Specificity is the Name of the Game
<movie trailer voice> In a world where any interest can be found at the tips of your fingers, from any hobby to a really detailed tantric sex act, "mass appeal" has become harder and harder to attain with each passing day... </movie trailer voice>
Which is my way of saying: going for mass appeal is dumb and finding success while attempting to do so is beyond a crapshoot, so do something more fulfilling - find a niche, become a pillar of a super specific community. If a following is what you're after, that is.
As an example, pen blogging is a thing and the Pen Addict is one of the giants (the podcast is bae). It's a somewhat profitable endeavor and Brad carries a decent amount of clout in the community because, even though the Pen Addict does a decent amount of guiding newbies through the hobby (Shut Up and Sit Down and Tabletop do this as well for board gaming), the bulk of its content is for people who LOVE PENS and DAMN ARE WE GOING TO GEEK OUT ABOUT SOME FINEASS WRITING IMPLEMENTS.
It appears to be so much easier to gain notoriety in a highly specialized area than it is the "mass market." If you want a following, be super specific. It's been the dominant strategy of a lot of YouTubers out there, some of whom then later became more widely known. Heck, Steve Martin became famous by getting really really really good at his comedy banjo act and then spreading out more once he started getting noticed.
...and I'm... horrible at this.
Most blogs aren't a random smattering of topics like this one and for good reason. People like expecting certain topics from a blog - mine is... a big ol' grab bag of whatever the fuck I feel like writing about when I sit down with a (fineass) fountain pen and a legal pad.
Which isn't to say I don't explore niche interests or that I'm overly concerned with having broad appeal. Just the opposite:
I can't seem to pick one niche interest/topic/theme and stick with it.
I will admit that part of it is because the people I follow on such topics are (in my opinion) already doing a superb job and so there's no need for me to focus exclusively on that one thing if I'm just going to be parroting THE GURUS.
I do really want to find a niche though. That's partly what this blog is for right now - spewing out a bunch of shit, seeing what seems to be a running theme and maybe going singularly towards that in my posts.
So far, no such theme that I find consistently provoking to me.
When it comes to acting and fiction writing, I do think I've somewhat found my niches. Or at least, I'm honing in closer to them with each passing piece. For blogging though? Oh no no no.
I'm not looking to crowdsource a niche, but if you see something of worth here in these ramblings, I'd certainly like to know.
What even am niche?