Saturday, 20 January 2018

Finding a Niche & Being Relatable

I've been blogging for a while now. It's been on and off for a few years, like I explained in this post, but life finally settled down and so did I with this blog. LWBN has been going for over a year now, and I'm so proud of it even if it does need a few things tweaking here and there.

While I was first starting out (okay- until about four months ago) I was more worried about being relatable and finding the bloody niche everyone keeps talking about that I completely forgot to actually just be me. I obviously wrote about things that I enjoyed, but I limited and censored myself. I thought that I had to write only about beauty, or only about fashion, or only about food and cooking.

Whenever I read any top-tips posts about blogging I always found "find your niche" and "be relatable" to be some of the most common. I can't decide if I myself have taken it entirely the wrong way, feeling like I need to find a niche, and I have to stick to it, or that the people who wrote those posts didn't quite explain it properly. Maybe they felt the same way?

Find a niche

I can't help but feel this is both a great tip and a really crappy one. Finding a niche does not mean you have to find ONE thing to write about, and that be it, but I was definitely lead to believe that's exactly what it was. 

I've always thought of a "niche" as a closed box, where nothing but the one topic fits inside. You can only write about that one thing, and if you start mixing other things in, that would be it and no-one would want to read your blog anymore. I couldn't have been more wrong!

Obviously there are bloggers who are very good at writing about one thing. There are amazing food blogs, beauty blogs, fashion blogs, I can go on and on. But, they're good at it. They are able to keep coming up with fantastic post ideas and things to share with their audience based around that one subject. I'm not.

And that's okay. It's okay because they are them and I am me. My blog is meant to me a reflection of me, a part of myself on the world wide web. I cook, I clean, I have a dog, I have some very annoying chickens, I live on a farm 30 minutes from the closest place of interest. It would be silly of me to write a blog about living in the city, when I've never lived in one. 

My blog's niche is "lifestyle". I blog about my lifestyle. In a way, my niche is me. 

Being Relatable

So if my niche is me, how can I be relatable? There's only one me, after all.

By blogging about me, the good and the bad, I am being relatable. I'm being real. I have PCOS, so I will blog about it every now and again. I blog, so I will blog about that every now and again too. 

I've heard "find your audience" used quite a lot, and to be honest it's a lot more encouraging than "be relatable". Being relatable doesn't mean you have to change or base your content around what others want from you. That's not being relatable, and it's not fair to force yourself to be someone your not. 

If somebody doesn't find you relatable, they'll go and find someone who they think is. Like my example earlier, it would be silly to blog about living in the city when I live in the countryside, and I wouldn't expect someone looking for blogs about living in the city to stick around here when most of my posts about home mention dust and mud at some point. They'd be waiting a very long time for me to talk about the city if they did!

Your audience are the people who have a similar lifestyle or interest to you. Isn't that why we tag everything? Instagram, posts, Twitter... it's all to find those people who like the same stuff we do. Fingers crossed they find us, and decide to stick around by following or subscribing. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't let the notion of "being relatable" or "you have to have a niche" stop you from blogging or make you think you need to blog a certain way to be successful. You'll get readers no matter what you blog about, sometimes it will just take a little longer to find others who are as interested and as passionate as you. Keep blogging and sharing what you want to share, and the right people will find you.

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