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The dreaded elevator pitch

So, what do you blog about?”

You know, for “nicheless” life blogs such as Alphabet Salad written by non-specialist bloggers like yours truly, that can be a rather daunting question! When your blog has no specific theme or focus and your post on any given day might be about this, that, or something in between, it’s difficult to summarize what you do in a concise, intriguing little sentence that a) doesn’t sound awkward and stilted and b) sparks further conversation. I’ve always found it challenging (perhaps my fellow non-niche bloggers can relate?) to come up with a quick explanation that doesn’t make me and my blog sound terribly dull and unremarkable (because I’d like to think we’re neither dull NOR unremarkable!) or completely random, scattered, and rudderless.

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Sometimes I think it would be easier to describe what my blog ISN’T… but then that gets muddy too.

“Alphabet Salad isn’t a food blog… though I’ve posted some recipes on occasion, and oh yeah, I did this Meatless Monday thing for awhile…”

“Alphabet Salad isn’t an art or photography blog… though I do talk about tangling and share some of the pictures I make and take…”

“Alphabet Salad isn’t a health and fitness blog… though I do on occasion write about body image and diet…”

“Alphabet Salad isn’t a humour blog… though my writing has been known to make people laugh on occasion (whether intentionally or not!)…”

“Alphabet Salad isn’t a book or TV or movie review blog… though sometimes I do talk about what I’m reading and watching…”

“Alphabet Salad isn’t a product review and giveaway blog… though I HAVE written some reviews and hosted some giveaways…”

“Alphabet Salad isn’t a parenting blog… though I do on occasion talk about my fur kids…”

…and on and on and on. I think you get the picture! And you know what? That whole section I just wrote pretty much explains exactly why I decided to name my blog Alphabet Salad – the ingredients that make up this space are an eclectic assortment of words, all tossed together and served up as a taste of my life and thoughts. Nice idea, but not very compelling when it comes time to introduce myself.

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Now in just two weeks I’ll be heading to BlogHer ’14 where I’ll be asked THAT question – “So, what do you blog about?” – at least a million times (give or take a couple hundred)… and I’m panicking a little, as even after all these years of blogging and two previous BlogHer conferences under my belt I STILL haven’t come to terms with the dreaded elevator pitch. I WAS going to go with an answer like, “I blog about life as I live it” but have been told (and I tend to agree!) that this is far too boring (I believe the actual quote was, “Would you buy that book?”).

So please, help a nicheless life blogger out! If you’ve ever been in a similar position, how did you figure it out? If YOU were the writer of Alphabet Salad, how would YOU answer the question, “So, what do you blog about?” in just one attention-capturing, conversation-promoting sentence?

Got any ideas for me to take to BlogHer ’14?
I’m all ears – please share!

UBC

NaBloPoMo July 2014

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 48 comments… add one }
  • Lily Leung July 9, 2014

    I do not worry about describing my blog or whether my blog is boring. Of course, I am not blogging to promote a business or a product. I love words and writing so I write about what I’m passionate about and that attracts people of like mind. Different strokes for different folks.

    My goal is to not bore myself. 🙂
    Lily Leung recently posted… A YEAR LATERMy Profile

  • KymberlyFunFit
    Twitter:
    July 9, 2014

    Have you thought about rewording the question from “what do you blog about” to “for whom do you blog?” Your niche may be who reads you, not the content theme or category. Your posts do have things in common that define your focus and targeted, ideal reader. So when asked at BlogHer for your elevator pitch, take the stairs instead and answer with “it’s not about ‘what;’ it’s about ‘who.'”
    KymberlyFunFit recently posted… 7 Quirky Exercise Options When TravelingMy Profile

  • Kimberlee Parkhouse July 9, 2014

    Ahh, I hate this questions as well!

    I have started answering that my blog is about survival, because essentialy if you take out the reviews (and I am review heavy, I admit) what you are left with is my day to day life (my kids, ocassional recipes, health advocate stuff, complaints about medication side effects or how I am feeling) but ALL of that is mearly just some chic trying to survive this crazy ride that is life.

