The benefits of niche blogging are well-known: that’s a proven way to attract loyal audience who will be visiting your site and interact with you; applying niche blogging basics also allows you to generate organic search traffic by focusing on niche related keywords and highly relevant inlinks.
But is it also as good for actually making money (ROI)? As an example, if you offer services related to your blog topic, that’s not always wise to limit your audience exclusively to this sphere. Blogging about SEO and by this advertising your SEO services (like me), you are most likely to be interested in all webmasters (as that’s who your potential clients are); likewise operating a small jewelry related website, you are most likely to be targeting audience interested in a broader topic like fashion and modern trends; furthermore with many verticals (like travel for example) you want all people to know about your site (as any of us travels from time to time). Being popular outside your niche is another great marketing opportunity that should not be overlooked.
|Aim||Niche blogging…||Blogging outside the niche…|
|Earn money||allows me to gain authority among niche influencers (who will help me promote my site, etc)||allows me to get noticed by my potential clients (direct ROI)|
|Educational||allows me to interact with people who are really good at the topic (I can learn new tactics, look at the topic from a different angle, keep track of the industry news, etc)||allows me to explore more marketing opportunities and verticals (beside SEO)|
|Connections||allows me to find business partners (those who will help me with the services I myself offer)||allows me to find business partners in neighboring services (viral videos, web design, etc)|
So how to both blog inside and outside your niche (and not to fall between two stools)?
1. Play with your own blog content. Some techniques I am experimenting with (or planning to) throughout this blog are:
- write both entertaining and industry related articles (e.g. my color branding series). This will appeal both to your niche and non-niche friends. I for one try to offer some fun or actionable advice in each of my posts;
- introduce ‘blog columns‘ (e.g. Wasabi (i.e. Social) Wednesdays at SEOMoz). This will encourage your non-niche readers to come back regularly;
- use generally understandable and universal stylistic techniques (e.g. humour is one of the proven methods to expand your readership).
2. Guest post at blogs belonging to a ‘neighbouring’ niche (e.g. tell web designers how to create both appealing and SEO friendly website).
3. Take part in non-niche group writing projects and blog network (I am not a professional web designer but I like to explore the topic and take part in graphic design related writing projects; I have also had some positive experience participating in Don’s project). You can check this site to get updated of the writing projects around the Internet.
4. Participate in social media. A while ago I posted on niche social networking (that makes you an industry influencer). Soon after that I realized non-niche (general) social networking is as well essential, though for SEO industry it might be also risky (once you go popular as an SEO in social media, you will instantly be labelled as ‘spammer’ there). Anyway taking part in general social media sites helped me meet new people outside SEO (and that resulted in very promising business connections).
These were my methods of blogging and branding beyond SEO sphere. Most of them are at experimenting phase, so I need your experience and thoughts. How do you manage to balance between niche and general blogging?