Do you participate in #blogchat? Every week, this weekly discussion on Twitter focuses on a specific topic and bloggers everywhere are invited to join in. Because I often have more to say than what will fit in 140 characters, every Sunday night, I post about some of the most interesting #blogchat tweets. Join the conversation by commenting below.
(Still confused? Read more about #blogchat here.)
This week’s theme: Generating interest in your NEW blog
One of the most interesting #blogchat quotes I’ve read this week was from @CatsEye Writer about the topic of your blog, which plays a big part in building your online community.
CatsEyeWriter: New blog? Don’t be afraid to “nichify.” Your right people will find you.
I love this tweet in part because I make up words all the time and in part because it’s really solid advice that I feel like most bloggers get wrong.
A few months ago, I offered free freelance writing consulting on my blog, After Graduation. Of the people who signed up, 90% of them wanted to talk about their blog ideas, either for existing blogs or blogs they were thinking about creating. I found myself saying one thing more than anything else:
Let’s say you start out with a personal blog where you just talk about whatever topic pops into your head. It’s about as far from “nichified” as possible. Unless you’re a celebrity or there’s some other force bringing your readers together to like you, how can you market that blog? You don’t have an average reader. You aren’t solving a problem. Chances are that you aren’t even being entertaining – at least not to every reader with every post. Reader A might like Post #1 but not Post #2. Reader B might like Post #2 but not Post #1. Because only the occasional post is relevant, no one subscribes or makes an effort to support your blog in any way.
So let’s say you “nichify” a bit by deciding that you’re going to write about parenting. That’s a huge niche. Again, you don’t really have an average reader. Because you’re so general, your posts are going to initially attract all kinds of parents. But Reader A is a young, new mother from the Midwest who is interested in your budget tips for parents, while Reader B is an experienced father from New York City who wants tips on helping his child choose a college and Reader C is a couple dealing with a child with autism. If you’re trying to write to all of them, your posts are going to be watered down and not convert. You can’t build a community if there’s nothing to bring them together.
Don’t be afraid to really find your niche. While there are more general parents than parents with children who have autism, if you write for Reader C specifically, your people will find you – and they’ll stick around.
So, as @CatsEyeWriter says, don’t be afraid to “nichify.” It’s better to have a small, dedicated readership than it is to have a million hits a day with no community. A dedicated readership that becomes a community is the key to building traffic and making sales, and that starts with defining your niche.