Ten Ways to Help Your Blog Stand Out in a Popular Niche

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by: Kimberly Gauthier

KimgWhen I launched Keep the Tail Wagging, a
local marketing expert took the time to ask Google how many pet blogs were
active and came back with a crazy number. 
I don’t remember what it was, but it was huge.  I realized that I’m a minnow swimming in an
ocean full of pet bloggers.

Just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming.

A year later, Keep the Tail Wagging had over 14,000
followers on Facebook and Twitter.  I was
emailing regularly with PR professionals from major pet brands and coming home
to fun packages for our dogs.  I even had
the courage to submit a proposal to be a speaker at BlogPaws 2013.

How did I get my blog
to stand out in a popular niche?  I just
kept swimming.

Not everyone is interested in blog notoriety or making
money.  But I think pet bloggers have a
bigger responsibility to consider.  We
have a powerful voice and a dedicated audience of animal lovers we can
influence on a daily basis.  This makes
us very valuable to pet brands, rescue groups, and even the reputable breeders
out there.  The impact we can have on
animal health and wellness is tremendous and that should inspire us to do more
to stand out.

That being said, here are 10 ways to help your blog stand
out in a popular niche like pet blogging.

1. Identify Your
Blog’s Purpose
– are you blogging to raise awareness, promote a business,
or just blab on about your adorable fur baby? 
Knowing why your blogging and what you hope to gain (traffic, influence,
friends), will help you create boundaries to keep your blog on tract and sets
expectations for your audience and brands. 

2. Set Goals for Your
Blog
– you can start by asking yourself what you would like to do with your
blog this year and dream big!  Setting
goals is another way to stay on track with your blog.  If you want to build a target readership of
dog lovers, then you should probably stop writing about guinea pigs.

3. Select a Micro
Niche
– a micro niche is a topic within the topic of pets or dogs and cats.  The benefit of a micro niche is that you can
attract a dedicated audience who can relate specifically to your subject.  As a dog blogger, my site attracts dog
lovers; but I have a dedicated following of fur parents who are raising
littermates.

Micro niche blogs I
follow are:
Dawg Business
(dog health), My Brown Newfies
(Newfoundlands), A Mastiff Blog
(Mastiffs), and 5 Old Dogs (older
dogs).

Keepwagging

4. Create Quality
Content
– yeah yeah, we’ve all heard this one before.  When I started Keep the Tail Wagging, I
created an image of my ideal reader and I write for her; today, 90% of my
readers are women who love dogs.  My ‘ideal
reader’ helped me create quality content and develop my blog’s tone.

5. Write Clickable Titles – I struggled
with this step until I started noticing what made me click on one title versus
another.  A great place for this experiment
is your Triberr stream.  Some posts I
would just share, others I would click/read/comment.

Today, when I write a title, I keep two things in mind: (1)
what people are searching for and (2) what spark’s a dog lover’s
curiosity.  In the example below, which
would you click?

What Inspired My Love
of Animals vs. My
Passion for Dogs Sprouted from My Mother’s Hatred of Me

6. Go Where the Bloggers Go – I belong to
Triberr and several groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus.  My Triberr membership helps me with post
promotion and all of these networking sites have helped me connect with other
bloggers who inspire and teach me every day. 
Other bloggers not only share what’s working for them, which gives you
ideas of things that’ll work to build your blog.

7. Became Your Own
Cheerleader
– I use Help a Reporter
Out
(HARO) to find opportunities to promote my blog; check out the February
issue of Women’s
Day magazine
, page 152.  HARO sends 3
emails a day; I scroll through them looking for opportunities to promote myself
and my blog by responding to queries about blogging, social media, and dogs.

8.  Become Familiar with SEO Basics – Many
bloggers shy away from SEO, because it seems too hard but there are great
resources
out there to help you get the basics.  You can start today by increasing inbound
links to specific pages and posts on your site when commenting on blogs.  Think of what keywords people would use that
will bring them to your blog post and use those when crafting your title and
article.  And link back to your older
articles when you’re writing.

9.  Become an Authority – I don’t know everything
about dogs, but I do know something about living with three dogs and raising
littermates.  I share this knowledge by
starting and participating in discussions on various social networking sites.  Go a step further and share your thoughts on
a discussion in a blog post.

10.  Celebrate You! – No matter how popular a
niche is, the one thing that you have that others don’t is YOU.  We’re all unique and have a unique voice and
ultimately our audience is attracted to us. 
So don’t compete with all the other bloggers out there; instead, let
them inspire you.

Now it’s Your turn! 
What do you do to stand out in a popular niche?

About the Author: Kimberly
Gauthier is the Editor in Chief of 
Keep
the Tail Wagging
 and
offers dog care tips to dog owners. She also distributes the weekly
newsletter, 
Blogging in My Pajamas. When she's not gabbing about dogs and
blogging, she is hanging out with three dogs, her dog co-parent, and planning
to take over the world.

  • http://mariodacat.blogspot.com/ mariodacat

    What a great post and a very helpful one to those of us who are just plugging along.

  • http://www.heartlikeadog.com Jodi

    This is great information Kimberly. For my blog I want so many of the things you just mentioned but sometimes feel like I’m just a fish flopping around in the shallow end of the lake. I can’t seem to find my focus or direction. But that is something I WILL change this year. And I WILL see you at Blogpaws and will be signed up for whatever session you have. :-)

  • http://www.mydivasdish.com Robbi

    Great advice!

