There is a saying among those who want to blog for fame and fortune: you need to have a niche.
This blog’s niche is me. I’m the niche.
Allow me to explain. I started to use the internet in that strange point and time where posting on Usenet was a bit passe but before Facebook became a thing. The internet was a wild place, with BBS boards, Geocities websites, Java chatrooms, AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ… takes me back.
As a result, a lot of my interactions with internet people were not in centralized places. They were scattered about on various internet domains, with a variety of names and personas. There were a few places to tie them all together, of course. I once had a Geocities page, and also a Tripod page. (One of my Tripod pages, it turns out, is still in existence today!) For the longest time as well, I used a service known as Livejournal. For many, it was *the* place to share one’s life and interests in fandoms in the 2000’s. Then the Russians bought it, the rule changes made it much less friendly to LGBTQ and fanfiction writers, and a bunch of derivatives where born. I digress.
I created this blog with the intent to learn how the WordPress environment works. In the years since, this place has become something of a new focal point for me, the things I want to share, and the connections I’d like to make. To an extent, I try to keep things professional in presentation. Over the last year, I’ve been adding a lot more book reviews (because I continue to challenge myself to read) and a few written shorts (because the first step to getting published is to write). I’ve also reviewed some other media, such as shows.
I use this website less as a way to inform and more as a way to share. It’s a focal point for a lot of people and communities I connect with. At its best, it allows me to explore worlds around me and dissect them, sharing them with any who will listen to me talk to them about them. At its worst, it’s a narcissistic endeavor in self-indulgence.
This works great for me, a self-indulgent narcissist sailing across the internet as the waves will take me. It works rather poorly for having a service or a focus. How does one sell themselves, when they are far from an expert, but instead just a journeyman? How indeed.
This is a problem when considering what this blog’s niche is. After all, everyone knows the purpose of a blog is to make money, so that the writer can retire on the residuals from the books they write about how they became so good at blogging. They sure as heck aren’t getting rich from Google Adsense, I’ll tell you that right now!
This blog, in many ways, is just me writing on a wall I’ve paid for. Not much more, certainly little else. For some, it can be entertaining. For a few, it can be informative. But above all else, it is me, or at least an aspect of myself. A reflection.
I would argue, going forward, that the real issue I am going to run into is making sure that I’m true to myself, while also being interesting enough to gain readers and fair enough to not be the focal point of any ire. That, if anything, will be the greatest issue as I continue to build a brand, that brand being myself.
Two decades ago, if you made a faux pas or upset the wrong people, you could just create a new username and lay low. It was not terribly difficult to compartmentalize and separate the use of different internet spaces. One could even keep their internet selves and their real lives separate. This is not so true now, haha.
Here is to hoping that this project helps encourage me to continue to reflect and grow, as opposed to just dwell. Only time will tell.