The itch for a niche: Finding out who you are on the Internet.

When we’re kids, some of the most important ways we use to express our personal identity are the posters we hang on our bedroom walls, the t-shirts we wear to school, and the cartoon characters on our lunch boxes. I had a giant Pokemon poster in my bedroom throughout middle school, wore Invader Zim t-shirts most days to high school, and had a fabulous Monkees lunchbox I took to school in 6th grade. (Please leave a comment to tell me what you had!)

When you’re showing your stuff on the Internet, it’s a little different. How can you convey who you are? Where is your digital t-shirt? How do you decorate your e-bedroom wall? And where exactly is the proverbial lunch room of cyberspace?

Figuring out how to express myself on the Internet was a huge challenge. I knew who I was in real life, but transcending that gap from reality to digital took me 3 years. I had to find out how to visually express myself through one banner on my blog, the perfect Twitter avatar, and a tagline that fit me perfectly. And these things tended to change all the time!

I finally feel that I have come up with something I’m satisfied with. I like to describe myself as an official Internet Pixie, a digital whimsy spreader, an Ewok trapped in a girl’s body, and as someone who is living the geeky life with purpose. I like to use images of cats and cupcakes to describe myself. I love using pastels, pink, teal, and mint in my branding. I could try to explain all the nonsense that went on in my head as I tried to identify myself through words, keywords, images, iconography and phrases …but that would take far too long.

So what is a niche? A niche is literally your place, your position. It’s where you live on the Internet. It’s how other people will know if they are interested in reading your blog. It does not have to be just one word, it can be 10! A trap that many bloggers will fall into is trying to just pick one niche, but trust me – you can have as many as you want. As you explore each one, you may find yourself growing and expanding in a couple of them, and then narrowing it down after you experience each one.

How do you find out what your niche is? How do you write your tagline? How do you design your picture perfect head shot, or express yourself in 140 characters or less? What images should people see and think about you? Here are some exercises to help.

1. What is one of your favorite words, that you have never heard any one else that you know of describe themselves as?

2. If someone was to search for your blog in Google, and you could rank on the first page for 5 keywords, what would they be?

3. What is your favorite adjective? Especially one to describe the way a person is.

4. Think of your favorite movie character, comic book character, or cartoon character, that you self-identity with. What are a couple of words you would use to describe their personality? What color would you describe them as?

5. What color are you?

6. What are you the most knowledgeable about? What would other people say you are the most knowledgeable about? When is the last time you went on a really good rant about something?

7. If you had to design a business card right now, and could only have 3 words on it, what would those words be?

8. Your blog is a food. What food is it and why?

9. If you could plan a photo shoot for your professional head shot, what would you be wearing? What piece of clothing, jewelry, or accessory would you wear that screams you?

10. If you could collaborate with any blogger, artist, or person, who would it be, and what would you bring to their table?

11. Pick a tagline for yourself. Or a few. 10 words total, for your identity, and niche.

12. If you could copyright one item, food, object, or animal, and when people see it they would think of you, what would it be? It will help if this object is not already associated with someone else.

13. Your blog is an animal. What animal is it, and why?

14. You have to pick 2 emotions that your blog will make people feel. What are they?

15. Someone who reads your blog writes you an email, expressing that your blog caused them to do something, or feel something, or think about something, or try to make something, and it makes you so happy to know this. What did it cause them to do?

16. What’s your favorite mythical creature, and why?

17. Your blog is referred to someone that you admire by a friend. They use these 2 words to describe your niche.

18. You can only use one social network to promote your blog, forever. Which one do you choose and why?

19. You would love it if this store posted your blog’s business cards on their front counter.

20. If you had to pull an Emma, and take a photo of yourself looking down from your chin of your feet and the ground, where would you choose to be standing, what would you choose to wear, and why?

21. What are you most passionate about? What would other people perceive you as being most passionate about? Are these things different?

22. You have to choose a celebrity to do a poetic reading of your favorite blog post, with the perfect voice. Who is it?

23. What image on someone else’s blog have you seen that you love?

24. You can only blog from one location for the rest of your life. Where is it?

25. You walk into the Internet cafeteria. You see tables with every blogger ever. You sit down at the table with these 5 bloggers.

26. You have to decorate your online bedroom. What is the pattern on your bedspread? What poster is above your bed? And what CD is in the CD player?


Feature image by Laura Williams

Leave a comment with your answers, or post them on your own blog!

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Autumn in NEPA: Roba’s Corn Maze & the Bloomsburg Fair

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We spent Tuesday at the Bloomsburg Fair with our friends Jonelle and Ian. I ate so much good food including delicious Maryland crab soup,  a spiced apple dumpling, sweet tavern pizza, and greasy buttery haluski. The Bloomsburg Fair is a staple of NEPA. It is notorious for tons of tasty and usually fried foods. They even sell fried sticks of butter!  They are also known for their prize winning showcase of roosters, chickens, bunnies, pigs, and cows. It makes it impossible for me to understand how people can eat cows… they are so big and beautiful!

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On Saturday, Mark and I went with my family to Roba’s Corn Maze in Scott Township. We ate pumpkin cookies, bought carving pumpkins, and laughed at the silly goats. Those goats are so cute!  This year the maze was shaped like Johnny Appleseed, and Mark and I got out first! We took home a little trophy 🙂

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I’ve begun decorating for Halloween. This is my little crafty tree adorned with spooky ornaments. I can’t wait to carve my pumpkin and roast those pumpkin seeds. Nom nom… so tasty…


Do you have any favorite Autumn traditions? Let me know in a comment!