    I am planning to attend blog convention next year and I am already dreading this question as it is I panic when someone I meet online asks me …

    just remeber that only you can define your blog, it is a reflection of you and you don’t havve to fit into ANY niche…perhaps those who fit into the obvious groups are the boring ones, not you and your blog, it all depends on your perception

    • Laurel Regan
      Twitter:
      July 12, 2014

      Glad I’m not the only one who stresses a little about this! And honestly, except for the issue of answering the question, I’d FAR rather have a nicheless blog and am very happy just doing what I’m doing. 🙂
      Laurel Regan recently posted… Photo Friday: Black and WhiteMy Profile

  • Debbie
    Twitter:
    July 9, 2014

    Nicheless bloggers unite! 🙂 My site’s tagline is “Eclectic Musings, Memoirs, Music and More. I tell people it’s my creative outlet and I go wherever the muse takes me. To answer the question “What do you blog about?” I’d respond “whatever moves me on a given day”. Of course, I’m not trying to sell anything, so that’s probably not the answer you’re looking for. How about this: “The mosaic of life”? Have a great time at Blogher!
    Debbie recently posted… GRAVITY! AN ODE TO AGEINGMy Profile

  • Liv
    Twitter:
    July 9, 2014

    Whats wrong with being a life blogger? Your life is fascinating. I’d stick with that if asked what your niche is.
    Liv recently posted… Finding Light After DarknessMy Profile

  • Sherri Hayter
    Twitter:
    July 9, 2014

    I would say “I’m a passionate writer who chronicles both the banal and the extraordinary in everyday life, sharing my perspective and word wizardry with slightly eclectic people like myself” Love your writing Laurel 🙂
    Sherri Hayter recently posted… 10 Practical Reduction Activities to Try on for SizeMy Profile

  • Life Breath Present July 9, 2014

    Though I’m not able to go to BlogHer this year, I’ve thought of this question many times, if only to figure a way to write an accurate about page with going on and on.

    I bet you could go with a highlighted list of what you blog these days (art, photography, and the in-betweens out ups and downs). Depicting ones whole life in a severance or two it’s nearly impossible, at least for me.

    Have fun, can’t wait to hear all about it! 🙂
    Life Breath Present recently posted… Mostly Unedited Week in Review – 7/9/14My Profile

  • Fab July 9, 2014

    I’m a niche-less blogger too!! When people ask me, I just say ‘personal blog’ and leave it at that. I’m not sure if that would be enough at BlogHer, but I think you could give the other suggestions above a shot!
    Fab recently posted… Morning MusingsMy Profile

  • Elizabeth
    Twitter:
    July 9, 2014

    I say something along the lines of “my blog name pretty much sums it up – my life, such as it is…”

    Being nichless myself I hate it when I say that boring bland (to me at least) sentence. Maybe there is a session at the conference that can help us out? LOL
    Elizabeth recently posted… Wordless Wednesday – Geocaching in ParisMy Profile

  • I would answer that question, “Anything I damn well please!” That should stop those questions! I have the same problem. I won’t be going to BlogHer 2014 but will definitely be attending 2015. We’ll sit at the “niche-less” table.
    Rena McDaniel-The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver recently posted… Holiday MadnessMy Profile

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    Twitter:
    July 9, 2014

    I know just what you mean, Laurel. You know what? I thought I’d fit into the self-development niche, only to find that it’s a rather boring place to be. I am certainly not comfortable telling people how to live their lives! I’d rather share how I live mine and the questions that occur to me from time to time!
    And I’ll pick a lovely blog like yours, that tells it like it is, over a niche blog, any day!
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted… There But For Grace Go IMy Profile

  • Kathy July 9, 2014

    I think your blog name describes your blog -you write about A-Z in your life and I think that is fine. I personally enjoy your blog and all you bring to it especially the Tangle Tuesday

  • Shailaja V
    Twitter:
    July 9, 2014

    I love the fact that you can’t really describe your blog in one sentence. The sheer variety of your posts makes me want to come back each time. So, when you get asked that question, tilt your head back, grin a little and ask them, ‘Well, how much time do you have? ‘ 😉
    Shailaja V recently posted… Responding to Stimuli- #Life LessonsMy Profile

  • Kajal
    Twitter:
    July 9, 2014

    “My blog, my rules” I live by tht theory…so whatever anyone says, I know that I would write for my self and to express myself in the process interacting with like minded people. I get you totally!
    Kajal recently posted… GratitudeMy Profile

  • Marci
    Twitter:
    July 10, 2014

    Agh! I can totally relate to this. This question reared its ugly head when I signed up for a blogging/social media course that was really more for niche bloggers, which I didn’t understand at first. I couldn’t understand why I was having such a hard time with the assignments and narrowing down my scope! Well, duh, I’m a “lifestyle” blogger, I discovered. But I don’t even like that term…I’m a me blogger! Just tell questioners that you blog about how much awesome you have to share with everyone else! 😉
    Marci recently posted… I’ve been honored with the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award!My Profile

