Monday, June 2, 2014

Naked niche bloggers - why we don’t fit the mould


In the blogging world it seems there are as almost as many types of bloggers as there are tutorials on how to blog out there. DIY’s, photography, coupon counting, household hints, childcare, homeschooling, the list goes on.
Purple lilac It’s endless I’m sure, no matter what the niche might be there will be a blogger that has captured the very essence of it, and is flourishing there.
There are also expert bloggers who are willing to share their advice on how to become as successful as they are.
Then you have the rest of us, the Naked Niche bloggers, those who go from topic to topic, changing our subjects like our socks, touching on various ideas, expressing our thoughts, our feelings, learning and trying different things as we go.
We’re all at different stages in our blogging journeys, some might just be starting out, other’s further along.  Our villages are starting to be populated, we’re adding readers, our audience is growing follower by follower.  
Things are good, but hey, maybe they could be better might be lurking in the back of our minds.
Some of us might get a little restless, want to change things up, or do something different, and we start to explore.  That’s when we come across the “Blogging must do” posts written by the experts.  They’re interesting, full of good ideas, and lots of promises, you start to wonder if this would work for you. 
It sounds alluring, and you make the changes, maybe it’s setting up a email list, writing longer posts, writing shorter posts, adding more personal information, adding less. 
Heliopsis
Maybe they suggest that you find 5 social media platforms that you are active on every day on them, posting tweets and asking your audience to retweet them for you.
It’s great advice, maybe a little time consuming, but you think, I just need to persevere, it will come. Things will start to happen soon, they have to.
You follow their suggestions for a short while, maybe it’s posting everyday, or only once a week…but slowly you come to the realization that it’s not really working like they said it would. 
You give something else a try, and that doesn’t really work either.  There are no hoards of readers demanding your next post, hanging onto your every word. No one is banging down your blogging door to ask you to guest post for their company. 
Most of it’s good advice, and sure your blog looks better, cleaner, loads faster, but where are the new followers that you are supposed to get?
You search out some other ideas, giving some of them a try, what have you got to lose?
Nothing really seems to work, after awhile you realize that much of the “expert advice” out there doesn’t apply to your blog, or your readers.
Purple lilacs cluster
And you know why?
Because if you are a Naked Niche blogger, your so called “audience” is made up of real people, bloggers that you follow, and who follow you. They care about what you write, and they come to read your blog because they like you, and you like them.
They are not just anonymous commenters who stop by occasionally to learn how to makeover a piece of furniture, find a good chicken recipe, or the best way to hang a curtain rod. 
Your Naked Niche readers are not the audience that the experts are writing for.
They are writing for bloggers who have chosen to stay within a tight little niche, no matter how small the box might be crammed into a tiny space, and working at becoming a expert in that particular subject. 
The advice is wonderful, but it’s for bloggers who want to give their “audience” what they want, on a certain subject.  The advice is great for bloggers with editorial calendars, who pre-plan each post ahead of time.  That’s not who we are, we don’t follow a set and ridged schedule.
Large cluster of purple lilacs
They probably will find success with that method, it’s a lot of hard work, but it’s not the kind of blogging that we do. Not that our type of blogging isn’t made up of hard work, and enthusiasm, it’s just a different type of reader.
It’s simply doesn’t work for us Naked Niche bloggers because some of us don’t even know what we are going to write about when we sit down at the computer! 
Why don’t they suggest tweeting that?
So yes, by all means give new ideas a try, learn something interesting, or not, continue on in your regular fashion, or make a few changes. That’s the joy of Naked Niche blogging you never know what the next post is going to be about. 
And that’s why the expert advice doesn’t always fit.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

My Dad is going through a rough time in the hospital, [he fell and fractured his hip in the middle of the night, despite a 24 hour attendant] and this has worsened his dementia.  I would so appreciate your kind thoughts, and prayers for him, and my family.
I’ve been spending time with my family and we are trying to sort this out as it happens, things seem to change, day by day. 
If I am slow to return your comments and visit your blog please understand that I will be there as soon as I can.  Thanks so much. 

