Blog Writing: Don’t Narrow Your Options

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There are five types of new blogger:

  • those who know what they want to write
  • those that are writing to promote their business
  • those that are writing to promote a cause or raise an issue.
  • those that want to write a blog, but don’t know what to write
  • and people like me  who like to write, but are unfocused.

This article is the first in a series of five relating to the different types of new blogger.  It warns that even a blogging newcomer, who knows what they want to write, should consider whether the subject area, niche, is too narrow. A second consideration is for those wanting to make money with a blog is to check if the niche actually has online products that their visitors are likely to purchase.

Those who know what they want to write

This is great.  You can just set up a blog and start writing.  Take just a short time to clarify your thoughts before you really commit yourself.  A friend of mine John started writing car reviews.  He would go into a car showroom and get a test drive and then write a review.  He then did some work for a car dealer and got a few more reviews.

He enjoyed writing the articles for a time, but after about twelve he started getting a little bit frustrated.  It was getting more and more difficult to find cars to review and he was building up a realisation that his reviews were not going to be as comprehensive, or as flashy, as online reviews done by some of the motoring magazine websites.

We had a nice afternoon chatting about his problem at the lovely,Thames, riverside bar and restaurant, Hart’s Boatyard.  He wants to be a writer and blogger.  He’d done a couple of work experience, short internships at a couple of car magazines and was also doing a half day’s  experience in the PR department of the council. He was keen, but he realised that he did not want to work as a full time car journalist.  He’d like to take a car out for a test drive now and then, but not full time.

Through the talk I was aware that he really liked gadgets, such as satnavs, music systems and the whole host of other gadgets that relate to cars.  As we talked he realised that becoming a car consumer writer, (that is writer about gadgets), he is opening up a far wider market for his writing.  I also pointed out that people are far more likely that people are far more likely to buy a £50 gadget from a blog post than they are a car.

So he’s gone from looking at a very narrow niche, cars, to a far wider niche, car gadgets, but which can include the occiasional review of a car.  In fact the niche is even wider.  He can write about car insurance and finance, both likely to give a good affiliate commission.  He can write about high value products, such as holidays, providing he has a motoring link – mad Italian drivers, advice on car hire or just describing a town with a number of pleasant half day drives. Even products, such as cameras, can be used in context, providing he includes the benefit of taking your camera on a motor trip.

 

Important lesson. Initially his idea was just to write about cars.  This was a very narrow niche, which required a lot of work to write each post, was in a niche where there were quite a few, extremely well funded competitors.  Philip’s natural writing style would not have let him move into the down-market ‘lads’ end of the market.  By redefining himself as a consumer motoring journalist he opens up a far wider market for his writing, with far less competition.  This market includes many high value products that would like to use his blog as an affiliate.

This is also shows how you need to be quite careful how you name you blog.  If the blog had been something on Writing About Cars instead of Writing about  Motoring he would have had a lot more difficulty in shifting the focus of the blog.

So

Don’t pick a niche that is too narrow

and

If you want to make money –pick a niche that

has products or services that are sold online

Over to You

So what niche are you targeting?  Can you see how to expand your area of writing if you want a break from the main subject area?

Have you any other advice for new bloggers?  or even advice for old bloggers like me?

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