If you're reading this right now, then I'll bet you're either:
a) a friend
b) a fellow blogger
c) a combination of the above
d) none of the above
(e) my mom.
And, I'll also bet that my blog is one of five, ten, or fifteen other blogs you'll visit on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Right? (Unless you're my mom, who only reads mine, duh.)
You might regularly visit a beauty blog that you love, a food blog you're obsessed with, a travel blog for inspiration, a fashion blog that's just fun, or a lifestyle blog that's pretty.
But what this blog doesn't have is a niche. Food, travel, shoes, expat stories, whining (and wining!), Bach ... I'll write about whatever comes to mind (specifically, whatever comes to mind while shaving my legs in the shower because - I'll tell ya - that's prime time for inspiration).
I can't write a blog about The Best Spots for Truffle Scrambled Eggs in London. I can't write a blog about Pointy-Toed T-Strap Shoes (they are very in right now, Instagram tells me). I can't dedicate an entire blog to perfume or art or tiny aluminum sculptures of geese (I'm staring at one right now).
It's just not me. It's not my voice.
Five years ago, I started writing this blog to help me figure out whether I wanted to live in the US or the UK. I thought it'd help me make up my mind (it didn't). I called it "Angloyankophile", because I wanted to highlight the best of both worlds. I wrote about cakes and nice Irish tube drivers and books.
Fast forward five years later, I've amassed a few more followers (other than my mom), gained recognition in the Travel category at the UK Blog Awards, worked with some incredible brands and companies, and - most importantly - made some very special friends.
But still, I attend blogging workshops and events - Muji pen poised above the pages of my Moleskine journal, ready to absorb, ready to learn - and I'm crushed when the first words out of the organizers' mouths are, "Get a niche. Stop whatever you're doing and get a niche. You'll never be successful otherwise."
And, you know, I'm not writing this blog to be successful. But I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want anyone to read my words either.
I try to post 3-4 times a week. If I wrote that blog on tiny aluminum sculptures of geese, I'd probably post once a month. "Drop the sarcasm," I hear you say. Okay, I will. But even if I wrote a blog about vegan beauty products, for example, just how many posts could I realistically write about vegan beauty products per week? In an online arena that is saturated - I mean, dripping like the french fry fat at the bottom of your McDonald's cardboard french fry holder (sorry for the gross analogy) - with beauty blogs?
And that brings me to my next point: the sheer volume of bloggers that exist.
Sometimes, I become so disheartened about blogging. I'm a teeny, tiny drop in what feels like an infinite ocean. According to this 2012 survey, there were an estimated 31 million bloggers in the US alone. Now, just think about that number and imagine how it would be multiplied worldwide - and we're now in 2015.
But then I have to remember my audience - and I was thinking about this for a while. My mom might read anything that I write (even if it's about tiny aluminum sculptures of geese), but you probably wouldn't, unless it was interesting, right?
And I don't want to alienate any readers. I try to make my posts as widely appealing as possible: regardless of age, gender, geography, ethnicity, or where you're at in life. Sometimes I fail at that. I know, and I'm sorry.
But I read these lovely comments below, and the emails I get - from Brussels to Arizona to Seattle to San Diego to Hong Kong; from 20-something students to 60-something women (HI MOM! SORRY I REVEALED YOUR AGE! SORT OF!) and I think, no. I don't want to "go niche".
Goodbye, success; hello, my small group of lovely readers.
I'm so glad to have you here.