So you want to start a blog: great! You’re a person with a lot to say, with varying opinions on various subjects… some strong, some not. You know you want to start a blog, and yet even with everything you have to say, you have no idea who to target, or what to call them. The magic word you’re looking for is niche, and it can best be described as your blog’s target audience.
Why does your blog need a target audience? No matter your interests, if you’re trying to attract people who like to read your posts about Recipes or Cooking, but you’re also posting about the latest movies you’ve watched and what you thought about them, it’s going to be tough to get your audience to stick around. When looking for a blog, people look for like-minded interests, and while a select few might stick it out with you and read not only your recipes but also about your favorite types of cat memes, the majority will move on if you aren’t posting content relative to them and the interests they originally came to read about.
The key to finding your niche is to find your passion. Easier said than done, right? Well, Passion Planning can be made simple too, and below I’ve laid out a list of ways that helped me find the passion that I most wanted to write about.
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Make a List, Check it Twice
Your first step is to make a list of all of the things in life that you enjoy. I made mine fairly deliberately: I got a ruled notebook and at the top of the very first page, I wrote the words “What I Enjoy…” in the biggest, curliest letters I could muster. And from there, I let my mind drift to places and things that made me happy or excited. Blogging is about writing what you enjoy, because it gives you fuel and focus to talk about things that drive you. If you aren’t writing about your enjoyments, blogging is going to get old very fast.
So make your list. Write down everything that comes to mind, no matter how goofy or adventurous or seemingly small.
When you’re satisfied with your list, it’s time to Check it Twice. I found it appealing and helpful to do this next step with a highlighter or a colored marker; go through your list one item at a time, and begin to highlight items that share a common theme. An example would be if you had highlighted items like photography, travel, and restaurants – all items and things that could easily be combined into a single commonality for a blog theme and niche!
By narrowing your focus to a common collection of passions and interests, you have opened the door to better targeting your audience and creating lasting followers of your blog.
Pick Your Topics
When you are first starting a blogging venture, it’s never a good idea to throw up a single post onto your shiny new blog and leave it at that. You want to give your audience something to pour over, so don’t leave them wanting right from the beginning! Have at least 4-5 posts ready to go on your blog.
Prepare yourself (and your blog) by creating a lengthy list of potential blog topics relative to your niche. You can keep these anywhere: save them as draft titles on your blog, keep them in a notebook, list them in your phone… it really doesn’t matter where they exist, but keep them close and the list accessible so that you can add to it as you go. This makes the process of maintaining a blog much easier because you aren’t sitting yourself in front of an empty void each time you go to make a new post.
Keep your audience coming back for more by calling on them to interact with you and your blog. Tailor your topics so that you are offering them important information, or walking them through how to do something. Because let’s be honest: people like to be told how to do something, especially if it’s something they’ve never done before themselves. Feed them the information they crave by including calls to action in each of your posts. Whether that’s imploring them to comment with their own experiences, guiding them to your social media pages or encouraging them to go out and try to accomplish what you’ve just written about, a Call to Action will create in your readers a sense of connection with you, which makes it far more likely that they will return to you for more.
Stay True To Your Passion
Your blog, no matter what it’s about, is something born from your passion. The most important thing you need to remember when managing and writing your own blog is to stay true to that passion, because your passion is the absolute driving force behind your muse, your fuel and your excitement. Don’t be afraid if you discover your passions are shifting or changing: passions can be their own beast, and it’s perfectly fine to alter your focus to follow that beast so that you can maintain your own happiness and thrill for writing and providing information on what it is you love.
By following the steps above, you are setting yourself up with success by narrowing down your niche and thus target audience for your blog, rather than throwing randomness into the void to see what sticks. More than likely, by listing out your enjoyments in the process of finding your passion, you might just discover some things about yourself along the way that you didn’t know about before.
Be sure to share how you came to find your passions in the comments below, or share them with me via Facebook!
(For those of you who might be having trouble finding your passion, I HIGHLY recommend the Deluxe Law of Attraction Success Planner from amazon! I ordered the blank version so that I could start mid-year and it has been phenomenal for helping me set goals and find what I’m truly passionate about.)