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.
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!
- Blog Commenting Vs. Forum Posting (marketersdaily.com)
- How To Find Your Voice and Get Heard In The Blogosphere (johnchow.com)
- 4 Tips for Landing a Solid Guest Blogging Spot (searchenginepeople.com)
- What’s the State of Your Blogosphere? (blogworld.com)