Sometimes, I forget that the whole world hasn’t been blogging for years like I have.
I know that sounds incredibly arrogant, but I think we all get wrapped up in our own worlds at times. We forget that others haven’t had the same experiences that we’ve had. And, we forget that others might not understand some of the things we take for granted.
Last week, I wrote a post about how to incorporate content for all education levels on your blog. But maybe “how can I please everyone?” isn’t the right question to ask. Instead, maybe we should be asking is “should I be trying to please everyone?”, which is a question that would normally get a resounding, “NO!” from me. When talking about niche, the advice I’ve heard time and time again is that it makes sense to focus. It’s advice that resonates with me, advice that I’ve seen work (and others have too). I’ve even written about choosing a great niche.
Focusing on one niche, however, means that you write about a single topic, rather than writing about kite-surfing and your kids and fashion and tech news and politics all on one blog, which rarely works. What I’m wondering, is should you focus on one education level?
In some niches, this isn’t a question that needs to be asked. For example, on my food blog, education level isn’t a huge deal. Some beginners want to challenges themselves in the kitchen. And even the most experience chef can appreciate a quick and easy meal as long as it is tasty. But here on the NMX blog, there’s a bigger divide between the beginner and the pro. While I can create content for people at all experience levels, should I?
What about on your blog? Would you better serve a specific audience if you stop creating content for beginners? Or vice versa, if you stopped creating content for more advanced readers and instead focused just on beginners.
The Advantages of Reaching All Experience Levels
Here at the NMX blog, we do write for all experience levels, and there are several reasons we will be continuing to do this:
- Reaching a Wide Customer Base: Our end game is to promote an event, where the target market is comprised of everyone from people who just started a blog yesterday to people who have been doing this for over a decade. So, our blog need to reflect this. Who is your target market?
- Hooking the Newbies: Writing for all levels allows us to pull in people who are just getting started. They’ll find the beginner content helpful and know that they can grow with our blog by bookmarking the more advanced posts to read later.
- Keeping People Interested: Speaking of growth, because we have content for all levels, people don’t outgrow our blog and move on to other blogs.
- Enjoying Flexibility: Writing for all educational levels also allows us to have more flexibility to write about topics that inspire us. We also publish lots of guest posts from our speakers and community members, so covering a broad spectrum allows up to work more easily with people who are interested in contributing.
- Teaching New Skills to “Experts”: It’s no secret that I don’t love the term “expert” – and while my disdain for this word comes mostly from people who call themselves experts when they’re not, I also don’t often use that term because in this new media world, everyone has something to learn. Someone who has been blogging for ten years might know NOTHING about Pinterest and learn something by one of my beginner posts on the topic.
I like that our blog and our conference has such a wide appeal, though it does pose a few challenges as I manage the schedule here on the NMX blog.
The Advantages of Creating Content for One Experience Level
Let’s take a look at a few reasons why you might want to specialize by creating content for a specific experience level:
- Defining Your Market: It’s easier to define exactly whom your blog is for when you specify an education level, and once you define your target market, you can more easily promote your content to those people.
- Optimizing for Search Engines: If you’re creating content just for beginners (or pros), you can optimize your posts to be found by these people via search engines. That’s a bit harder to do when you’re creating content for a wider range of people.
- Focusing: Sometimes, I feel scattered and unfocused when I’m creating content. When you’re blogging for a specific education level, it’s a little easier to stay organized.
- Leading to Affiliate Products: Just because you only create content for one experience level doesn’t mean you can’t sell to everyone else. If a beginner lands on your advanced post, point them to a product perfect for beginners (or vice versa). You can make a lot of money with affiliate products if you’re smart about it!
- Building a Community: Word spreads when your content is exactly what someone needs, so by specializing, you can often more easily build a community around your content. Even if people outgrow it, they’ll still promote you to others who could learn from your content.
So which choice is right for your blog? I think there’s a valid argument for both “for” and “against” in this case. It really depends on your specific goals and your niche.
Do you create content all experience levels on your blog? Or do you focus your content?