Niches are overrated

Last week Annette from I Give You The Verbs created a stir.  She called for an uprising against the current state of things in the blogging community.  What on earth do we have to fight against you ask?  Well it appears that things have gotten a little cookie cutter around here.  Creatives are being stifled by the need to be useful, getting caught up in the must dos and the forbidden.  niches are overratedToday it has been exactly 5 years since I started this blog.  It doesn’t feel like it has been that long at all.  The landscape of the blogging community has changed so much over that time. A lot of what I learned was from muddling through on my own.  There were limited conferences, podcasts or information sessions.  So much of the information was targeted to an oversees market.

However times have changed.  There are more articles about how to be the best, most read, brightest blogger than there are minutes in the day.  For every must do, there is another article telling you that you mustn’t do it that way at all.  One piece of advice that seems to stay true across a lot of platforms though is that you must pick a niche.  The articles tell you that without a clear niche, no one will like your writing.  Your blog will be dismissed as ramblings and serve no purpose.  Maybe it will even be useless.

At the risk of doing exactly what others before me have done, I’m telling you that niches are a load of shit.  Yes, I’m contradicting the must do, by telling you that you mustn’t do it that way.  I’ve written before about the heart of writing and I still stand by those words.  Readers, the loyal ones, come for your writing not just for the content.

I’ve seen numerous posts in blogging groups from new bloggers who are worried because they don’t have a niche.  Their creativity is stifled because they can’t put a label on what they love and that makes me sad.  Creativity isn’t meant to have rules and limitations placed on it.  It is supposed to be an extension of the person, an outlet and an expression of their love.

There’s always going to be room for the continually useful blogger and I don’t think that the useless blogger movement is about us and them.  However I think it’s important to remember that there is more than one way to be successful at everything.  There is no one size fits all and if something is feeling stifling then it’s time to take a step back to reassess your motivations.  Something you love shouldn’t always feel like work.

Do you think niches are overrated?

Linking up with Kirsty for I must confess!

11 thoughts on “Niches are overrated

  1. Lyndall @ SeizeTheDayProject

    I agree with you Tegan, niches are overrated. I didn’t even know I needed a niche until I attended my first Problogger conference and they had little stickers to put on your name tag which indicated your niche. I was perplexed – I was a little bit of several … should I take one of each sticker? I think niches are only important to people who are targeting a specific audience and those who want to make serious money out of their blog. Apparently, without a niche, I can only dream of this 😀

    Reply
  2. Janet Camilleri

    Beautifully said Tegan. My niche is all things middle aged (so popular – not!) but I don’t care, that’s the life I’m living and as long as I’m having fun, I figure kindred spirits will find me and come along for the ride!

    Reply
  3. Deborah

    I’ve not gone to the last couple of Problogger events because it’s all gotten a bit ‘dog eat dog’ #showmethemoney. I shy away from the Aussie blogger page for that reason as well. I like that people go there to ask for help but some people there are so full on.

    I’m actually doing a little blogging challenge of my own this month Tegan to try to get my mojo back as I’d stopped writing about anything other than books and wanted to find my voice again.

    Reply
    1. Vanessa

      It’s funny, a few people have said that. I never get that vibe. Though it could also be the people I hang out with are more likely to laugh at that stuff and just have fun (even if they do make money on blogs etc).

      Reply
  4. Maxabella

    I think you either have a niche or you don’t. If a person can’t think what their niche is, they’re just one of the people who don’t have one. Fortunately most of the world falls into the latter category. Most of us aren’t “a something”, we’re lots and lots of somethings. x

    Reply
  5. Kylie

    I thought I had a niche. Food. Until it was pointed out to me that I do “kids food” not REAL food. Before then I had never realised that kids eat unreal food. 😉

    Reply
  6. Toni @ Finding Myself Young

    I wrote about this back at the beginning of March {and find it a little amusing that now that a few of the bigger bloggers have started talking about the same thing #useless blogger has become a thing yet when I wrote about it it didn’t take off lol}. Anywho I have never really had a niche and I don’t really think personal bloggers can because we write about so many varied topics. I spent months after last years problogger thinking I had to have a niche and follow all the rules and it definitely contributed to me losing my blogging mojo and not wanting to write. Over thinking and over planning definitely isn’t great for me and I think its the same for quite a few other bloggers. I also totally agree people come to read blogs because of the writing style and the person behind the blog not necessarily the content.

    Reply

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