On Having a Niche (Or Not)

I don’t know if you’re a blogger, but I feel like many of you are. Personally, I’ve been a blogger for three years—but I really only count two of them. And yet, a lot of the time, I don’t feel like a “proper” book blogger. I don’t even really know what that looks like half the time, but I never really feel like that’s me.

When I started my blog, I did zero research. It started as a tumblog when I was in university. A friend of mine was obsessed with tumblr, and got me into it. When I wasn’t reblogging Doctor Who GIFs, I was posting my Goodreads reviews.
After a while, I decided I no longer wanted to let myself get sucked into the black hole that is tumblr (I was trying to write a thesis after all) and somehow migrated over to Blogger. I didn’t read other blogs, I didn’t know any other blogs, I didn’t talk about my blog on social media or to any of my friends. I just sort of… had it. And I literally only posted short reviews.

Soon enough, I came across Book Riot. I don’t really remember how I did that. But… It happened. It was a revelation for me. Look at this website! It’s all about books! From there I bounced around the internet and realized that there was a whole community of these book blogger people and I could be a part of it if I wanted.

I started cleaning up my blog and trying to make it presentable. I made a Twitter account, a Facebook page, got Bloglovin, and started following other blogs. Throughout this process, I started reading blogging tips and how-tos. There are a lot of really great tips out there, many of which I wish I had read before I started blogging.

However, there is one of these tips that has stuck with me and is often a niggling thought in the back of my mind. Whether the tip was coming from book bloggers or other kinds of bloggers, I’d seen it a few times in different iterations. And here it is: make sure you have a blog niche.

Now, before I had read these how-tos, I would have considered books my niche being a book blogger and all. But according to these tips, that’s just not specific enough. I should have some sort of gimmick, or draw. Focus on a certain genre. Be an expert in one narrow field.

This always threw me. How could I possibly focus on something more narrow than books? I’m a wide reader. I don’t have a favourite genre. I can’t stick to one! The thought of trying freaks me out. I would be so bored! Who wants to read the posts of a bored person? And as far as gimmicks go, I’m so not a gimmick person!

These thoughts, in some form or another, still make the rounds in my head from time to time. But you know what? I’ve come to a conclusion.

Fuelled by Fiction is my blog. What’s my niche, you ask? Me. My niche is me. I’m going to talk about what I love, what I’m interested in, and what makes me tick. And you know what? It’s not being an expert. At anything. If other people share my interests—whether that’s all of them or just one of them—then great! Let’s talk! But if not? Whatever.

I’ve learned that being a “successful” book blogger is a joke and should never be your goal. Maybe having a niche would help achieve that “success.” But why force it?

So you get sent the ARCs of the most anticipated releases? Good for you. I’m happy for you. Honestly, if I was sent that, it would probably just sit on my shelf gathering dust, despite my best intentions. So, good. It’s better that you have it anyway. You actually make money off your affiliate links? Cool. I’m glad for you. I was never in this for the money anyway (because, seriously, there’s none). You have thousands of followers on Bloglovin, Twitter, Instagram, etc? Cool. I’m probably one of them. If I get one thoughtful comment on a post, I consider it a win and good enough for me.

So, Fuelled by Fiction. It’s my corner of the internet. And I’m going to have fun with it. On here you will find my thoughts on life, books, entertainment, and anything in between. Primarily it’s a book blog. But it’s my blog, and my niche is me.

Beth is the founder and editor of Fuelled by Fiction. She is a twenty-something east coast Canadian girl who loves writing about books and feminism.