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. Today 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!