Thanks for the input and advice.LONG POST BELOW.
I’ve already decided not to sweat the credits. No wonder we get 50 of them to start.
I’ve been working with an outplacement counselor for a little while on trying to figuring out what I want to do during retirement. Her deadline would be the only one figuring into my niche search. If I can’t find my path by her drop-dead date, so be it. I can’t rush my niche exploration.About my hobbies and the “as art” concepts…
I don’t have any hobbies that are book art or cake art related, though I did take a 1 1/2 hour folded book art class this summer. As a teenager, I made a few beaded items, but did a lot of (stamped) embroidery and crewel kits. As an adult, I’ve made a number of twisted paper gift boxes. I’ve also done some clothes sewing, machine embroidery, and stained glass over the years, but couldn’t devote a lot of time to any of these hobbies because of working full time.
I’ve thought about the “cakes as art” concept some more and realized that not making the cakes myself would be the true kiss-of-death. I will drop it. The fascination was more about the wow-factor of the finished products, anyway.
I don’t think any umbrella term will work as a seed word for what I’m after with the “books as art” concept. Folks would search for each of the individual kinds of art. They would only look for the umbrella term, IF they’re looking to find out art genre those individual arts belong to. They would just search for folded book art, cut and fold book art, and pop up book art, altered book art, etc., or description terms like diy book art, simple book art, and easy book art, etc.
I guess “book art” might be the best seed word/umbrella word after all, even though a Google search showed me the top search result matches were actually books about art. I avoided using “book art”, because of this very fact. I did have luck Googling what I was looking for under derivations of book art—see the previous paragraph—so I should see folded book art, cut and fold book art, pop up book art, altered book art, diy book art, simple book art, and easy book art come back in BI as associated keywords.
The light bulb has come on! Yeah!
I will try “book art” and see how the numbers roll. I will still research the art world genre to confirm that the keywords above cover the range of the most common forms I would need to cover. As suggested, I will also need to keep in mind alternate terms such as "books as sculpture" and survey others to find out what they would search for and what terms they would use.
I just spent a little time looking for high-end/expensive folded book art. All I see are instructions, patterns, articles about artists, and some vendors, the same results like Googling the other keywords. Because these are affordable to make, just time consuming, vendors seem to be a dime-a-dozen with average cost $50 – $65, except for custom orders. Amazon has some very nice ones that are better than average for up to $125. That might be as high-end as it gets, unless I contact some of the artists who create those out-of-the-world pieces advertised in some of the online articles I found. Because developing affiliate relationships I would potentially break later on if deciding to go into business for myself would be awkward, I could just become an Amazon affiliate and avoid this situation entirely.
Taking a step back for a moment, I’m confident that I could conquer making book art easily enough and do justice to instructing others via my website. My first 2 creations turned out pretty good and what you can make is just so cool. As for becoming head-over-heels passionate, I’m a newbie looking to become a book art expert, so only time will tell.About leveraging my former employers’ lines of business, my software engineer career, and my other passions …
Most of my former employers provide specialized systems and/or services to other businesses while the very last one facilitates stem cell transplants. Nothing really there to piggy-back off of.
I still love writing software and getting code to jump through hoops to create programs. I’m all for helping people by automating procedures and processes. I can’t consult, because the programming languages I know pre-date those in current use. I can’t even write the next killer app without retooling.
There really aren’t any software and/or engineering areas where I’m considered an expert, so that’s out.
I love the interviewing, research, thinking, problem solving, and coding parts of being a software engineer. My counselor suggested Internet researcher, “expert”/consultant, fact checker, and travel planner, which don’t appeal to me, are a little too intense, and are an awful lot like a regular, stressful 9-to-5 job.
My underlying strengths are facilitation, organization, research, analysis, and problem solving. In another life, I would’ve been a professional organizer. None of these really lend themselves to an online business, except for professional organizer, which would require a certification to be taken seriously and seems to be a saturated field online.
Human beings are important to me in a number of different ways. Collaboration is refreshing and energizing to me. I’m driven to accomplish, to connect with others, and to help others. I believe my best avenues for doing these things and feeling fulfillment will be off the Internet. I think it would be more gratifying for me to help people I know, help out at church, find meaning in supporting a cause that speaks to me, or solve a problem bigger than myself by collaborating with others. I think I need to feel that I’m making a difference somewhere.
Some of my other passions are dance-related. I’ve did BIs on flash mobs (-all-out impromptu fun-), folk dances, and folk dancing (Serbian or “Balkan”), but there just don’t seem to be a lot of people looking for those kinds of things. It would also be hard to make money in those areas.
My all-too-evident everyday passions are a fascination with cool-looking things (think photos, cakes, book art, and extrapolate from there), reading human interest stories, and reading articles about new technology. I was hoping to capitalize on the time I’m already spending on these fascinations by making them my online business, but I think my website would just end up being a news feed of other news feeds and would require constant updating. Also, I can’t think of a way to add meaningful content, much less monetize to my advantage.In summary and in closing…
I will BI with “book art” and see where that takes me.
I will also take the keys points in the “leveraging” section and put them into a post in the Finding Your Niche forum to see if someone has any ideas about niche-ing my everyday passions.
I am considering this post as 100% successful.THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE TIME YOU SPENT ON MY BEHALF, IN READING THIS THREAD AND REPLYING.
YOU GUYS ARE MOST AWESOME AND INSPIRING!
Look for me in the future. I plan on paying your kindness forward.