A strange title, I'll grant you that. What on earth is this post about? Hmmmm, actually it's probably another of my waffly rambles about not-a-lot-at-all. When I started blogging, it was a hobby. And when I realised I could make money from it, and a new career and that I absolutely LOVED writing more than anything else in the world I immediately fell prey to the.....the, how do I say it nicely? The blogging truth-tellers. Yeah, that's what I'll call them.
Whatever I call them, they immediately fell upon me offering 'advice' truths and blogging know-it-all snippets of wisdom for me to choke on. And I suffocated in all that noise for years until I woke up and realised it's all just that. Noise. Nothing more, nothing less.
Everywhere I looked I heard this noise. In helpful blog posts telling you how to succeed. In courses promising travel blog success.....and at conferences where I met fellow bloggers in person. It's one of the reasons I started my own blog mentoring programme, to help other newbie bloggers find their own path without shelling out hundreds for a generic and outdated course.
It's also the reason I wanted to write this post. Because the very first rule I heard, and still hear over and over again is this: "You HAVE to define your niche." And this riles me because it is so reductive, so lacking in depth and clarity it's easy to feel you won't be a success until you clarify a tight, easily definable niche you and you alone are part of.
[ctt template="3" link="ZLbda" via="no" ]Why you don't need rules to be a successful blogger via @wanderluceblog #tbloggers [/ctt]
So what's mine? I don't have one.
If that surprises you, it shouldn't. Because amongst my peers, those who I consider successful and who I look up to - nobody has one either. Well, not one you can only discover after paying $80 for neat little e-course anyway.
If that makes you feel instantly lifted, relieved and keen to go about your day, it should! I have made a success of my blog without an elevator pitch, without a niche and without fitting into any of the prototypes anyone said I had to fit.
That's not because my content, or my photography, or my SEO is so much better than anyone else's out there either. There are no shortcuts, not really. And I am a firm believer that it you can't be taught to make a success out of a whole business through a generic e-course, or video tutorial or whatever.
And I'll tell you why.
Because your niche is already defined. Your niche is you. It's you. Your personality, your tone, your choice of aesthetic, your creativity with words or humour or aggressive self promotional style......it's whatever you are.
And the great thing about that is nobody can copy you. NOBODY. They can obviously try, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and whatever but, realistically -- ain't nobody bottling your essence.
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I know my 'niche,' my value and my oh-so-special place in the world. I know why my people (you) like to read my posts and why you don't like commenting. I know how old you are, that you love off the beaten path stuff but like to do it in style, elephant-pant free. I know you don't really like Facebook all that much, but LOVE Instagram. You dabble in Snapchat, but feel safer with Stories.
I know you are mostly based in the UK, but that sometimes you take sabbaticals and travel to India. I also know you are all women, and you want to be better feminists.
You don't like hearing about the FIVE Reasons you MUST visit XYZ, but you like to know what to pack for your next trip. Overshares float your boat, and hearing my weekly pregnancy updates seems to tickle you.
Often, my weekly email that pops into your inbox sits unopened for several days. But when an often delayed monthly newsletter drops you almost always open it straight away.
These are the things I've passively learned about the people who read my blog. Nobody else knows this information, and nobody else can cater for it. So how anybody can tell me I don't have a niche is beyond me.
And this goes for you too. I know not all of you reading are new bloggers, or more experienced bloggers....but some of you are. I never want anyone else to feel as small as I did when I was told I wouldn't succeed.
No one should ever make you feel like that. But if you ever find yourself losing confidence because you think your blog design, name, photography, social numbers or your damn niche isn't good enough, stop. Read this post, then read loads more by all of your favourite bloggers and tell me what their niche is.
Chances are, you will say: "Them. Their niche is them."
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