When I started this blog, I was certain that I would not pigeonhole myself into a ‘niche.’ I am complicated person with many varied interests and I wanted that to be reflected in my writing.
But current wisdom says your blog should have a niche. I’m really struggling with this – because I get a lot of enjoyment writing for this blog. However, I am also trying to make a go of a business venture with this blog, so I’m wondering how that’s going to work out for me, or if it will work out at all.
I think the thought process is that people want to read bloggers who are ‘experts’ on something and also ‘authentic.’ Which I get, because I look for those things, too.
But does that mean someone is only worth listening to or reading if they are an ‘expert’ at something? And who decides whether someone is an expert? I mean, if you look at ‘experts’ who appear in court, you can find ‘experts’ who say contradictory things. So who is right? And who is the real expert? Can you only be an expert if you only blog/talk about one particular topic?
Does talking/blogging about other topics outside of your niche mean you are no longer an expert on the other topic? Is this need for a niche because of our innate need to label/categorize everything? What about the issue of authenticity? Can I only be authentic if I have a niche?
Clearly, I have a lot of questions, so I’m hoping you all have a lot of answers. 😀
Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s talk about my latest failure. You know, the one where I didn’t post anything for months? A few months ago I was gung-ho about everything and then suddenly, I wasn’t. Sigh.
I don’t have any excuses for why things didn’t get done. I mean, I could give you excuses, but they don’t really matter. In my time away, though, some things happened that have hopefully kicked my rear into gear.
I realized that I spend too much of my time being passive vs. being active. As any English teacher will tell you, active is always better than passive. 😛
So, I am trying to be more active. Not just physically, though there is that. Just more active in general – more doing and less sitting (metaphorically speaking, since there is sitting involved in actuality). Instead of parking myself in front of the TV avoiding things, I am going to try and DO things. I fully expect to fail at this, mind you. BUT – failure is not the end, right? Quitting is. So as long as I’m trying, I’m succeeding. (Do I sound convinced yet?)
One of the reasons I avoided posting here was that, while I had things I wanted to post, they weren’t things I thought I should post. Because it’s all about the niche, amiright? But it isn’t, at least for me, and I forgot that.
So, think of this blog as a box of chocolates – you never know what you might get! Some days I may post about my fledging business, which I’m still trying to start, or maybe it will be about miniatures I paint, games I play, something I’ve read, a photo I took, or something else I created. Who knows? Let’s find out together. 🙂
I know all the advice out there says you should ‘niche’ your blog. I’m still not sure I understand why. I mean, I get wanting to be seen as an expert in your field. But I am interested in people, not in niches. When I think about it in that light, it makes me wonder about the other advice you always hear on social media – be authentic, be real. But authentic and real people are complex and multi-dimensional, not a single ‘niche’ idea, right?
As an introvert, people usually assume that I hate people. I don’t. I love watching people, observing their behavior, trying to figure out what makes them tick. Interacting with people is a completely different thing, though. Because I’m an introvert, I’m socially awkward. I mean, I can handle being in social situations, but I don’t generally enjoy them. Mostly because I don’t understand them. If you don’t really care how I am, why are you asking? I want to talk about deep and meaningful things, but most social conversation is completely superficial.
Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked, sorry. This post is about why this blog likely won’t fit into a neat little niche. The purpose behind it is not to present myself as an expert about anything, but rather to (hopefully) show people that with success comes a lot of failure. I think that people are so afraid these days to fail at anything that they prefer to do nothing. But you don’t learn if you don’t fail. I think that’s a lesson that so many people miss. We’re so focused on success that we forget it is driven by failure.
I decided to start a business, and as is usual with me, I jumped right in with both feet. But after spending a week or so researching and doing some paperwork, that darn imposter syndrome showed its ugly face. Suddenly, the whole prospect seemed incredibly daunting. I have no idea what I’m doing; what was I thinking?
Then I started to really head down the rabbit hole. I don’t even really use social media – I have no ‘following’ to promote this business to, so how in the world am I going to get sales? Then I started researching selling online and all the new tax and privacy laws in the US and elsewhere and it really started to get overwhelming. How am I ever going to make this a success?
Then one day, in the midst of all my angst, I thought, why the hell am I worrying about all this? When I originally decided to start the business, I told myself that I wouldn’t worry about failing. If I did fail, then at least I would have learned something. If I fail, I’ll have lost some money and some time, but at least I will have tried. I’d regret not trying more than I’d regret failing. So, here I am.
If you’re expecting this to be a blog about only things relating to an online business venture, you might be disappointed. I will write about that, but other things interest me, and since this is, after all, my blog, I will probably write about them too.
I’m opening at Etsy shop selling planner stickers and vinyl decals. Topics you may encounter in this blog: starting an online home business, cutting machines (like the Silhouette Cameo), stickers, planners, vinyl, decals, sales tax, using Etsy, etc. I may also write about things like fonts, software, blogging, writing, creating, art, being an introvert (and sometimes a hermit), my tinfoil hat theories (shh, don’t tell anyone about these), and you may encounter my snark/sarcasm.
If any of those don’t strike your fancy, no problem. The internet is a big place, and this is just one tiny corner of it. If you’re interested in watching me fail (or succeed), then slap the follow button and let’s go!