Bore. Boring. Bored. Aren’t you a little bored with blogs lately?
In the past few months, I’ve been to many meetings and conferences on blogging and have been introduced to many wonderful bloggers, but also plagued by many bloggers who want to start a new blog. It’s not the starting of the new blog that bothers me. It’s the subject matter.
Here is the list of what too many new bloggers say, proceeded by the words “I want to start a blog about…”
- Blogging about blogging.
- WordPress Themes
- Web Design
- Making Money With Blogs
First, IT’S BEEN DONE!
It’s been done by the best of the best, people who have lived it, suffered for their decisions, and lived to tell the story on their blogs. They are experts who know their stuff and live it daily. They’ve been doing it for three, five, or even ten or more years. It is their passion, their goal, and their life.
And you think you can compete with that passion, experience, and longevity?
Second, how are you going to compete? Huh? How are you going to bring something new to the table?
How to Bring Something New to the Blog Table
No matter what you blog about, but especially if you are going to tackle the “biggies” of the most popular blog subjects around, what new ideas are you going to bring to the blog table? Do you have a new perspective? A perspective that this hasn’t been done or seen before?
For the most part, there are only four ways to cover these topics.
- As a teacher, with the training and experience necessary to teach.
- As a student, learning as you go.
- As a participant, learning and participating in the learning process with your readers – they help teach you. (AKA Shared Learning)
- As an observer, commenting on what others are doing. This is typically done by reporting on how they are doing what they are doing with out adding much of your opinion or content to the conversation. Also known as blockquoting blogging. It’s about them, not you.
We’ve enough of all four types, so is there a new angle you’ve developed?
Cape Cod SEO is a blog about search engine optimization and blog marketing, but it comes at the tired old subject from a unique angle: geographic. This is their blog purpose statement:
CapeCodSEO.com is about strategies and techniques small businesses can use related to Search Engine Optimization, Pay-Per Click Advertising and Search Engine Marketing. In addition, it’s a look at the unique environment that is Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
It isn’t just about all the SEO, advertising, and marketing tips from all over the world. It’s a narrow niche that examines how to use this within a specific geographical community. It’s not for everyone, but only those who want to develop their online marketing within a specific neighborhood of the planet.
Why not frame your blog to cover a specific geographical niche or market? Why not cover SEO tips for only Israel or Romania? You might be the only one or within a small group, which instantly gives you recognition and the potential for being a local expert.
Why not only cover minimalist WordPress Themes, or a specific aspect of WordPress? Leonid Mamchenkov of WordPress Bits covers WordPress code and hacks almost exclusively, digging into the how it works and how to make it work for you. Reading his blog is like lifting the hood on the engine of WordPress. He doesn’t get into the business of WordPress, covering everything WordPress or blogging. WordPress Bits is about the bits that make WordPress work. Nothing more, nothing less.
Peter Westwoods’s Westi on WordPress is dedicated only to reporting on the weekly news for WordPress 2.4 development. Sure, I would love to see more articles from Westi on putting the new bits of code into action and preparing WordPress Theme and WordPress Plugin authors more for the changes that are coming, but it serves a narrow purpose and goes a long way to helping keep WordPress fans up-to-date on what’s happening and where the development is going. Should he do more? He has other blogs to do his “more” on. That blog currently serves an important purpose of creating buzz around the development of the next version of WordPress, and it need not do more.
These three bloggers are specialists because they looked at the big picture and decided to focus in on a small part, giving their specific audience exactly what they need. They didn’t decide to cover everything on the subject. If they did, they would have been one of many instead of the only ones.
Here are a few more tips for how to bring something new to the blogging table:
- Think Geography: Keep it close to home by narrowing your blog’s focus to a specific geographic area, be it bordered by nations or communities.
- Think Focused Groups: You don’t have to blog to everyone. There are any different groups of people to blog to. Blog for Spanish speakers, the rich, ethnic groups, regional and cultural groups, young, collectors, fans, hobbyists – find a group and aim your blog at them exclusively. You might find yourself adding members to the group with your special interest.
- Blog in Your Native Language: There is a growing trend to blog only in English, believing you will reach a wider audience and make more money. This may or may not be true. If you are entering a saturated market in English, you are just one of many. If you are the only one blogging about the subject in your language, then you are one of one, and serving those who need this information in your language.
- Think Backwards: Instead of blogging the same old same old, think backwards. Use satire. Look at the past, as it often repeats itself. If A+B=C, then B+C should also equal C. Reverse your thinking to see things not from the step-by-step, but from the end going toward the beginning. Instead of how to do SEO, why not how to fix broken SEO.
- Break the Rules: If you aren’t a rule breaker, don’t break the rules. But if it is in your nature to break the rules, look at how you can break the rules while still maintaining your integrity and ethics. If everyone is doing it one way, which builds a “rule” of expectation, how can you do it differently to break the expectation?
- Change Persona and Perspective: This isn’t a matter of changing your name or character on your blog. Change your viewpoint. If you are an adult, you’ve probably forgotten the view of the world as a child, living in a forest of kneecaps. Find a new perspective. Like a rich person living in poverty, or a poor person living in riches. Many college students blog about how their blog helps them make money for schooling and such, but what about a 60 year old using their blog to help them pay for their college tuition? How would the perspective on the subject be different if you change your angle of view?
- Niche The Subject Coverage: Niche your subject, but also niche your subject coverage. Instead of covering everything SEO, why not only handle writing for SEO, or news about experts in the SEO industry, coding for SEO, a career in SEO, or some other specific area of SEO. Then narrow your focus down even further. If you are covering writing and SEO, are you writing about SEO or how SEO supports a writing blog? Are you writing about SEO for writers or writing for SEO people? Is it a food blog about writing about food, or a writing a food blog about food. Or vise versa. Peel away the layers so your blog definition is specific and narrow.
Let’s stop putting the bore into blogging and find some new and interesting ways to tackle the same old subjects – or please, find something new to blog about. There are plenty of subjects NOT covered by many blogs. Be the first to blog about anything but SEO, WordPress, and blogging.
Author: Lorelle VanFossen
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.