Shackling your muse — Is a niche really necessary for a blogger?

Photo: Brendan Church (Pexels)

Everybody tells you if you want to be successful as a blogger you have to develop a niche topic, but I’ll confess I’m having a hard time keeping my topics on the straight and narrow. I already have monogamy in my marriage. Do I also have to be monogamous in my writing? Hell, no.

When I started blogging for Medium — I’m a newbie Medium writer with less than three weeks under my belt, although not a newbie writer — I dutifully read a bunch of posts about how to grow your audience. That niche tip showed up in almost every single one of them.

I thought about it long and hard. I figured I could use Medium to publish posts about leadership, a topic that I’ve wanted to write about for a while but I didn’t have a platform for.

It all went well and dandy for a few days, and I was pleasantly surprised when I got an email from Medium stating that I was a top writer in Leadership after just two posts published on the topic. And, of course, they encouraged me to write more posts tagged “Leadership”. Observe last line emphasized after the image below.

To retain your status, just keep publishing great stories tagged Leadership.

Madonna! (As Tony Soprano would exclaim.) Now I felt the weight of the “Top Leadership Writer seal” shackling my muse big time.

I do have many post ideas about leadership. After all, it’s a topic that populated my sleepless nights for a few years when I was a corporate leader.

This unexpected Medium push made me try with all my might to write a post about it this week, as a good little blogger should do. So I reviewed my scattered notes, I wrote some promising headlines, and even scribbled a few lines.

But there was another post about being brave that was just itching to get out, and as much as I wanted to follow Medium’s not so subtle hint to stay on my hubby’s bed (excuse me, I meant my writing niche) I couldn’t force myself to do it. The lure of another lover — and the topic of personal growth — was too strong.

And if it were just one lover, and precisely this one, it could probably, maybe, I guess, pass. At least personal growth is somewhat related to leadership, or it’d better be! But there are several others tugging at my sleeves.

I want to write about being a writer (working on a post as we speak.) I want to publish creative non-fiction and fiction, and whatever else quickens my pulse. And if having many topics loses me my main squeeze — the unsuspecting follower who thought I was going to be faithful to my “niche” — so be it.

After all, publishing in Medium is like throwing your words into a well. You cannot see how deep it is, if there are readers down there or simply a very dry, very hard stone slab where your well crafted story will crash and dismember without anybody hearing a pip.

Given that I wonder every single day why I’m putting hours and sweat into publishing here anyway, at least I will publish whatever and whenever I fancy. And if you like my wandering eye, you’re welcome to come along with me for the ride.

If you liked it, please 💚 it, so other people can find it. And if you have an opinion about niche topics, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!