“What’s your niche?” A new friend asked via Instagram DM. “Like, what do you blog about?”
We had met several months ago when I slid into her DMs after responding to her hour-by-hour updates via Instagram Stories.
This is how I make friends now. This is how a lot of people make friends now: based on what we post online.
When we met IRL for the first time, she told me she was so impressed with my Instagram and my blog.
I’m sorry, what? My blog? Like, the place I write stuff on the internet?
Then she introduced me as a BLOGGER. I’m not really a blogger, am I?
Wait, am I blogger? Am I in denial? I… wait. I guess I am a blogger?! Crap. Okay. I guess this is real now.
You probably came to this post because you’re interested in blogging or you’re already a blogger and want to learn more about blogging. So, let’s talk about it.
I’m in a lot of Facebook groups. I like to listen to what people are talking about. In the blogger/marketing Facebook groups, everyone is asking, “How do I become a blogger?” Well, first you start a blog… But that’s besides the point.
The more advanced bloggers or marketers chime in and say, “What’s your niche? Make sure you pick a niche! What’s the one thing you’re known for, write about that!”
They say, “Find a niche that you truly love.” Meh, okay. That seems vague, but alright.
There are: Style bloggers, Beauty bloggers, Mommy bloggers, DIY bloggers, Scrapbook bloggers, Finance bloggers, Fitness bloggers, Food bloggers, Gluten-free vegan baking bloggers…
Ugh. You get the point.
There are so many options to consider.
Which niche do you pick? Who are you? What kind of blogger are you? How do you stand out in the vast sea of the internet blogs? Is there a point? Why are we doing this? I thought this was supposed to be FUN!!!
Well, if you want it to be, anyway.
Maybe you just don’t pick a niche? Maybe you just write what you want to write?
When it comes to choosing a topic for your blog, it really comes down to understanding what people want: to be better versions of themselves. People want to be better friends, better parents, better with money, better at being healthy, better at dressing themselves, better at everything.
People want you to help them solve a problem.
And you, my dear: you want to inspire people.
The first step in writing a successful blog: identify what problem your reader might be having, and write your posts around that.
For example, you want to be a better blogger, so I’m writing this for you.
What have you done in your life that you’re proud of? Was it a trip you took that you want to share with the world that could inspire people to travel to the same place? Was it an outfit you wore that could inspire someone who can’t decide what to wear? Was it a dish you made for dinner that could inspire someone? Is it a bag you bought after you considered it for months? A room you designed that could help someone design that room in their house they’ve been neglecting?
Referring to my post a few days ago On Identity: How can you accurately articulate who you are in real life and have it translate online?
Then, figure out your voice, your value proposition, your key differentiators. Basically, what makes you… YOU? Why should your readers trust you as an authority on you’re writing about? What have you done in your life to make you someone they should trust? Can you incorporate a personal story into your blog post?
You might be saying to yourself right now, “but Becca, I suck at writing,” and that’s okay. Think about how you talk to your friends IRL. That’s how you should write your blog. I usually read what I write aloud to see if it sounds like me, and if it doesn’t, I rewrite. Sometimes I even record myself talking in the Voice Memo app and then transcribe it.
I’m sure you’ve heard the world branding before. In order to build a brand, a company has to make a bunch of decisions about who and what they are.
Building a brand is similar to building your identity. Building a personal brand is both of those things.
Your personal brand (or identity) is the combination of skills and experiences that make you, you.
There are two steps in the brand creation process that I find particularly relevant to personal identity: defining your mission and defining your value proposition.
Your mission is the purpose of your existence. What are you driven by?
Your value proposition is what makes you unique. What sets you apart from other people?
There’s an old proverb that says, “life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.”
But all that said, I also write about travel, food, my relationship… so, am I lifestyle blogger? A mental illness blogger?
How about… I’m all of those things? How about I just blog about what I want to write and see where it takes me?
If you’re a blogger, or thinking about starting a blog, don’t worry so much about “content” and write about what makes you feel the best. Sit down at your keyboard and just start writing–see where your fingers take you.
Sometimes, just getting the words on a page can give you the cathartic release of creativity that you’re looking for, and you can transform it into a blog post later.
If you wanna write about fashion, do it. It might might inspire someone to dress a little differently tomorrow.
If you wanna write about your day, do it. It might help someone feel less alone.
If you wanna write a work of fiction on your blog, do it. It might inspire someone to experiment with their writing, too.
If you wanna post a collage you made in Photoshop, do it. It might inspire someone to create art.
If you wanna write an essay about how much you love trees, just do it. It might inspire someone to appreciate the trees outside their house.
Or, if you only wanna write about makeup, please do. It might inspire someone to buy a product that makes their skin glow like the sun.
We’re more than what we wear.
We’re more than what we write about on the internet.
We are not just one thing or one niche or one job or one whatever.
We are so many different things.
Our experiences and where we came from shape who we are.
We don’t need to be in one niche, but if you want to do that too, go for it.
The point I’m trying to make is that you should do whatever makes you feel the most like you. The world needs you. The internet needs you.
Now, drop your blog URL in the comments so I can read it!