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Despite lots of advice to the contrary, I started blogging without a niche. When asked, I’d fumble some reply about “lifestyle blog” and let it go at that. Or I’d say my blog was about different aspects of retirement. Which it is. But is retirement a niche?
Retirement, I find, is too big to be a niche. It’s possibly a lifestyle. Retiring is a rite of passage, and it ushers in a new stage in life. But not a niche itself. However, I seem to be stuck with it!
What niche to try?
There are niches and niches, it turns out. My blog doesn’t fit the regular lifestyle niche because I’m about 40 years too old. Plus we have all the stuff and then some.
There’s the travel niche. My Pinterest boards include some for travel, because it’s interesting to many retirees. But I’m not an active travel blogger. I seldom go anywhere beyond about a 70 mile radius from home. And when I do, it’s to WalMart. Not terribly blogworthy, is it?
Mommy blog? What’s a nonmother to do? I am unqualified to address that whole business. I admire the heck out of those who are courageous enough to live with children. Leave that to the experts.
As someone who barely cooks, I also admire food bloggers and admit to pinning recipes. They’re mostly crock pot specials and other very easy dishes. Plus chopped salads. Give me a stack of veggies and a knife and I am so there. Otherwise, it’s dump dinner in the crock pot and call it good.
Fashion? I wear LL Bean separates because I can get them to fit. They leave me mostly invisible, the way I like it. Home decor? I’m a genius at fashion by comparison. Now decluttering is right up my alley–if I ever get time to do it!
But wait, there are near-niches that go with what I blog about. My blog centers on retirement issues and just barely touches on the huge field of financing one’s retirement. It’s too big and scary and I feel very tiny and silly going up against Forbes.
Finances were something I wanted not to write about. Budgeting, though, just seemed to be there whenever I looked for realistic material about fixed income living. It is a natural almost-a-niche for someone from the scruffy and poorly-thought-out origins of the 401(k).
Budgeting, too, is more accessible. Having come up with some strange but useful budget methods, I feel relatively comfortable with helping others figure out how not to part with quite so much money.
Along with budgeting comes downsizing. If one is retiring with modest savings, cutting back on expenses often involves cutting back on how much space you have to heat. And that leads to getting rid of stuff. Lots of it. Then you have to have ways to get rid of it, possibly including selling some. Another natural almost-a-niche.
Right now I seem to be blogging about blogging. Obviously, though, being new to the business, it would be foolish to make that my niche. I don’t know enough to ache in this field. On the other hand, nobody knows enough to ache starting out so here I am. Occasionally.
Putting it together
So the blog is about retirement concerns, including where and when to retire, and what to do with all the time and freedom. For us in the 401(k) crowd, it is also about adjusting one’s expectations to what is possible and making good plans to get the best out of what you’ve got to work with.
But inside that is some self-improvement as people learn to make plans to deal with moving into retirement, and to cope with change.
Also included: where people choose to live when retired, and how they pass their time, with work, hobbies, relationship issues, and social activities. Reading other retirement blogs and articles, it seems that these issues affect people at all income levels.
You can read about these same concerns whether it’s by someone on a sailboat or living in an RV, and it still rings true.
My own hole in the wall
If a niche is a dent in the wall, retirement is my hole in it. It’s too big to fit in a niche, but it will hold a few niches’ worth.
So I am including my take on things I feel concern the folks like me who are about retirement age and feeling challenged and unsure of what to do. If that means there will be budgeting, or downsizing, or moving, or staying put with a reverse mortgage, then so be it.
If someone’s dream is foreign travel, maybe I can help facilitate learning enough language to order dinner and find the bathroom. Maybe there are discounts travelers can use to make their dreams come true, whether they leave the country or not.
It’s important that people move, not just away from the working grind, but toward a fulfilling life of some sort. Some will still work, maybe for income, and maybe for something meaningful to do. What doesn’t have to happen is for a retiree to sit home alone with no reason to get dressed each day.
Well, that is my window, instead of a niche. I will try like anything to make it work because it feels like it’s worth doing. Wish me luck!
Are you a niche person or a window person in what you do?