Mention Mondays: So we’re shaking it up a bit.
I really like the idea of spreading some bloggy love around, and bringing our attention to other bloggers.  It would be even better if we were to have a bigger selection of bloggers to introduce the Mention Monday bloggers to. 
That’s where you come in, I’m mentioning a blogger each Monday, and letting you know what their blog is about, and maybe you can think of a few bloggers who might have similar interests. Be sure to nominate any bloggers that might like to take part and have their blog highlighted, you can email me, it’s on my sidebar.
Today’s Mention Monday blogger is Joy from Canadian Garden Joy.
She’s a Canadian blogger, and has a garden to swoon over.  My only wish is that Joy, and I lived closer to each other, say…less then 10 minutes away.  Just close enough to take my wheelbarrow over and visit.  If there is a must have plant in your life, Joy probably already has it, and it’s flourishing in her garden.
Stop on by Joy’s blog, say hello, and if you know of some like minded bloggers please mention Joy’s blog to them.
Jen




39 comments:

  1. I so love this post Jen! How spot on can you get?!

    Blogging is supposed to be fun. It's supposed to enrich our lives, and if we are lucky, the lives of those who read it. Somehow, 'editorial calendars', tweeting everything from going to the bathroom to every post, google+, etc., sucks the joy out of it and as you so aptly put it, just doesn't work for some.

    Sorry about your Dad :(.

    (I'm stopping by via CLH)

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  2. I'm sorry to hear about you father, you all have ha a hard time thats for sure, I will keep you all in my prayers,
    I think you know how I feel about blogging, I am a naked niche blogger through and through!! I once took my wheel barrow back an forth with neighbors, you made me think of that today, I went to bed last thinking of you and our family, that is blogging to me, real friendships, takeare sweet lady, day by day,

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  3. Yes I was thinking just that while reading your intro. Lifestyle or naked niche blogging is so much about community and relationships. It's about visiting your "neighbourhood" bloggers and catching up over a cup of tea & a computer screen. This is a good reminder for anyone looking for tips. It's about the relationship, and frankly - in my opinion - that's the best kind of blogger there is. :) ~Catherine

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  4. Oh you are such a clever writer and blogger I am so happy you are my Niche Blogger friend.
    My thoughts are with you and your family at this time I do understand. HUGS HUGS
    Oh I love Joy she has an awesome blog and garden, wish she had a wheelbarrow to bring over to me full of wedding flowers. :) Hug B

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  5. The lilacs here are blooming, too. Lilacs speak to me of spring, delicate beauty, and how I'd like the world to smell all the time.

    All good thoughts sent to you and yours ~

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  6. Dear Jen,
    what a wonderful comment on the blogger scene running for success. It was fun to read your clever thoughts! It's wonderful to be a Niche Blogger and it's great to share your niche!
    The pictures are, als always, wonderful. But you know I love your creative work (pictures and words!).
    All the best to you
    Elisabeth
    and now I'll head over to Joy!

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  7. I so understand what you are getting at, Jen. And I agree wholeheartedly with Doreen's comment..."trying" too hard takes all the fun out of blogging. Long ago I would publish a post and really wonder if anyone cared about what I had written. Of course I still care, but I don't analyze anything, I just let the words come from head to my keys.

    Sending many prayers your way. I know this is a hard time for your family...hang in there.

    XO,
    Jane

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  8. I am so with you! I stopped trying to please anyone/everyone a long time ago. It took me a few months to find my blogging "style"...which it is written as I talk- a bit of nonsense, a touch of humor and a whole lot of love for those around me that touch my life. If you are not trying to be a "big blogger" and make money I don't think any of the RULES set out for success really apply. The blogs I like best are the ones where you see the REAL person behind the blog. xo Diana ps....and now I am off to check out your Canadian friend's blog.

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  9. I'm cheering as I read this post. You've hit the nail on the head with this one, Jen. Blogging for us Naked Niche Bloggers is for fun, not profit. Who wants to be constrained into specific topics? Not me. Like you, I sometimes don't know what I'm going to write until I sit here at the computer. I may inspired to share a recipe, a flower from my garden, what I've been thinking about, or whatever crosses my maze of a mind.

    Thinking of you with your family and other things.

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  10. What else is there to say about our blogging? Ditto everyone who commented before me. You have bolstered my confidence. I am so sorry about your dad. These are rough days with more ahead. My mother in law suffered dementia; it is very hard to watch your dear one slip away. Our prayers and good thoughts are on their way.

