Blogging has become a tough business, particularly in popular niches like make money online or credit cards.
If you are blogging in a crowded niche, it can seem impossible for your blog to rise above the noise and make an impact. This isn’t necessarily so, and we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you get your blog noticed.
Nothing worthwhile happens overnight. Chris Guillebeau and the Art of Non-Conformity took nearly a year of constant effort to become “an overnight success.” Some blogs take even longer, especially in a popular niche.
If you believe in what you are offering, and honestly want to help people, success will come. It will be tempting to shift gears when things do not work out immediately. Remain committed and disciplined, and don’t slack off.
Focus on the needs of your target audience
Many bloggers make their blogs about themselves. This is fine if your blog exists to chronicle your life to your friends and family (or if you’re Brad Pitt). However, if you intend your blog to appeal to a wider audience, then you need to be quite specific about who you are trying to reach and what their needs are, and make sure that every word you write addresses these needs.
Marketers (and you are a marketer) learn as much about their target market as they can. They know their age, geographical location, gender, household income, educational attainment, and the brand of cereal they prefer. You’ll need to approximate this as best you can for your audience.
A great way to do this is to develop knowledge of your blogging ecosystem – the network of blogs in your niche. Think of it as your neighborhood. If you get to know these bloggers, and comment on their posts and contribute guest posts, you will not only be spreading your name around, but you’ll be learning more about your target audience. Case Western Reserve tells budding bloggers to join blog networks and submit posts to meta-blogs in order to reach more niche readers. Depending on your niche, this might be a great way to get included in weekly roundups or lists of important blogs.
Focus on quality
Probably the best piece of advice I can give is to focus on creating useful, high quality articles, posts, tweets, and paid content. In any crowded niche, there are literally thousands of craptacular blogs populated by keyword-stuffed content and spun posts. Google is constantly working on ways to lower the ranking of these sites, and hopefully, they will one day disappear.
By developing a reputation for quality, you’ll make it more likely that readers will come back, other bloggers will accept guest posts, or post for you, and that you might get mainstream media attention for your blog. You’ll be delivering a solid product that you can be proud of.
You also need to provide the best customer experience possible. Even if you’re not selling anything, it’s important to think of your readers as customers.
- Reply to every comment left on your blog.
- Respond promptly and engagingly to emails and questions.
- Follow readers back to their own blogs and leave comments there.
- Link to other bloggers’ content and share it on social networks.
- Thank your readers profusely and always help them out.
- Offer favors freely and return each one you are granted.
Seth Godin encourages people to be Purple Cows – extraordinary, unique, game changers – in whatever they do. This philosophy is very important for bloggers. If you follow the same recipe as everyone else, your blog will never be different and never rise above mediocrity.
Come up with something different and people will remember it. If you can couple that with persistence, quality, and a great experience – why, you might just have something, then.
Whatever niche you’re blogging in, try and remember that there’s always room for a better blog in it. Stick to your guns, create quality content, and success will come. Welcome to the world of competitive blogging, we hope to see you around.
If you’re a successful blogger in a competitive niche, we’d love to hear your advice in the comments!