Still blogging without a “niche”

Niche is a big word in the digital world. I do hear it more often: “What is your niche? You do have to have a niche!” It begins to give me bit of an anxiety simply because I don’t have one. Trust me, I am looking for one πŸ™‚ I have listen to countless self-help gurus and entrepreneurs. And to be honest, I have been confused.

One camp seems to say – choose a niche that is trending, people are interested in and do not write about something just because you love it or because it happens to be your hobby. The opposite camp says – find something that you are interested in, hobby is o.k., you have to have a passion to last in this race… These are very conflicting ideas and it does not help me much. So I went back to basics and thought to myself – it is me who is going to spend the time on this, I should have some interest and passion for the topic.

I do not want to do something just because it is trending or many people are searching for it. As I have a full-time job, I do not want another one that I do only for the bucks. Also, I do like going to website of people who have been doing something for years and with a great expertise. They often have an ability to dive deep and go into a great detail. They often share their successes and fails and that makes it even more appealing and credible.

So here is my checklist as always that might help you to make the right decision.

  1. What do I want from my blog/why I am doing it
  2. Do I have the interest and passion in the topic/niche
  3. Am I thinking short-term or long-term
  4. How deep I want to go
  5. Trending niche or evergreen – which one is more me?

Just a side note:

What is my niche at the moment? Good question. As I wrote in my profile – I am looking forward to an early retirement πŸ™‚ At the same time I do not want live a passionless life. I would say my niche is still unrefined and very broad. I writing about my trials and successes as a little person – ordinary person. Trying to build something outside my full-time job. Using internet and what it offers to do that. Mainly selling on platforms – big and small while developing a blog. I think it is a path many people take these days and I interested in it – freeing yourself from 9-5, gaining more autonomy, not necessarily working less but working with passion even when Mondays come πŸ™‚

Have a great one, dear friends!

2 paths to blogging

Sorting out ideas…

Sometimes I have just too many ideas and sometimes I have none. What helps me in both cases is a thinking page. I ask myself questions and write down ideas as they come. After that I try to streamline the flood of ideas into something more targeted and something that makes more sense. I am not afraid to cross things out or change them completely. This is something I was taught by one of my old mentors. He always said that that I need to cross thing outs to come out with the best ideas.

Once the rough draft is ready I bounce it off someone I trust. If things look good – I will start researching and going deeper. By then I know I am serious about it and committed. The last step is to get the details right. This looks like a lengthy process but it is worth it. I used to jump into things straight away without thinking and it cost me lots of time and energy. Of course it is not fool proof but it does make me more effective and brings better results.

Yes, and here is a list for those who hate reading paragraphs πŸ™‚

  1. create rough draft that includes all ideas
  2. streamline the draft so it has only one key idea
  3. cross out things that are not relevant to your idea
  4. bounce your idea off someone you trust
  5. do a deep dive i.e. research
  6. add details and go for it

Good luck dear friends πŸ™‚

thinking page (first step)

Create a visual diary

It has been more and more obvious to me that I will not keep up with my journaling. My main reason if being honest is that I can’t be bothered after just finishing my day time job. Lifting a pen is like a lifting a weight on most of my work days. It would be lovely to log in all my feelings, dreams and plans while finding an interesting quote or affirmation that would complement it. But that is just not going to happen.

However, I do like to have some sort of memories. So what I have been doing recently is rather lazy but at the moment it is working for me – a visual diary. Simple colourful notes mixed with photos that reflect my mood. For me this is effortless and created within minutes. Yes, you may call it a mood board. I do not present that I have invented a wheel πŸ™‚ However, I am a very visually focused person with a visual memory so this style is perfect for me. I know it will not satisfy everyone but hey, it is better then nothing πŸ™‚

Hope you are having a great day dear friends!

This helps me to stay in a positive work mode…

and it may help you as well. These are only small things but they do make a difference when I work at home.

