gleeful grandiva

creative living for big and little kids

FINDING A NICHE – SEARCHING FOR A CREATIVE SOLUTION

 

finding a niche picture

What’s your niche? That appears to be the number one question for bloggers and writers in general.

It seems there is a simple formula to online writing that consists of finding your niche, identifying your audience, and then offering and promoting your writing to that group.

Seems pretty simple, yes?

FINDING A NICHE

finding a niche picture

Not so easy for a writer who loves to write – about everything. My mission this year is to narrow down my writing into a niche and focus on that. That means no more silly stories about toilets and toilet paper.

That means I will no longer regale you with the perils involved in telling lies or try to invoke a sense of mystery with my fiction, such as Smiling Palms.

I will stop publishing funny poems such as The Wild Wardrobe and spare you my R is for Ridiculous, rave.

finding a niche picture

Oh no. Is this me?

I’ve narrowed it down to my favourite subject – the Goddesses, and family. And creativity. And nature. Oh, and I just had to tell you Why I Love a Sunburnt Country.

My writing career started as a cadet journalist, straight out of school. Each newspaper I worked for had its own style and a specific job for me. Sometimes I was the police roundsman (should that be roundsperson?), sometimes I covered court hearings (not often, thank goodness, as I found it boring).

I remember clearly when I lost my love of reporting, but not of writing.

A 21-year-old girl, celebrating her birthday and hen’s night, had a fatal asthma attack, while I was working for a suburban newspaper as the police rounds man/person.

My editor told me to call her parents and ask them how they felt. How the hell did he think they felt? I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It seemed so cruel and unnecessary and I flatly refused.

As I was also often writing his editorials for him, this editor let me off the hook. But it changed the way I felt about journalism. It no longer felt like the noble and brave thing portrayed by Lois Lane. It felt dirty and petty.

FINDING A NEW LOVE

I left that paper shortly afterwards to work part-time for a city daily. Then I found a new love when I became pregnant with my first son.

It wasn’t all sad, though. I once drove a police car, with lights flashing and siren blaring. I was doing a series on the night shift and the policeman I was with pulled over a drunk driver who was swerving. The driver managed to pull over on a busy bridge with no shoulder.

He couldn’t get behind the wheel of his car again while under the influence and the car had to be moved before causing peak hour traffic chaos in the morning.

The policeman asked me to drive it to the other side of the long bridge. I was happy to, but the car was a manual and I could only drive automatic. So the policeman asked me to drive his car, knowing the long walk he would have to make back to me on the bridge would keep him away from his car and his charge (me) for too long.

It was really fun but would have been even better if I wasn’t terrified of accidentally crashing it. 🙂

I once went undercover and did an expose on the treatment and care of people with mental health issues who were placed in various houses throughout the community when our government decided to close down all long-term mental health facilities. That was an experience!

Often I focused on feature stories and in a few papers had my own weekly column. I’m used to writing about everything (except perhaps politics, which I find rather depressing).

When I quit journalism and focused on being a stay at home mum, with a variety of boring jobs , I took a short story course and became hooked on writing fiction as well.

FINDING A CREATIVE SOLUTION

finding a niche picture

Does that mean there’s hope that I don’t need to confine myself with a niche?

So now, I need to work on finding a niche, according to all the advice out there. Well, actually not ALL the advice.

Jonathan Mead advocates creating your own niche in his post, Why Choosing a Niche is Pretty Dumb (and why you should create one instead).

He claims that when you stop playing other people’s games and stop competing on other people’s terms, something incredible happens.

That’s because you’re leveraging your own genius. You are living at full expression, rather than trying to express yourself in a certain set of predetermined parameters.

Jonathan Mead

 

Jeff Goins recommends choosing a worldview, instead of a niche, in his post, Why Finding Your Niche is Just Plain Bad Advice.

Yet Melyssa Griffin illustrates the importance of finding a niche in her post, How to Choose a Focus for Your Blog (and Why It’s the Most Important Thing You’ll Do as a Blogger).

 I began to realize that I could reach a lot more people if I wrote about a lot less things.

Melyssa Griffin

Others advocate making your story your niche.

Confusing, right?

FINDING A NICHE – WHAT DO YOU THINK?

