Leverage An Organic Approach When Discovering Your Blogging Focus
Going niche (specific focused content) is what most blogging advisers recommend when starting and growing a blog.
And, I agree. I’d have more and quicker success here if I picked a topic like marketing and only wrote about it, and things directly related to it. But for me, the breadth of topics I'm interested in writing about expands beyond the multiple single categories I could write exclusively about (and I'm not currently interested in managing numerous blogs).
For those who require generating an income from blogging, biting the bullet and narrowing the focus is a smart decision. But, while this advice is warranted and effective, it's not always relevant. And, there is another way. It’s the way I’ve approached blogging here on a variety of topics spanning the life of faith to the freelancing life.
The goal with my blogging strategy is narrowing my focus based on the aim of the content, not simply the topic of it.
Stories & Systems To Live Better & Work Smarter
This recently added blog tagline provides direction to point my blogs, even when the categories seem disparate. It also gives readers an expectation of what they'll find here.
Take for example my recent series of essays inspired by Star Wars The Last Jedi. Labeled The Last Jedi Betterment Blog series, These articles were not only an evaluation of the film, but also an opportunity to encourage fans to grow up, think better, and act courageously. They were growth oriented towards me the writer and you the reader. The film (story) was simply a vehicle to communicate a powerful message.
What To Write About?
I write about topics that matter to me and will make a difference for you. What's this positive direction we're all taking? And how do we get there together?
What I write here, even when the topic is outside of what you'd expect, is geared towards helping you live better and work smarter. It's aimed towards empowering us all to grow.
Grow Your Life
Recently, I was gifted with the label of Chief Growth Officer (CGO) as a quick way to convey my freelance offering. A CGO looks at a business from the customer's perspective and harmonizes marketing, sales, technology, and systems to grow the organization.
Blogging supplements my work. Growth in these areas is not just about knowledge, but also about personal improvement and the leadership of others. Add in a dose of inspiration to fuel us along the way and this blog now provides a complete package for readers eager to grow (their life & world).
Reorienting the content I've created looks as follows.
Grow Your Life: Systems & Stories To Live Better & Work Smarter.
Grow Your Self
Grow Your Business
- IDEMA - Framework for sustaining ideas
- Business Development
With this newfound clarity grouping my content, I added a small section at the top of the home page for new people to quickly get the message, and to help them navigate to the area they care about.
With this blog's focus on growth, expect to see a series of iterations improving the site to intentionally aim its structure and my content in this direction.
How To Land On A Focused Destination
If you have something to say and are blogging, but have yet to narrow in on a specific focus, there are several steps to take in finding clarity. Here's what I suggest.
Write & Publish: What matters more than a niche in blogging is the habit of doing it consistently. Build the habit and write about what you're interested in or an expert at. Mastering the process will set you up for success when you finally do arrive on a focus.
Look For Patterns: With a growing archive, look at the articles you've written. What patterns have you noticed in the topics and the way you write about them? Lean into these patterns as you write your next series of articles to test and confirm your observations.
Experiment and Test: With my Last Jedi blog series, it was a time-consuming endeavor and quite different than what I had done prior. But, it was a huge success as a community engagement and traffic driver. Once you get your focus, you'll have less opportunity to test new approaches, so I recommend doing it while you have the option and little risk if it goes wrong.
Be On The Lookout: Capture what resonates with you and is applicable to your blogging. What others are doing or what is said can provide the inspiration and vocabulary you need to find and articulate your focus. And it's hard to find this in a bubble, so engage in your community.
Find Focus, Naturally: Continue to repeat the steps above and make little tweaks as you orient towards your more clearly understood destination. Assess your analytics and discover what content is getting traction on the search engines, email campaigns, and social media posts for additional insight. The quicker you need to establish that focus will direct how often you evaluate and adjust.
I've still got room to grow when it comes to directing my blogging efforts, but I'm narrowing in on a solid direction for both my writing and freelancing work.