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  11. I totally agree with your post Jen. I love blogs where every post is different, what has happened to them that week, what they have done etc. There are a few blogs just lately where you try to navigate around their page and there are pop up ads everywhere. I'm afraid to say that I have had to stop reading their blogs as I try to leave a comment and then all of a sudden I am on another page where it is advertising something else.

    I am so sorry to read about your Dad and will add him to the prayer board in the Cathedral tomorrow. I do hope he is made to be comfortable soon. With my thoughts, prayers and best wishes, Chel x

    p.s. you came up as a no reply blogger earlier when you left a comment (yes, Molly will be joining me on my little excursions from now on - she cost too much to be left at home!). Take care xx

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  12. You are so right and explained very precisely why expert advice doesn't always fit! And I enjoy naked niche blogging style. We never know what we'll write about. We change and grow as we go.

    I am so sorry your dad injured his hip. Please know my thoughts are with you. Sending hugs and prayers to you and your family.

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  13. Hi Jen, I'm really sorry about your dad.
    As for your post, it felt like you had taken a trip into my mind (which I wouldn't recommend to anybody). You describe exactly how I feel about all those experts' advice who don't bring the expected result.
    I will keep you and our family in my prayers.
    Arlette@Thammie ThaDollMaker

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  14. Canadian Garden Joy is just that . . . I love her gardens. Thank you for introducing her . . .
    Your photos are rich and gorgeous today . . .i love the green and violet!
    Remembering your dad, just for you Jen . . . so sad he fell and it has added more confusion and unrest. I hope your days find some calm very soon.

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  15. thoughts and prayers with you and your family. I know how hard it was, just the last few weeks when my mother slipped away from us.

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  16. Your photography is absolutely gorgeous! So sorry to hear of your Dad's fall, sending my thoughts your way.

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  17. Bingo !! you said it ! REAL bloggers !!! Who share their every day real lives not what they think people want to read about but what they know , love and care about , I blog about what I love and what makes me happy and in hopes it makes someone out there feel the same and along the way learn different things from others and vise versa, to travel the world through blogging in the comfort of my own home , learn , share , help , and find wonderful blog friends that's what blogging is all about to me ! Great post and beautiful photos ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

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  18. P.S Sorry to hear about your dad . I pray that he gets better soon !

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  19. Yes Yes! I'm finding the same about some of the expert blogging advice out there. To date the best little tip I've been given for my style of blogging and meeting people is to leave comments for others. So simple. So low tech. So relational.

    Thinking and praying for you and your family these days.

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  20. Not sure what sort of a blogger I am, a bit of a rambler I think but I do enjoy it, never took photos before I had a blog so thats a new interest.
    Sorry to hear your dad is not well hope he improves soon.
    Merle..................

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  21. I bet those lilacs smell good!
    Sending best wishes and good thoughts that your dad gets feeling better Jen!
    Hugs!
    xo Catherine

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  22. My heart is breaking for you and your family, Jen. Take good care and know you are never alone in this journey. Thoughts and prayers always.

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  23. So sad to read about your Dad. I am flying home in a few days to visit my Mom and Dad so parents are on my mind as well. Mom has a blocked artery and isn't doing so well.
    Your pictures are gorgeous! I read the advice about blogging and take what is of use and discard the rest. I think you need to be true to yourself and that is best for your readers.
    I know your featured blog well. Joy is both a wonderful person and gardener.

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  24. Bless your heart Jen, so, so hard to see our parents this way. There is so much worry involved. I am sending you the biggest hug as you know I know where you are at right now.
    Hang in there,
    Meredith

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  25. So sorry to hear about your Dad, it is so hard when they are hurting. It sucks to get older. Sending prayers for you and your Mom and your sister too..often dementia is harder on those that don't have it.
    Your photos are lovely:)

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  26. It's true, and I wonder often about why I'm still blogging, but I think it's more like a journal, and I just want to spend a minimum of time on it, and I want to connect with others too. I started blogging because I so enjoyed reading other blogs, and I wanted to share something of myself as well- it seemed a bit unfair not to. I once lamented how unprofessional my blog was- and said that I needed to get a proper artists website (still do actually) and someone pointed out that it's such a friendly way to introduce yourself to people, to let them into a bit of who you are- I think that's what I aim to do with my blog now.

