The biggest struggle in my five year blogging career has been nailing down a niche, something I could define myself as to others, so the brand purpose can easily be recognised. It’s literally been the major battle in amoungst all of my writing.
Funny thing is, I’ve been living in my own head.
Lately in my community I’ve heard the term multipotentialite show up a number of times. In a world where tech is so integrated, people finally have the ability to explore their true passions, all at once. But is there a catch?
The problem with defining one niche.
Many ‘experts’ say we should hone in on one particular niche, the white space, the narrow field that will allow us to tap into a specific audience and milk it for everything we can. The problem with this approach though is that you are, for the most part, locked into writing about the same thing over and over again, just in a different way.
It’s a bit like eating a salad sandwich every day for lunch and mixing up the variety by putting the tomato on top of the lettuce as opposed to under it for once. It still tastes the same.
For a true creative individual, one that finds joy in many things, and loves to write about these things, to tell them to niche down and focus on but one of them is like poking yourself in the eye with a toothpick.
Your ticket to freedom.
All this really got me thinking lately. Considering, like many of you, I don’t like being bound to one thing, valuing the freedom to explore as my creativity so pleases, I wondered how does my audience see me? So I picked a few and asked them.
The responses were overwhelming kind, and, interesting. Many of my readers saw commonalities between each other with the likes of lifestyle blogger, dad blogger and writer being in there as the likely niche they saw me in. And realistically, regardless of what I would have thought, their opinions are more valid, because they are the readers and the market is the market.
The thing however, and this is what you’ll really appreciate, is the common messages that seem to be seeping through my writing that almost everyone whom commented resonated with;
“…I feel like I’m reading snippets of your mind…”
“…you’re living it, it’s real and commenting from your own unique view…your authenticity…is your superpower…”
“…I won’t say it has a specific niche…this is [what] I loved in [your] blog…it’s an art and it doesn’t have any limits…”
“…your blog is…a collection of thoughts, introspection, deeper stuff – it’s writing as art…’Writer’ blogs can be a niche in their own right…”
After writing back to every single response I got, I reflected.
Some of us like to listen to a particular recording artist not specifically for the words they sing, but rather for their voice, and the underlying style of music as opposed to it’s genre. Sometimes we write, because we write. It’s as simple as that. Just like a painter paints or a singer sings. However, in writing, it’s the underlining messages that one aims to convey, the personality you wish to share, or the impact you hope to have that defines whatever niche you think you may or may not focus on. Readers often read many different genres of books, because being a multipotentialite also means attracting mutlipotentialites to your work.
So how do you succeed as a writer with many interests?
If I’m to be honest, I’ll have to answer that, with all honesty as ‘one day you will’. Because an answer like that takes a lot of experience. My opinion right now though? Writing in a way that makes you feel in love with it means doing it forever. And forever is long time. The upside, though, is that you’ll have forever to build your audience. And apart of me believes it will be a loyal one. Sure, writing within one niche might give you blockbuster posts, the kinds of posts that attract thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of views, but writing thousands of posts about what you love will bring you almost the same outcome in the long term. It’s the accumulation of a large handful of quality, engaged eyes on your work, compounded over time, that leads you to success, that shapes your legacy.
So go on, you do you. Write what you want to write about. Sing what brings you joy. Draw what shapes your heart. Build what makes you strong. Design what gives you vision. Just do you.
How do you structure that on your blog?
Categories are a good place to start. If you like to write about plants, soccer and kite flying then you could easily document your daily life, giving people an insight into who you, who the writer is, and then direct them to the categories tab where they can find more information about the specific area of interest you like to talk about.
As an example, if you look at the top of my blog, I simply claim to be a writer, appreciating the art of writing, the ability to story tell in a way that is unique to me. As part of that I’ll often partake in projects of sorts, such as the vlog, my personal journal for those interested in a much more daily insight into my world or a current trending challenge. The key theme under all of the work though is that desire to share, vulnerably, a piece of my mind with the reader, making them feel connected to me, and equally important, each other.
I’m Ivan Siladji. Writer, dad blogger, lifestyle blogger, artist… I’ll let you be the judge. What I will give you, though, is me. And that’s what I’ll hope you’ll subscribe to instead.