Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What's your blog niche?

Running...

This weekend just passed I completed my 4th annual Pyramid Race.

Now this is a tough mountain race and each year I'm proud to just complete it.  I do however hope to better my time each year, and until this year I had done just that.  This time I was slower than last year by 30 seconds
 (which out of 2 hrs 37 mins isn't too big a difference!).
However, I have done lots of running over the past year and do consider myself fitter so I have to admit I'm disappointed with my time.  After all that hard work, I didn't see the result I expected and wanted.

Blogging...

Now you're probably wondering what this has to do with my blog niche?

Well, this feeling of having worked hard but not getting exactly the results I want is how I've been feeling lately with my blog.

Over the past 6 months, my page views and number of visitors to my blog have doubled, but not for the reasons I thought, nor with an equivalent increase in financial reward!

Looking at my stats grow is very exciting and rewarding.  
Over these few months I have been posting and creating almost every day - and had equated this to the increase in my visitors and page views.
So I was surprised a few weeks ago, when I had a very busy couple of weeks and slackened off with my blog posts, that my page views actually increased not decreased at that time! 
This was thanks to some of my previous tutorials getting featured and pinned here and there!



So a decrease in my number of blog posts coincides with an increase in traffic?  Not what I expected at all!

This, together with the much smaller increase in income than traffic does beg the questions..why? what am I missing? and how do I change this?  I'm obviously doing something right to get this nice increase in traffic, but if I want this venture to provide an income for me then I need to look at things a bit more closely!

I know I can make this work the way I want it to. I don't want to do things like sponsored posts for products unrelated to my blog - or look at other methods to 'just make money'.  I want to do what I enjoy and find a way to make that work as a source of income!

What to do now...?


I think it is sometimes easy to get caught up with what we do routinely, and focussing on 'getting through' things, that we forget why we're doing them in the first place.

I was also given more cause to think about what I'm doing by a recent post by the fabulous Rikka of Ricochet and Away.

I do find it hard sometimes to justify what I do to others - when someone asks me

 "What do you do?" 

I kind of mumble something about sewing and blogging..

Not really knowing how to explain to a non-blogger that all this time I'm putting into something for only a little financial reward (so far), is my ....erm....job!

Remember what it's all for...

I blog and sew because I enjoy it. I'm working hard to grow my blog because I want to be able to earn a living doing what I enjoy - and show my kids by example that you can follow your dreams and achieve whatever you want with persistence and consistency!

Focus !

So with both my running, and my blog, I'm spending a little time this week refocussing - looking at what I enjoy, what I want to achieve, and resetting some of my goals and paths towards them.  This is something I try to do every now and then - what starts out working one month, may not continue to work the next month.  

The work I've put in over the past few months and the results I'm now seeing, are reminding me that it's quality not quantity that matters.  

It's important to know your niche - what exactly it is that you need to focus on, otherwise you might end up spreading yourself too thin and not making the progress you want!

Action - running!

For my running - if I want to improve my time running up a hill - then I need to practice running up hills more - general fitness is important, and all the road running I do does help, but specific training is what is going to help me reach this particular goal. Sounds obvious eh?  But sometimes we need a little push to realise the obvious! (at least I do)

Action - blogging!

For my blog - I'm going to focus more on my tutorials and upcycling - the two areas that most of my visitors come for - and also the main things I love doing.

If I don't post every day, then I won't worry that people will stop reading my blog. Of course sometimes I'll post more than that - but only if I have something to post about - no more posting because I feel I have to fill a day! I need to focus my energies on what is important and enjoyable!


My blog did start out as something just for me - but it has now grown into much more than that. 
Creating my way to Success is now as much for you all as it is for me - and that gives me even more motivation to make it bigger and better than ever!

I am so grateful to all of my blog visitors and readers for the support you give me, and also of course to my fabulous sponsors who I work hard to promote and thank them for their support of my little blog.


So please, please keep on reading, visiting and commenting  - I appreciate each and every one of you.

How about you? 

Have you all figured out your blog niche? What your visitors come over for?  Does it matter to you - or do you just blog for yourself?
Do you post every day? Do you even have a blog routine?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!


