Tuesday, 27 September 2016

No, You Don't Need A Niche To Blog

When I started out as a blogger, like many others I can imagine, I devoured posts and essays on blogging advice by the dozen. I tried to absorb as much information, tips and 'tricks' as possible, in order to be the best darn blogger I could be - it's something we all strive for, right?

One of the most popular 'tips' among these advice posts was - find your niche, and stick to it. You want readers to associate you with one particular topic, to know exactly what they're getting with your blog, to come to you for content on said niche. Stick. To. It.

I tried this for a while - I started out as a beauty blogger, and spent silly amounts of money on makeup and hair products, almost for the sake of having something to write about. Being new to blogging, I craved the experience, and wanted to write as much as possible. So, since my niche was beauty, I exhausted the contents of my makeup bag until I exhausted myself.

I tried merging some fashion into my posts - I monitored celebrity style, wrote wishlists and even dabbled in a little outfit blogging of my own. I must admit that during this period of strenuous fashion and beauty blogging, my follower and view counts grew the most rapidly. I thought I was finally doing something right, so I carried on, until I genuinely bored the crap out of myself.

Blogging solely about the same one or two topics eventually drove me insane - I abandoned my blog for frequent periods of time, because writing it bored me to tears. Sure, I still love makeup and fashion, and I still enjoy putting outfit posts together, but I often think that's because they're more personal to me.

One of the purposes of blogging is to get enjoyment out of it, right? And in order to enjoy updating my blog, I found I had to ditch the single topic blogging and delve into something a little more personal. I started writing more lengthy posts, a few think-pieces and essays here and there. I documented the odd trip, offered up a little bit more of my personal life, and suddenly the ideas started flowing again.

I felt free, liberated at last by the restrictions I'd placed on myself, in order to be a 'better blogger'. To be quite honest, my followers and view counts slowly began to drop, the further I stepped away from beauty blogging - which was understandable. These were probably the people who'd followed me because I was blogging about a topic they enjoyed.

Right now, I look less and less at the numbers on my Bloglovin' profile, and more at the posts I write, and the photos I take. Statistics mean less to me, because I've started enjoying blogging again.

I enjoy the fact that people can click onto my blog, and find a wide range of topics. I like writing about music, and making playlists - just as I like photographing beauty products and showcasing my day-to-day outfits. I love publishing personal posts about my life, and writing about the issues and subjects that concern me, that fill me with passion and emotion and inspiration. It's great, and I love doing it, so why should I stick to a niche?

After two and a half years of reading every blogging advice post I could find on the web, there is one piece of advice I would wholly recommend. Write what you love, and the rest will follow.

Blogging is here to be enjoyed - whether you want to pick a niche or not. Just bloody well enjoy it.
Ciara Pollock © . Design by FCD.