Posted at Feb 26, 2008 12:24:29 PM by Enid Glasgow | Share
In my last blog, I proposed a manifesto. They were a set of values that I felt every writer should conscientiously exercise, as to produce effective content. But what good is content without direction? In this blog, I slip on my kids' gloves and guide you to authority-status of a niche.
In hindsight, I suppose I went about this series all wrong. To the neophyte blogger, I apologize; I took you under my direction and just sort of dropped you in the middle of a forest without your compass.
So to gain some grounding, we must first define who you are writing for and, more importantly, what you are writing.
Find a subject that interests you and don't write about it.
If vegetables are your thing, writing about the whole lot of them will be exhausting and lacks consistency. Instead, focus your blog on something more specific; like butternut squash, for example, the "bulbous and misunderstood vegetable."
Taking this approach may not be part of your original plan, but it will make you exact and relevant and elevate your search engine ranking; in turn, commanding a larger following.
Stalk your competition.
Now that you identified your niche, find out who your competition is and where they are slacking. This will help you establish a fresh angle to your content and make you unique—a commodity, even.
Write about what you know.
I can't even begin to count the number of times teachers accosted me with this vital nugget of guidance. It may seem that "what you know" is boring and could never interest another person, but that is only because "what you know" has become so familiar and absent of that initial zeal.
By writing beyond your grasp on a subject, you run the risk of botching your message and sounding stupid.
Find your voice.
You don't want to come across as a technical writer authoring a manual for 'Efficient Energy Amplification in Subcritical Reactor Applications', but shooting for Gonzo journalism could be perceived as pretentious; or wont' be perceived at all.
A voice unique to you is going to determine how engaging your content is and whether any of it will stick.