I was asked a question, via email, where the friend told me how serious he was about blogging. He told me how he has already selected the niche (because he knew he had some solid corporate experience in that ‘corporate’ niche) and how he was now confused on how to go about blogging on his topic. The important bit of his question was:
The difficulty I’m facing at this moment is what topics to choose to write despite the fact that they are thousands of websites already available? Can you please guide me how and what should be my approach step by step. These days I have time to develop my online business…
First, he has one thing going for him and that is ‘niche selection’. He has already identified his niche, his ‘area of focus’ for his blog. And on top of that he has based it on something that he already has knowledge about, so that will be less ‘work’ for him in the long run.
And he raises a very valid question; how can I blog successfully about a topic that is so commonly blogged about?
The answer is simple. That does not mean it is easy. In fact, it is the hardest thing you would probably have to do, and continue to do, to succeed in blogging. What you have to do is be different. Yes, that’s it. Differentiate your blog from all the others and you will get noticed. Getting noticed is exactly equal to more traffic coming to your blog.
Do you drink Coke or Pepsi? Or it doesn’t matter? Both these companies operate in the exact same niche, they have the exact same customers, so they have to be somehow different from the ‘other brand’ to ‘get noticed’.
Consider a blog by the name of Viper Chill. The blog topic is very, very competitive i.e. internet marketing. And how is the blog different? Little things, for example, the length of the post/article. The writing style is also very casual, and each article is packed with usable information. You as a reader can easily see that a lot of time has been put in writing and compiling the posts, and that in itself sets the blog apart from other internet marketing blogs.
How can you be different in your niche? Well, that only you can answer. For example, start podcasting on your blog. Can your blog be better off if you make different videos and put them online? How about using a tool that not many blogs in your niche use, such as Facebook Connect etc? Maybe you can ‘differentiate’ by being very open about yourself, or if your niche has a lot of blogs with textual articles, you can maybe use info-graphics? Of course, the possibilities on ‘how to be different’ are quite endless, and that is why it is important to Listen to your market.
Differentiate & Listen
When you try out new techniques on your blog, to set it apart from the rest, always ‘ask’ your readers what they think. If the readers of your blog like one technique over the other, then of course, use that technique (your readers may respond and interact more to your podcasts than your video posts, for example).
“But hardly anyone visits my blog, so why bother asking a handful of people?” you may ask. I can ask, “maybe that is why you blog is not visited by many, because you do not care?”. 🙂
The right attitude to have, I think, is that you respond to each and every comment your blog posts get, and pay attention to each and every feedback you get, because you may ‘own’ your blog, but it is the readers of the blog who should define it.