Niche Blogging

The blog advice posts tend to emphasize the need for a niche, a specialty. Katie talked to me for over an hour trying to convince me to just find one and blog about it. The problem is, I’m not into that kind of thing at all. Or, rather, I could be, but I’d have to switch niches every two weeks to avoid getting insane. Talking to people who take the time to read my posts is worthwhile, but I don’t think they’d give me a lot of time for that at Bellevue.

My posts are an eclectic mix of math blogging, heterodox feminism, dystopian warnings of the religious right, economic policy, and Middle Eastern politics. All of these interest me just enough to have a small community of commenters interested predominantly in them – e.g. Foxy, Bean, Tyler, Bruce, and SLC respectively. So I can’t neglect any of them, which again deprives me of the niche. Being right tends to help matters, but in more serious politics it’s only an impediment.

Which again brings me to why I’m probably hours away from writing that post I owe Lynet and then officially saying I’m done. I have 33 blogs on my roll that cover among them all the topics I talk about, only generally in more detail and without segueing to entirely different issues. There’s no room for a math/secular/feminist/policy/ME blogger; that’s what feeds are for. And if it’s the writing style that counts, isn’t that independent of the particular issues covered?

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15 Responses to Niche Blogging

  1. Katie Kish says:

    Wow, way to make me sound boring. I didn’t talk for an hour just about that… but really – I think it would be beneficial to focus on a few key areas. Of course you can drift from time to time to give your readers something different, but a focus blog is always a good thing to go to. …You sort of have a focus with the math thing – but lets face it – how big is the math blogging community? Not all that large in comparison to other areas that you’re really good at writing about.

    Really, I’m just trying to find ways to make you keep blogging. and it seems as though all i need to do is call you and talk to you for an hour each day and say something worth blogging about. i’ll keep that in mind.

  2. Tim Bailey says:

    I don’t really select blogs broadly according to topic, but specifically according to the insight of the particular blogger. That’s why I follow your blog: what you write on the topics you choose to cover is much more interesting to me than what I might find at the “echo chambers” you’ve mentioned previously. I might not always agree with you completely (and in the case of the math posts, I might not even understand what you’re talking about), but your arguments are rarely faulty. Don’t discount the importance of quality.

  3. muppt says:

    I heard Michael Chertoffs’ mother was a mossad agent

  4. Ran Halprin says:

    If you only have a few niches, a simple solution would be to hold several blogs for the different niches. Maybe politics and human rights can go together, but math & science would definitely need a different home…

  5. SLC says:

    Re muppt

    Canadians are wimps.

  6. Roy says:

    Alon, I totally understand what you mean about focusing on a niche not being your thing. I find it ridiculously difficult to focus on one general theme.

    Ultimately, you have to do what you have to do. I just thought I’d delurk and say that I’ll be sort of disappointed to see Abstract Nonsense slip away. You’ve got one of the only sites I visit on an almost daily basis.

    For whatever that’s worth.

    Best of luck!

  7. Katie Kish says:

    Re muppt

    Canadians are wimps.

    Only in Winnipeg!

  8. SLC says:

    Re Katie Kish

    Mr. muppt lives in Toronto.

  9. Katie Kish says:

    Oh, well then yeah, he’s a wimp. …I obviously meant “winnipeg and toronto!” But don’t go condemning all Canadians. The west coast is tough, not wimpy.

  10. Bruce says:

    I am not sure I buy the theory of blogging only about one thing; one can have a defined voice and viewpoint without hitting the same theme repeatedly. Many of the non-blogger finest columnists are eclectic in their interests. And when I consider Majikthise, she hits a great variety of topics.

    I am more sure that I don’t buy the theory that high traffic is the measure of success. If it were, one could claim success by titling every blog post “Britney Spears Naked” or “Make Money Easy Now” and reaping the moron traffic herd.

    In Munich in the 1940s, the Nazi newspapers got much wider readership “traffic” than the did pamphlets of the White Rose.

  11. Alon Levy says:

    Well, high traffic is certainly a measure of influence. There are other indicators of success – e.g. Lindsay’s a lot more successful than other blogs that get the same traffic as Majikthise – but they’re not about quality. Quality can help, but it’s not necessary or sufficient for success. If success tracked quality, Debitage and Daily Kos’s traffic and link counts would be flipped.

  12. I think it’s only a matter of time before Britney runs over a photographer and kills ‘em. What happened to that sweet old Britney we used to know and love?

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