The blog is up and running for several years, but I haven’t told here yet how it started. Today’s post is different, I hope you’ll spare some time to read.
Finding the niche I love.
A little bit of back story: I’ve been blogging for more than a decade now and my first website is a personal blog. I’ve got no definite niche that time since in a personal blog I can discuss almost anything under the sun.
If I remember it right, it was 2014 when my wife and I went to a mall to celebrate my birthday and as we go window shopping, I saw this plastic model kit which and I really wanted to have it when I saw it online. My wife knew that I like to have one because I talk about it all the time so she bought it for me as a birthday gift.
When we got home, I immediately assembled the model kit, I explored its articulation as I play it with different poses, and even do some photoshoot. That night an idea came to me and I decided, “this will be my blog’s new niche!”
I registered a domain, I named it CustoMecha (obviously), a name derived from Custom (customization) and Mecha (mechanical), something related to robot and mechanisms. After all was set including the website’s layout and settings I proceed with setting up a Facebook Page. But before that…
I first joined a local hobbyist and collectors group, I introduced them to my website and shared to them what my goal is. I told them that I would like my blog to become a channel wherein I can showcase remodeling, painting and customized builds of different modelers locally and even from other countries. The group was so accommodating and the members there contributed to attain my initial goal. The response is unbelievable, at first I need to send them direct messages that I am interested to feature their works but as time goes by there are many modelers that voluntarily sent their project details to me via e-mail.
Weeks go by and I thought of extending reach to more modelers so I decided to put up my own Facebook Group, but this time it will not only focus on the local modelers but also to other modelers from other countries. The CustoMecha group was formed and currently there approximately 2,000 members composed of modelers and collectors with different nationalities.
I can still remember the first time I held a group-exclusive contest, my jaw dropped as I see contest entries sent to me. I was very thankful to those who participated that time and to the well-known modelers who took time to be the judges. We even managed to make another contest the following year!
Speaking of contests, I also experienced being one of the judges on different local group competitions. I was really flattered every time someone would send me a message requesting if I can be one of their guest judge. For me, that is a very important milestone as a blogger and hobbyist at the same time. People put their trust on you, not because of popularity but because you are reliable in the field. It is undoubtedly one of the most memorable moments.
When I started customizing kits…
To be an effective blogger in this kind of niche, it is best if you experience not only assembling but also other aspects on the process of building. Since I’ve got my first kit, I know that I won’t just stick to just collecting and assembling the next ones with a simple “out-of-the-box” way. OOTB (Out of the box) is simply about assembling the kit following the instruction manual. I wanted to learn how to customize my own kits, from clean paint jobs up to weathering and detailing. I realize that techniques and customization preference varies from modeler to modeler.
This hobby also taught me that different customization needs different skill sets as well as the use of proper tools. I will talk about that on a different post, actually I already have discussed that in one of my YouTube videos but it’s in Tagalog language.
On Social Media
Still a long way to go… As mentioned earlier, the Facebook Group approximately has 2,000 members, Facebook Page has 5,500+ followers, and Pinterest Page has 5,500+ followers. Just last year I joined other social media platforms such as Instagram.
Other well-known modelers and webmasters before me have higher statistics compare to what I have now but a blog with a specific niche which only few people can appreciate and relate to, I can proudly say that I’m happy with what I currently attain. As one of my favorite inspirational speakers say, “do not base your worth with the number of subscribers or followers you have, it’s doing what you love that matters.”