AD – This post is a paid advertorial with Femme Luxe but all thoughts are my own
I’ve been blogging for a long-ass time. Every month that goes by, there’s a small part of me that can’t quite believe I’m STILL doing this. Throughout school, I was notorious for giving something a go and giving up on it within a year. Even jobs pre-blogging didn’t stick around for very long. I was always after something else. Something different. Something more.
So I’m going to take a second to pat myself on the back for sticking with this for almost a decade. A lot has changed along the way but the fact is, I’m still here. I’m still writing. I’m still enjoying it. And that’s something worth celebrating.
But I’m never one to beat around the bush and sugar coat things. Figuring out who I am in this blogging / internet / online / influencer world has been tough. Borderline impossible at times. And here I am, almost a decade later, still pretty unsure of where I stand.
I don’t often post a ramble, a word-vomit or a personal piece but this is certainly something that’s been on my mind for some times. Some days I don’t think about it. Other days, it consumes me. But writing always helps me in some small way. It allows me to breathe through the confusion – even just for 10 minutes.
Before I continue with my ramble, I just want to share the latest pieces from Femme Luxe that I picked up. The first one being this Black PU Faux Leather Long Sleeve Blazer, which is SO FAR from anything I’d usually wear or pick up in a shop but I actually proper love it.
It’s really comfortable and fits like a dream. I’m a sucker for a blazer or a jacket, so this is a great one to add to my collection and there will certainly be a lot of outfits that I could jazz up with a jacket like this! The second thing, is this Rust Ribbed Midi V Neck Jumper Dress.
This dress is a great option for Autumn and Winter. It’ll keep you a bit warmer than a regular dress so would be a great piece for going out and about outdoors in the colder months! I love the colour – again, very Autumnal. It’s super soft and comfortable too. I usually go for black dresses or even denim shorts with tights and boots in the Autumn but a jumper dress is a nice alternative
So anyway, this blogging journey of mine has been on a rollercoaster ride. Starting as a book blogger in 2013, starting my own book touring business, quitting that because I well and truly fell out of love with it and going full-time with my blog instead. Going from reviewing books every day, to talking about lifestyle based topics, to where I am now, with a predominant focus on self-care, personal growth and wellness.
I’ve struggled with the whole niché question. I went from being a book blogger through and through, to writing a little bit of everything, only to be told that you NEED to niché down in order to get anywhere. Well, I managed to get somewhere without doing that. So that was advice I didn’t need to follow.
I did course after course, spend hundreds and hundreds of pounds to learn from others in the industry about what I should be doing. Instead of just following my heart and doing what was right.
I was struggling to know what I should be. Or who I even was.
I then went down the route of “blogging guru” and excuse me whilst I vomit into my hands. I never proclaimed to be an expert – I’m REALLY REALLY not – but I thought establishing myself as a blogger who writes about blogging, helps bloggers with blogging and talks about blogging 24/7 was what I wanted.
And it was, for a while. Until I ended up resenting that too. I:
Wrote 2 eBooks about blogging (you can find them here), which I enjoyed at first but don’t promote anymore. I also spent months writing an eBook about pitching to brands, which I actually kinda liked but it didn’t end up doing as well as I’d hoped. I think this was partially me, not having the tools and motivation to give it a proper launch.
And partially because this “blogging guru” niché was growing rapidly by the day. Before long, everyone started talking about blogging. There was so much advice out there, it was impossible to know where to look. The niché was already saturated.
I spent MONTHS creating my Blogging Mindset Mastery course, which I ended up closing after just a few months. I felt like a fraud, I couldn’t keep up with the promotion. I was scared of failing. I quit. Again.
I also started to create a Patreon – which I gave up on – and a free workshop in preparation for a new course I was going to build. I gave up on that too.
Earlier this year, I spend hundreds of pounds on a business course, only to realise that I didn’t want to start a new business. I didn’t want to create a course. I don’t want to do loads of workshops. I just don’t want to.
Oh and don’t get me STARTED on the monumental failure which was my book, Finding Your Way Back To You, which was supposed to be published in 2020 before I (and all the authors) got spectacularly fucked over by the publisher.
Writing all that out, it feels like a lot of failure. It sounds like a girl who has absolutely NO IDEA what she wants from this career or where she wants to go next. And even 10 years on, I still don’t really know. I still feel like I’m rolling with the punches.
So will I ever find my place in the blogging world?
Will I ever niché down?
Will I ever start a community that I can actually be motivated to keep up with?
Will I start a business or release a course?
Will I ever truly, truly find the place where I fit in this industry? Because as of right now, I don’t think I ever will. And I’m not sure how I feel about that.