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Ghibli Week and Who’s That Geek! Hey that rhymed! A giveaway of Ghibli inspired goodness.

This is one of those funny posts that’s really two wrapped into one. Why you ask? Because I didn’t post yesterday! So I’m posting a two-for-one special: like Siamese twins, but less weird!

I most certainly would have been best friends with Christian Petersen as a child. He is a kindred spirit who designs fantastic fandom inspired digital art on Etsy, at The Geekerie. He’s the kind of fancy man who has a super awesome Etsy store full of Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Studio Ghibli inspired magic. Minimalism and pop art at its very finest! And the fact that his Etsy account kind of started as a test/joke, well, that just goes to show you his talent. How awesome!

Today you have the chance to win one of these three amazing illustrations! …Okay, so yeah, I know you are so excited, and you want to rush away to enter to win… of COURSE. But pause for a second to read Christian’s interview. We both loved David the Gnome, and that is ALL you need to know. Gnome. Know gnome. Hehe.

Don’t forget to enter to win an epic Studio Ghibli print!


The adorable Christian Petersen in front of the amazing designing machine.

1. Who do you cast to play you (real or fictional person) in the movie about your life?
I don’t know of anyone who can pull off high-strung workaholic with a heart of gold. Maybe Diane Keaton, but she’s a lady and I most certainly am not. So, a male Diane Keaton who is a muddled composite of a chubby Tom Green, fully-gelled David Tennant, and a roughed up Gerard Butler would just about do it.

2. What was the first print you designed for your amazing Etsy, and why?
The first print I made for my shop on Etsy was a vintage travel poster for the planet Vulcan from Star Trek. It was part of a series of three created as filler for a dummy account I was using to teach a fellow artist about Etsy. I sold a few and caught the bug; turning my test account into a real shop and here we are a few years — and many hundreds more listings — later.

3. Who is your geeky role model?
For her ingenuity, adaptation, and motivation; I would choose Felicia Day. She has managed to uncover and celebrate the best of Geek culture while bringing us willingly out into the sun for a meet-and-greet with the rest of the world. Wil Wheaton gets a heartfelt shout-out.

4. What was your favorite cartoon or nerdy show as a kid?
I mean, should I run through the list? Fraggle Rock, Gummi Bears, Ducktales, He-Man, Thundercats, Transformers, The Littles, Voltron, Silverhawks, Smurfs, David the Gnome, Beakman’s World, Captain N, and Alf the Animated Series. It’s possible that I watched Carebears, She-Ra, Jem and the Holograms, Zoobilee Zoo and My Little Pony, but it’ll cost you too many rupees to get a confirmation.
(*By the way, Christian, my list is so similar, and far too long*)

5. You suddenly turn into a cartoon character! Who are you?
I would be Baron Von Rotton from ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’, or one of his weasel goons.

Enter to win an epic Studio Ghibli print from The Geekerie!

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Ghibli Week: Freebie! Gimme Ghibli Wallpaper

Ghibli Week pushes forward with a fun freebie. I’ve whipped up an autumn-flavored, geometric Ghibli wallpaper. The battle cry of the people is, “GIMME GHIBLI!” Don’t see your size below? Leave a comment! Thanks to hyung86 on DeviantArt for the drawings of the Studio Ghibli characters.

Samsung Galaxy S4 1080×1920
iPhone 4/S 640×960
iPhone 5 640×1136
Nokia Lumia 480×800
iPhone/Blackberry/Motorola RAZR 240×320
Facebook cover photo
Desktop 2880×1880
Desktop 1600×1200

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Ghibli Week: 4 Epic Studio Ghibli Cosplays

The Secret World of Arrietty

Arrietty Studio Ghibli Cosplay

Arrietty Studio Ghibli Cosplay
Amazing cosplay of Arrietty from The Secret World of Arrietty, by Yuuri-k. I could just put her in my pocket! I can’t get over the detail of her hair clip!

Howl's Moving Castle

Howl and Sophie

Howl's Moving Castle Studio Ghibli Cosplay

Howl's Moving Castle Studio Ghibli Cosplay
What a spot on Howl’s Moving Castle cosplay! Howl and Sophie are performed by Feeracie and Trust Our World Now.

Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke Cosplay Studio Ghibli

Princess Mononoke Studio Ghibli Cosplay
This Princess Mononoke is perfection! San is modeled by Lovely Orange.

Ponyo Studio Ghibli

Fujimoto and Granmamere

Ponyo Granmamere and Fujimoto Studio Ghibli Cosplay

Ponyo Granmamere Cosplay Studio Ghibli

Alita b Angel and Arlo Arleh had the balls to do an underwater photo shoot for the role of Fujimoto and Granmamere from Ponyo. Talk about getting into the role! I don’t imagine I could ever look so beautiful underwater!

Ponyo cosplay

And I guess I should include one of myself doing Ponyo. She is absolutely my favorite Ghibli character and movie. I love her crazy spirit, and I am sure if I wasn’t a vegetarian, I’d eat ham too :3 Makes me wish I’d done a professional photo shoot, compared to all these other amazing cosplayers!


Post a comment with your favorite Studio Ghibili cosplay that you’ve seen!

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