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Nicheless in Canada

One of the first things you need to do, it seems, if you want to start on the path towards becoming a successful problogger, is to choose a “niche” for your blog: that is, narrow down your focus and target your content to appeal to readers who are interested in that niche topic, so as to establish yourself as an expert and build a loyal following. The catch, though, is that in order to keep your niche blog going long-term, you need to be passionate about the topic you’ve chosen, so passionate that your words will carry conviction and you won’t soon tire of writing on the subject.

I would really, Really, REALLY like to try my hand at becoming a problogger. Everything about blogging interests and thrills me – the writing of the content, the design and layout of the blog itself, the technical details that make things run properly, attracting and keeping an audience, the continual learning curve… everything. I have a background in web design that started when I taught myself HTML, I know (and am always learning more) about using CSS, and I’ve been blogging for years – so the basic skills are in place, and I have a willingness and excitement to learn anything new that might be required along the way. On top of all that, I’m in an excellent position to pursue problogging: I have a part-time job that pays my living expenses (so I don’t HAVE to make money from my blog), I have plenty of free time outside that job to devote to whatever I choose, and I have a great home office setup.

So what’s the problem?

The problem is, I have no niche.

  • I am neither a mommy nor a homemaker.
  • I am childfree by choice, but not militant or outspoken about it.
  • I appreciate finding a good deal as much as the next person, but I’m not particularly frugal or into clipping coupons in any noteworthy or shareable way.
  • I don’t make things to sell.
  • I’m not going to school at the moment.
  • I don’t travel anywhere exotic.
  • I am not a photographer.
  • I’ve tried all sorts of crafts and hobbies, but wouldn’t say I’m passionate about any of them (except blogging).
  • I am not a professional anything.

What on earth AM I, then?

What it comes down to is this: I love writing, I love blogging, and I love making connections online. And since I’m already doing all that stuff anyway, wouldn’t it be nice to try to earn some money while I’m at it? So that maybe, some day, I can do more than just pay the bills?

My kingdom for a niche!

Thoughts, comments, suggestions, ideas… I welcome them all!

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.

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Eschelle January 27, 2012

    “personal” blog is a niche 🙂 or “life”

    • Dawn January 27, 2012

      Well, that’s true! Though it’s possibly not narrow/focused enough to allow you to be a problogger. 🙁

  • a.eye January 27, 2012

    It’s too bad a niche isn’t randomness… then we might both be fabulous probloggers. What on earth AM I, then? – so true.

    I too wish that there was a place my blog could logically fit. Even during NaBloPoMo this month, it was hard to decide where to list my blog.

    Good luck on getting to the point where you are doing more than just paying bills.

    • Dawn January 27, 2012

      Thank you! Here’s to randomness!

  • Kathy (Kangaroo Mama) January 27, 2012

    I am also having the same dilemma with my niche. My husband said my blog goals is a lot for one blog and maybe I need to split it out. I talk about my journey as a mom, a wife, an amateur DIY crafter, etc. I want a blog that documents that whole journey but I’m afraid I would lose my family if I blogged too much about just my crafts and other things or I would lose the interest of potential “followers” if I blogged too much about my daughter and not make it relatable enough. My blog also begs the question, “what on earth am I then?!”

    • Dawn January 27, 2012

      I hear what you’re saying. I imagine it would take far too much time to split it into more than one blog, wouldn’t it? We need more hours in the day!

  • Leah Marie, UnPunctuated January 27, 2012

    Oh, I totally feel ya. There is nothing that makes me feel quite so uninteresting as trying to get more readers on my blog.

    I think though, that most people are actually really interesting, but just don’t know it. I like reading about people’s random life events on their blogs. I say just go with what you know. 😉

    • Dawn January 27, 2012

      I like reading those too, and I definitely enjoy writing that kind of blog! Just not sure how I’d channel it into a problogging scenario. I’ll have to give it more thought, I guess!

  • Nannette January 27, 2012

    I love to write too. When I write I learn more about myself. If I want to learn more about myself, then I need to write more.
    Keep writing and the magic will happen.