I wrote about how I don’t think this job is my purpose in my blog post titled Maybe I Don’t Have a Purpose. And for that reason, I don’t feel under too much pressure to find my place.
At this rate, I’ve kind of just carved out my own place for myself. Hovering in the middle of nichés, not quite here but not quite there. Passionate about blogging but not quite enough. Growing through the phases only to find myself in a brand new and equally as confusing phase.
I’m not sure where else I’m going with this. But before I wrap up this monumental ramble, I just want to say that if you can relate to this, if you’re struggling to find your place in the blogging industry – whether you blog for a job like me, or as a hobby – it’s okay. Trust me, it’s okay.
It’s not life or death. It’s not make or break. It’s not the difference between success and failure. You can succeed. You don’t NEED to follow the crowd. You don’t need to write eBooks just because everyone else is. You don’t NEED to start a business because that’s what seems to be the thing to do right now.
Although sometimes it’s hard feeling like you’re not sure who you are in this industry, take comfort in that from this place right here, you can do and be absolutely anything you want and need to be.
Thank you so much for writing this, especially about your failures. I think it’s sometimes hard to remember that it’s perfectly okay to change your mind. We’re also, expected, to have 7 jobs in our life time. It’s perfectly okay to my blogging whatever we want it to be. Whether that is: full-time/part-time/hobby/interest/side hustle/job.
I loved this post and you look KILLER in that red dress. 💕
Wishing you nothing but success and happiness (in what ever form that takes).
– Alli | http://www.onthetripside.com
Ah thanks so much. I think it’s important to recognise and talk about our failures when we’re always so bombarded with the opposite – which can often make us feel awful!
This was a really nice, reassuring post, Jenny <3 You've come a long way and you're doing amazing. I'm still finding my place in the blogging world, and real life world too, and will probably be for the rest of my life. But we still belong with people and in the spaces we take up.
Thank you! I totally agree 🙂 x
[…] random thought piece like this, it went down reaaaaally well. I wrote about how I’m trying to figure out who I am in the blogging world and I was absolutely over the moon with how that post was received and the comments I got on […]
Great post and you look fab! I always wonder where I stand but remember why I do it and then that doesn’t matter so much. I love it as a hobby. I love your blog and what you write about, it all helps.
Thank you Lindsey! Xxx
Great post! I remember when I started my blog in 2016, everyone was telling me that I needed to niche down. It caused a lot of doubt, because I honestly didn’t want to! I wanted to write about what I felt most passionate about, and whatever I wanted to. Here I am almost 5 years later! I honestly don’t think I would have lasted as long had I decided to niche down. I’m proud to have stuck to something to so long xx
Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com
I’m glad you stuck to what you believed! Niche isn’t for everyone and that’s totally okay!
First of all I love that blazer! But oh I relate to this post so much, I’m so glad you’ve said you’ve found you don’t actually need a niche because I’ve been flip flopping between niches since forever. I feel like everyone was in this whirlwind of must do this, must do that a few years ago, setting up courses etc. (I set up that coding for bloggers thing – tried it twice, shut it down twice). I used to feel like blogging wasn’t *enough* for me either but over the past year I’m starting to feel maybe my blogging, writing, creative self is enough now though! Staying true to yourself is the best thing to do. x
Thank you! I totally agree, a while ago it was courses and ebooks galore. I really do feel like everyone jumped on the bandwagon a bit – including myself! And I couldn’t be arsed with it! You definitely don’t need a niche – you don’t need to pigeonhole yourself!
I so relate to this! I feel like I always struggle with the niche thing and wonder if I’m writing the right stuff. It’s so hard to grow as a blogger and when I don’t see growth, it’s so hard to not wonder, well what’s wrong with me and the stuff I’m putting out?! I definitely struggle with figuring out my place in the blogging world and how to make a business out of it, which is what I would like to do. Thank you for sharing on such a personal topic!
You’re welcome – you’re far from alone. You don’t need a niche to succeed. You don’t need to pigeonhole yourself! If you’re passionate, the success will come!
I feel this a lot! I don’t really have a niche. I did write a lot of blog tips in 2014 but now everyone does so I they don’t do that well anymore! I just go with it and seem to be doing okay!
Yes same! I did a LOT of blogging advice stuff in like 2018/2019 but have moved far from that now because it’s so saturated. Although i remember reading a lot of your blogging advice before we followed each other and always loved it! I was totally intimidated by you!
