How to be a Better Blogger – Part 01, Episode 01: Finding Your Niche

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Sound the trumpets, everyone! Today I’d like to introduce you to a brand new blog series to kick off the New Year: (huzzah!) How to be a Better Blogger. I’ve been steeping in this idea for a few months now, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep it to myself for long.

This series is going to run for a few months and will cover all the general topics. (Or at least, the topics I want to cover. Because, I am, after all, that thing the sun orbits around.) I won’t tell you everything we’re going to talk about, lest ALL THE DRAMA BE DEAD, but I will give you a pretty picture of my laptop and work station. Pacified? Good let’s move on.

I am by no means saying that I’m an expert blogger. In fact, I’m rather a novice. I’ve only been at it for 5 years. (That’s right! Fine foods since 2010 – go back through a wormhole to read my fist post ever. I’m an old person now, so I can say that it’s cute and not embarrassing.) I’m kind of an amateur when it comes to blogging. There are many others who far surpass me in the blogging game and I respect that and I aspire to be more like them. But I have learned a thing or two in my five years of blogging and I’d be thrilled if I could share that with you. So hold onto your warm, fuzzy, homemade, knitted hats, people, and LET’S GET STARTED.

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So. You want to start a blog…

First things first. Blogging is fun, yes – but it’s also hard work. From the surface, it doesn’t look so difficult to manage, but just wait until you step into the shoes of responsibility. Having a blog is like owning a cat. They general keep themselves sustained, but you need to provide them with basic needs. Then, and only then, can you have some good, decent, cuddle time.

Don’t get me wrong – I love blogging. My blog is my outlet to really express who I am and what I want to do in a very open, creative, and inviting atmosphere. I enjoy having a blog. But it’s a lot of work.

If you’re seriously considering starting a blog, then GO FOR IT. I promise you, if you’re passionate about your topic and excited to share what you think and feel and create with the world, then make like the Nike slogan and just do it! But first, one little thing.

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Think long term.

I CANNOT STRESS HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS. Not even using all caps. (Surprise, right?) When you’re starting a blog (orrestarting a blog) it’s paramount to know what you want to be blogging about. Think about it – long and hard. If you think you’re passionate about something, think again. Is it going to be just a phase? Are you going to get bored with it after a while? Can you foresee a time coming – ever – where you’ll be like, “Ugh, I don’t really feel motivated to do this anymore…?”

Before you start a blog, make sure you have found your niche. This is more important than any other point I’ll make in this entire series. And in order to really explain to you how important this is, I have to tell you a little story about my blogging past. It has to do with chocolate and confectionary sugar and lots of stress-induced tears. (Cue the slow 1940s orchestra music.)

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Once upon a time…

I had a food blog. No, as a matter of fact, I’m NOT KIDDING. I decided about 3 years ago that I liked cooking and baking. So much so, that I wanted to make a go of food blogging. I did my homework, got covered in flour, washed hundreds of dishes, and saved up enough to buy myself a DSLR camera and a macro lens. My plan was to build up enough of a following to make an income off of advertisements. But I didn’t exactly get that far. Because something happened. I threw in the towel. I snapped under the stress. The infamous straw-picker just pushed their luck too far, and this camel’s back broke.

I realized that I just couldn’t do it anymore. Food blogging was great, and I really liked it. But it was a lifestyle change, and one that I wasn’t ready to make. It took hard work and long hours and I wasn’t turning a profit. I’d gotten pretty darn good at food photography and composition, creating recipes, and utilizing social media – but it just wasn’t what I wanted to be doing forever.

Food bloggers are awesome. I love them, I patronize them, and I sometimes even stalk them (shh!) I tried it, I liked it for a time, and I learned from that experience. I learned that when going into blogging, you have to think long-term. You have to KNOW that you know that you know that this is what you want to be doing for a long time.

I am super passionate about music. And you know what? I have no fear in those words. I know that I’ll never have to take them back – ever – because I know that this is what makes me feel alive. This is my niche. I was called to this, and I love every second of it. I post more often on this blog than I ever did on Everything Needs Salt, and yet I’ve never felt stressed or annoyed. This stuff just pours out of me. This very post you’re reading right now just poured out of me. (It might also be boring you to death, but hey – it happened.) And now I’m back in the game.

I went from hating blogging to loving it and all because I found what I really want to do.

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How long have YOU been blogging? What have you learned from it? Are you tired of it? Have you ever thought about totally restarting your blogging experience? Have you found what you really love to do?

love,

abbiee

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