  • http://roxythetravelingdog.com Mary Hone

    I have been swimming for 2 years now. It’s all getting easier, mostly because I write what I know, and like. Great advice for everyone in your post, thanks.

  • http://www.blogpaws.com Yvonne DiVita

    Excellent advice. Less anyone feel overwhelmed by it (there’s a lot to do!)… take it one step at a time. Focus on the individual things you can do today, and give yourself time to achieve all 10 items.
    Don’t forget to come to BlogPaws and learn more great stuff like this! Oh, and meet all of your best bloggy buddies (and their humans), too!

  • http://www.fidoseofreality.com Carol Bryant

    I am with you on these tips, Kimberly, and they have worked for me. I concur that coming to the BlogPaws conference in May of this year is the best bet for learning, networking, getting ideas, and brainstorming along with meeting all your online buddies and making industry connections. See you there!

  • http://www.nepapets.com dawn

    Great post Kimberly! After feeling like a little fish in a big pond, I decided to niche down into the hyperlocal pet blogging niche. It will give me chance to do some different things online and off to do one things I love to do- help other people learn how to care for their pets and maybe make a difference for pets in my own community.

  • http://www.informationagefinance.com Jason Lavis

    Really good article. It is the age old question of whether to be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big pond.
    If you want to live life to the full, and follow your passion, you gotta go for the big pond! With a big pond you can always tweak your message later. With a small pond the water might dry up!

  • http://www.mybrownnewfies.com/ Jen@MyBrownNewfies

    Oh I can so relate to the swimming! Sometimes my arms and legs get tired but I still keep paddling along!
    There are so many great tips that you shared here and thanks for the mention:)
    Clickable titles is defintley an important tip but sometimes so hard, I always try to have a title stand out but sometimes they are just blah and I can tell by the hits on get on that post!
    Can’t wait to meet up at BlogPaws!

  • http://opcatchat.blogspot.com caren gittleman

    Great post Kimberly! Super great suggestions! Looking forward to meeting you in “pawson” at BlogPaws!

  • http://ask-fisher.com Fisher

    Great information! Thank you. This is the kind of “wake-up” article I need (as in read over and over again).

  • http://www.helpareporter.com Laura Spaventa

    Thank you for the HARO shout out, Kimberly! We really appreciate it!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/d105628214832830221 Glogirly and Katie

    Great post, Kimberly! Oh, there’s so many more things I could be doing!
    But I’ve been trying to focus on the fun and not get too bogged down with the rest. Baby steps, I guess.
    My blog niche is quite saturated. Funny cat blogs for entertainment. So I’ve worked hard to create a personality for my blog and for Katie, the cat and voice of the blog. In everything I do, I try to stay true to that personality.
    The other thing I try to use to make my blog stand out is stellar photography and whimsical imagery. The images often BECOME the story. For me, publishing a blog post without cool imagery would be about as fun as a root canal.
    ; ) Glogirly

  • http://www.bucknrunranch.com Mary O’Brien

    Good stuff Kimberly.
    My blog has the feel of a wannabe farmer with severe A.D.D. Not only a small fish in a big pond, I am having trouble staying in just one pond. I didn’t seem to fit here on BlogPaws because until three weeks ago, we had no paws here. Little rescue dog Tucker added paws to my blog. You would think 40 chickens, 2 fainting goats, 2 donkeys, and 4 emus would provide enough fodder for my blog. But nooooo, I have recipes and product reviews too. I even get a little crafty from time to time. Oh, and I have with an incurable, progressive illness and I just bought a 120 year old historical farmhouse.
    Most blogging advice offers the suggestion of focusing on one thing and doing it well. I guess I have too much to do and tell too little time to do it. My guess is I won’t be focusing in the near future. Chaos will reign on Everyday Miracles and Mayhem at the Buck ‘n Run Ranch. I couldn’t even pare down the title of my blog!
    I will take your advice, especially the part about celebrating our own uniqueness. I resuscitated two dead baby chicks yesterday. How many pet bloggers did that?
    Mary

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a5fabc4a970c twitter.com/Tom_Collins

    @ Mary – I think you “fit in” perfectly on BlogPaws. You’re a blogger who cares about social media and animals!
    I just watched your absolutely mesmerizing video of the chick resuscitation and that post alone demonstrates that you CARE about both the animals on your farm and how you share that passion with others. Those two things, more than anything else, are the bonds that make us a community.
    On a practical note, have you tried laying out an editorial calendar for your blogging? Yvonne started doing that on her Lip-Sticking blog years ago and it helped her embrace the chaos of a pretty broad “niche” – women, with a tilt toward business and career. It also seems to give readers as sense of what to expect and when their “can’t miss” topics would appear.
    Tom

  • http://whatisaniche.biz/ whatisaniche.biz/

    What is internet? The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide. The Internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents of the World Wide Web (WWW) and the infrastructure to support email.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003415166000 Emily

    This site may help:The foods in question are motlsy the wet pet foods. It sounds like the wheat gluten was tainted with something called melamine. Your nephew should check the ingredients list if the pet food has wheat gluten, then he should probably dispose of it. I use Iams dry for my cats. The Iams site says they do not use wheat gluten in any of their dry pet foods.