Having trouble finding your niche while blogging? One psychologist’s research into the concept of flow suggests it’s best to write about what you love.
As any experienced blogger will tell you, it’s important to find a niche when blogging. Focusing on a specific topic will allow you to build a loyal audience and bring targeted ads to your blog.
Moreover, it’s important that this niche is profitable. Given the chance, any of us would love to simply talk about our favorite obscure topic every day for a month. But if nobody wants to read about that, what’s the point of blogging about it?
The Psychology of Happiness
The psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi began writing about flow theory in the 1990s. In his book, Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience, he defined flow as a mental state where human beings were completely focused on something they loved.
People in the flow state love what they are doing. The task at hand was usually a familiar one, but it also has to be the right level of challenge. It has to be difficult enough to be interesting, but not so hard that it becomes intimidating or frustrating.
In the flow state, people are happier and more focused. If you’ve ever lost track of time or neglected other projects because you were working on something you loved, you probably know what the flow state feels like.
Why Is Flow So Important?
There is more to the flow state that doing work you enjoy. It’s also remarkably effective for getting work done. Csikszentmihalyi, along with other positive psychologists following him, found that people did better work if they were in the flow state.
They were more focused and worked faster. If you’ve ever heard someone say that they were “in the zone” while doing some impressive or difficult work, they were probably in the flow state.
A 2009 study from the University of North Texas also found that this applies to blogging. Individuals who were in a flow state while blogging had a tendency to write more and produce better work.
How Do We Achieve Flow?
Step one is to try blogging about something that you love, or at least something you could learn to enjoy. It’s important while blogging to find a profitable niche, but it’s been proven that you’ll be more effective if you enjoy your topic, too.
Step two is to try to step outside your comfort zone while blogging, at least occasionally. Remember, the psychology of flow isn’t just about doing what you love. It’s also about challenging yourself.
To achieve the flow state, remember to keep challenging yourself enough to keep yourself interested. If you stay inside your comfort zone and only do what’s easy for you, you probably won’t get that feeling of optimal flow.
If you’re having trouble finding your niche while blogging, remember: do what you love, but don’t be afraid to learn new things or try something new. It’s the balance of familiarity and challenge that gives us the flow state.