    • Dawn January 27, 2012

      Excellent idea – thank you. 🙂

  • Lynden January 27, 2012

    Hello – It’s nice to just have discovered that I’m not Alone in my ‘vagueness-in-blogging’! I’ve enjoyed all of the above Comments and your post! I began my blog for very personal and painful reasons last year…then needed a place to post Scrapbooking items I wanted to submit to other sites…and the more I think and read other blogs recently, I’d like to include ‘more of Me’ – just to share it with the chance visitor – but then I hear it could possibly help financially (Blogelina.com)- which would be wonderful…! So… Is that Vague enough? Perhaps it’s a venture in wasted dreams, but it’s nice to know You All are ‘out there’ – and I appreciate You… ;-}
    Thank You –
    Lynden
    http://aneleganttouch-lynden.blogspot.com

    • Dawn January 27, 2012

      I, too, am so glad to find that I’m not alone in this issue! Blogelina has definitely sparked something in me, though, that makes me want to get past the vagueness and nichelessness, LOL!

      Thanks for your comment!

  • Elise Davis January 28, 2012

    I hear ya! And it’s weird because you don’t really know which facet of your blogs people are drawn to. I think mine is a random nicheless blog as well, but admittedly, I get to fall back on the kid/parenting thing. Randomness and nicehelessness has some nice stuff to it – it’s almost like it’s a niche without being a niche!

    • Dawn January 28, 2012

      I’m starting to love the sound of that word – nichelessness. LOL!

  • Suzanne January 28, 2012

    It is staggering to me that you taught yourself HTML. Besides that, I have no idea about these niches. I find myself very much in a similar boat, but I haven’t been doing this for years. I’m not even sure what problogging is. The blogs I prefer to read are written by people such as yourself, though. They enjoy writing about things. Any things.

    • Dawn January 28, 2012

      Problogging basically refers to blogs that make money via ads, selling things, offering services of some kind, etc. I’m not sure a random blog like this one would ever qualify! That said, I love writing here and have fun with it, which is worth a lot in itself. 🙂

  • Sabrina January 28, 2012

    Not having a well defined niche kept me second guessing every post for several years. Single mom, Customer service rep, Manager, Self Help and Animal Lover turned Life Coach just didn’t seem very pulled together…thoughts? LOL.

    I couldn’t get to the ‘just write’ part because I was trying to fit into a mold. Rules seem to bog my creativity down to the consistency of molasses. NaBloPoMo is the daily shove I need to say what I’m passionate about at that moment. In the end, I think I’ll have a reoccurring theme. I figure it takes time to build a following anyway. If we had 100,000 visitors waiting for us to click ‘Publish’, maybe our stress would be warranted. Right now, it seems our circle is pretty happy with what we have to offer so who’s to say the masses won’t be as well. My motto use to be “Don’t wait till the masses come to start boiling water.” We’re building for tomorrow.

    Keep writing, it’s truly the hardest part. Let your following, heart and stats reveal your niche. Since you’re already web savvy, linking to a niche specific site won’t be hard for you…Just tell us know where to go. 🙂

    • Dawn January 28, 2012

      So much wise advice here! Thank you, Sabrina. 🙂

  • C.B. January 28, 2012

    I don’t know… Revel in the nichelessness? Why not?

    I can’t imagine it’s fun to always have to stick to the rules.

    • Dawn January 28, 2012

      “Revel in the nichelessness” – so poetic, I love it!

  • Julie Fisher January 28, 2012

    I hear you on this! I started blogging on my Year Abroad, talking about student life in foreign countries, and it was so easy – there was always something to write about! Now I write a mix of book, TV, and film reviews, as well as a little bit of ‘what’s happening in my life’ (which is sadly not very much) and I too am desperately searching for a niche!

    • Dawn January 28, 2012

      I suppose one of the benefits of a “nicheless” blog is that you’re free to write about anything you feel like saying at that moment… but it does make things rather scattered for the readers, LOL!

  • Lucy January 28, 2012

    Oh, goodness I wish I had advice. My blog is random and it is ad free. I do know many pro bloggers and they will tell you that you have to write everyday. Some of the top bloggers will tell you they had no niche in the beginning. Dooce one of the first just talks about her life. Same with Confessions of a Pioneer Woman. Matter of fact Ree (the name of the woman) said she never intended to be a food blogger and have a television show but on days she lacked stories she would write recipes and those blog posts became huge hits and now look at her but she still writes a wide variety on her blog and she loves to posts photos. My point, read some of the top pro bloggers and they will give you awesome tips and go to conferences. Bloggers love to help each other out and connections are crucial to blogging.
    Good Luck!!

    • Dawn January 28, 2012

      Isn’t that funny – only yesterday I saw a friend on FB post a recipe from Pioneer Woman and I went to check out her site. It did strike me that she writes about a whole lot of different things (though I suppose they’re all brought together under her persona of the pioneer woman). Great suggestions – thank you! 🙂

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