Every company needs to have a blog and perhaps if every individual had a blog of their own, things would be much better. A blog allows visitors to gain insight into a corporation’s or an individual’s mind and help visitors in accessing material that may otherwise be lost in time and space. However, both individuals and companies should avoid generic blogs that do not have a direction.
Instead, by identifying niche categories and topics that are relevant to a corporation’s services and products, or an individual’s profession and business interests, one can set up niche blogs that help companies and individuals towards becoming thought leaders in their identified areas. To maintain a niche blog is not an easy task, and it requires an incredible amount of discipline, effort and expertise. Here are some tips that help businesses and individuals to achieve success with their niche blogs.
Identify and Justify your Niche
It is very important for companies and individuals to identify particular niche areas that interest them. These topics are subjects should always be related to one’s profession or products & services that they may offer. By choosing particular areas of interest, one can make sure that blog posts do not digress from the original niche. This helps readers to identify your blog with a particular niche area and visit umpteen times for information, updates and in-depth opinion.
Niche blogs are driven by expert opinions and thus it is very important to choose topics in which you have considerable expertise. Once niche areas are identified, it is necessary to justify the choice of these topics with valid and reliable facts. These may come in the form of level of expertise, marketing plans, future professional development and business goals.
Observational Learning, Modeling and Applying
Bloggers need to observe other people’s writing and blog posts as well. In fact, psychological theories of observational learning are extremely important in the field of blogging. Only when a blogger observes other blogs will he know how to choose topics, work with the flow of a blog post and ultimately provide expert opinion to his readers. It is advisable to make a list of blogs and authors who write about the niche areas that you have chosen.
Once you make a list, you could choose to actively observe them, by trying to communicate them with the help of social media or commenting on your model’s posts. Modeling must not be understood as copying. Modeling is again a psychological term that denotes the process of learning from those who we identify as worthy enough.
Niche blogs and subject matter experts may be studied, observed, modeled and their qualities may be modified to suit the needs of your niche blog. Layout, content, style of writing, presentation of topics and frequency of posts may all be observed and modeled. By observing and modeling one may also break from existing norms and do something more radical. The more radical and controversial your niche blog will be, the more traffic it will attract.
Research, Learn and Contribute
In order to become a thought leader in the identified niche, you would need to read white papers, research documents, blogs, books or just about anything that would help you to know your topic well. Only when you know your niche topics well enough will you be able to write about it expertly. Only when you write with an expert’s knowledge will you be able to hold the interest of knowledgeable readers, who will help you sustain your blog in the long run. Moreover, if you do not have a keen interest in your chosen topic, you probably would not be able to blog in a sustained and long-term manner.
Planning and Setting Attainable Goals
A niche blog requires a lot of discipline, tenacity, perseverance and effort from your side. You would need to become clear about every nook and corner of your niche area and chart a plan for writing content accordingly. You must identify your target audience and stay tuned to the latest happenings in the area. Do not expect to write unrealistic number of blog posts. It is simply not possible. Instead, have a realistic goal of a few posts per week, depending on how much time you can devote.
Surprise yourself and Your Readers
Niche blogs have the capacity to go viral, solely because no one else is writing about those topics. It is in your interest to be unpredictable but relevant, random but structured, shocking yet informative, controversial but never offensive. Surprise yourself with occasional posts that may stir up a controversy. Controversial topics lead to comments, discussions and footfalls. Readers love to visit blogs that have an alternative view to existing beliefs and ideas.
Finally, after following these 5 topics, you must never lose interest in your original goals and must continue to carve a niche for yourself in the identified niche topic. Originality, unconventional ideas and opinions, discipline and hard work will take you a long way in your quest to becoming a thought leader.