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  27. Oh dear! I'm so sorry to hear your dad took a tumble! It must be so distressing for you and your family. I do hope he recovers quickly and that the future remains bright for him. Holding him my prayers.

    I find that listening to anything other than my own heart only causes me stress and brings on feelings of inadequacy. I think it's much more interesting, anyway, to visit blogs that reflect a real life filled with all number of things. Blessings, friend.

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  28. Yep. we don't fit that mold at all. Thank goodness. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. It's so difficult dealing with a fracture and dementia so I will pray for him and you and the family. I'm going to visit Joy's blog now. Blessings and hugs Jen. Pam

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  29. Another great post! I sometimes wonder how much longer I'll blog, because it is so time consuming. But, I love it and I don't do FB, tweet, or any other stuff (for now) that takes even more time. Since I'm such an introvert, blogging is a way for me to interact with others without leaving the comfort of my home! I'm sorry about your dad, I know how difficult this is as my own father suffered from dementia his last years.
    Prayers and hugs,
    Cheryl

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  30. Fabulous post, Jennifer. I totally agree. In fact there was mention on FB about a "blogging conference" coming to Portland and who wanted to go? I'm like, "are you kidding me? What a money-making scam (for the hosts)." The rules for blogging are really not all that difficult and don't require a substantial monetary outlay and being beholden to the "experts" for an entire day or two. Your FREE post mentions about everything a blogger needs to know. ... I'm so sorry about your father. I hope he is comfortable and receiving the care he needs. Please keep us posted. And lastly, you're SO right about Joy. Her blog, her wit and writing style...she's a jewel in every way. I consider her a cherished friend. Have a great weekend.

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  31. Jen, you nailed it on the head, that is so true and why the 'experts' advice just doesn't apply to those of who blog naked ;O) When you said "some of us don't even know what we are going to write about when we sit down at the computer" I yelled out loud "That's me, that's me!" LOL So thanks for freeing me from feeling that I have to read all those 'blogging experts', more time to craft, yipee!

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  32. Insightful post Jen. I've seen many posts from other bloggers telling us all how to do it better and sometimes i feel a twinge that I could work harder at it... BUT, I really enjoy how I write my blog. I switch topics, I take breaks and it makes me happy. and you know what, I have followers who have become friends. Who check in even when I'm not writing, who inspire me and make it all worthwhile. Expert bloggers probably wouldn't understand that. p.s. I'm getting back into blogging again and made a point to come back and visit you cause I happen to really like your blog. you rock.

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  33. I cherry pick through blogging advice since so much of it is geared towards making a profit. I don't even allow ads on my blog so there goes any profit. I also don't Instagram, Tweet, or Google+. As for blogging every day, I quickly become saturated with blogging content and purposely only blog once a week or so. My inbox fills up so quickly with daily posts that I can't read them all. As for people who consider themselves experts, ha ha ha ha!! As a teacher I am constantly dealing with people who are self-appointed experts. Most of them are full of sh*t. Blogging is too wide a world for any rigid set of rules other than "Be nice and no whining". :o)

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  34. Jen, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. For me it was hard to watch the man who was my strong support become fragile and even helpless. There are times when life is put into proper perspective, and blogging issues fade to little importance. Nevertheless, i agree with your commentary. The experts are not in my head or my situation!

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  35. Keeping your dad, you and your family in my prayers...I love this post as it gives me a pump of adrenaline to just keep doing what I am doing....I so agree that our audience is made up of readers who really enjoy reading our posts weekly, daily or whenever we post...be well my friend and know we are here sending, love, hug and prayers to you and yours.

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  36. Dear Jen: So sorry to hear about your dad. I hope he's recovering a little more every day. Sorry you have to go through this difficult time. I agree with the others--blogging will only be rewarding if you love it. And you'll only love it if it comes from the heart. :)

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  37. Prayers for your father. I love lifting each other up in prayer my friend and us blogging sisters we stick together .. xoxox HUGS

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Your comments, messages, and words make the blogging world go round, a blog is so much more then just a post.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit, I read each, and every one of your comments, they mean a lot to me.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams