No More Niching: The Feedback
When I wrote the post: Why I'm No Longer Niching My Blog about why I thought I'd made a mistake in my business because I'd followed all the online advice to 'niche' my blog, I was apprehensive.
Firstly, because I was admitting I'd made a mistake and I was worried how my clients/future clients would feel about this.
And secondly because what I was thinking went against the advice of so many other people online.
But despite my concerns I posted it anyway. As I've been sharing my business (and writing) story, I thought it only fair to say when I'd taken a wrong turn.
When I talk about niching I mean narrowing your blog's focus so you only write about one particular subject. So, in my case, I created Bookish Marketing, and only wrote about social media marketing. The website felt dry; devoid of personality. I had no inspiration and found myself reluctant to maintain the site.
I was overwhelmed with the amount of people who found my post reassuring. For some it confirmed what they already felt but were struggling with because the online advice told them otherwise. For others it was like they'd been given permission not to have to niche, but be themselves.
Rabya, has a beautiful new blog called She Flourished, but says in the comments in my last post that she'd been 'lost' with the focus of her blog, as she didn't know what her 'overall message should be'. But then went on to say, ''perhaps I don't need a message'.
I think back to a decade ago when I started blogging. At first I just wrote about writing. Then I wrote about cake. Then there was Hen Orchard where I just wrote about chickens. None of these blogs survived because they were just too narrow a focus. BUT, as soon as I started this blog, A Bookish Baker, and gave myself permission to write about what I wanted, then I found interests I'd never thought of before.
If I'd 'niched' I'd never have discovered them. Perhaps your message, or your niche, will evolve overtime. Or, perhaps, your message or niche, is you. The blogger, the writer.
I was pointed in the direction of two articles, written recently, who had shared similar points about niching. Nadia, from Cottage Notebook wrote On Finding My Niche, saying: "This blog is a journey and like life, it’s not going to go in straight lines and it will have many twists and turns as my interest and love in different areas moves with time".
And Honest Mum wrote about how she created a six-figure salary from blogging despite not having a niche. In fact, she says: "I often hear experts bang on about sticking to a niche but I believe your voice is your niche and unless you want to limit your subject matter for a reason, embrace and share all of your passions in one place."
Like me Rachael created a second website about one particular subject. She's now binned this second site and instead is sticking to her gorgeous Rachael Lucas blog. "When you take one part and separate it out, you lose all the joy. And that joy is what brings people to you."
I got so many messages via DM on Instagram or via Twitter. All saying similar things. Finding the right 'niche' had stopped them from starting a blog. Or, they'd stopped enjoying their blog. Or they felt stifled by 'niching'. Some had followed all the advice only for it not to work out the way they'd been promised. This left them with self-doubt or burn-out, with their worst imposter-syndrome fears coming true. They thought they were failures.
At first I was reassured. It wasn't just me, other writers, creatives and bloggers felt the same.
But then I started to get angry. All these creative women. Some of us with not much confidence, some not feeling like we're proper writers or creatives but taking massive leaps and putting ourselves out there. Taking advice from these experts only for the advice to work against us and leaving us feeling less confident than before.
To niche or not to niche is a purely personal thing. It might be right for your business/online brand/writing. It might be completely wrong. As Kayte Ferris says from Simple And Season, you have to "strip away all the noise from people who want to sell you marketing services and hold onto truth and purpose".
Your truth, your purpose. Your blog. Your way.