Finding your place as a niche blog
I write a niche blog about home organization, so my posts include how-to tips for keeping a home running smoothly and efficiently. As a mother of three kids and a fanatical organizer, I’m just trying to avoid stepping on a pointy Barbie shoe with a hot cup of coffee in hand.
I did things backwards in that I wrote a book on organizing first and then decided a blog would be a great place to sell it and share more ideas. Full of naivety and enthusiasm, I dived head-first into the blogosphere in January of 2010.
The obstacles facing a niche blogger become strikingly clear the moment you begin registering on blog lists and discover that 70% of the time you don’t fit into any category. I was thrilled when there was a “Family” or “Home & Garden” category from which to choose, but that was rare.
Forced to select “Technology” since there was no “Other” option, I hoped fighting with my vacuum cleaner and coffee maker made it applicable.
The community classroom
I was joining communities, learning some great blogging tips, and meeting some fantastic people, but the communities were full of bloggers who blog about blogging. I was interested in their information, but my blog just didn’t fit in the group.
My uniqueness became amusingly clear while commenting on a CommentLuv-enabled blog. Looking over all the latest posts of the people before me, I saw “Passion Blogging”, “Are You Your Own Social Media Brand?”, and then mine… “Scared of your child’s room?”. Hmmm…
I looked around and realized…I am different. I’m wearing a blue shirt in a class full of people in red. What am I doing here? I think I’m in the wrong class.
Find communities that include your audience
Are you spending your time in the wrong place? I certainly was. After months of trying to build traffic to my site unsuccessfully, I realized I had to find the blue class even though the red one was really fun.
Step back and reevaluate where you spend your time. Being in the right class is important for niche bloggers since we fill a specific need.
In which community is your target audience hanging out? That is where you need to be.
Who are you writing for?
My target audience is made up of busy parents who are juggling kids, work, and a home on a day-to-day basis. I went on a search for the frazzled Mom who is re-vacuuming a floor due to a popcorn spill and who has a mound of paperwork cluttering her counter. The parenting community is my classroom. There I could meet, help, and learn from people like me who want to survive parenting with the house intact, some sanity, and a sense of humor.
A happy ending, and a new beginning
Once I found the first parenting community, I was excited to discover there were lots of them. Why did it take me so long to find them?
Finding your way in the blogosphere as a niche blog takes some patience and some good old-fashioned detective work to find your spot within it. I still enjoy the occasional visit to the red class to see some great blogging friends, but I’m finally where I belong.
Look around. Are you in the right class?