I relate to this. I’ve set up and then quit a number of blogs over the years because I cannot seem to be satisfied with either working within a niche, primarily book blogging, or branching out and writing about other things. It’s a hard balance to strike, especially when I see other bloggers, including yourself, do it seemingly effortlessly 😊
It’s a very hard balance – even for people who “seem” like they’re doing it effortlessly. Trust me, I’m not! It’s all about finding what’s best for you and what makes YOU happiest, first and foremost.
Being a blogger should always be about being you and no more! But I agree, it is incredibly difficult to grow in the blogging world. For me personally, I feel I struggle to stand out and really put my mark on it, maybe it’s because I don’t anything unique to offer! I really love your honesty in this post Jenny and you look fab in your photos! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
Oh Lucy you absolutely DO have something unique to offer! I know you won’t want to be defined by your CF but that alone gives you such a different view of the world and of health! And thank you lovely x
I can relate to this so much, the blogging niche is over saturated and with a lot of people without any experience, which is frustrating! I am just currently going with the flow and writing posts on what I want to do.
The outfit looks great, such an autumnal feel. I love the jacket it compliments the dress so well! You look great!
Thank you for sharing an open and honest post.
Lauren – http://www.bournemouthgirl.com
I totaaaaally agree. And that’s the worst. It’s all content that has been re-hashed and if it’s published by someone who doesn’t have any direct experience then what value is that providing? That frustrates me a lot, too! And thank you 🙂 x
Ugh, I related SO hard to this! It’s definitely a struggle to figure out what you want to write about – I started as a dating/relationship blogger too because I thought I needed to hone in on a specific niche, only to realize I wanted to write about more than just dating and advice pieces.
(Also – btw, I recently got your Pitching E-book and it’s fantastic! So, I don’t feel like that one was a failure!)
If you’re passionate about dating and relationship content but also want to branch out then you totally should – you can provide value in more than one area! <3 And thank you, I appreciate that, glad you liked it! x
Girl, I feel you so much in this article! You have no idea! My blog is almost a year old and I don’t have a clearly defined niche either. I just know I like writing content to help motivate and inspire other women who are going through the same experiences I’ve gone through and that my focus is on inspiring wellness and self-love. I’ve often been told that “personal development” and “female empowerment” are not specific enough but that’s what I’m passionate about. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s really great to feel like I’m not just some stubborn hippie who won’t make it in this blogging world. It’s great to read all the comments and see that other bloggers have broken the “rule” and just blog from the heart too.
Do you know what your place is? It’s exactly where you are right now. Sharing real stories and teal blogging struggles to inspire other bloggers not to give up in their passion and not to just follow what everyone is doing because it’s”industry best practice”. You have inspired me. Thank you for that.
Thank you so much for this – I really appreciate it and I’m so glad to have inspired you for that reason. You’re only a month in – you have SO MUCH TIME to figure out where you stand in this blogging world. But if you don’t, that’s fine too! <3
I adore posts like this, feels like you really get to know more about the person behind the blog.
Ps. Really love the red dress on you xx
Thanks Alice 🙂 x
Thank you so much for this post Jenny – it spoke to me so strongly! I can relate to so much and really appreciate seeing someone who is so seasoned and professional also having some of the same struggles for those who aren’t long into this! You’ve got an absolutely amazing blog and brand and I love all your content – I know that may not always resonate with how you feel about it, but as a reader I really enjoy the realness you share in your posts! Thanks
Thank you so much my love. I’m not happy that you can relate but I am glad that this can help! I don’t really think anyone is 100% certain of where they are in this industry – perhaps a select few lucky ones! It’s so normal – don’t stress! 🙂 x
I relate to your struggle, Jenny, and love how you feel more and more like a real person as opposed to another writer cloaked in words and superficial stories.
I do not have a niche either and, while I often feel the pressure of needing to have one, there is so much I enjoy writing about. I figure if I love what I am writing about and the people reading it are having a good time, I am doing something right.
Thanks so much for sharing your story and two more lovely picks from Femme Luxe!
I’m inclined to agree. Passion shows through writing – whatever it is you’re writing about – so if you’re loving it, readers will too 🙂 x
Brilliant post Jenny! I can definitely relate to a lot of what you’re saying here. I’ve had my blog for (I think) around four years, and in that time I’ve gone from university blogger, to food blogger, to lifestyle, to little-bit-of-everything to now just my main two passions: drinks and music (well, most of the time anyway).
At times I definitely find it hard to know where I fit. I don’t know anyone else that’s doing the same thing as me with their blog which, at first, was kind of daunting. But, as I’ve carried on, I’ve learnt to really love the fact that I’m doing my own thing!
Thanks for sharing such a relatable post!
