I figure I can safely ramble here about the business of blogging since nobody reads these things during the Christmas-NYE doldrums, right? *taps microphone*
It's a dirty, dirty blogging secret of mine that, though I try to pay no heed to things like the numbers of comments I get on a post or followers I have, on some level I pay attention. After all, if I didn't care about having you unusually good-looking readers I'd just write in the half-dozen half-completed journals strewn about Pretty HQ.
To that end, I admit that I occasionally click on those obnoxious looking "HOW TO BRAND YOURSELF!!!" sort of posts about blogging, with all the nervousness of an adolescent boy looking up, uh, that stuff adolescent boys look up on the internet. With a similar sense of shame, I quickly skim the article and close out of my browser, upset with myself for giving in to the forces of the "blogger branding" thing - which never seems to emphasize quality of writing, strangely enough.
I've also made some cosmetic changes here - new layout, an ongoing attempt to improve my photography - though I like to think that's more motivated by my enjoying having a Pretty slice of the internet to call my own versus reader
Here's the thing: most of us aren't here to become the next Dooce, though I'm guessing if someone came to us respectively with a book deal or QVC merchandise empire, we wouldn't turn our noses up at it either. Given that, if we want to put out something that we enjoy writing and (hopefully) others enjoy reading, does it help to categorize your writing as one thing or another, as so many articles out there encourage us to do?
The great irony is, of course, that the Big Damn Deal sort of bloggers are just that because they defy categorization. They manage to be compelling, relatable writers *and* photographers *and* able to dole both of those out in regular, easy-to-read doses (as they have done for years and years, well before most of us knew what a "blog" was) without resorting to a "THIS IS A MOMMY BLOG!" title or description. My blog roll - click over on that tab to the left for my super-duper favorite reads - is full of reads that similarly aren't tidily pegged.
Of course, some blogs lend themselves to a niche - my friend over at the uber-fabulous What Kate Wore is a terrific example of the type. I can click over there and reliably expect to read something about Princess Shinylocks, aka the Duchess of Do-No-Wrong, and what she's been seen in lately, and I enjoy that consistency there.
At the risk of being too Holden Caufield-y about it, this space is a different, non-nicheable one - though of course I'd devote it all to Princess Shinylocks if I could just figure out how to get that damned hair. Until then, you can click here and expect to see: Grace Kelly; Pretty shoes & bags; too many photos of my child; travel ideas; examples of how not to keep a home; Pretty paper; bad puns; books I like; books I hate; stories about that time I told a room of nuns about my sex life. You know, er, just as an example.
I stand for excellence in husbands, children, friendship, and accessories, usually in that order. How's that for a niche?
Until that qualifies as a blog category, I'm saying no to the niche - am I missing something by doing so? Or is pigeonholing your site, for lack of a better term, only relevant if you're trying to drum up sponsorships?
How about you - do you tailor your writing and your blog design for a particular audience, or are you more in my "Let the random, freak flag (does Hermes make these yet?) fly" camp?