I've been having a bit of a blogging identity crisis for the last month or so. I got this fantastic new design, my readership is up (at least slightly), I've been posting regularly... but none of it has felt genuine.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about it, writing about it, consulting others in the blog world, reading literally hundreds of other blogs, and debating what to do about it.
I boiled it down to a couple of questions. Most importantly, why do I blog in the first place?
I started blogging to give me an outlet to write, specifically about my life, my babies, and my books. I have always been a reader first and a writer second - with everything else in my life coming after those two priorities to be honest - and I wanted some place to combine the two. I planned to write a blog to share with others but of course, like all bloggers, hoped to grow my readership well beyond my small social circle.
I started blogging to give myself a voice.
I started blogging to keep my family up-to-date on all of the life changes - at least the ones I am able to share on the Internet.
After answering my first question, I moved on to the second. What don't I want to write about?
I love fashion - and admittedly have a shopping problem - but don't have any desire to write about that. Mostly because I have a crappy camera that takes terrible pictures, I don't have a roommate or spouse to help me out, and honestly, I just hate how I look in photographs. Wonky eyeballs - trust me. So a fashion-focused blog is out.
I cook a lot but mostly things that don't require a recipe. No one cares about how I spruced up my store-bought spaghetti sauce with an extra green pepper I had laying around. It might taste great but seriously - who cares?
I'm not all that crafty. When I am, it's usually an idea I stole off the internet so there's no need for me to put it out there again.
I'm not a mom so clearly I can't be a mommy blogger - unless I talk about my cats all the time. And while I love them, even I would get sick of that.
I don't travel to exotic places and the vast majority of my travel is work related so really, there's nothing to talk about there.
I'm not a photographer (see aforementioned comment about crappy camera and wonky eyeballs) so personally, I have no desire to have a photo-heavy blog.
All of these "NO" answers left me without a niche - something you supposedly need in the blogging world. And yet, I still want to write. I've heard that no one reads blogs with lots of words and that might be true. I might never have 1,000 followers (or 100 for that matter) and I might never have 10,000 hits a day (or a week or a year) but I want to write. Plus, I read text heavy blogs every single day. In fact, some of my favorite blogs are published by people who I have never met but who let me into their life every day through their words - not their pictures!
I emailed one of those bloggers this morning to thank them for being true to themselves and inspiring someone like me to keep writing. She replied with this profound thought.
I'm not a "niche" blogger. Some say you "have" to have a niche. Okay, fine. So, my niche, then, is "Aramelle."
So I'm stealing that. My niche is now "Rikki." I'm going to keep writing about me, my cats, and my books. Some people may not like it but I'm not doing it for some people. I'm doing it for me. I'd love for you to hang in there with me but if you don't want to read this much, I'll understand.