Why I'm no longer 'niching' my blog
I’ve been silent for the past few days. What’s up? my husband asks me.
Nothing. I say.
And I mean it. I think it is nothing.
But, being on my own for the past few days; no children, husband or builders during the day, has given me space to think.
And I realise what is bothering me. Why I’d lost my spark.
I’ve made a mistake with my business.
I’ve seen a few posts and emails lately talking about being at the six-month mark of the year. How are you getting on? the text asks me. And I think back to my goals at the beginning of the year. Somewhere, between March and June I lost my way a little.
I got seduced by advice on the Internet. I believed and trusted various online entrepreneurs. I took a course about growing my Pinterest account. I followed the advice religiously. I thought that was the only way to do things.
It isn’t. Of course it isn’t. Because as it turns out that way of doing things wasn’t right for me.
So. Let me explain.
I found myself writing about marketing for writers on this blog, A Bookish Baker. I thought (and still do think) that I could help writers and creatives to market themselves on social media.
As I researched creating a coaching business and so on I found lots of people giving similar advice. Find your niche. Make your blog only about this one subject. Make it as niche as you possibly can. Find your audience and write what they want to know.
In forums this perplexed a lot of people – me included. My A Bookish Baker blog was about so many different caveats of my life – I couldn’t just talk about one thing. Could I?
So as a compromise, I created a second website and blog. I called it Bookish Marketing. No-one told me to do this, incidentally, this is just where the advice led me.
I was impetuous. I leapt straight in. I was, after all, excited to get going. I already had clients lined up.
It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I realised: I was starting a blog from scratch. Again. And the subject matter? Well, it felt dry. Take away the rest of the things I write about and it sucked all the fun out of it. For me.
I won’t even mention adding a second blog and website to my already busy life. And, as I have only just realised, most of my initial clients came to me because they liked my Instagram account and original blog. Essentially my A Bookish Baker brand.
My Pinterest account, an account I’d created to just give my ‘audience’ articles on what they wanted to hear, also felt dry. The advice was not to pin what I was interested in. But what my audience was interested in. In came articles about online marketing. Out went articles on chicken-keeping, the seasons, recipes. All the things that make my brand, me. So I lost interest.
What was I thinking?
I avoided my new blog. My clients petered off and I didn't bother trying to find new ones.
I lost all interest in something I was so excited about at the beginning of this year.
I’ve kicked myself a number of times over the past few days.
Then I started to take action. First of all, as with many things that weigh on my mind, I started writing about it, as though talking to you lot. (You all help me more than you realise!) Writing notes for a blog post helps me to work out what it is I want to do.
Then, I opened my laptop and started digitally unpicking.
I'm going to close my second website, Bookish Marketing, and merge what I’ve written on there with this blog. I’ll still be offering my marketing and mentoring services - in fact I've got more plans for the future of my business - but it'll all come through this blog.
I’m not blaming the advice out there. I’m just saying I followed the advice to the letter without thinking whether the advice was right for me. I have so much trouble with imposter syndrome I forgot that, actually, I am a writer, I am a creative. I’m not a salesperson.
My advice to you? With blogging and building an online platform remember one size doesn’t fit all. Read the material on the Internet, think about niching down, but then work out if that's really right for your audience. And for you.
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