Finding your niche is the key to your blogging success – the foundations if you like. Build a house on sand and before long, it’ll soon start to present you with all sorts of problems.
My wife won’t mind me telling you this, but for her, our wedding day sucked. After all the stress of preparing, she couldn’t relax at all. Why? Well, she was trying to keep everyone happy for the entire day. Eventually, exhausted, she flopped into a chair around a table of her closest friends. For the next hour or two, she did nothing apart from devote her time to the ones who knew her best. And that’s where she (and her friends) got the most out of the day. Of course, some of the people who weren’t sat around the table moaned that the coffee didn’t arrive on time, or that the music was too loud. But hey – they had gobbled down a free lunch so who were they to moan?
My point is this: don’t try and keep everyone happy. It will never work.
That’s rule No1. What you are after is a NICHE.
I’ll say that again because it is so important – What you are after is a NICHE.
Let’s have a little experiment. Get a pen and paper. Go on. I’ll wait.
Now. Let’s pretend that you’re considering setting up a blog that covers motor sports. I want you to write down everything that you can think of that’s related to motor sports. Everything and anything. Set yourself a limit of five minutes and then come back to me.
I guarantee you that whatever you’ve written down covers less than 5% of ALL motor sports, probably less than that. I’m a huge fan of drag racing – which is classed as a motor sport (0-100mph in less than one second; 0-300mph in just 3-4 seconds – what’s not to like?) Yet, when I sit down to find some drag racing on TV, I’ll click into Motor Sports and find myself faced with F1, F2, F3, tractor racing, motocross, speed boating, banger racing – the list goes on and on. Do you think I can find drag racing? No. You see my point? If you set up a blog about motor sports, those who want to find your blog via Google will have no idea where to start. How is your target audience supposed to find you?
So, if you were setting up a blog for motor sport, you’re going to need to think a bit cleverer than that. What’s your angle? Is it for people trying to get into motorsport? Is it a page celebrating the history of the British motor racing? Is it about the safety of motor sport? Whatever it is, the smaller the better – a microniche if you like. I’ll write that in bold so you don’t miss it.
Rule Two: The smaller your niche, the better. A microniche if you like.
Sounds stupid right? Wrong. I’ve set up blogs that are so all-encompassing, that I have no idea where to start and walked away from it before I have even started.
WalesOnCraic’s niche is the people of Wales. Narrow that down further and I guess you could nail it as a ‘spoof Welsh news blog’ – I don’t know of any other ‘spoof Welsh news blogs’ although I’m sure one day, someone will set another one up. Ideally, I could narrow my niche down even further to Welsh cities – CardiffOnCraic, SwanseaOnCraic and so on – they would prove uber-successful. Sadly, I simply don’t have the time as the success of WalesOnCraic has opened new doors for me.
You may find that you set up several blogs before you find the one that really works. By experimenting, you can then figure out what works and what doesn’t work. Before WalesOnCraic, I had several attempts at something similar before I discovered what people loved sharing, especially on Weathersheep. It’s where I honed my skills.
If someone criticises or dislikes your post, simply consider them as outside your target audience. These are the people who complained about the coffee arriving late at my wedding. I’m sure they’ve forgotten about it (I haven’t!) but ultimately, they are important to you because you are learning what works and what doesn’t. You can then focus on being good at the things that do work.