I've already written a post on Why I Write which outlined that when I looked at what I needed to do to make the blog fiscally successful, I decided I wasn't interested in those changes (it would bore me to write AND read). So Where the Wild Things Were is in essence, an outlet for me, and interestingly, growing in readership. Basically I already blog like no one is reading, most of the time. I see it more as emptying my head, in order to clarify my world view, for me. (I do have a mildly popular though poorly named travel blog that is more correctly 'niche' focused but for this post, I'll stick with my out of the box effort)
I also use my blog to promote things I think are deserving, and to make a difference (in a tiny way) for issues and causes I believe in. It's my soapbox, if you will.
Part of the challenge for Blog Exchange included:"It’s more a case of removing the unspoken blogging lines you’ve created." I use the link ups for that. I try to follow their prompts, as it makes me write on a topic where I may not have gone, so all you hosts, I'm eternally grateful for your efforts.
I was a regular for the now defunct #SunshineSundays. I loved this link up because it made me write in a more poetic style, less of a point to communicate in the post, more of an exploration of words or images. I use Conversations over Coffee for this now, but that is only on the last Thursday of every month.
I write for link ups whether I get a lot of readers in return for the effort. I figure I can always promote the post myself but it's the exercise in writing that appeals to me (and the time frame - I need end dates).
The other thing I love about link ups, is I get to read abroad range of blogs. Instead of reading my faves, over and over, I will read randomly. I will read blogs I've never heard of and I will comment to show you I've been there. I like to see what other people are doing, because there is a lot of broad world view out there. For me, the blogs that vary each week are far more enticing that the ones that are 'niche'. But that's me, and not an indication of what will make your blog successful. (What? 'How did I not make the finalists of #Voicesof2015?' I hear you ask. I know, it's astounding...)
I write short stories, and have been published in an anthology, long listed in the Hunter Writers Centre Grieve competition, so they aren't complete rubbish. I love writing stories, but really need to work on the more imaginative side, being less pedestrian, and playing a little more with the construction of sentences. That's why I like the more poetic prompts. They required me to do that each week, and they push me creatively and out of my comfort zone. (Does anyone else think comfort zone is less about fear and more about laziness?)
For me, blogging is not just blogging. It's dedicated writing practice, every week. It can be whatever you want it to be. Going against all that they tell you (and I make such a minuscule amount of money, you can ignore any advice I give), don't sell your audience short. They may be more interested in what you have to say than you think. While you are a niche blogger, it doesn't mean you can't once a month, or once a week, stretch out of your niche. Support the link ups, not to gain readers, but for the exercise in writing.
Lastly, I want to thank again the hosts of all the link ups I visit. I love that you put aside a post one day a week where I can park something you've asked me to write. I like that at times I start with one idea on a prompt but go somewhere completely different. I love to see where everyone else went on the topic. Please don't be disappointed if the linkers are limited. If I'm there, it means you are doing something right!! (I am the centre of the universe, in case you were unaware).
For me blogging is very much as E. L. Doctorow said:
Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.
Linking up for #IMustConfess