that keep me coming back for more :)

  7. Even though I think my blog has a niche, some days I wish I could just put up a dumb, random post. So there is something good about not having a niche per se. I love how you said it's about finding your voice, the voice you've been gifted to share, in your own unique way. That is what it truly boils down too!

  8. Encouragement is really nice especially if you have experienced it. I never thought that my life would change in an instant if it wasn't for the many words encouragement that I got from true friends. I will treasure those times and hopefully give encouragement to other people as well...

  9. Boiling it down to "Voice" vs. niche crystallizes the important point for me. Voice is essential--and I think you're right that folks will stick around for posts if they connect with your voice. Thank you for your encouragement.

    Deb Weaver


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