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Why I Don't Create Niche Content

(+ A Poem)

[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.]

All of the people who blog about blogging insist that the only real way to write a blog, or to make money from blogging, is to be an expert in your field. You must become an expert in your niche, they say. You must write catchy headlines and numbered lists with boldened headers. You must utilize bullet points. You must not be too cryptic or too intelligent. You must optimize click-ability. You must try to sell something, either a product or a service. Some good things to sell are digital products like courses or e-books. You could also try affiliate marketing or drop-shipping or a pyramid scheme, if all else fails.

I've read so many blogs about blogging that I started hating the idea of blogs altogether. I've scrolled through food blogs trying to find the recipe I came for and gotten hopelessly lost in pitiful field of personal anecdotes, spelling errors, and bad jokes. This blog was never trying to make money. I've never had a solid niche, nor do I particularly want one. I'm not an expert in anything, and the older I get, the more I distrust people who claim to be experts in anything.

The origin of this blog was my eating disorder, and my eating disorder remained the focal point for over two years if only because my eating disorder swallowed me whole for a good chunk of time. But the girl who slowly and deliberately starved herself and then slowly and deliberately got better is in the distant past. When I look at pictures of myself back then, I barely recognize me. When I re-read some of my earliest blogs, I'm either amazed at my depth of awareness, confused by my messy diction, or a combination of both.

Not only was this blog never trying to make money, but it was never trying to be a niche, either. I've published two blogs each week for over four years, and the idea of writing about one subject from roughly 400 angles is mind-numbing at best. The idea that writing a blog is only worth doing with an end-goal of either making money, or of becoming a subject-matter expert in order to get noticed and therefore, make money, is asinine. I have no end-goal is writing this, right now. I have no desire to make money selling myself, and no desire to become a hyper-niche subject matter expert.

I write this blog, and some people read it. Most people don't. I write many other things that nobody will ever read; short stories and poems and half-fleshed ideas for both. The very idea that writing, or creating art, is only valuable if it makes money cheapens the art itself. Plenty of writers and artists make less than nothing and create anyway, because money was never the point. And, plenty of consumers of art haven't the slightest idea what it means to create.

There are some broad categories my blogs fall into: running, writing, work, relationships, mental health, life. But "life" is the broadest of categories, and even then, it sometimes doesn't fit.

I wrote this poem the other day. I hope you like it. 💛

When I Die

I am from a nowhere town

with three churches, four bars and railroad station

population just over a thousand and slowly decreasing

the word death sounds a lot like rest

coffins are an extravagance

take me outside when I die

scatter me beneath the last maple tree on the fence line

and don't you dare cry

keep those eyes wide and proud

and pray to God you find a way out of this town

like I did

pray to God you find a way back to yourself

remember who answers when you call for help

remember that blood is thick and water is free

remember the days when honesty

meant something

when art was more than expression

the long winter days filled with depression

and the porch light that glowed

like a welcoming ember

remember the days

when life was simple and free

when nobody told us to do anything

the nights we screamed into darkness

and no one could hear us

I will miss this nowhere town

full of crickets and snowflakes

where the milky way was our nightly entertainment

where everybody knows everybody’s name

where there’s enough space to make mistakes

stand up straight

be proud, but quiet

remember the sound of my voice

when I die

take me outside

scatter me beneath the last maple tree on the fence line

and don’t you dare cry

P.S. Read another author's take on creating niche content here, peruse the Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey, or start your own blog.


Sarah Rose

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