Friday, 5 August 2011

The thing about "niches"...

It's ironic I'm about to blog about blogging as really it's one of my pet peeves. In general I don't like to read about blogging on people's blogs but here I am, going to do it anyway. 

One of the biggest things to come out of Cybermummy '11 for me (other than my waistline due to the abundance of cupcakes!) was the message that bloggers need to find their niche.

This is pretty much bad news for me, as I don't have one and until Cybermummy it never really dawned on me to care. I don't class myself as a "mummy blogger" as I don't really blog about my children, so that's certainly not my niche and obviously I blog a fair amount about food and cooking but could hardly be labelled a foodie.  I enjoy reading books and doing the odd book review but that doesn't make this a book blog and then of course there are all the other subjects I enjoy blogging about - films, music, fashion and so on. It seems then that really I am a jack of all trades and a master of none!

But, does that really matter?

I picked my blog name because it wasn't specific or niche. I have in the past had a food blog and a mummy blog but eventually I found them both incredibly limiting. I wanted to write about whatever I was thinking or feeling, or perhaps about something I had seen or read. That kind of content doesn't sit well on a food blog so back in 2009 I decided to ditch the food blog and start again.

I've now learned that not having a niche probably makes me a less attractive choice for brands and that if I'm wanting to make a commercial success of my blog, I really need to streamline and focus it on a particular area. I'm currently torn on this. On one hand, clearly it would be nice to earn some extra money from something I enjoy doing and that takes up a fair amount of my leisure time but on the other, I'd hate for my blogging to become a chore. Trying to conform to what is or is not acceptable or advisable, well, I think it would kind of suck the fun out of it. For me, anyway.

My blog is my personal space, to express myself in whatever way I choose. If people can't cope with my random offerings then they don't have to read them, but I will write them regardless. Deep down I feel that the perks of occasionally working with brands need to come second to pleasing myself or else what's the point of calling this MY blog.

Where do you stand on the niche issue? Do you have one? Do you believe it is important? or do you really not give a monkeys bottom?

I'm not sure I am ready to be pigeon-holed so for now I will remain the niche-less Mrs M!

love & kisses
Mrs M x


  1. Well, as someone whose blog is all about random things I like and want to comment on, I see your point perfectly.
    It's about what you want your blog to be. For me, it's a space to empty the jetsam in my mind; as well as being a method of communicating with others who share similar interests.

  2. I too hate blog posts about blogging but this one is actually interesting! ;)

    I too get depressed when bloggers start banging on about 'niches' (actually I get depressed when bloggers start banging on about anything to do with blogging) because I don't really have one either. However, I don't think that a lack of niche is as important as people would have us believe.

    I actually think your blog name is perfect for what you write. :)

  3. My blog is called The Five Fs specifically so I didn't have to just write about the children and they were the five things I was most passionate about. The fifth F is "fun" so I could write about anything I thought was fun so didn't limit me to anything.

    Do I have a niche? I don't know. I do blog about the children but not loads. I do have food posts including Meal Planning Monday, I have fitness posts, and I do occasionally blog about footy.

    Do I care if I have a niche or not? Nope. I get enough PR approaches to keep me going. I'd like to do some more writing but I'm happy to be off my blog in other places.

    I say do what you like. Being true to yourself is the best thing really - people can spot when you're not being true to yourself and posts start to sound fake.

    Am I making sense? Thought not.

  4. My blog definitely doesn't have a niche. One minute I'm talking vintage fashion, and parading around in all manner of outfits, the next I'm reviewing the latest book I've read. I love my eclectic online journal, I wouldn't have it any other way. X

  5. Well I actually enjoy reading thoughtful posts about this one. Am fascinated by all the different reasons that people blog and how those change over time. It seems to me that blogging will become hard work if you want to make money from it. Like you I blog about all sorts of stuff, though I guess most people think of me as a special needs blogger. And I do get lots of approaches from PR companies. I just say 'no' to most of them!

  6. Mrs M I love you I do. I have had a niche complex ever since I started my blog..... I've learned to embrace my lack of niche and often refer to Big Eejit as my "mongrel blog" for that reason. I just blog whatever takes my fancy - I like memes for ideas but there's no particular focus. Thank you for this post xxxx

  7. I too like to write about a variety of topics on my blog and so do not have a niche. I write about food, gardening, family life and anything else I fancy.
    If my blog was also my business I would have to focus more but as it is I am enjoying writing for its own sake and am not too worried about a niche.

  8. I know the feeling. I started my first blog about 6 months ago, on the subject of becoming a dad. But as I've found I enjoy it so much I want to talk about other things, not always related to becoming a dad. Those posts won't fit in with what the readers are expecting.

    I guess you simply have to decide why you're blogging. If it's for you, then blog about whatever you want. On the other hand if your blogging for a specific reason and that reason has a niche then you need to stick to it.

  9. I agree with the whole 'finding your niche thing' being a bit too 'business like' and not about the fun or honesty in blogging.

    Being a 'Marketer' as my profession, I am automatically programmed to 'think business' when on the web as my 40 hour week is dominated with such thoughts, but despite starting my blog thinking I'd blog about one particular area of my life (my aspirations to be a housewife rather than a 9-5 girl) it is funny who it grows organically into something else as life goes on.

    I do feel that this means I miss out on some opportunities, such as reviewing cool products, but this could be I am not a 'Mummy blogger' either, or fit into a particular niche, I am just a second rate mummy blogger to the other pr and marketeers out there seeing as I didn't 'birth' my son myself. Ha!

    Perhaps they'll define me a new niche - 'step-mummy blogger'.

    Did Cybermummy have this category?

  10. Like Chuckalicious, I started my blog with a purpose. I wanted an online diary about the children and family life in general. I thought it would be nice for them to read when they're older.
    I now find that I want to write about lots of different things and I'm just starting to branch out. Luckily, my blog name is my name so it doesn't restrict me. I'm not going to bother about finding my niche. I'm going to write about anything I want and I'm going to enjoy doing so!

  11. I'm in the 'not giving a monkey's bottom' camp. Cybermummy clarified a lot of things to me - mainly, all the things I'm NOT interested in doing.


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