Why You Should Never Be “Just a _______ Blogger”

June 24, 2011 · 5 comments

Whether it’s mom, coupon, fashion, green or more, the new (well, not so new) big thing isn’t blogging – it’s genre-specific blogging. But how specific is too specific?

Listen, I’m someone who is EXTREMELY niche-oriented (I have a denim blog… oh yeah, jeans. Those.) and there’s nothing wrong with that. But when you identify with a label too much – if it defines who you are – then you’re getting dangerously close to handing over your personality.

We don’t want that. You don’t want that. So here are some reasons why you should never just be some [insert random genre here] blogger:

1. You are not one-dimensional. If all you are is a mom, or eco-friendly, or fashion-focused, then you’re discounting all of the other amazing things you do and love. There’s nothing wrong with showing who YOU are as an extension of your blog – after all, your readers do know that you have a life outside your blog. Which brings me to my next point…

2. You have a life outside your blog. Part of blogging is about sharing experiences, opportunities and exciting life moments. Sometimes it’s as eventful as a tropical vacation and other times, all you need is a nice dinner out of the house. But don’t let life pass you by just because you’re busy blogging. (A great example of that blog-life balance? Finding Balance as a WAHM from Savvy Blogging)

3. You need to diversify. Like any real business, if you force yourself too far into a corner, you’ll never be able to get out. Think about all of those book stores that pushed away from digital. Be open to opportunities, but know your worth – make sure the choices you make align with them both.

4. Know when to hold ‘em, and… well, you know. Sometimes, we just feel so trapped in an area that we don’t know how to get out. Maybe the money is too good, or you’ve built a great fan base. But, here’s the thing: those people? They’re there – on your site, following you on Twitter, liking your Facebook page – for YOU. One of the bloggers who did this best, in my opinion, is Sheena from Sophistishe. When she came to the realization that she was  burned out and wearing herself down over her old site, Mommy Daddy Blog, she didn’t just resign to the fact that she hated her blog job – she did the scary thing and started something new. That’s a smart woman – not just a smart blogger.

What tips would you add – and do you think you’ve narrowed yourself too much?


Jaime Palmucci
debutantemedia.com

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenny June 24, 2011 at 9:53 am

This is exactly what I’ve been working on for my blog. I need more VARIETY!! I’m not a NICHE blogger though I’m kinda random :P

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2 Erin June 24, 2011 at 6:21 pm

I’d add that another good reason to diversify is to expand your readership… I focus mostly on women’s shopping topics, but I think it’s important to post gender-neutral or male-oriented topics too. It also helps me flex my creative muscles, which can’t hurt :)

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3 Angela R June 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm

I think focus is still wanted, whether you wish to niche yourself or not.

I run a coupon/frugal living blog (not “just” a coupon blog), but am happy to share stuff that’s loosely (and sometimes not so loosely) related. However, I think in order to attract and retain an audience, there still has to be some overall focus/direction/POV, don’t you agree?

It seems there must be balance. Niche yourself too tightly, you may pigeonhole yourself. Become too random/eclectic in your approach, and you might not create enough of an appeal. (Unless of course, it is your STRONG voice that is the driving point, and not the topic.)

I would love to know what others may think.

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4 Jaime June 27, 2011 at 5:34 pm

I absolutely agree with you, Angela, and I think that there is always a need for niche specification. But when it becomes a defining factor for the person – and the only focus of their blog – that’s where concern sets in (at least for me).

Granted, this is just my opinion, and you raise some good points. But I’d also say that you tend to break the mold yourself regarding what is genre-specific content.

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5 Sheena June 28, 2011 at 7:11 pm

For me, I was soo used to randomly writing about the things that I was up to, dates with Greg, new cutesy stuff that I purchased. When I entered the parenting community, I felt like I couldn’t do that anymore especially with the blog name we had chosen. And things started feeling less like a fairy tale and I didn’t want to blog about that stuff because most of the parenting blogs that I read were “Oh, happy day” all.of.the.time. I was tired of feeling obligated to come up with new parenting related topics and my husband fell out of love with writing. It was time to move on and I am so happy that I did! So many bloggers fall into the trap of pleasing sponsors with rankings and numbers, but when you are absolutely passionate about your blog, it will grow organically…

Thanks for the love :-) .

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