Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
What kind of blogger do you think you are? That may or may not be a trick question. Are you a “personal blogger,” one who blogs about your daily life and your pet’s activities? Are you a niche blogger? One who focuses in on a very specific topic within your daily life and your pet’s activities?
When you’re blogging in a big pond like the pet blogging world is you don’t want to be a tiny fish in that pond; you need to grab your corner of the pond and make it your own. How can you do that? By shifting your focus from being an all around generalist blogger to a focused niche blogger. Is that an easy transition? Not always and it can certainly seem limiting when you first start out, but being a niche blogger may just mean you’ll see more eyes on your words and if you’re hoping to turn your blog into a business it could mean more dollars in your pocket!
If you choose a niche does that mean you can’t be personal? No, it does not. It simply means you are focusing in on a specific realm of the pet world and marking your territory! First things first, what does it look and read like to be a personal blogger? Here are a few items to consider:
- You follow your passions to the exclusion of trends or what others are thinking and writing about
- You do deep dives into your subject matter
- You connect and comment back and forth with your readers
- You post frequently…
Hey, a lot of these sound like what you will be doing as a niche blogger as well, right?!
What can you do to grab your niche?
- Mine your archives and look at what you write about the most. Chances are you have already been blogging in a niche, you just now need to hone it more fully.
- What categories on your blog do you post about the most? Do you have too many categories? How many is too many? I think if you have more than 10 you may not be focused enough in your niche.
- When you blog, what type of posts gain you the most comments and blog traffic? If those posts are something you enjoy doing, then capitalize on that traffic and following you’ve built up and blog more frequently on those topics.
- Is there a particular area of the pet blogging world you’d like to be known for? Do some research. Contact a few experts in that field to gain some insight and then claim it as your own. I know in fiction the adage is “write what you know” but I believe you should write about what you love, what inspires you and what stokes your passions!
- Ask your readers questions. Interact with them. Ask them what issues they are having with their pets. See if their answers spark a blog idea or even a series of blog ideas within your niche.
- If you’re considering a drastic niche switch you will want to spend some time putting together an editorial calendar and gathering up a plethora of ideas so you don’t wake up one day and wonder what you’ve done and worry that you have nothing to write about. I truly don’t believe in writer’s block and I feel that ideas feed ideas. The more creative you are, the more creative you will be.
- If you’re taking a step back and positioning yourself as a more of a niche expert blogger and less of a “hey this was what we had for breakfast today” personal blogger you may want to consider connecting with your readers via a newsletter. It’s a great way to stay in touch and it provides you a bit more of a “professional” feel to all that you do.
- In your niche, do you have any personal stories you can share? You should. Readers love stories because it helps them relate to both you and to the topic you’re sharing. Also, when you think about it, if you don’t have stories to share about a particular pet blogging niche, how will your readers look at you as the “expert?”
- When you’re choosing your niche, don’t be too narrow. For example, I wouldn’t want to choose a niche of “great clothes to dress your miniature black and white poodle in…” I am not going to have that much to write about unless of course I plan to buy Henrietta new outfits even more frequently than I do now. Choose a niche that 1) you enjoy and 2) that is searchable on Google. The chances of someone searching for the niche I’d written about a sentence or two ago are slim, but someone may search, “how to dress your dog” or what are the best clothes for my particular breed” but again, this is not much of a niche in which to stake your claim unless you are, perhaps, making dog clothes! Choose a niche such as, “the benefits of feeding your pets a raw diet,” “traveling by RV with your pets,” or “lifestyle pet tips.” The lifestyle pet tips is a broad topic so even if you want to be a lifestyle blogger you may want to narrow it to include search terms such as the breed of pet you’re writing about, your area of the country, a particular area of lifestyle — living in apartments with dogs, baking treats for your dogs, etc. This may sound contrary to what I’ve written, but you can be a “generalist” in a niche; the way to make that happen and to make that work will be through the judicious use of search terms to get your SEO rankings.
What kind of pet blogger are you? Lifestyle? General, personal blogger? Have you claimed your niche?
(Photo: Shutterstock Fish jumping)
(Photo: Shutterstock: Dog digging)