There are more than 150 million blogs on the Internet. And with a new blog created every half second, that’s an incredible amount of blogs.
So how are you going to get noticed? It starts with defining what your blog is about. You want to make sure your readers immediately understand what your blog is about. If this is clear, they know whether or not your blog is something they’re interested in, and they are much more likely to stick around, subscribe to your blog, and come back for more.
So let’s look at 4 things you absolutely need to nail before you launch your blog into the crowded and noisy Internet.
What is a niche? In the blogging world, a niche is a specific position you take on a general topic.
- For example, a blog topic might be home decor. The niche would be painting and antiquing home furniture. See how that works?
A niche makes you stand out. There might be hundreds of thousands of blogs on home decor. Ouch. That’s a tough market to get yourself noticed. But let’s say there are only 100 blogs on painting and antiquing home furniture. That’s a lot easier to get noticed!
A niche also poses you as an expert. A blog about home decor makes you generally knowledgeable about home decor. A blog about painting and antiquing home furniture makes you an expert in a particular area. Now who would you want advice from, a generalist or an expert?
Now, I want to clear something up. I often see people thinking they need to narrow down their topic to find their niche, and they freak out because they want to write on many different things. If you fall into this category, don’t worry. There are actually 2 types of blog niches.
This is what you think it is. A blog that is solely on one topic and everything related to that topic. This could be blogging, parenting, a minimalist lifestyle, vegan food. All the posts, images, and content all relate to one topic. Your blog can become a go-to resource for that topic. But make sure to still that one thing that makes you stand out. Is your topic parenting? Great! Consider it being parenting in Ohio, or parenting on a budget, or whatever else makes you unique.
Now, on the other hand, a demographic niche is writing for a specific group of people. Lifestyle blogs fit well into this category. For example, you can have a lifestyle blog for college-aged women. You can write on different topics, like fashion, dating, exercise, studying, choosing a career, etc., but all your posts should be written in a way that they speak to college-aged women. It is still very focused, just focused on a very specific group of people rather than a topic.
Your value is what you can offer that no one else can. And it will help you stand out. I know, this can be difficult. But your difference is what will set you apart, even from the other blogs in your niche.
Think of something that makes you just a little different. What unique skills do you have? What experiences can you use that no one else can? If you’re a travel blogger, maybe you’re doing it with a family. Or maybe you want to teach something, but you focus on something rarely taught. Or perhaps it’s your personal journey that makes the way you approach your topic different. Figure out what makes you a little different. No, figure out what makes you special.
Finding a niche isn’t enough. You need to find out who is going to be interested in that topic. Knowing who your readers are is vital to a good blog. When you focus on your reader, you turn them into fans of everything you create.
Think of the types of people who are passionate about your niche or the types of people you want to interact with. What would you call them? Are they parents? Students? Perhaps they are bloggers themselves?
What types of concerns do they have that relates to your niche? It could be that they are dying to organize their life. Or they need help to create a meal planning system that works for them. What is their main issue, and can you help them solve it?
When your blog focuses on something they are passionate about and offers content that helps solve their problems, you have a blog that keeps people coming back.
You may be thinking, why does my blog need a brand? Isn’t that for large, well-known companies?
Nope. A brand isn’t just a recognizable name or a logo. Check out this quote:
“A brand is not just a logo, it’s the overall impression and experience you give to your audience and customers. You’re brand expresses your value you provide. It’s you.” —Amy Locurto
Make sense? Your logo, your title image, your website color palette, images, font… it should all work together to create one overall image. It’s this image that will represent your blog and become instantly recognizable to readers even when they’re not on your blog. It’s how you show yourself to the world.
And branding doesn’t just apply to your blog. It extends to everything else you do online, like guest posting and social media. When you fail to brand anything blog-related, you start to water down your online image.
Remember, it’s never too late to focus on the basics. If you’re reading this post and you already launched your blog, it’s OK! Follow the four steps above to re-focus your blog and add value for your readers.
If you’d like help really defining your blog and getting set up right, check out Plan, Build, Launch! Get Your Successful Blog Up in 30 Days or Less. It’s a new course that will walk you through step-by-step how to plan, build and launch your blog. We’re covering everything, from finding out what will make you stand out, to building your website (including lessons from Sarah herself!) to launching it to get the most attention. Find out more about Plan, Build, Launch! here.