You Don’t Need A Niche To Be A Successful Blogger

Whenever I blog about blogging I try to answer the questions and concerns that I have about blogging.  More often than not I find that my questions aren’t any different than those you have.

If you want the dime store explanation for why I blog the answer is because I am a writer. Blogging isn’t a choice for me, it is a part of me. I cannot conceive of a world without words.

What is funny to me about this is that I have always been a storyteller but I haven’t always called myself a writer. Read through the blog and you’ll find mention of how my preschool teachers told my mother that I had the most active imagination of any child in my class. Ask mom about it and she’ll tell you it is true and then shush me when I say that I went to a  school with three kids and two of them were deaf and mute.

Somewhere around the time I was 12 or 13 our school teachers started requiring that we keep a journal. I hated it. I didn’t want to write about my feelings or what I did last summer. It didn’t stop me from joining the school newspaper in 7th grade or my continuing on all the way through college.

And then life happened.

I graduated and discovered that I couldn’t afford to become the next great sports writer or at least I didn’t think I could so I stopped writing and did other things. I sold advertising, worked in construction, spent time in marketing/PR and helped launch a few businesses.

Blogging was something that I fell into. Didn’t intend to become a blogger but in May 2004 I jumped into it on a whim and never stopped.

Take a look at the words above and you can’t help but notice the ones that stand out:

Continue, Want, Interested, Reading, Sharing Things, Know and Like.

My interpretation is simple. It is a message and a reminder that blogging  is about sharing things you know and like with others. It means that you should read other blogs as well as books, newspapers and magazines because they will help fuel your love.

That is what I have been doing. Read the old stuff here and some of it is absolutely horrible, but there are nuggets of gold too. You’ll see that I spent a lot of time writing about religion, politics and parenting.

Flip through and you will find my fiction and assorted odds and ends that caught my eye at one time or another.

Sometimes I look back and wonder what would have happened if I did nothing but write about one particular topic. What would have happened and where would I be today. It is a rhetorical question because I can’t go back in time to change things and I don’t know that I would.

What I know is that a few years ago I decided that I wanted to use my blog to do more. I wanted to take something I loved and monetize it. The short term goal was to do so in a manner that didn’t destroy what I had built. I wanted to maintain a certain level of purity.

Not really sure what that means other than I didn’t want to be the blogger that gained an audience solely by doing reviews and giveaways. But I wasn’t entirely against doing some of those because a man has to eat and I saw that as a potential path for creating a revenue stream here.

I think that somewhere around then was when I started calling myself a writer. It was when I began to recognize that the universe had been slapping me in the face with 1,938 messages saying that this is something I love and should focus upon.

Ever since then I have found myself chasing after a different set of dreams but with a sense of purpose and confidence. I don’t have any doubt that I am going to find the place I have been searching for. It is not a question of if, but of when.

So when I look at posts like Daddy/Daughter Day and The Tales We TellI smile. To me they serve as evidence that I am well on my way.

It took a bit of time and effort for me to move all those rocks, but I did it.  So let’s circle back to our headline.

This post isn’t about establishing a mission statement or metrics that you can use to measure success. Both of those things are important and useful. If you want to figure out if you are getting the job done they can help you determine that.

I wrote this post as if you and I were walking on the beach, hiking in the mountains or sharing a cup of coffee. That is what I saw in my head, just two friends spending some time together.

When you asked me if I consider myself to be a successful blogger I said yes. It is not because blogging has helped me make a million dollars because that hasn’t happened yet but I have rediscovered what I love, who I am and what I want to do.

Nothing is more valuable than that.

Thank you again to all who have been a part of this journey. This fellowship continues to evolve but I remember all who have been a part, those who don’t visit any more and those who do.

You have all helped and I am grateful. I hope you will continue to walk with me or share that cup of coffee because this journey isn’t even close to being done.

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  1. I am new to blogging and I think I will be niche free. I just want to write about stuff that I wish to write about. I don’t know how traffic will go since I’m only a few weeks in but we shall see.

  2. As a nicheless blogger, I appreciate this post. I suppose I could pick one thing that could easily be monetized and just have a blog about that, but I already know that nothing would bore me more than doing that. I am fortunate to have a day job already, so I don’t need to sell out the one thing that I do just because I love to do it.

  3. rdopping says

    To niche or not to niche. That is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer, the slings and arrows of the outrageous niche. Or to take arms against a sea of niches, and by opposing them end them……..
    I like your journeys. Never end them.

  4. NinaBadzin says

    I’m all about non-niche! Keep doing what you’re doing!

  5. Viken_shrestha says

    RT @BruceSallan You Don’t Need A Niche To Be A Successful Blogger via @TheJackB

  6. Hi Jack,
    You are definitively successful. I have thought a lot about the definition for success, and sometimes I feel that I’m not successful if I don’t get “enough” comments, or enough people to read my posts, and other times I feel that I am successful because I’m earning money from blogging. But in the end, it’s all about having fun and doing what you love.
    I have thought a lot about blogging every single day, and I feel that I could be doing that, but I am still not quite sure if I should publish everything I write, because if I do there will be a lot of more or less crap out there 🙂

    •  @Jens 
      Hi Jens,
      Most of the time I would say that just feeling like you are a successful blogger is enough. Nothing wrong with feeling satisfied, unless you have a specific goal and haven’t hit it.
      I understand what you are saying about publishing daily, it is harder to try to and maintain quality. I like to practice writing so I am willing to live with the ups and downs, but not everyone has to do that.
      It is really about determining what works best for you.

