The joys of eclectic blogging

I’m finding myself in a niche lately, which is nice but not necessarily where I want to be. I happen to be obsessed with marketing for small business at the moment—with helping nice, normal people figure out the great beautiful chaos that is the Web 2.0 world. That’s what’s keeping me up late and waking me up early. (That, and my utterly gorgeous two-year-old.) But there are so many other things that interest me, and that I want to talk about one of these days.

I found Anne Truit Zelenka’s blog on Copyblogger, and she struck me as an excellent model. Check out this post about the "back to school feeling." Now September is a traditional time for taking stock and making new beginnings (maybe just because we finally have some energy after a long hot summer), but I’m fascinated by how many subjects this post touches on. Food. Non-niche blogging. Meditation. Family. Oracle Applications Enterprise 2.0 consulting. Fall gardening. Musings on personal branding.

There are a lot of advantages to being a relentlessly focused niche blogger. The search engines will love you. Your readers won’t have to wade through anything that might not interest them. If you’re truly madly deeply in love with one small corner of reality, a focused blog to celebrate that is a wonderful thing. Don’t let me talk you out of it.

But blogs like Zelenka’s illustrate that you can do extremely well by refusing to settle comfortably into a niche. (Although note that a particular angle—cooking and eating—were interesting enough for her to spin them off into a side blog.)

I’ve been reading Seth Godin’s The Dip, which is more interesting than I first thought it would be. He advocates going full-on otaku about something and getting to be the best in the world at it.

I admire that, it’s terribly attractive. In other people. It’s not me, and it never will be. (Although I have my own little corners of reality that I am, in fact, working on becoming the best in the world at.) I dive deeply into something (or several somethings), then come to the surface and find new things to explore. A phenomenon sometimes known as "ooh, shiny."

Are you a single-pointed person or do you have a million different interests? Geek or dilettante? Woodpecker or butterfly?

Leave a comment, let me know.


  1. seth godin says:

    and you might even end up as the best in the world at being eclectic!

  2. sonia_simone says:

    I would love to think that’s true, but as long as Howard Rheingold’s around, I don’t think I stand a chance. Thanks for inaugurating the blog’s comments, it is great to see you here.

  3. Lane says:

    “Eclectic” seems so classy; I think I’ll adopt it for the fact that I’m 69 and still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. I’m between careers right now and floundering a bit.

    My inability to focus on one topic has resulted in my having a number of blogs to which I post rarely… not a good thing. Perhaps single blog that rambles attractively is the answer, that and focused Squidoo lenses… but that’s a topic for another comment.

  4. I have struggled with this one for my blog. I started off doing the eclectic, but have narrowed down to the two key areas, more or less, in my private practice, partly by coming up with a Tumblr blog that can be the landing spot for all my stuff that just doesn’t fit with my primary themes. I hear all kinds of advice out there to pin it down to one, but for my business that just doesn’t seem to make sense, as I have a two-pronged service model which is working well. Great reflection. I enjoy the images and voice you use to communicate your ideas…hence your business, eh?

    Michael@ Awareness * Connection@s last blog post..Awareness * Connection Now Listed on AllTop, Shooting for 9Rules

  5. Sonia Simone says:

    I think two key themes can work very well, and I bet there’s a thread that brings them together.

  6. I think you’re right. And I hope I’ve done a fair DIY job anyway of pointing out that thread for marketing, though I’m sure my DIY version could be improved upon.

    I left out a word in my previous comment…”hence your business name.” is what I meant to say. I shouldn’t be commenting so late at night.

    Michael@ Awareness * Connections last blog post..Awareness * Connection Now Listed on AllTop, Shooting for 9Rules

  7. Daniel Edlen says:

    I’m trying to be a big picture person, seeing how I can put Guillebeau’s method for taking over the world into practice. My art acts small in individual pieces, person to person. That’s how reality is real, I think, how humanity absorbs the new. But I want the concept, the reach, to be big. It’s part my artistic ego and part my true belief in my art. Or is that the same thing? Hmm.

    I’m geek all the way, heck I’m commenting on a post from your first month of blogging here. I hope I don’t peck a hole all the way through!


    Daniel Edlens last blog post..VA™ – Now I Can Merchandise Vinyl Art!


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