Finding Your Niche (AKA: We Can’t All Grow Up to be as Funny as Mary Connealy)
By Missy Tippens
I recently received a newsletter from Mary Connealy. And once again, I totally cracked up, laughing out loud, making my family wonder about my sanity. All I could think was Why can’t I be that funny and entertain my readers like that?
Every time I read a Mary blog post or newsletter (and spew on the keyboard), or read a blog post or newsletter from another author I admire, I wish for…well, the impossible. Because:
I’m not funny Mary.
I’m not snarky Ruthy.
I’m not poised and calm Debby.
I’m not passionate Julie with her passionate readers (see her number of commenters every month!).
I’m not well read and up on things like Tina.
I can’t be one of those writers who pulls people in telling great stories about my family because I’m paranoid to talk much about my kids online.
I can’t share funny church stories because my husband is the pastor, and I don’t think it’s right to talk.
I can’t share amazing faith insights because I’m not comfortable being that personally vulnerable and open online. (I’ll talk away in person, though.)
I can’t try to be someone else or I’ll fall flat. So what can I do? What’s my “thing”? How can I reach readers and entertain them?
I have to try to be me. And hope it’s enough. (Yeah, I know. That’s the scary part.) I have to find my brand and stick with it.
I thought we’d take a little tour today to look at different websites/blogs, the ones that have stood out to me. Look for links highlighted. But please, you have to COME BACK to enter my giveaway. :) (Yes, I stoop to bribery.)
Of course, I mentioned Mary Connealy’s hilarious newsletter. (Mary, you do know that you’ll get a few subscribers from this post. No pressure, though.) ;) Mary’s just naturally funny. And I think what appeals to me is her self-deprecating humor. We can all imagine we’re in her shoes.
Another writer who totally cracks me up with her blog posts is Kimberly Stuart. Her books and blog make me want to have her as my friend. She’s funny and down to earth and talks about things that hit home with me.
Ruthy Logan Herne is great about engaging people by sharing her life on Facebook. I love to get glimpses of her home and puppies and childcare kids. You feel like you get to know her and that she wants to get to know you.
Talk about a fun and info-packed site with an amazing platform: The Pioneer Woman. I just saw Ree Drummond is going to have a new show on The Food Network. And she started out as a blogger!
Author Patti Lacy does something fun on Facebook. She shares what she calls Art Bites. She’ll share a piece of art and tell us about it. Very fun and interesting.
Talk about someone who’s found her niche and really honed in on it: Author Debbie Macomber! She’s actually become an empire. Her website stands out with information on knitting and with recipes.
Author Stephanie Bond has an excellent website, very easy to navigate and very professional. She has an MBA and is a former business owner as well as a programmer in the corporate world. She runs her writing business in the same way. So a visit to her website (and her how-to articles) is always interesting to me.
I also polled the Seekers to get some of their favorites (and found some that I’ve also loved):
Love Inspired author Shirlee McCoy’s wonderful blog shares about her life as a mother of five and about adopting children.
Author Cherry Adair’s website has all the bells and whistles and is definitely themed toward her suspense novels.
Two friends of Seekerville who have distinctive blogs are Keli Gwyn, with her Romance Writers on the Journey blog geared toward celebrating newly contracted and nearly contracted romance writers. And Pepper Basham whose Words Seasoned with Salt blog generously spotlights authors (with clever themes) and also includes words of inspiration in her thoughtful posts.
For fun, there’s a blog called Cake Wrecks where she showcases unusual and hilarious cakes.
Another for fun is Inky Girl who has a blog with cute cartoons for writers.
So you’ve visited some websites and blogs…and you came back!! Thank you! :)
Did you see any (or maybe know of any others) that remind you of your own personality or writing? Did you get a feel for the type of sites that appeal to you as a reader, giving you clues of what you might like to focus on? This has actually been a good exercise for me! And has given me some ideas. I hope it has for you as well.
So now we ask: What do I bring to the table??
If you don’t know, ask your friends to help. Ask them what makes your writing special? What makes you special?
And interesting to note: the word “niche” has origins with a word that means “make a nest.” So we need to find our place to nest!
And now I’ll ask YOU for help… What does a Missy book give you? What does a Missy post or comment give you? (Please tell me it gives you at least some little thing!!) :)
Please share something you discovered about your own niche today (or if you have any words of wisdom for my niche, I’d appreciate that input as well). I’m offering a copy of Debbie Macomber’s Knit Together: Discover God’s Pattern for your Life. Be sure to let me know you’d like to be entered in the drawing! Winner will be announced in the Weekend Edition.
Come hang out with Missy at her blog: www.lifewithmissy.blogspot.com