August 04, 2009

Have You Seen My Niche?

I fear I'm having a blog identity crisis. I haven't found my niche; I'm not even sure I would know what my niche is, if one walked up and introduced itself to me.

WHY I BLOG

First of all, I should probably explain why I started blogging. I've been unemployed a long time. Before that, I had a good fifteen years' plus of working experience behind me. Most of that time was spent as a technical writer. I used to write user manuals and online help - you know, that 'Click the Edit HTML button to edit your post' kind of stuff? I even worked at a couple of companies that other people may have heard of.

But when I got laid off, it just happened to be during a rough time for The Boy and me at home, and at the beginning of this economic meltdown we refer to as the recession.

I know, this is boring. Skip ahead if you like. The words will still be here if you find that you need inspiration for a nap.

I haven't found a job in my field. When a company wants to tighten their belt, technical writers are often sacrificed early - companies don't want to spend money on things that don't generate revenue. So if you see the quality of product documentation going downhill, you may assume that it's a) now being done in India or China, or b) now being done by overworked programmers.

I missed writing. The Mister, in his infinite wisdom (I HATE it when he's right) suggested that I do something about my feeling lost.

"June, write something already!"

Being the obedient wife, I did. And I found I liked it. A lot.

I like to write. I like to write funny stuff. Sometimes, I write thoughtful stuff. I'm really writing for ME. I am stunned that anyone reads this blog, and that COMPLETE STRANGERS are followers! Thank you so much for that - it's humbling, and an honor, and makes me feel a little bit pressured to continue to write witty stuff.

So,
If I am now writing to satisfy readers, I need to define who my audience is. Already, I'm at a loss. I just don't fit the typical demographics of the blogging world.

I DON'T FIT HERE:


  • I'm not your typical "mommy blogger", though I AM a mommy (and grandma). I'm decades older than some of you moms out there, even my daughters are older than some of you. The only way I can relate to you is that The Boy is almost like a 14 year old toddler at times, so I can empathize, and I can remember what it was like to be young and naive and staying at home all day with two little kids. I feel your pain. There are mommy blogs that I really enjoy reading...others, not so much.
  • I'm not a crafty/scrapbooking/photography tips kind of person. I really have very few marketable skills, and am a Wilton class dropout.
  • I will NEVER be a granola crunching, make your own feminine hygiene cloth, vegan.
  • I'm not one to have a blog about being a God-fearing, peasant dress wearing, barefoot and pregnant, full quiver, prayer circle woman. Not that there's anything wrong with any one or more of those things. It's just not me.
  • You'll NEVER see me post about the cool/chic/trendy/bargain-priced/awesome outfit/baby clothes/shoes/furniture/makeup/ I bought. I'm not stylish, and am not interested in that stuff at all. Give me something that makes me feel comfy, and a pair of Crocs, and I'm dressed for my typical day at home.

WHO I AM:

Here's who I AM, and what I like:
  • I am a newlywed (until October), and have a husband who loves me and is good to me (and good to The Boy). I rarely miss an opportunity to torment the poor man.
  • I am a mom of three. I have two lovely daughters, grown and gone,their husbands (one soon-to-be husband - check my countdown timer on the right), and two perfect grandchildren. I also now have three terrific stepdaughters, their husbands (again, one soon-to-be husband, check the bottom countdown timer), and four more perfect grandchildren. But the majority of my kid stories are about The Boy, my youngest.
  • I'm sure some folks have grown weary of my stories of The Boy. He's a complicated fellow. I think I write about him to let people know that maybe their kids aren't half bad at all. Also, I'm the kind of person who, if given lemons, makes lemonade, and always remembers to sweeten it to taste. So I may, at times, choose to delude myself about his chances for the future.Hey, a mom can dream, right?
  • I enjoy cooking, and have done lots of it since last June, when I arrived in the Show-Me State. I'm actually having fun trying new recipes and techniques, and I do blog about those. But I'm no Julia Child - it's not gourmet, it's food that we will eat and be able to pronounce later. I've found some excellent blogs about cooking and recipes. I have an entire 3-ring binder of stuff I've tried from online blogs and food sites.
  • I enjoy reading. I've found some great blogs about books, and some blogs that talk about books from time to time. Thanks for that.
  • Also, since I like to write, I've submitted some stuff at some great writing blogs. I love reading the other folks' submissions.
  • I like to laugh. I like to find the absurd in an ordinary day.

And a big disclaimer to any person (mostly family) who has a problem with how they are portrayed in my blog...

My blog, my way! Actually, I try to have the subject/victim look at the posting before I publish. I try very hard to be fair, but funny.