9 comments:

  1. Great post Jill. Well done on your run. I know that the time does count but the fact that you made it up and down in that time is still amazing to me. It's a five hour walk for me. :-) Blogging and crafting has really slowed down for me this year. Family has grown so life has changed. Trying to figure out where I am heading at the moment. I like your idea of sticking to tutorials and upcycling.

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    1. Thanks Merry! I think it's hard to find a personal direction in life and try to stick to it when life and family pulls you in all sorts of different ways! Good luck figuring out where you're headed! :)

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  2. I was also surprised when the month long break I have just taken resulted in no change in blog numbers! I am on a very different scale to you but I too think I need to focus on the main theme of the blog and then have the odd other post rather than the mish mash that it is at the moment!
    Alison
    x

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    1. It is weird that not posting doesn't seem to make a difference to the number of visitors. In some ways it's frustrating - seems like we're putting in all that effort for nothing - but once you look at the reality, it's much better. For our posts and work to be lasting, not just a flash in the pan is brilliant! One of my most popular posts is a tutorial I wrote and posted 2 years ago and it still gets visits every week. I guess we have to focus on the long term rather than day to day popularity!

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  3. No routine at all on my blog, Jill, other than weekly features. I agree totally that quality matters more than quantity!!!

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  4. I am in the same boat! Went out of town and things didn't change much. I do however want to make more money for the time I do put it into. I do keep in mind that my blog is part a hobby and a fun thing to share with other people. The money and 'free stuff' will come as I continue to grow my blog. I also find that the posts I think will go crazy and people will love don't...then I have other posts that I didn't think were that great and people love! Thanks for reminding me to continue to just do what I love and it is about just doing the things I love and sharing it with others. Thanks for stopping by my blog as well.

    www.RealSouthernLiving.com

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  5. Hi Jill,

    This is a thought-provoking post.

    First off, congratulations on the run! You're awesome and I'm jealous. The fact that you can run for 2 and a half hours is amazing to me! Wow! Over the last 3 or 4 months I've worked consistently toward running a solid 5k. I'm not there yet (it's a very slow process for me) but I'm determined to be able to run that distance semi-comfortably within the next few months.

    As far as blogging for a living goes... that's a huge question... I love blogging. Right now I'm taking some time away from it to figure out what's next for my blog. I'm not convinced that offering free tutorials is the best direction for me... Obviously free tutorials drive traffic to my site (which is good) BUT I think the more important consideration is whether or not the free content is bringing the right kind of people to my site (People who are willing to support me financially). So my next move, I think, is spending some time trying to figure out how to reach THOSE people.

    As far as content and posting schedule go, I think consistency is more important that quantity, and quality is the most important. Right now, I post three times a week. I'm thinking about reducing that to two posts a week and working on improving the quality of my posts maybe? But who knows...

    These are questions that tug at me constantly and I've yet to find answers... Each blogger is different and what works for you may be the exact opposite of what works for me. Bottom line is: I wish you the best in finding what makes you happy!!! Obviously you're willing to do the work and THAT is the most important thing of all.

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  6. Well, I DO post everyday, much to my own surprise. As for my niche? Nope. I haven't settled on one and probably won't. I thought I should but my blog is about the things I think are important and/or interesting... faith, family, creativity, etc. Of course, I have no income at all from my blog and maybe that is why. I often wonder why I do it but I can't seem to stop! Go figure.

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  7. Dawn from Under the Willow here (the one with the recent Laundry Room Reveal post!). I am very new to blogging having only started last April. I've often pondered what my niche was going to be. I started out wanting to blog one new recipe a week that I tried out on my family. I've ended up posting about 30 recipes in the last 4 months! Then I added a few other misc. posts. I am mostly doing this for a creative outlet. I'm also am trying to find my "voice" in my posting. I like them to be light and funny. Sometimes I think they sound great and maybe even witty. Others, a little boring. My friends/coworkers/family all tell me they love reading my blog so I feel like they are really my target audience right now. I've been branching out some by doing linky parties and using Pinterest to try to get more traffic. My traffic is steadily increasing, which is exciting! I haven't explored much in the way of revenue options and I'm not sure if I'm going to or not. My husband would like it if I made a little money at this! lol! I think I want to continue as is until I get a little more experience and find a better routine. For now, I'm just loving the processs! I love your blog by the way!
    Dawn
    www.dawnmalcolm.blogspot.com

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I love comments and try to respond to them all. Thanks for taking the time !