Get out of your niche
It used to be that “finding your niche” was the #1 constantly repeated advice given to content creators & creatives. Once you established your niche, whether it was literary book reviews or hand lettering pithy quotes, straying from the niche was a big no no! Over time with the advent of Instagram stories and reels/shorts, creators were encouraged to share more freely on those channels, but the rule of thumb was that the feed should stay hyper-curated.
Lately, I’ve noticed that the advice of sticking to your niche is increasingly being seen as outdated. Jenn Im, a popular Youtube creator who’s been on the platform for 12+ years, noted this in her latest video below (starting at 0:50). As Jenn points out, if you stick to one niche you’re at risk of becoming irrelevant as soon as your niche joins the “graveyard of trends.”
If you are incredibly passionate about your one niche and couldn’t care less about trendiness, then by all means keep sticking with it! But as creative souls, we’re often curious about many different topics and struggle to stick to a niche—or we’re drawn to a niche because it’s trendy, not because we truly love it. That’s why I think this “find your niche” advice being reversed is super exciting and freeing.
Because of the way algorithms have changed over the years, there’s no guarantee that all of your content will be served to people’s feeds. Many folks don’t even care to check their feed anymore! Different pockets of the internet will discover and gravitate towards the content that you share. Exploring a variety of niches means you are casting a wider net, and people can better know the entire human that you are, instead of one narrow aspect. Artist & teacher Lauren Hom summarizes it perfectly in the below post (click through for more slides):
It remains true that finding your niche will help you tremendously when you’re starting out on a platform, but once you are a bit more established, try experimenting and sharing whatever else is exciting you! Not only will you get to reach and connect with a variety of people, but your own creative energy will be refueled—arguably the most important part of this equation.
If you’ve already been sharing your work for a while, try this as an exercise: write a list of the various niche audiences you’ve been able to reach. Here are some of mine from my Instagram:
Punch needle crafters (this was the first niche I started with on IG in late 2020)
Brooklynites (from this Cobble Hill neighborhood map)
Fellow illustrators & artists (more of an overall trickle than from specific content, but posts about the creative process such as this comic and this video have brought about conversation & community)
Thanks for reading as always, and hello to all the new folks who’ve subscribed! I’d love to hear your thoughts on how important niches are these days, and if you have a list of your niches to share, please post them in the comments 👇