Ah that’s amazing that you’ve learned to own your place and your blog, despite not fitting into any sort of niche! Your blog is great, keep doing what you’re doing! <3
I understand how you feel. It’s difficult to find one’s niche. I’ve been blogging for close to two years so I am no expert. I’m afraid I don’t have any advice other than do what calls to you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Doing what calls to you is excellent advice!
You have built up a lovely blog. Congratulations.
Thank you very much 🙂
I appreciate your more vulnerable posts like this one because these feelings mean that you are human. Tbh I often opt for the earlier
Option and choose the 10 Things You Need Right Now! Route rather than writing a vulnerable blog post. Why? Because it’s easy. It’s something for me to upload and check off of my to-do list.
The one thing that stood out most to me if that writing is something you do when finding yourself. I never thought of writing this way and love that you use it an an outlet rather than a means to an end.
Thank you! I do love the easier posts to write, the 10 things you need type posts because we all need that content and if it’s about something you like and know, then why not share that! I’ve found a lot of value in personal posts lately though.
I personally don’t ever want to niche down. While mental health is my first and foremost love, I also love talking lifestyle, decor, saving money, blogging tips etc. Everything bar makeup and fashion, and I want to talk about it. I don’t think we necessarily have to niche down or find out who we are within this weird little section of the internet. That being said, I know where you’re coming from in regards to starting things, putting so much effort in and then stopping all too soon. It’s the fear of constant failure that holds us back.
I agree, I don’t think you HAVE to niche down either. Almost every blogging course or membership I’ve been a part of / read has said the opposite though. It’s difficult to know (especially for beginners) who to listen to when you’re getting conflicting advice. I kinda feel sorry for new bloggers in that regard.
This is so so true Jenny. I’ve been blogging since 2012 so I understand how you feel completely. I have changed who I wanted to be & the name of my blog more times than I’ve had vegan burgers so not knowing where you fit in definitely resonates with me!
I think I’ve finally found where I’m comfortable though & it feels so good 😊
For me blogging will always be a hobby which makes me very happy. And one which I am happy to continue building on for however long it lasts.
So don’t worry about not knowing who you are or where you want to be or do Jenny. Some of the best people I know still don’t!
Just have fun and write/create things which make you happy. That’s where you’ll find your peace.
Love this post Jenny plus the outfit! Hello! 😍😍
I’m glad you’ve found a place where you’re comfortable, Sarah. That’s great to hear, after blogging for so long! Thank you 🙂 x
I’m sure that this post will resonate with a lot of readers (I can see from other comments that it already has with some).
People have been telling me ever since I started my blog that I should niche down and only write about dogs. Do you know what? I don’t care! It’s my blog and I’ll write about what I want to write about. If that isn’t ideal for SEO then so be it, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it 🙂
Keep doing what you are doing because I think that your audience enjoy it. I certainly do.
Thanks Richie. Everyone always says to niche down but there are some incredibly successful bloggers which talk about a little of everything!
Really good post this Jenny, and very relatable. I’ve started my own business this year and the whole thing of finding your niche really resonates. Also, the advice overwhelm and the amount of failure that you have to persevere through. Great read.
Failure sucks doesn’t it but yes, persevere through, that’s a perfect phrase to describe it!
A very honest post. You are a good writer and very thorough in how you create and publish your posts. I love it and thanks for sharing this. 👍 Oh and the stunning pics. 🙌
Thank you 🙂 That means a lot!
This is a great post Jenny – I relate to it a lot, though I’ve only been at this for two years. Like you I’m notorious for picking up something and packing it in so I am surprised I’ve stuck to this.
I started writing solely about books, never anticipating going down the more personal route. I have no idea who I am as a blogger, I don’t have a niche that I stick too at this point it’s just writing about interests me, what I enjoy and seeing where it takes me.
My biggest struggle this year has been accepting I haven’t got as much time as I’d like to dedicate to my blog. Some days I feel a bit guilty about that but then I remind myself that I’m a journalist and as much as the day job can piss right off at the moment and there are plenty of days where I question if I can be arsed with it anymore, it’s a huge part of who I am and I’m not entirely ready to give that up just yet and like you say it’s okay.
I love your posts, I love your honesty, thanks for sharing this xxx
Thanks for sharing, Sarah and yes that’s totally okay! I don’t think any of us are 100% happy with our day job all of the time. Although blogging IS my job, there are some days where I wish I was doing something else. Accepting the time that you DO have and utilizing that will be really important for you!