  1. switching off all noise
  2. communicating in a clear and friendly manner that I will not be available from…to…
  3. holding my centre with a help of my visual board right on my desk
  4. using my favourite scent in the room
  5. keeping a bit a nature right beside or close to me (my three-legged cat and self-planted lemon tree)

If you have time and want to read about each point more you can below:

  1. I used to run news channel in the background but it was very distracting a and took me away from my work. Usually not very positive space. Now I watch news only at a certain time of a day and for a limited time. Similarly with my phone. I used to check every notification no matter how unimportant and that was hugely distracting. Now I keep my phone in a corridor and not on my desk, the sound and notifications are off until late afternoon. I like to work with a soothing background music or when I do not have to be too creative with an interesting YouTube video/podcast.
  2. I noticed that it is better to tell people (including family members) that I am in my working mode and I will not be available. Usually I give them also an idea about the time period. This helps to avoid lots of misunderstandings. I always choose a friendly manner over anything else and usually the response is very good.
  3. I like to keep a very detailed and focused board rather than a generic one with a general quote. The more focused the faster brings me back to the space I want to be.
  4. I love natural scents and scents that I associate with pleasant moments.
  5. Nature is so essential to staying positive for me. I simply love it. Herbs, wildflower, grasses, trees, you name it. And of course – pets. They are absolutely awesome and I don’t really need to write about their positive effect here…

Have a lovely day dear friends and remember – keep it positive πŸ™‚

reducing negativity while working at home

Struggles of a solopreneur

Last year was a struggle. I tried really hard to get out there and make some success. It did not happen…yet. Yes, I am not giving up but boy, it is not easy. This post is more for people who are thinking about “an attractive product” that would sell like a hot cake. Well if you have those skills, this one is for you.

What I miss the most is a just platform or an opportunity where I can showcase my products for a reasonable fee and I get actually discovered. Although many big platforms ‘offer’ that, the practice is different. It is very hard to get discovered without paying for ads or just through Social Media.

Social media were useful years ago, now they have become paid platforms as well and you have to ‘pay to play’. Of course there are those who go viral or get lucky but what percentage is that? No, I am not envious. Good for them. All I am saying that there is a serious need for better and more just platforms. If you are able to help or provide this then you will not have a problem to find clients.

And of course here is my list of my top struggles:

  1. ranking on the platform/ visibility, choosing niche, product, keywords
  2. trying to please the algorithm all the time
  3. being shown to only a small fraction of my subscribers by the algorithm
  4. not knowing whom to trust in terms of courses, e-books and gurus (there are just too many of them)
  5. having limited exposure because of the way how the platform works and is set up

I hope that my next year’s list will be different πŸ™‚ As I said, I am not giving up, yet….

Looking forward to 2021, small business needs, one person business plan

This might help you…journaling for business

Something I have been doing recently and helped me a lot – journaling. I know it is not a new concept at all. I do my personal journaling here and there and find it very helpful. But this time I though why not do that also for my tiny business. The reason is simple – I just don’t remember every little thing. For example I make a tweak to the product but I forget about it. Then when looking at my analytics, I am wrecking my brain what have I done well that the product suddenly sells…

I have avoided looking at my social media analytics for ages. There are different reasons for that. Let’s say, I just looked at the curves and watched if they go up or down. Very amateurish, I know. For what I was doing – it was enough. At least so I thought.

When I started pinning on Pinterest, I was getting overwhelmed – by the sheer numbers, scheduling etc. I just did not remember what works and the analytics did not help me in this. Hence comes the journaling bit. After years of writing on Post notes and loosing them in a process, I started a simple journal with the following:

  1. what I’ve created
  2. when it became live
  3. what was the response
  4. sources that inspired me
  5. what details I have changed
  6. what was the outcome of the change

business journal might be the game changer

How is my business going in 2020

No, I will not be complaining. But I do need to say that it was not what I expected. I was hoping to really shoot up this year. Well, it did not happen. Now, when I look back, I am thinking about the positives. With regards to my products, I did see that the idea works. Or rather, yes, the product sells.