STUFF I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND ABOUT BLOGGING:

  • First of all, where are all the people my age? I've had a heck of a time finding bloggers who actually watched June Cleaver (without the Freaking) before she was in reruns or when she played a jive-talkin' woman in the movie Airplane!.
  • I try not to be a whiner, because it doesn't solve anything. I've seen a few blogs where I felt the writer was a selfish, whiny brat - I don't add them to my blogroll (but their names are etched into my brain).
  • And I don't fully understand this "blog community" thing. SITS, BlogFrog, BlogHer, etc. If I wanted to join a club that had rules of behavior and stuff (what's this roll call thing?), I'd look for something in my brick and mortar community. In other words, "I don't need no stinkin' badges!"
  • Rants without a resolution (oops, the thing I fear this post is)
  • Giveaways (I'm not all that competitive, nor am I materialistic). It just seems to me, naive soul that I am, if a blog is ad-heavy and promotion-laden, it is a business, more than a blog. Maybe the Gods of the Internets need to add a new extension to identify those blogs, so when I arrive at one, I know to expect the Cyberspace Yellow Pages/Infomercial zone. I make an exception when the giveaway is a book I'd actually like to read - not that I'd ever win.
  • Some of these blogs have some great personal stories interspersed between the ads. I just hate having to wade through the commerce stuff to get a good post - one that makes me smile, laugh, cry, or God forbid, think.
I guess this is where I describe my "aha" moment - where I tell you all that I figured out where I belong.

Sorry. I'm workin' here without a map...or a net. Does anyone have any answers for me? One more question: Why does my font change mid-post? Geesh! Now I have to work on learning more about HTML. (A rant and a whine in one paragraph).

I'm a work in progress.



12 comments:

  1. Did you get into my mind? Some of the things you said are just what I am thinking too!

    I try not to rant on my blog - but I suspect my most posting is a rant. I see it as a place to blow off steam because I couldn't do it at work (it was about a co-worker) and I knew what my husband would say. It allowed me to get some feedback because I was wondering if I was going nutsy.

    I am about your age (48) and I enjoy reading about The Boy.

    What is your niche? Maybe the "Too old for a bikini, too young for a body bag" niche? I think we women in our 40s and 50s sometimes get overlooked and we still have lots of stuff to contribute. Maybe there isn't a niche out there - and it is up to someone like you to create it!

    I enjoy your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was hilarious!!

    Glad you stopped by. Come and visit again. I am middle-aged, fat (working on that!), take pictures but am no photographer. I couldn't be crafty to save my life. I don't like to cook. I don't like to clean. I try not to whine so mostly I just wine!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just be yourself...I love your writing and all of your posts! When we start writing to impress or lure others, we lose our authenticity, and then we tend to lose our readers!

    And if it makes you feel better, not that it should, I don't really have a niche either.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't care what kind of blogger you are or where you fit in the blog world, I think your blogs are entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dang, how did I miss this yesterday. Hell, I have on, and wear Crocs everyday. Your "loose" style is the interesting part. Not looking for an answer here,, lol, heck fire, I dont even have a clue. If you were in the grocery check out line, I would feel comfortable saying "hello, did you have fun today". I don't feel like I would have to scrape off the BS after I loaded my groceries.. lol,, I guess I should have put all this in my post..lol"Did you have fun today?"

    ReplyDelete
  6. oh,,I forgot, I am way old enough to be familar with "June-without-the freakin'"lol

    ReplyDelete
  7. Glenn,
    I try to have fun everyday, even if it's nothing more than watching birds bicker as they flit from tree to tree.

    Doesn't take much to make me happy. I guess I was a cheap date, too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Continue to be your authentic self! That is what I love most about reading your posts. I may not be able to relate to your stories about The Boy but I can empathize and I can laugh with you or share in your frustrations. I truly feel the need to define myself or my blog. I guess because I share a lot of family stories and I have younger kiddos I would be considered a "mommy blog", but I would rather not be labeled. There are some great mommy blogs, but there are some not so great ones and I dont want to be lumped in with them LOL

    ReplyDelete
  9. I got here through your link @ Mama Kat's Mr Linky - and read back a few posts, now I'm hooked.

    Hell, if you find your niche, can you tell me where it was hiding? Cause I'm not too sure where I fit in either. I'd comment more in depth (some of your points deserve it) but it's WAY past my bedtime :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't think you have to fit into any niche. I feel the same way sometimes. Am I a mommy blogger? Sometimes but not always. I'm a book blogger on my one blog becauase it was easier to focus on that. But on my "personal blog" I just like to write about whatever ... and I think you do that too. If you are anything, you are a personal blogger with a leaning toward the humorous. I think you're great!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've spent the last hour or so reading your blog ... and I think I'm here to stay! (Or at least I'll be back often!) I just started blogging several months ago, and am still looking for that niche - in fact, talked about this very thing in my first month, and about the mystery of blogging in general. I'm 61 years old and a grandmother, and I just wrote a post about 'where is everyone my age?"! What I like most about your blog ... you're writing about your real life, and I love being a fly on the wall in someone's life, the blood and gore as well as the sunshine and sugar, seeing the similarities as well as the differences. You're entertaining, thought provoking, interesting, funny ... the whole package. I look forward to coming here often.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!