No Niche

No Niche

A strange title, I’ll grant you that. What on earth is this post about? Hmmmm, actually it’s probably another of my waffly rambles about not-a-lot-at-all.

When I started blogging, it was a hobby. And when I realised I could make money from it, and a new career and that I absolutely LOVED writing more than anything else in the world I immediately fell prey to the…..the, how do I say it nicely? The blogging truth-tellers. Yeah, that’s what I’ll call them.

Whatever I call them, they immediately fell upon me offering ‘advice’ truths and blogging know-it-all snippets of wisdom for me to choke on. And I suffocated in all that noise for years until I woke up and realised it’s all just that. Noise. Nothing more, nothing less.

Everywhere I looked I heard this noise. In helpful blog posts telling you how to succeed. In courses promising travel blog success…..and at conferences where I met fellow bloggers in person. It’s one of the reasons I started my own blog mentoring programme, to help other newbie bloggers find their own path without shelling out hundreds for a generic and outdated course.

It’s also the reason I wanted to write this post. Because the very first rule I heard, and still hear over and over again is this: “You HAVE to define your niche.” And this riles me because it is so reductive, so lacking in depth and clarity it’s easy to feel you won’t be a success until you clarify a tight, easily definable niche you and you alone are part of.

[ctt template=”3″ link=”ZLbda” via=”no” ]Why you don’t need rules to be a successful blogger via @wanderluceblog #tbloggers [/ctt]

So what’s mine? I don’t have one.

If that surprises you, it shouldn’t. Because amongst my peers, those who I consider successful and who I look up to – nobody has one either. Well, not one you can only discover after paying $80 for neat little e-course anyway.

If that makes you feel instantly lifted, relieved and keen to go about your day, it should! I have made a success of my blog without an elevator pitch, without a niche and without fitting into any of the prototypes anyone said I had to fit.

That’s not because my content, or my photography, or my SEO is so much better than anyone else’s out there either. There are no shortcuts, not really. And I am a firm believer that it you can’t be taught to make a success out of a whole business through a generic e-course, or video tutorial or whatever.

And I’ll tell you why.

Because your niche is already defined. Your niche is you. It’s you.  Your personality, your tone, your choice of aesthetic, your creativity with words or humour or aggressive self promotional style……it’s whatever you are.

And the great thing about that is nobody can copy you. NOBODY. They can obviously try, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and whatever but, realistically — ain’t nobody bottling your essence.

Pin this for later:

How to make a success of your blog WITHOUT following the rules. Actually, by breaking them....and not spending all your cash on courses.

I know my ‘niche,’ my value and my oh-so-special place in the world. I know why my people (you) like to read my posts and why you don’t like commenting. I know how old you are, that you love off the beaten path stuff but like to do it in style, elephant-pant free. I know you don’t really like Facebook all that much, but LOVE Instagram. You dabble in Snapchat, but feel safer with Stories.

I know you are mostly based in the UK, but that sometimes you take sabbaticals and travel to India. I also know you are all women, and you want to be better feminists.

You don’t like hearing about the FIVE Reasons you MUST visit XYZ, but you like to know what to pack for your next trip. Overshares float your boat, and hearing my weekly pregnancy updates seems to tickle you.

Often, my weekly email that pops into your inbox sits unopened for several days. But when an often delayed monthly newsletter drops you almost always open it straight away.

These are the things I’ve passively learned about the people who read my blog. Nobody else knows this information, and nobody else can cater for it. So how anybody can tell me I don’t have a niche is beyond me.

And this goes for you too. I know not all of you reading are new bloggers, or more experienced bloggers….but some of you are. I never want anyone else to feel as small as I did when I was told I wouldn’t succeed.

No one should ever make you feel like that. But if you ever find yourself losing confidence because you think your blog design, name, photography, social numbers or your damn niche isn’t good enough, stop. Read this post, then read loads more by all of your favourite bloggers and tell me what their niche is.

Chances are, you will say: “Them. Their niche is them.”

L x

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  1. 8th December 2016 / 12:51 am

    Hi Lucy!
    Thank you so much for your refreshing post! I often read about the pressures to succeed in the “blogging” sphere (your stats, increasing your social media, doing courses) when really (for me) it’s about being authentic and my love of writing; and hopefully in time the rest will come. It’s about being true to yourself and being the very best version of yourself. Thanks for being honest and keeping it real. I continue to be inspired! Cheers!

    • Lucy
      9th December 2016 / 6:22 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment Del! There is SO much pressure out there, and it’s incredibly easy to get sucked into it — but I honestly believe the best way to progress for a lot of people is to stay authentic and drown out the noise!

      Totally agree with everything you’ve said Del 🙂

  2. 8th December 2016 / 6:52 pm

    Really needed to read this right now! Been struggling / not enjoying my blog at all recently due to reasons around this area!
    Thank you Lucy!

    • Lucy
      9th December 2016 / 6:11 pm

      I’ve been there for sure and sometimes you just need to give yourself permission to stop doing the things you are doing just because you feel like you ‘should’ be doing them, you know? Like sticking to a rigid posting schedule….or only writing about one type of thing. Sometimes you just need a break to refuel your creativity! L x

  3. 9th December 2016 / 8:41 am

    Ah I love I’ve this!! This is very refreshing to hear! Thanks for posting it!

    • Lucy
      9th December 2016 / 6:09 pm

      Thanks lovely! It has been trapped inside waiting to be written for aaaaages now, so I’m super happy it’s resonating with people 🙂 x

  4. Claudia
    9th December 2016 / 1:30 pm

    Such a lovely post Lucy! I’m going to start a blog and this was very rewarding.
    Greetings from Guatemala x

    • Lucy
      9th December 2016 / 6:08 pm

      Awww that’s awesome to hear Claudia – don’t be put off by any rules when you do start your blog, and if you ever want any help please feel free to ping me an email 🙂 L x

  5. 21st December 2016 / 11:35 am

    YES! to the no niche! I’ve tried and failed multiple times to find my micro niche… but I don’t have one! My blog, I decide what I write about!

    Keep on rocking blogging! x

    • Lucy
      21st December 2016 / 11:36 am

      Exactly!!! YOU are your niche 🙂 xx

  6. 29th March 2017 / 9:40 am

    Good lord that’s good to read! I can’t tie myself down to a niche at all, I have a lot of interests!. I’ve been writing mine on and off for what seems like ages, I had a long break at one point (small child) and coming back to it I read a lot of stuff about how you must ONLY BLOG ABOUT ONE THING, make a posting schedule, plan it all out a year in advance and on and on…or you may as well not bother. It really did give my confidence a blow, it made it seem like a REALLY difficult thing to do, whereas before I would just sit and write a post!. It’s difficult to drown out the noise, but I’m learning to do it.

    • Lucy
      1st April 2017 / 10:45 am

      Oh yes, do try and drown it out! I find a lot of ‘that’ type of advice tends to comes from insecurity anyway – people who are frightened their own success is down to one thing, and if they change that thing it’ll crumble.

      I’m always reminded of my fave bit of writing advice – done is better than perfect. And, in blogging, I really think you need to be in the right headspace to write. Yes, consistency and having a regular output of creativity is lovely. But it’s not always realistic, so just do what you can, enjoy it and sod the people who say you shouldn’t bother 🙂 xx

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