It is 3:15 in the morning on a night not long ago, and I find myself staring at the ceiling unable to sleep. Perhaps the Starbucks I had shortly before bed had something to do with it, but the bigger culprit are the swirling thoughts running through my head. On this sleepless night, I wasn't concerned with money, or a sick loved one, or if the Euro would see the light of 2012. No, my lack of sleep was due to reasons far more trivial in the grand scheme of things. I was worried about my blog...
Over the last year or so, an internal struggle has been waged over the direction of my little corner of cyberspace. When I started The World of Deej, I assumed that about the only people stopping by would be my wife, mom, and maybe a few good friends. Fast forward about six months and I began to realize that there were actually people reading this stuff - some of them on a regular basis. I had been given a taste of heroin for new bloggers - the unique visitor - and I wanted more...lots more. So like any self respecting male, now that the project was started I decided it was time to read the instructions.
I came across countless articles from more established bloggers on what has made them successful. As I went from article to article, there was one refrain that kept being repeated...Find a niche, find a niche, find a niche. There was just one problem....I don't have one. I mean, sure, I identify myself as a travel blogger, but that is about as specific as saying I'm from North America. According to these guys, however, I had to have a niche, and for whatever reason I decided to search for one at 3:15 in the morning.
My inner turmoil continued on for the next few months, and just about every day brought a new idea or direction for my blog. I registered three completely different domain names, thinking that I would shut down The World of Deej altogether, and start again with XYZ being my niche. The problem with sticking to a niche, however, is that it meant dropping some topics from my writing. I love writing about hotels, restaurants, and Disney just the same, and to drop one in favor of the other seemed silly. Sure, a niche would be good in the eyes of Google Analytics, but would it be good for me?
It went on like this for a while, until one day I came across a post from my friends at yTravel Blog titled "To All New Travel Bloggers." It was as if the post had been written just for me. Here was one of the more established blogs that I respected telling me that they once felt the exact same way, and sometimes they still do. The message was clear...be yourself, do this for you and no one else.
The quest for my niche is over, and in the end the entire process brought me right back where I started. The World of Deej is simply a travel blog based on my various adventures. It will probably never get any more specific than that, but after a year of struggle, I'm once again sleeping at night.
~Insert Dude-like Closing Here~