Craft Beer / Eat, Drink, Blog / Gypsy's Musings

Must Be the Season of the Niche

Funky8LineupI loathe compartmentalization. While I get its usefulness in the fight-or-flight evolution of our species, it doesn’t really fit into our 21st Century world. And while this discussion could be referencing anything from Florida juries to Texas Republicans, in fact, I want to consider the blogosphere.

Pretty much the rule of thumb is, if you want followers, if you truly want to build your platform, then you must specialize. You need to find your niche and fill it well.

Well, that’s not me. I’m very complex and multi-faceted. Both in my writing and my life. I write fiction, and I write about beer. I have ties (no pun intended) to the kink community, yet I’m a single mom raising (having raised?) a working actor. I like arthouse films and pugilism. I’m as likely as not to play Devil’s advocate in any conversation (okay, not any conversation, but certainly in many of my conversations). I once took one of those tests to determine which hemisphere of my brain was more active; I scored 49/51 (I believe my left brain was slightly higher). I can’t pass a personality test without looking like there’s some major psychotic event going on. I see shades of gray everywhere.

However, I have come to a point where ignoring my beer niche is hurting my bottom line. Part of the reason why I’ve been so erratic in my blog posts here the past few months is because I’m trying to monetize more of my writing. It’s not a foreign concept to me, having worked full time in daily print and then marketing communications for five years before launching a successful publishing company (that went south in 2008 with a lot of other businesses, not to mention the print industry in general). Back in the day, I never really contemplated writing about technology; it was my beat. Whatever side writing I did, my major focus was on what my managing editor wanted me to do; he was the boss… I wasn’t going to write arbitrarily about county politics without his okey dokey.

I have fought tooth and nail being “just a beer writer,” not because I have anything but respect for beer writers but because I didn’t want to pigeon hole myself. However, it’s in the world of beer where money is coming, and I knew that I had to capitalize on this, even if I was a bit half-hearted about it. (And if you’ve looked at my other blog, you know it’s very hit-or-miss at the moment.)

A friend of mine, Bonnie Gillespie—whose book Self Management for Actors, has a lot of great advice for anyone trying to create a platform—summed it up perfectly for me this week:

The goal is to start playing with their money, not yours. When you’re starting out, you’re using your own money for everything (your tools, your time, your building of relationships and reputation) and that gets tough after a long while. So why NOT start doing whatever gets you some of their money in your pocket, so you have the freedom to reinvest in yourself, in the area you prefer?

That’s like saying yes to commercials when you want to be a film actor. Writing for a niche that values you while spending every free moment writing the book that is your passion project. Recording audiobooks when you really want to do video game voiceovers.

Doesn’t mean you won’t get to do the thing you’re dreaming of… just that you can get there faster because you’re not killing off your savings while you chase the harder dream exclusively.

So, moving forward, I probably won’t be blogging here as often as I had originally hoped. I’m still keeping my “Post A
Day” banner, because I’m currently aiming at nine blogs per week (which is definitely a post a day!). However, my new schedule has me blogging here “only” 2-3 times per week, typically on Thursday and Saturday (with the random Tuesday tossed in as the muse strikes).  I’ll be blogging at my three beer sites (links are above) on a mostly weekday schedule. I hope you’ll continue to read this blog for all my various “out of the box” topics, and visit (and follow me) at the Beer Bitch website as I work towards taking “their” money moving forward in my niche.

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