The thing I struggled with most last year…

Phoebe Lee Travel Blogger New Zealand 'The Thing I struggled with most last year

For a few years now I’ve been trying to find my niche for Little Grey Box (LGB). When I talk to other bloggers, attend workshops and read blogging resources, the number one piece of advice I hear is to ‘find your niche and rock it’. It’s also one of the most important pieces of advice I give to people in my Blog Coaching Sessions. Yet, for the past few years, I’ve still been struggling to know exactly what mine is.

When LGB first started it wasn’t even a travel blog, it was a place where I wrote personal pieces only. I shared things that made me laugh, things that annoyed me or just stories from my day. Because we were living in London when I started it, I began to include travel stories on the site. Those grew into guides and then suddenly LGB was a mix of travel stuff and personal stuff. It was weird.

I didn’t even consider LGB a travel blog until the Tourism and Events Queensland people put me on a ‘Top 50 Bloggers To Follow’ list. That event made me realise it was possible for me to have a travel blog and that I should make LGB travel-focused. Cosmic intervention at its finest – thank goodness.

I got some advice from a friend in marketing one day who told me, politely, my site was cluttered and confusing. It was brilliant advice and I needed that honesty pretty badly. My friend also encouraged me to find a niche. This terrified me. I was so worried that if I started cutting things off the site, I would lose the very few readers I had and that my blog wouldn’t relate to enough people because it would only have one type of thing on it.

Despite being terrified, I really did agree with her. So, I began cutting things off the site and slowly whittling it down. That was the point in time I started to sort-of take my blog seriously, about a year or so before I quit my job.

Queenstown Travel Blog New Zealand 'The Thing I struggled with most last year'

Since then I’ve been trying really hard to find my niche, but struggling with it a lot. I’ve had ideas of what it could be or what I think it is, but none have really felt right. I’ve tried out a few different things, but again, none have felt quite right. They just didn’t click with my personality and, trust me, if you’re the sole person responsible for creating everything that goes on your site, you need your niche to match up with who you are because you CANNOT fake a niche. At least not long-term.

I really believe our own success begins in our minds. What we see in our minds and believe in our hearts is always what we get. I’ve been really confused in my own mind about what my niche is and I think it’s been cosmically messing me up (and LGB too, a bit). I know it’s been holding me back a bit because I’m so uncertain about what it really is I offer, compared to other bloggers. I mean, how can I expect new readers to find LGB and relate to it, when I don’t even know what it is I’m really offering?! Madness.

Also, I think it’s important to note that I believe your niche has to come from your heart. It’s no good having someone else telling you what it is and just doing that, because it may not be your true expression. Your niche has got to come from within yourself.

For the past year I’ve been trying to find ways to bring more of my personality into LGB. I’ve been making sure everything I write is conversational and relatable, imaging that I’m talking to you over a cup of coffee and writing it just as I would say it (can you hear my voice in your head? Haha, that’s weird. Sorry.) I’ve also been writing all my reviews in a light-hearted, fun way rather than a boring, same-same way.

The last piece of the puzzle has been adding in the Vlogs, which is something I had really wanted to do for a long time. With all of these subtle changes over the last year, I began to want to put words to my niche more than ever…. but I was still struggling.

Queenstown Travel Blog New Zealand 'The Thing I struggled with most last year'

After spending a day editing one of my Vlogs and being really silly, my mind started to piece some things together. We jumped in the car and, while driving to the supermarket, some words started to form in my mind; I’m not trying to portray any kind of a perfect life, I just want to have fun and share that with others so they can have fun and be happy too. It isn’t about having a perfect life, it’s about having a FUN one. 

This made me realise I had been approaching my search for niche all wrong. I had been looking for a specific type of travel to be my niche and in the process had completely overlooked my approach to LGB; have fun and be relatable.

In everything I write or film, my intention is always to make people laugh and have them relate. I want someone who feels awkward to know that I feel awkward too, and have that make them feel normal. I want anyone who is afraid to travel or follow their dreams to know I was afraid too, and have that comfort them a little. I also really, really want people to laugh and have fun. That’s what life is all about; being happy.

All last year I had slowly been working toward my niche, by adding more and more of my personality and life outlook to LGB, without evening realising it.

Rather than other-thinking it, I’m just going to keep things simple. Little Grey Box is a funny and relatable travel blog. Simple as that. It’s here to make people laugh and do away with all of that pretentious stuff that annoys me about some other blogs.

Queenstown Travel Blog New Zealand 'The Thing I struggled with most last year'

Knowing what my niche is, is a huge relief. It’s like a golden-ticket, giving me total freedom to just be myself and share more of my myself with you. It also gives me a really clear picture of where I’m at, what I want and how to do that. All I need to do is be myself. Simple as that! It’s really the secret to all of us being happy, just letting our freak flag fly and being exactly who we are inside.

I’m really happy to have finally updated all the Bio/descriptions on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and the blog to properly reflect what the LGB niche is. Just in time for the New Year, too! Damn, I really spent the ALL OF LAST YEAR learning that lesson, didn’t I? Really pulled it out of the bag at the last minute, with only a few days to spare until end of the year though, so that’s good.

I just wanted to share this story with you to let you know that sometimes it can take a whole year, or longer, to learn a valuable lesson and the answers we’re after are always somewhere within us, we just have to work to find them. Don’t give up, it may take a while to sort your shit out, but you can do it and when you do, you’ll know it’s right. It’ll just ‘click’.

P.S All the photos used in this week’s personal post are from my trip to Queenstown in August last year. If you love them, feel inspired to visit Queenstown or just want some more NZ inspo, peep my NZ guides here. 


Phoebe Lee Travel Blogger Queensland AustraliaPhoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger who believes life should be full of fun and adventure. Phoebe shares practical inspiration to help others enrich their lives through travel. Her fun Vlogs, useful travel guides and beautiful photographs are all aimed at inspiring others to live a life they love and never settle for less.

Visit + Subscribe to the LGB YouTube Channel here! 

8 Comments on The thing I struggled with most last year…

  1. Phoebe, I really love this post. I feel like im on a similar journey. I always had a blog to share my thoughts and then when i moved to London, i found it easier to write a blog post about what was happening rather that 10 emails to different family members, saying the same thing. From there, i focused on travel alone. I do feel like im struggling to get my personality to really shine through my blog. Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to snooping around your blog further xx

    Like

    • Wow… thank you so much Louise, I’m so happy it resonated with you. It honestly took me years to open up and let my true self into my blog. There’s no right or wrong time or way for that to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. Really admire your writing. Thanks, Phoebe.

    Like

  3. I love the personal touch in your work! That’s why I keep coming back and read what’s new. Especially your personal blogs. Bye from The Netherlands.

    Like

  4. A niche is fine so long as it doesn’t become a rut. Just stay true to yourself Phoebe and you’ll find your niche, for now. But always keep looking for new niches.
    Besides following you (in the nicest Internet way of course, not in a stalking way!) over the last couple of years I’ve also seen another young lady grow. She’s not a travel blogger,; she’s a dancing, dub-stepping, steampunking, gaming violinist. America’s Got Talent dumped her very harshly 4 or so years ago. Today her second CD was Billboard’s top EDM album for 2015, her YouTube channel has 7+M followers and her videos have been watched 1.25 billion times (and she was the top U30 female YouTube earner in 2015), AGT invited her back last year for a guest appearance, she’s toured the world (including Australia when I had the privilege to see her perform live), and this week she released a book, “The Only Pirate at the Party”. All this she achieved by staying true to herself, you may want to check her out, her name is Lindsey Stirling.

    Like

Leave a reply for Phoebe

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: