By the way I’m not talking here about niche blogs in the marketing sense ( ie slap up 10 posts in a targeted niche, monetise it, drive traffic, rinse and repeat). I’m talking about blogs where you are building a reputation, authority and expert status.
So I’ve been looking into improving that situation and here is what I have found.
1. Have a theme or purpose to your blog
This is all about knowing why you are blogging in the first place.
- What are you trying to achieve?
- What message are you wanting to get out?
- What’s the point and purpose of doing it at all?
- Who are you trying to influence or help?
Like in business, nicheing your blog makes it easier for you to focus and build a site of authority, AND makes it easier for people to seek you out. The clearer you get, the better.
As an example, this blog was set up to help “the little guy” build an online business but I now realise that was way too broad. I can focus in further so I am clearer about what to post and how. With my current broad theme, my blog has become like licorice allsorts or a hotch potch blog. There’s lots of great and practical information but no pattern.
If you have a similar multi-personality blog, fear not. That can be improved. Work out your clear purpose, niche it down and start re shaping and moulding.
2. Plan out your posts ahead of time.
This achieves a few things:
- it clarifies what you will be blogging about to tie in with your purpose
- it helps you be consistent in posting, and search engines like that
- it gives structure and predictability to your blog, and people like that
In terms of 1), we’ve discussed that already.
Regarding 2), by using an editorial calendar you can decide how frequently you want to post – keep in mind this is a quasi-commitment so be realistic in how much content you think you can produce. It is better to start less frequently and increase it than intend to blog daily and find you’re struggling to fit it in.
I have attempted a daily blog challenge twice. Challenges are great for getting you on track, developing new blogging friendships and bringing in comments but it’s a big commitment to post daily.
Here’s my tip if you do it: sit down in one sitting and prepare a batch of posts for a week. Then when it comes to daily posting you’re content is done – you just notify challengers and go comment on others blogs to encourage them to comment on yours.
Decide to post weekly until you get into a rhythm and then increase to twice a week. It’s better to produce less and spend more time on building traffic and offers. Think about it: much more sensible than producing lots of content that no one ever sees!
Now, for 3) – that editorial calendar comes into its own. Map out post types for your posting cycle. So, if you are posting weekly, week one may be a video blog, week 2 – a review piece, week 3 a curated post and week 4 a tutorial.
How you theme your posting cycle is up to you but doing so makes life much easier for you, because you don’t hit a blank page thinking “what will I write about?” – you’re already focused by the theme. It helps you decide the topic. If you know you are doing a review post for example, you are now focused on what you can review.
You can also predetermine the topic for each week. If my blog is on Product Creation for example, I may post Podcasting for week 1, ebook creation for week 2, video for week 3 and product creation week 4.
Alternatively, predetermine a theme for each week – ‘lessons learned’, motivational, research review, etc.
Deciding a framework ahead of time means you’ve done half the work before starting your post. Your brain is engaged in seeking specific content so there’s time to produce a post. And your blog looks more cohesive.
Your readers like it too. Because your blog has a pattern they know what to expect. If they like what you post they are likely to come back.
And isn’t that what we’re doing this for?