Post by Ashe Mischief
Recently a blogger friend and inspiration said to me, “You should really get more involved in the plus size/fatshion blogging community.” It was food for thought- after all, I am a plus-sized woman, but I don’t consider myself a fatshion blogger. So I wrote about it– Fatshion vs. Fashion blogger. And one thing I found that almost every comment dealt with– is where, when, and whether to put yourself in a niche.
I’m of two minds when it comes to defining a niche for your blog– from the personal side, I think it’s kind of irrelevant. Write about what you WANT to write about; if it happens to be that you want to focus on sale fashions because you love deal-hunting, that’s awesome. If you’re like me, maybe some days you want to share tips on how to get through life, share great deals, show off your new fabulous shoes, and that’s okay too. Because the fact is, I’m sure we’ve got a lot of Renaissance men and women on the web, and talking about one thing all of the time gets dull.
From a professional side though, having some basic idea of what your blog is about can be helpful: writing your elevator pitch, working with sponsors, and with promoting your blog. When you’re networking at an event like the IFB Evolving Influence Conference, it’s easier if you can say, “I’m a budget fashionista,” or “I feature outfits of the day.”
Many bloggers, myself included, panic at the thought of describing their site. Or worse, they feel pigeonholed and stifled by their niche. If content is king, why strain yourself, your inspiration, and creativity by trying to keep within a certain topic?
Tips for Delicately Balancing Your Niche:
- Use rough guidelines to define your niche– I’ve stripped the intricate details of my blog down, and simply say that my site is “style, fashion, and lifestyle in New Orleans.”
- Let yourself determine what those niche words mean. You can decide what being a “style blogger” means– for me, I consider style not just your outer appearance and wardrobe, but also use my love of media (literature, film, and art) and design (graphic, interior) as part of my own personal style. This keeps me from feeling as stifled (but can be a means of expanding your blog’s content within its niche).
- Use your niche to par down topics when you’re feeling overwhelmed by a world of inspiration. One of the reasons I’ve long since abandoned my Livejournal, was I felt overwhelmed by the amount of information I consumed each day– how could I share that without feeling like I had ADD? By focusing your blog in to a particular niche, you can streamline the information you’re sharing. Just be sure not to let that stifle your inspiration too.
A niche is a great tool for growing communities: it allows people with common interests to easily find one another, gives a new visitor a glance into your site quickly, and optimizes your blog for search engines and social sharing. As your blog grows, the niche you originally start in may not be the niche you grow or change in to. Allowing yourself flexibility as a writer encourages you to always strive for producing great content.
Image via weheartit.com