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3 Ways to Build Your Blog’s Niche Audience

06 Feb
Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

This month on Digital 411 we are talking about blogging. On the first episode — of four total — we started at the beginning. My guests, Elijah R. Young, co-founder of Social Talk Live and Sarah Storer AKA The Naked Red Head offered a tremendous amount of information for beginners and seasoned bloggers alike.

I really enjoyed our conversation about cultivating a niche audience, so I’m sharing some of our insights here.

Guest Post

So, you’re thinking about starting your own blog, awesome! Now, you’re asking yourself: How do I generate a niche audience? Consider writing guest posts for other blogs. Since a big aspect to keeping a blog alive is fresh content on a regular basis, bloggers are always looking for strategies to make that happen and guest posts can be a win-win for everyone.

Find a few blogs that cover topics related to what you are considering as a niche topic. Once you’ve found 2 or 3 that might work, review their content for fit. Next, come up with 1 or 2 article ideas that you feel comfortable and capable writing. THEN reach out to the author.

Although you may have dreams of starting the next Technorati or ProBlogger — consider a blog that is a little smaller. My educated guess is: The author may be less likely to turn you down because they aren’t inundated with requests.

Pitching a story is not that difficult, but you want to be sure to pitch to the right venue and provide the author a couple of options, since you don’t know what their content-publication schedule.

If things work out well, you may find yourself with a regular guest posting gig. This is great because now you are building an audience that is familiar with you and the topics you write about. When you start you’re own blog, you are giving people more of what they want and are familiar with. As an FYI: I’m open to guest posts, feel free to contact me by email =)

Comment on Other Blogs

If you’re goal is to build or develop a personal brand for yourself on a particular set of topics, then commenting on other blogs is a great strategy. Also, if you want to develop a niche topic — it’s very important to know the other blogs that cover topics similar to what you’re covering. This means reading and reviewing those sites regularly.

In “A Major Revitalization with Blog Commenting & Its Best Benefit,” Melvin identifies some great reasons to be an active blog commenter — here are a few.

  • Get some awareness from the blog community — Tell the blogosphere “hey I started a new blog, welcome me!”
  • Get more traffic — This is mostly the point of blog commenting. So, even if you’re the 99th person to comment, go ahead an leave your thoughts or question.
  • Show appreciation to bloggers who comment — In the blogosphere, the “give and take” relationship is practiced considerably. And when someone comments on a site, there’s a good chance that the author(s) will check out that blogger. And, if their content is compelling enough, they will comment back.

Interact with Readers

Although it sounds simple, it’s not a practice used by every blogger and Sarah Storer AKA The Naked Red Head, takes this strategy seriously. I really liked some some of the suggestions she offers to engage readers and build a community around her Royal Nakedness!

  • Offline Meetups: There’s so much value to interacting with your readers offline — it cannot be underestimated. Of course, it’s flattering for you — the blogger — but it’s also flattering for your readers. It really gets at developing a community around your blog. Keep in mind, people talk, and are likely to spread the word that you’re an engaged blogger that really values your readers and makes that known.
  • Skype Conversations: Sarah said something she has enjoys doing when her readers are displaced geographically is to have Skype meetups. In an effort to not only learn what they enjoy and would like to hear more about, but just to get to know her readers better as individuals with thoughts and ideas that are valuable. I really like this idea and plan to incorporate it more in my own work and you can too. Thanks Sarah!
  • Social Media Engagement (Twitter and Facebook): Although it’s not technically “on your blog,” interacting with your readers using some other social media channels can help build a niche audience too. Think about it this way — the conversation is public —  so friends and associates of those you are talking to can see what’s happening and are more likely to check out your blog to see what all the fuss is about. Just remember to be authentic, thank them when ever they provide a shout or promote your articles, and try to be engaging or solicit feedback. This is a great way to acknowledge your key supporters!

There’s so much to be said about blogging and we are just scratching the surface. What strategies can you offer the novice blogger about audiences, content, subscribers or otherwise? Leave them in the comments section below. I’d love to include them in the next episode of Digital 411

As you can see from this brief snapshot — we cover a lot of ground on Digital 411.I invite you to listen live Saturdays, 10am on Talktainmentradio.com. (also, you can access previous podcasts at this link). As an added bonus we love to have callers (1877-932-9766) and give away promos too!

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6 Comments

Posted by on February 6, 2011 in blog, Networking, social media

 

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6 responses to “3 Ways to Build Your Blog’s Niche Audience

  1. Jacob Stoops

    February 11, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Great post. I agree. Commenting on other people’s blogs is a great way to begin to develop a relationship with a blogger who may be in a certain niche – and could lead to a guest post opportunity. Also, having an engaged level of interaction is a must in terms of developing trust with your readers and getting them to come back for more.

     
    • Erika Pryor

      February 11, 2011 at 6:50 pm

      Thanks for the compliment Jacob! I think commenting is great, but I read an interesting piece called, “The Dark Side of Twitter” which is less about Twitter and more about this idea of “social writing.” An interesting piece because it highlights how blogging and commenting more specifically have created this space of collective writing — enhanced interaction between author and reader. I’m feeling a little more motivated to keep the New Year’s Resolution to comment more when I think of it from that perspective. Frequently people just comment to comment — and that’s not doing much. Thanks so much for reading and your feedback.

       
  2. tonnishaenglish

    February 7, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    This post really gave me insight to make my own blog better! I love it!

     
    • Erika Pryor

      February 9, 2011 at 4:38 am

      Thanks so much for reading Tonnisha! I’m so glad this piece was insightful. I had a great time talking with the guest co-host on Digital 411. Elijah R. Young and Sarah Storer are so smart. Be sure to check out their sites for additional blogging information.

       
  3. Tom Lillis IV

    February 6, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Very nice introductory to the “blogging idea”. This post puts into one entry what could be done in a 10 week course (so don’t pay for one – read this blog instead!)

    One addendum for the “Interact with Readers” section. Depending on the cast and topic of your blog you may wish to create Skype and Facebook identities separate from your personal accounts. If your niche is British Politics then tweets that you are at Woodside Tavern are probably TMI. If your niche is Cancer/Heart Surgery Survivor then it’s likely germane (and if you do both: CLEAR OFF! That’s my territory! 🙂

     
    • Erika Pryor

      February 6, 2011 at 12:17 pm

      Thanks for your feedback Tom. I’m so glad you found the post useful. I agree with your suggestion to create multiple Skype accounts to keep things easily distinguishable. For some that’s an important thing consider. Thanks for reading and subscribing!

       

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