Over the years, I've found a great deal of success through my blogging efforts, whether with my Poetic Asides blog on poetry or my more personal My Name Is Not Bob blog. Those efforts have led to freelance opportunities, recognition, and more. I've created an 8-part series of posts on better blogging for writers that will run through the end of the month on There Are No Rules.
Create a Niche for Your Blog
Perhaps the most important part of finding success blogging is figuring out the niche your blog will cover. This can evolve over time, but having a decent idea of your blog's focus will help you figure out important elements of your blog, such as:
- Name of the blog. For my Poetic Asides blog, I knew it would cover poetry coming in to the game--so the blog has an appropriately "poetic" title. With my personal blog, I went personal (and silly) with the My Name Is Not Bob title. Both blogs have evolved over time, but I had an idea of my niche getting started.
- Content for the blog. If you know your niche, then it helps you with creating content--and helps your potential audience with knowing what content to expect. In the case of Poetic Asides, I didn't know all my specific posts yet, but I knew I was going to cover poetry.
- Design for the blog. The design for a blog aimed at children is bound to be different than a design targeting adult professionals. In fact, speaking of adult professionals, the design for a blog on law is bound to differ from the design for a blog on automotive maintenance or sports.
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Benefits of Creating a Niche for Your Blog
As mentioned above, creating a niche for a blog has many intrinsic benefits for the blogger. It helps with naming the blog, designing the blog, and creating content for the blog. That's all great stuff for the blogger, but all that benefits potential readers too.
The most successful bloggers create a community of readers who are "regulars." A regular is a reader who shows up regularly to read content on the subject. Of course, successful bloggers are constantly trying to increase their audience and find new readers, but regulars are the backbone of a successful blog. The best way to gain regulars is through excellent content and focus.
In turn, having a niche--or a focus--makes it that much easier for bloggers to provide quality content for their readers. But niche can be more than the subject matter; it can also be related to voice and treatment of content. All of this is tied into developing your niche, which will evolve and find its focus over time.
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer's Digest Writing Community, which includes editing Writer's Market and Poet's Market. He regularly blogs at the Poetic Asides blog and writes a poetry column for Writer's Digest magazine. He also leads online education, speaks on writing and publishing at events around the country, and does other fun writing-related stuff.
A published poet, he's the author of Solving the World's Problems (Press 53) and a former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere.
Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.