Guest Post – Our host is Lauren Smith, in this post Lauren tackles the problems faced when writing for niches seen as less exciting or boring.See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
Hello, my name is Lauren Smith and I’m an online editor for safe retail website, ADCSafes. I have been reading Spice Up For Blog for a little while now, and have been wanting to contribute a blog post for a while, the only thing that has been stopping me so far is not knowing what to blog about. I’m not exactly an expert when it comes to blogging, I’m 19 and have a couple of years experience in SEO and WordPress, so hardly an online guru, I have, however, had experience of writing for a small variety of niches, some of which have been easier than others.
The content I find easiest to write is content that is relevant to my interests, and maybe not even necessarily my interests, but broader interests of people from my demographic. For example, I don’t particularly like Nicki Minaj, but I’m pretty sure that with a little research I could write a killer article on her. Why? Because there are plenty of other people surrounding me who do like her, and know a lot about her, so it’s easy to find a target audience and thrive on it.
This brings me to niches I have found harder to write for, the dull ones. I know that dull is a harsh term, because it’s not that the industries are dull, as there are people out there who will be interested in what they have to say, but it’s just these people are harder to find. I’ll be quite comfortable in saying that writing for a safes retailer has been my biggest challenge yet, as I came into my current job with absolutely no knowledge of safes or security. After writing a few posts purely on safes, I quickly discovered that nobody is going to engage with posts that are strictly based around safes, and than I need to think more mass-market. To understand why we need to think about our blogging strategies for “boring” niches, we first need to look at social media.
How sociable is your social presence?
Right, so let’s say you own a company that sells spoons. You have a Twitter account:
Who’s going to want to follow the account that talks non-stop about spoons? Don’t get me wrong, I love a spoon, as I’m sure a lot of you do, but I wouldn’t put them as a topic worth talking about via social media, would you? Imagine the same sort of updates on other social profiles such as Facebook, and a Tumblr page full of various spoons in different shapes and sizes and you get a very dull online presence.
How to spice your social profiles up
If somebody was to ask me what’s the main feature you should focus on for your social profiles, it’ll be this:
Comedy is a such a maginificant tool, and is often overlooked in internet marketing. Now, I’m not saying you should try and launch a stand-up career over Twitter and crack puns left, right and centre, but nobody likes a corporate looking bland online profile. Looking mean and intimidating will only mean people are going to avoid engaging with you. Let your guard down a little, be informal and have a joke with your followers. If you do own that spoon company, don’t be afraid to have a joke about how trivial a matter spoons are, it’s a much better look than putting your product on a pedestool!
Break up your posts with irrelevant, more widespread posts
I’m not saying completely ditch your spoon-related updates, that would be ridiculous, as after all, that is what your company is all about. What I am saying is that you should break these updates up with completely irrelevant posts that can appeal to a much wider audience. Regardless of how witty and intelligent we all like to think we are on Twitter, a dog wearing shades or a monkey on a unicycle is going to get our attention, and possibly even a re-tweet out of us!
How this relates to blogging
The reason I thought it was important to write about social media before coming to blogging is that I think the two go hand in hand. I think the kind of voice you give through your social media should be maintained in every online platform, so don’t be afraid to make your blog posts informal occasionally. To explain this, I’m going back to my spoons. Obviously, if there is any important spoon news, blog about it, as it could be information your customers need to know, but don’t just make your blog the HQ for trivial spoon news. Think broader, think more mainstream, what would you write about that bares some relevance to spoons, but isn’t dull? Here are a few examples:
- Dinner etiquette – for dummies: I’m picturing a nice, humorous, exaggerated post about the basics of dinner etiquette. How is this relevant? In Hollywood, the “oh, I’m but a poor little commoner and I have no idea which of these 10 spoons to use”, has been played a lot. Use your extensive spoon knowledge to your advantage and tell them exactly what to use and when!
- How evil actually is the spork?: For years now the internet community have had this fascination with sporks being the work of the devil. Don’t ask me why, I can only assume for the same reason that I saw Nicholas Cage as a seagull on Tumblr the other day. This can be done as a tongue-in-cheek report on this famous spoon and form combination, with the highlight being a humorous ‘pro’s and con’s’ list – comedy gold.
- The history of the egg and spoon race: Possibly a less humerous and more informative post, this could produce a great piece of content that is relevant to the niche but also can attract a greater audience due to the summer season coming up!
Writing for people, not robots
As long as you think about writing posts that can attract the most engagement from genuine people, rather than posts that are 100% keyword relevant and written for Google, then you’re already half way there. You have to put yourself in the mind of your audience, think about what you’d like to read, and what you engage with online, and use this to develop your blogging strategy.