I love that I can make you smile, bring a tear to your eye, make you curious and even, sometimes I hope, inspire you.

It’s a wonderful feeling to be motivated by a story idea, do the research, learn amazing new things, and then share this knowledge with my readers.

But I do hope to use this space as a platform for writing books I can sell in the future. Books on grandparenting. Books on creative living. Books full of fun craft projects. Fiction. Oh dear!

Will finding a niche, and sticking to it, kill my creativity?

Is it possible to gain momentum and a following by writing about anything and everything?

I’m putting it out to you, my readers, to share your thoughts about this.

Whether or not you are a blogger, your thoughts are welcome. Please tell me what you think in the comments below.

Looking forward to hearing from you. Have a gleeful week, Tamuria.

 

 

 

 

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24 Comments

  1. Tamuria,
    This is a great post and yes the niche I know what you mean have to specify what audience you are speaking to. This is a great article.

    Lori English

  2. Finding a niche: “Not so easy for a writer who loves to write – about everything.” I am so with you, Tami! I like your examples of NOT finding a niche. Though I understand the idea of focussing on a niche, sometimes it is simply premature to narrow the focus too much. There needs to be more exploration and freedom. Anyway, I loved hearing about your background as a reporter, and really love you for taking a stand and not calling the young lady’s parents. Well done!

    • I’m all for exploration and freedom, Reba. Yes, it seems I’m a master when it comes to examples of not finding a niche. 🙂

  3. Niche is also a theme with online sellers like myself. Many say you have to find a niche, identify your audience, talk to them. I am not sold on this, as finding your Niche and finding your Passion might not match. So, I will find my passion!
    Robin recently posted…Rhinestones – A bit of the History and the LingoMy Profile

  4. Hey Tamuria,
    Finding a niche that you are not only passionate about but can help others in as well is what is best in my opinion 😎

    • I appreciate your advice, Joan. You have always have really helpful information and I know you know what you’re talking about.

  5. I think your blog though… is about family and within that.. is so much more so you can likely afford to write about more. Say with my SEO/business blog, it might not be the best place to write about parenting tips… though some days I wish I could. Write what YOU want Tami!

    • Thanks for the advice Kristen. I guess as a ‘lifestyle’ blogger I can get away with a bit more variety, which is a relief.

  6. What a great post and terrific advice. I like the idea of FINDING my niche; rather, CREATING my niche. Above all, I think we need to follow our passion and create a legacy beyond ourselves… one that we are proud of. When all these things align, it’s a beautiful thing.
    Tandy Elisala recently posted…Signs You May Not Trust YourselfMy Profile

    • It is wonderful when your passion allows you to offer value to others and therefore leave a legacy to be proud of, Tandy.

  7. I struggled too with this at the beginning of my business, and it was not easy to find my exact niche. Now I feel relieved because I found it and it helps me to build a better relationship with them plus create products that they will want to consume.

  8. Katarina Andersson

    Well I for one like your stories, so I am not sure if in this case you need a specific niche. Perhaps you just choose certain themes to write around, where you can combine your stories, mystery, poetry etc.

  9. These sound like great stories to tell over a cup of coffee. I’d love to hear them! Shame we live so far away!
    Jennifer Quisenberry recently posted…Chocolate Mocha Bundt CakeMy Profile

  10. I remember feeling lost when looking for my niche and realised it’s in content. That’s where i have helped people the most and also blogging.

  11. I heard from a Marketing guru that it is better to swim in a pond rather than an ocean hence, you have to have a niche. However, he also said that you can start with one niche and when you have grown that, you can go to a different one!

  12. Before coaching and freelance writing I spent over 11 years in the network marketing industry. The companies I was partnered with all said the same thing “write out a list of 100 people and share the products and opportunity”. This never felt right but I wanted to be coachable. As I branched out to follow more online marketers and bloggers who were branding themselves I started hearing this term “niche”. It took a while but it was like a huge light bulb moment for me that made sooooo much sense. While yes, my products and opportunity can help most people, I on the other hand can not help the masses. I am not meant to work with everyone. When I got clear on who my target market was I had WAY more success.

    • That makes so much sense, April. I think it would be easier for me if I was actually selling something. Soon, though….:)

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