  7. You are a successful blogger, no doubt about it.
    I don’t know if there is any relevance, but it my day job world I am probably considered somewhat of a generalist even though my niche is commercial insurance (for businesses). There are people in my office who have picked niches w/in commercial insurance that have done quite well. But they have also had the rug pulled out from under them when something happened w/in that niche to make their markets disappear. The lesson I learned is, it’s ok to have a niche, but always be on the look out for other opportunities and don’t be afraid to develop them as well. 
    I hope all is well and if this is your traveling weekend, hope it went well too. 

    •  @bdorman264 
      Hi Bill,
      There is a lot to be said for having a skillset and or experience that makes it easy for you to adjust as needed. Certainly there are benefits to being a specialist and some people do quite well at it, but I like the flexibility of being able to shift when I want/need to.
      Sounds like you do too.
      Plane leaves in a few hours, got to finish packing soon.

  8. So well said! From the time that I was little, I always said I wanted to be a writer. But I never wrote once I graduated college. I would read books about becoming a writer, and jot down ideas, but I never wrote. When I started my blog, I didn’t even think about the writing part. But here I am more than a year later, and I’m writing every single day. It’s part of me. It’s who I am.
    Stopping by from Write on Edge.

    • @LifeandKidsBlog 
      The little twists and turns of life are always interesting to me. You think you are going one way and end up zig zagging around. But it is cool when that leads us back to where we always wanted to be.

  9. MsVirginiaNeal says

    @Mitch_M @johngarrettX @TheJackB Great Blog! There are so many ppl who have so much to say/share but dnt blog bcuz they think they cant.

    • @MsVirginiaNeal @johngarrettX @TheJackB That’s certainly true of all of us. 🙂

      • TheJackB says

        @Mitch_M @MsVirginiaNeal @johngarrettX Sometimes the hardest part of blogging is telling our internal editor to stuff it. 😉

  10. Thank you for granting us the opportunity of accompanying you on your journey. It’s quite the amazing ride!

    •  @wonderoftech 
      Thank you for joining me. I would write without any readers but all of you who frequent this little shack make it a bit more fun and just a tad more interesting, so how can I not.

  11. You are still finding your way, but in a joyful, meandering way. I can’t relate your blog post title to your topic, but perhaps that is precisely you. Random and undefinable. There is a market for that, too.   : ) Just keep writing. 

    •  @JudyDunn 
      Hi Judy,
      I have a tendency to take the road less traveled. Don’t always mean to do it, but I find myself there with increasing frequency. Maybe that is part of the joy of the journey.
      I would hate to think that at 43 I had it all figured out. I like knowing that there is a long way to go, helps push me.

  12. “I have rediscovered what I love, who I am and what I want to do.
    Nothing is more valuable than that.”  
    Well said Jack! This is the heart and soul of it. It’s almost as if you WERE at that Hangout that you FOROT this week 😉
    Keep it up. You ARE well on your way!

    •  @Lori 
      Hi Lori,
      I am sorry that I missed it. I thought about it on Tuesday but when Wednesday came around all that had been stored inside was washed away. Guess I have a colander for a brain. 😉

  13. I agree, you are successful because you write things that people like to read. This is just such a post.

  14. And you inspire me to just write…. 
    I started blogging about two years back and still find it difficult to be regular because I get to be a harsh critic of my own work. Trying to work on that and “just write”!

  15. That’s exactly what I love about you, Jack. Just be that way. Hugs, Vidya

  16. Hey, Jack,
    So fun that your teachers and mom saw the gifts and patterns and encouraged your development! When you can remember who you are and feel free enough to express yourself through writing (or art, music, dance) you’re a success! 
    To me the sharing has become more of a journaling (guess that’s not a word ’cause it gets a red underline!) experience. 
    The written word is THE most frustrating format (when it doesn’t work) and one of the most rewarding (when it does work). 

    •  @CrossBetsy 
      Hi Betsy,
      My experience with teachers was a mixed bag. I had some really good ones as well as really bad and some mediocre too. But the special ones really helped me so I am always on the lookout for those kinds of people for my kids.
      Writing can be exceptionally frustrating. I hate it when my words don’t flow or my meaning isn’t clear. 

  17. Absolutely Jack!
    I think you don’t have to have a nice or follow a particular path or line to be a successful blogger. I guess if you are able to convey what you want through your writing and reach the readers and touch their hearts somewhere – you are doing wonderfully, which is what you manage to do with your words. :)Thanks for sharing. :) 

    •  @Harleena Singh 
      Hello Harleena,
      To me the most important part of blogging is to have fun. Unless you are the exception to the rule you aren’t making tons of money from this, so if you are going to participate you might as well enjoy it.
      And that is part of why I say we should write for ourselves first because when we do that we tend to insert more passion and personality into our content. 
      I appreciate your comment and support,

  18. TedRubin says

    @ThurmondAllenJr Thanks for the RT Thurmond!

  19. TheJackB says

    @DeanLand That is true. Good writers can thrive in this environment. @TedRubin


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