Forget the Niche

April 2nd, 2010 by | 2 Comments

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I talk to bloggers from all walks of life on a daily basis – personal bloggers and business bloggers who are in the process of of tapping into their respective markets – doing everything they can to customize and cater their content to a very specific niche. The first thing I tell these people? Stop.

My blogging background has gone through quite the evolution over the past year and a half, but if it’s one thing I’ve learning during that time, it’s that the moment you start to develop a narrow focus, the moment you start to become overly branded for one specific niche, is the moment you get burned out and start losing interest in your blog.

It’s a difficult balance – on one hand you are wanting to and needing to cater your content to what people want. You tweak and adapt your content over time, do research and monitor your analytics to determine what content is most buzzworthy, what gains the most hits, what sparks the most interesting conversation, and what really gets people involved. You focus closely on the numbers and begin to tailor your content to maintain and raise the bar.

But on the other hand, you started a blog because you love to write – because you love to communicate and have other people listen, because you wanted to create a platform that gets your readers, clients, customers, whomever online and engaged in what you have to say. You started writing because you had a PASSION for doing it – and when you start to write simply for the sake of others, you can easily lose track of why you even started in the first place.

So it comes back to my point. I understand the need to become known for something – I understand the value of establishing a niche and “attacking” that market with your content, but a sustainable blog is one that doesn’t become TOO focused, a blog that can offer up a variety of topics and angles that may (and probably should) contain one general similar theme, but doesn’t neccesarilly have to be extremely-focused.

Readers connect with diversity – they connect with consistency and clarity, but we also demand something unique, now so more than ever. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you don’t have to be innovative in everything you write. All you have to do is be you – all you have to have is a unique voice and perspective – whether that be your own voice or the voice of your company.

And above all – just write – remember why you started, remember what you set out initially as your goals and what you wanted to take away from blogging both in the short term and long term. Focus on the writing, the rest will come together and develop over time.

Matt Cheuvront is the mastermind behind Life Without Pants. Take the next step by saying hello on Twitter and subscribing to his blog today!

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