  • Kay Franklin July 10, 2014

    There’s nothing wrong with “I just write!” 🙂
    Kay Franklin recently posted… Drag n Drop Illustrator Software ReviewMy Profile

  • Sulekha July 10, 2014

    I share my thoughts and feelings in my personal blog and I also do book reviews, write about causes, humor, tragedy and various others emotions in life. I don’t have a niche but I have a place for my memories. Love the name Alphabet salad, makes me think of alphabet soup 🙂 I can’t be labelled and put in a slot, like the freedom it gives me. Enjoy reading like-minded bloggers works, happy writing.

  • Michelle Liew July 10, 2014

    And a delicious salad it is too!

  • SunbonnetSmart
    Twitter:
    July 10, 2014

    Geeze! Laurel! I think you answered your own question. I love this one sentence: “Alphabet Salad, is an eclectic assortment of words, all tossed together and served up as a taste of my life and thoughts.”

    Or, “I toss words together and serve them up as a taste of my life and thoughts.” See? You’re a genius! Your blog has great presence and I love it. And, do we even need to bring up your clockwork posting precision, for months and years of perfect follow through? Here’s to BlogHer ’14! May our elevator rides be long enough to network, Much Love, Fondly, Robin
    SunbonnetSmart recently posted… Working for PinsMy Profile

  • Sammy D July 10, 2014

    Ditto on all the above comments. Perhaps we all should rally around “niche-free” instead of “niche-less” because life is too full of richness to limit our scope. You are a tangle mentor, a participant in beautifying the world, a thinker of profound revelations and a purveyor of life’s treasures. Go with gusto! Your blog rocks!
    Sammy D recently posted… Sum-Sum-Summer TimeMy Profile

  • Carol Graham
    Twitter:
    July 11, 2014

    First and foremost – yours is the kind of blog I gravitate to — LIFE, as you live it. If I want information on a particular niche, I can find it. But finding real people sharing real stories, ahhhh…..that is what makes my day. If I was in your position at the blog conference I would probably give a funny answer. I thought of a few “None of your business” that should go over big. How about “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” Or…..”It’s a secret, you will have to visit it to understand.” You get the picture. Whenever I am asked that kind of question, I give the unexpected answer and EVERY SINGLE time it triggers conversation. Believe me, it won’t be boring.
    Carol Graham recently posted… Which High School Would You Rather Attend – Then or Now?My Profile

  • richa singh July 12, 2014

    You can say you blog about you being an extension of yourself. And you can never be bounded by a genre 🙂
    richa singh recently posted… Controlling the blogger’s block!My Profile

  • Susan Bonifant July 12, 2014

    I’m sorry, but I must give you a pep talk, now.

    This was a bee in my bonnet for the longest time, this “what’s it about” question as well as people who say things like “Well, would you buy the book?” Many people grow their traffic not because they push a single theme, but because they have “voice” and a style that makes multiple topics more interesting.

    I didn’t know what I blogged about until I watched hits and shares and had enough comments that said “Thank you for putting this into words for me,” or “I know exactly what you mean.” I read a few of your posts, including the one about Tangling which drew 29 comments. In it, you were apologetic for being “down” and my thought was , “Good, it’s not just me who feels this way sometimes. I’ll be back.” THAT’S what you do. THAT’S why you blog. You let your readers respond, and keep those universal conversations going.

    I know you’re drawing marketers, and can’t be a smart ass when you’re asked this question. But if you have informally polled or asked questions to know what’s hot with your readers, you might say, “What’s my blog about? That’s up to my readers. They give me ideas. I give them words.”

  • Suzanne Fluhr
    Twitter:
    July 14, 2014

    When I started my blog, I was told it’s important to have a niche. So, I declared myself a Baby Boomer travel blogger. Now I find I’m bleeding out of my niche. At the moment, I’m writing a post about becoming a tangling addict. Guess whose blog introduced me to tangling? (If you haven’t guessed yet, walk over to a mirror. 😉 ) Just tell them you’re an “influencer” and get off at the next floor.
    Suzanne Fluhr recently posted… “You went where?” – A Visit to Luang Prabang, LaosMy Profile

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