We all know blogging is an incredible way for businesses to attract more customers. It brings in new visitors, establishes a brand as an industry authority, and builds relationships between companies and their followers.
However, most marketers know about the importance of niche blogging. A niche blog allows you to find unique keywords and really carve out a…well… niche for yourself. But what if you chose the wrong one? If you feel like your content is essentially screaming into an empty room, it could mean you’ve entered the wrong one. Here’s how to tell if your niche just ain’t workin’ anymore…and what you can do about it.
It Ain’t Workin’ if… Readers Aren’t Talking
Engagement is important. It’s how you know your words are actually striking a chord with consumers. It’s exciting to revisit one of your blog posts and see that it inspires a conversation in the comments section. If you’re seeing scant few comments or none at all, there could be a problem.
At a minimum, you should be seeing around 1% of visitors commenting. That means for every 100 you have, there should be at least one comment. Any less, and it likely means your topic isn’t very interesting or it’s been done many times before. Likewise, social media shares follow the same rule. If you’re not getting at least one share per 100 visitors, rethink your social media posts.
How to Fix It: In short, you need to create better content. There are a number of reasons yours might not be pulling in readers. It could be an irrelevant or boring subject. Maybe you’re not conveying personality through your words, or the material itself is good, but the headlines aren’t enough to get people clicking.
Refocus your efforts to be more about the quality of the posts rather than the quantity. For example, maybe your brand could use a little humor or quirkiness. Maybe there was a scandal in your industry, and you want to break the story and urge readers to share their thoughts about it. Look up trending hashtags or news relevant to your brand, and use it to brainstorm new and exciting ideas.
It Ain’t Workin’ if… Your Audience Isn’t Real
Uniqueness is good, but there’s a fine line between being unique and obscure. Most brands know that having a different approach to marketing is beneficial, but some take this too far in an effort to reach an audience that simply isn’t there. They think marketing to an audience no one else is targeting will help them beat the competition because there is no competition.
Well, there may be none for a reason. Trying to create a new audience or target one that’s too narrow will never work, no matter how good your marketing campaign may be. Look at your buyer personas—do these people actually exist in large numbers? If your answer is “no,” you need to adjust your targets.
How to fix it: Your words are falling on deaf ears or no ears at all. You need to find a new audience. Think about your buyer personas carefully and how you can broaden their traits. Identify the things about the audience that are too narrow: maybe the age range isn’t right, or maybe their specific “customer pains” aren’t very relevant. You don’t have to scrap the persona altogether, just find ways to make them a little more relatable. Once you do that, you should find it much easier to create content that actually interests people.
It Ain’t Workin’ if… You’re Running Out of Things to Say
Coming up with new niche topics isn’t always going to be easy, but you should still come up with fresh ideas throughout your first year or two of blogging. If you’ve only been blogging for a year and you’re already running out of topics, it could mean one of two things: your niche is too narrow and needs to be expanded, or you’re publishing too frequently.
The former is the more common issue. Here’s a good test: try to come up with a list of topics for each week of the year, and give each “post” a catchy headline. If you can’t do it, or if they start sounding repetitive, expand your niche.
How to Fix It: You can try brainstorming new topics until the cows come home, but if your niche is too narrow, it simply won’t work. Luckily, it’s not a hard fix. There are a number of ways to expand your readership, including adding new topics, creating fresh types of media, or sprinkling in posts of varying lengths.
Google AdWords is a stupendous place to start. You can run a keyword search that pertains to your brand. You can see how popular a specific keyword is (too popular and you’ll be buried by competition), or find similar keywords people are searching for in your industry.
If you want to take it a step further, plug that keyword into a content generator like Portent’s. Generators are wonderful for coming up with outside-the-box ideas, and hey, if it doesn’t help, at least you’ll get a good laugh out of it.
Your niche should serve you, not the other way around. You should never have to feel boxed in or overcrowded in your niche. Writing content is a creative endeavor; it should be fun, original, and good for your business. If it’s anything less, change your niche for the better!
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