However, I made lot less than expected. That is going to be the next step. I will try to find out how to scale it up. So I still feel that I did not get very far, yet.

Here is my list to rethink my strategy:

  1. what worked and why
  2. what did not work and why
  3. how to scale up successful items
  4. find better platforms
  5. find products with better return on investment
  6. learn new skills that will help me to achieve the above

Happy Holidays dear friends πŸ™‚

Balancing in 2020 and getting ready for 2021

Why I procrastinate…

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know by now that I love making lists. Yes, I like to be super organised.

But there is also another reason for this. I am constantly late! I have trouble to keep up with the deadlines, tasks and chores! And I have trouble with ticking off all my points on the agenda. So I have decided to take a closer look at the reasons behind it. And surprise surprise, I did come with a brand new list of my reasons.

Please don’t laugh! Actually, I am laughing at myself here but I must say that my list was rather revealing. And here it is.

  • I make my to do lists too long
  • I am a perfectionist
  • I think I have to control everything
  • I don’t really want to do the things, on the list
  • I am not honest with myself
  • I don’t believe I can do it
  • I don’t believe I can complete it
  • I am trying to multitask too often
  • I get distracted by little things
  • If I don’t do many things at once I feel lazy and unproductive

So, have there been any similar reasons behind your procrastination? Do let me know. And in the meantime, take care dear friends πŸ™‚

Write, write and write some more…

because the more you write the better you will get in it. Simple as that. Words will flow effortlessly and you will find that you can express yourself more easily. Fist of all, write for yourself. Put your ideas down no matter how trivial they may seem. It will help you to understand your thinking process. When you put something on the paper, it becomes more real. You are closer to realising that idea. It is the first step to something bigger.

Don’t get discouraged. When growing up we were told many things about how to write or what to write about. But the truth is – there is no right or wrong way. Just keep on writing while developing your style. And if you ask me:”Why should I bother? Why should I write?” I will simply say:”And why not?”

Good way to start writing:

  • simple journaling
  • 2-3 sentences a day in a planner
  • writing about things you love
  • writing about things that bother you
  • writing inspirational posts
  • writing to your future/past self
  • length is not important
  • grammar can be corrected later

Photo byΒ BookblockonΒ Unsplash

A new way to travel

Now, this is not going to be a long post. And I will get straight to the point. I promise πŸ™‚

This is something that occurred to me recently. I know that many people feel that we will not be able to travel the same way as before. Travel is limited for sure and there are not many opportunities to go on a ‘real’ holidays. However, I do believe that we will go back to the globetrotting and we will tour and travel as we did before simply because it is a part of our human nature. Movement and moving from one place to another is natural to us.

But and here is the But I would like to highlight. When we go back to it – it should be different. In what way, you may ask. Well, here me out. I think that ‘tourism’ as such has been damaging in many ways to local communities and the nature. I know that it also brought ‘the dollars’ but if we are honest about, how much of it went to the locals and how much of it went to the developers and big corporates? Let’s do a bit of thinking here and ask ourselves: “Can we travel in a less exploitative manner?”

Of course, I commend the latest trends of sustainable travel, eco projects and projects focused on the enrichment of the local communities but I am talking more about the ‘individual approach to travel’.

To put it bluntly, why not change the face and the content of tourism as it stands now or rather as it used to be. Why don’t we shift and when we travel again – we do it with a completely different intent and energy. We not only take but give back too.

Why don’t we more away from destructive style of tourism to explorative and respectful travel. Away from tourism that takes and expects. Tourism that is often detrimental for local nature and community to travel that fully respects the local environment and equilibrium.

And of course, I am not saying that you should not go on holidays just to rest and recharge. That is not what I am saying at all. I am just suggesting to change the way we do it.

So in the meantime Happy staycations dear friends πŸ™‚

Photo byΒ Andrew NeelonΒ Unsplash