August 13, 2019
Note From Rochelle
Have you signed up for my August class? If you’ve thought about writing a book but feel daunted by the whole thing, you may want to blog your book.
During How to Blog a Book, you will learn three ways to blog your book:
+Write your book by blogging regularly
+Use your existing blog to create your book
+Use blog posts to market your published book
I’m back in the office today, catching up on email. Today’s tip continues my series on blogging with Five Questions to Ask Before Launching A Blog.
Five Questions to Ask Before Launching A Blog
by Rochelle Melander
If you want your blog to succeed, you need to find a niche and fill it brilliantly. Great blogs have a distinct point of view and audience. (Just like great books!) One look at an engaging blog, and readers know who the blog is written for (and who would hate it). Great blogs do not cater to the masses (EVERYONE loves it). Instead, these blogs root themselves in their own niche and then proclaim their message exceedingly well.
Here are five questions to ask before you start a blog. If you plan to use your blog to write a book, these questions are especially important. They will help you shape the focus and audience for your book as well. They’ll help you determine if your niche works—or needs more work:
Can you state your blog’s niche in one sentence or short phrase?
Think about the most popular and interesting blogs online—their niche is easily articulated:
Smitten Kitchen: Delicious home cooking from a small kitchen in NYC
Nir and Far: Behavior and the brain for business.
Terrible Minds: Frank writing advice with bad language and no coddling.
Can you explain why you are the perfect person to blog on this topic?
Most writers are smart enough to blog on lots of stuff, from handbags to hummus. But tell me this: why are you specifically qualified to blog on this topic? Readers today want authenticity. Your blog’s niche and point of view must reflect your authentic self.
Can you describe your ideal reader?
We want desperately to write for everyone—to be so popular that we appeal to the masses. But creating a blog that appeals to everyone is rare. It’s better to define who will read your blog and then create a great product for your crowd. Define your reader in great detail.
Ask: What is my readers’ age and gender? What do they value? What are their biggest challenges? Where do they shop? What do they buy? Why would they seek out this blog? (Don’t forget: if your blog is going to succeed, NOT everyone will like it!)
Pro Tip: Once you’ve identified your ideal reader, list 3-6 places they hang out both on and offline. You’ll need this information to market your blog to potential readers!
Can you articulate how you will meet the needs of your ideal reader?
In more traditional marketing language, what will be your unique selling proposition? Let’s go back to one of the blogs mentioned above. Smitten Kitchen teaches readers how to make great food in a small space. It doesn’t require the reader to be a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef to make the dishes. Smitten Kitchen provides readers with step-by-step instructions, with photos, for making delicious food.
Now it’s your turn. How will your blog help readers? In what ways will it inspire, teach, encourage, or nudge?
Can you list (at least) 25 potential blog topics?
You will need to have enough unique material to sustain a reader’s interest over a long period of time. Otherwise, what you thought was a great blog idea might be better suited to an article.
Whew! If you can provide detailed answers to each of my five questions, you are well on your way to finding a blogging niche that works!
If you’re still feeling confused, then think about booking a single-session blog brainstorming session. We’ll review your blog’s niche, define your ideal reader, and create a brilliant plan for helping you launch a blog that rocks! Send me an email if you’re interested.