Do you need a blog for your business? Yep. Why? Because blogging works. But there’s one catch here that most people don’t seem to grab hold of when they first start blogging. I didn’t get it at first either.
If you’re going to launch a blog that you’ll be running yourself, you should definitely, without a doubt, FOR SURE…
Blogging is one of the most effective, affordable, and profitable marketing tools a small, new, or bootstrapping business can use to make money. But blogging and creating content for the web is time-consuming. And if that isn’t your primary business, you can end up putting in a lot of work then questioning whether your efforts are really worth it.
There are about a billion digital properties currently online, each fighting for the attention of two billion Internet users. That means you have to find a way to rise above the noise.
A great strategy to implement if you’re going to start blogging to promote your business is to focus your attention on specific topic. Try to appeal to just a segment of your target audience and provide them with information about the things they want to know about.
In his book, The Longer Long Tail, Chris Anderson talks extensively about focusing on selling greater quantities of product to a smaller segment of your target audience.
Uh-huh. How does that translate into blog content?
I’ll tell you.
First, let’s get the obvious hiccup out of the way: The narrower your topic, the better your chances of getting found for your specific area of expertise. But it’s also true that the narrower your topic, the smaller your audience.
That’s not a bad thing though.
Let’s say you run a nursery with lots of greenery, flowers and gardening tools. You may be tempted to blog about all things green in an effort to attract the widest audience. There are several challenges you face by going this route.
First, you’re not going to be able to turn out enough content to meet everyone’s need unless you hire a team of writers. And contrary to popular belief, great writers ain’t cheap.
The second challenge you will face is that going wide puts you in a position where you’re competing online with everybody from HGTV to The Huffington Post, both of whom occasionally publish content about plants.
If you “niche-down” your blog (that is, narrow your focus), you may decide to zero in on creating content that helps novices develop a green thumb, for instance. You will be targeting a smaller audience, but you will have a better chance of getting and keeping their attention. You could blog about topics like:
- Which plants are the safest indoor plants for pet owners
- How to quickly grow tropical plants
- When to re-pot your spider plant
- How to recognize poison ivy from a mile away
- Fifteen edible plants to plant in your yard
- Six edible plants that you can grow in your apartment
By only targeting new gardeners, and plant lovers who have special circumstances like living in apartments or raising small children, you can draw droves of potential customers who may have a hard time finding what they are looking for on larger sites that publish masses of content on every aspect of your industry, but not enough content on the topics that specifically appeal to them.
Just think about it: If you’re a novice at something, you do want information, but what you’re really looking for is guidance. You want a step-by-step plan to accomplish what you want to accomplish.
When you are trying to grow your business with a blog or use blogging to position yourself as an expert, your best strategy is to be very specific about who you’re talking to, and use the momentum you create to build a loyal and growing following of a very particular type of customer.
By the way, search engines love good blogs on specific topics. She whom the Great Search Engines loveth, gets the first of the traffic.