Your honesty is something I really admire about you. I’ve felt similar to you this year. The pandemic threw me into trying new things and trying to be relevant which led to creating content that I liked but my audience didn’t, changing it up to content I didn’t like but they did. I always look to your for your knowledge, you feel like you know what’s going on but I don’t like the label blogging guru. It felt like this year allll kinds of bloggers brought out guides and ebooks but the content wasn’t anything earth shattering.
I know you’ll find you. I personally love your tips posts – they’re my favourite!
I’m sorry to hear you’ve been feeling like this Rosie! I think the pandemic did a lot of funny things to a lot of us, for sure! Its weird when you have that with content that either you don’t like or your readers don’t relate to or vice versa. It’s hard to find that balance! I hate the phrase blogging guru, too! And I agree, there’s almost too much advice out there now, most of it the same!
I can really relate to this post. I started my blog last year and it took me until February this year to click the publish button and post my first post, as I didn’t know where I’d fit in amongst all the established blogs out there. And I still don’t think I do. Everyone bangs on about having a niche, but I just want to blog about my travels around the world, I don’t want to focus on a particular niche. Also, in the first few months, everyone said that you have to post at least 2-3 times per week, but I just got burnt out, so now I post once a week, and I’m much happier. I don’t quite know where I fit in, but I am happy with my blog and my writing, so I guess that’s all that matters 🙂
Oh I hate those “rules” that people think are the be-all and end-all of blogging! If you don’t want to post 3 times a week, who cares! Do you. I think you’re in a REALLY exciting place, being so new. You can build yourself and your blog up from scratch and be your own niche!
Thanks Jenny I agree. Its best to do what’s right for you and what you’re comfortable with. It is exciting building from scratch and super rewarding 😊
I definitely feel the same way you do. Regardless what anyone says, I think whether you have a niche or not, a growing number of people start a blog and being successful is definitely more difficult… I want to talk about everything, not be tied down to one topic just because some blogging gurus said that’s what you need to do. I just want to enjoy what I’m doing, in the end that’s all that matters 🙂
Em x – earthlyem.co.uk
Totally agree. Niche or no niche, it doesn’t REALLY matter! Thank you 🙂 x
Thank you for this! There are SO many posts out there that are just pure success stories for blogging, how they’re making loads of money, getting hundreds and thousands of pageviews (and you can do it too, only you CAN’T unless you’re in a very particular niche that is now oversaturated, don’t get me started). I love that there’s a bit of everything on your blog because it means there’s always something to engage with – if one post isn’t for me, the next is normally so accurate it hurts. I don’t see any of those things as failures, more trying something new, deciding it wasn’t right for you, moving on. I’m notorious for clinging to something long after I’ve lost any enjoyment and not freeing up my time to pursue new avenues. I hope you find what makes you happy, because at the end of the day, that’s all that really counts.
Oh my gosh I totally agree with your first statement about the success stories which are mostly there just to sell their latest eBook or course which goes into how you can also have this but only if you write about X, Y and Z. It’s a bit of a joke, haha! Thank you, I agree, that’s all that really matters for sure. I hope you can learn to let go of things a little easier – your happiness is important too!
I relate – I’ve dabbled in a bit of everything over the past decade. I try not to stress about it and do y own thing, which at the moment is reviewing a ridiculous amount of romance. We definitely put too much pressure on ourselves, but you’re right: we can do what we want and be who we want.
Also, that outfit is amazing! I love the bright of the red and the contrast of the black, and it looks so stylish.
Cora | https://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/
Thank you! I’m a big fan of this outfit. And I agree, it’s all about what makes you happy. I have noticed a lot of Romance on your blog lately! <3
finding who you are in the online world, is a constant struggle! I also have tried an app that worked for others and realised it was not for me. I am starting to learn that what work for others might not work for me.
And it’s okay if something doesn’t work for you. You’ll find what does and that’s what’s important!
Thank you for this post Jenny. Like you, I haven’t really got a niche beyond ‘lifestyle’. All the advice says having a niche is essential to succeed, but I have no idea what that would be for me. I enjoy the freedom of writing about many different topics. So knowing you’ve had so much success without putting yourself into a little box has filled me with so much hope. Blogging has been a rollercoaster for me and I’ve been at it less than 2 years. So I can only imagine the ups and downs you’ve faced after doing to for almost a decade. For what it’s worth, I love your blog and you as a person. You’re honest, so supportive of others and someone I look up to in the blogging world x
Thank you so much lovely, that means a lot. I adore your blog too – I’d hate for you to niche down into something you’re not passionate about just because someone said that’s the only way to succeed. I love your range of topics but they’re all relevant to your blog and nothing feels out of place so that’s the most important thing!