You must hear it at least once or twice a week. Maybe on an ad or, if you’re managed by a cliché lover, in a management meeting. What? “Think outside the box”. It’s a good idea to be open and explore all possibilities, not just those in a particular ‘box’. Imagine it Alexander Graham Bell didn’t think outside the box, we’d be texting each other on soup cans attached by string. Einstein? Had he stayed in his box E may never have met MC². Sir Isaac Newton may not have noticed that apple nor Steve Jobs that APPLE if they didn’t step way outside of the box.
But the blogosphere is different. The experts don’t want you to think outside your niche. Like the park sign says All Dogs Must Be on Leashes, well it appears All Blogs Must Be In Niches as well.
Much like a salmon swimming upstream to spawn after returning from the ocean – if they slid downhill on snow it would be a salmon slalom – I’ve been shucking the conventional wisdom that a blog must fit neatly into a niche. Like the feminists of the sixties I refuse to be harnessed and have chosen to burn my niche.
‘Know your readers’ the blog experts tell you, taper your focus to a certain audience. Well I like to think my readers are an eclectic bunch capable of absorbing a serious statement on a tragedy or chuckling at a silly image or a bit of punny, hopefully funny, wordplay.
I enjoy writing about all sorts of things; sports one day, politics the next, local history and world events. Maybe a bit of advertising criticism or even a fictitious historical Tweet or two from time to time. Should I be using several different blogs to cover all my interests? That would be unmanageable with only 24 hours in a day.
I think anyone who knows me will tell you that rebellious is not a word that has ever been used to describe me. I’m not shunning the niche blogging concept to make a point or to be recalcitrant; I just don’t know any other way to write. Perhaps, if it will make the experts happy, we can amass other free-thinking bloggers and start our own niche, call it the niche of the niche-less.
Will anyone be drawn to read a niche-less blog (like you are right now)? Why wouldn’t they? Look at the success of stumbleupon.com. Sure you can narrow down the areas you want to stumble, but the fun of discovery comes from just plain old tumbling and uncovering fascinating webpages you may never have thought to visit because you never knew they existed.
On many blogging platforms, including WordPress, there is an option to navigate to a random blog, throw caution to the wind and fly by the seat of your pants. Maybe you’ll not be interested in the post, but perhaps it will answer a question you’ve had flipping around in the back of your mind for year.
So if the variety of topics and styles on this blog leave you wanting for a niche to crawl into I’m afraid i can’t help you. On the other hand if you find my eclectic musings interesting I hope you’ll continue to drop by, and tell you family to do so as well, and your friends, and their friends ….