I am not a box.
A few weeks ago, while walking home, Erik asked me if I would become a mommyblogger when I had children. At first, I was a little confused.
“I guess so…” I said.
I mean, if I have children, I am a mom, and if I blog, I am a blogger. Thus, mommyblogger. But that wouldn’t be an entirely accurate description of me. I probably wouldn’t just blog about being a mom, I said. I would still talk about diabetes and all that other stuff I like to do.
It seems that in the blogosphere, you have to be just one thing. I’m not sure where that came from. I know in social media public relations, we talk about targeting all the time. You have to know your audience, they say. So you end up parsing people into groups: mommybloggers, tech bloggers, twentysomethings, pet bloggers, travel bloggers, design bloggers, etc. There is an entire website devoted to niches. From what I’ve read, professional bloggers often recommend sticking to one topic. I can understand their reasons: one topic means one audience that is passionate about what you’re talking about. I think that works for many people when they are talking about a particular topic. But I think if you’re talking about yourself, there is just no way you can stay within a single frame, when you’re just trying to tell people about yourself and what you’re going through, hopefully making connections with people who are going through similar things or have gone through similar things (many of my readers are older than twenty-three, but I still appreciate your input and advice).
In high school, I nearly had an identity crisis because all of the teen fashion magazines chopped up our personalities into 4 categories: Preppy, Glam, Sporty and Vintage/Indie/Bohemian (whichever was in vogue that issue). I thought, well, I’m not really any of those! Or, maybe I’m a mix! I like the shoes from Glam, the sweatpants from Sporty, the sweaters from Preppy and jewelry from Vintage/Indie/Bohemian.
I literally had a panic attack reading those magazines and not being able to pick one!
Now, as a 23-year-old, I still have a bit of trouble identifying a style, but I know what I like to wear and I know what looks good on me. I have an Allison style, which is a crazy combination of cheap T-shirts from Target, dark wash jeans from Macy’s, cute flats from DSW and jewelry from street vendors.
Truth is, I’ve never fit into one mold with my blog. Even back when I first started Lemonade Life on Blogger, I wrote about friends, school, traveling and work. Most of the posts related to diabetes, but not all of them. That’s how I roll.
I have been to two BlogHer conferences, and both times, one of the first questions you’re asked is, “What do you blog about?” I always felt a little uncomfortable saying I wrote about a blog about type 1 diabetes, because even though I wrote about it a lot, I didn’t want people to skip my blog because they didn’t care. I felt they would miss out on the other things that I wrote about, but because I couldn’t present it in a nice and neat one word package, I was stuck.
Now, I want to point out that I think those one-word bloggers are just fine. Moms who write about parenting, travel junkies who write about the best restaurants in Portugal, and techies who write about the next great cell phone are awesome. I have no problem with diabetes bloggers who only feel like writing about diabetes. We need those kinds of bloggers. They are important and valuable for a lot of people.
What I don’t like is the pressure bloggers are under to pick one thing to write about. I don’t understand why we always have to be so niched, so targeted, so one-dimensional. If you have one thing you want to write about and are good at it, that’s great. But I don’t think that is or should be for everyone, and we as readers and/or as marketers need to understand that. This is is, of course, just my opinion. I’m sure there are a lot of people who have opinions different than mine. This is what I think about my own personal situation.
That’s why I have changed my subhead. I am a twentysomething, but I am not a twentysomething blogger. I am a diabetic, but I am not a diabetes blogger. I am a traveler, but I am not a travel blogger. I live in (well, close to) New York City, but I’m not a NYC blogger. I am Allison, blogging.
This is an Allison blog and I am an Allison blogger.