The more blogs I read, the more I have conflicting views on where I want my blog to go and what I want my niche to be, or perhaps more accurately, do I want/need to have a niche at all??
I started this blog back in 2006 and I’d like to think I was a relatively early adopter at the time. Since my blog was born, its had three different “looks,” the first one being a very cheesy beach scene that was a popular blogspot template at the time. I’d stumble across the same background on blog after blog and feel sheepish about the fact that I was so common place, but to most of my readers (friends and family that barely knew what a blog was) it was still pretty cool.
As an avid journal keeper most of my life, I began my blog as just that, a slightly more edited version of the diaries I’d kept for years. A place where I documented my life just starting out in the world of PR and all the crazy/funny/wonderful/odd/terrifying experiences along the way. I met my current boyfriend shortly after starting the blog (ironically he appears in one of my first ever posts where I mention a kind neighbor who I rode the train home with…) but if blogging had been a thing back when I was single…well I can’t even imagine the direction my blog may have gone. One quick look at my old MySpace profile and the “blog” I kept there is enough to remind myself just how wacky my life was back as a single waitress. Anyway…
Over the years my blog took on different identities and I started experimenting with different kinds of posts. I’ve blogged about social media, I’ve made a lot of public lists and goals for myself and then I’ve gone for months without writing at all.
After I finally moved into NYC, I decided I needed a cityscape design so I spent hours teaching myself basic HTML in order to successfully update my background to a flourescent pink skyscraper scene. It was glorious…and then it wasn’t.
This brings me to my current blog, complete with my own photo and “classic clean look.” I’ve though several times about changing the name of my blog to something more subject-matter related. Is calling it “The Allie Zog Blog” self-serving? Am I important/interesting enough to have a self-titled blog? Is this the equivalent to a self-titled album by an artist??
But what would my new name be? Like a reporter without a beat, I’ve never felt like I had a clear niche, a subject I would want to stick to exclusively or an area of expertise. I prefer to think of myself as a columnist of the new age because after all, isn’t the reason being a columnist was/maybe still is such a coveted job, the flexibility to write about whatever you want?
The options are endless these days. I could write a social media marketing blog coming up with new ways to repurpose the same “breaking” tech stories that hundreds of other bloggers are writing about (I call these the “Facebook releases a new feature – film at 11!” posts) or I could be a “fashion blogger” taking gratuitous pictures of my “outfits” for the day and writing about why I think mint green is this season’s IT color (my most compelling reason for considering this route is when I discovered all the free clothes even the most novice fashion bloggers can receive by simply posting pictures and links to the products) or maybe I should become a food blogger? This one I’ve most seriously considered as I’ve previously written about restaurants and bars, have worked in the restaurant business for a good part of my life and recently discovered a penchant towards cooking and baking. Yup, I thought, I should totally rename my blog “Allie Eats” or something equally catchy and go that route. But then the more I thought about it, the more I realized that for better or worse, The Allie Zog Blog must remain. It’s who I am and it’s a place for me to write about whatever I want, which, all jokes aside includes a lot of what I mentioned above. It also allows me to evolve, change locations, change jobs and gain new hobbies without needing to start a new blog or change the name. I still find myself blogging about NYC (or at least referring to it) because as they say, you can take the girl out of NYC but you can’t take the NYC out of the girl, but now my “where I went, what I did” posts are almost exclusively New England based, with Newport having the obvious hometown advantage.
The bottom line for me is this, I love to write and I love to do so about a variety of topics. One day, I may blog about how awesome I think yoga is and the next day I may rant about the weather. But like most egotistical writers, my favorite topic is me! To put it less pompously: things that I’m passionate about, experiences I’ve had, and life lessons I’ve learned along the way.
So, a question to my readers: Do you think my blog, or any blog really, needs to have a niche or can it be all-encompassing? And if one day I do decide that I want to blog about one thing (travel, New England, FOOD, not sure just yet…) should I start a separate blog for that, or just keep it all right here on the blog I so eloquently named after myself?
Comment away folks!