Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Find your Blog Niche

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In the comments of the last post on what makes a good blog, Afronuts and LTM talked about the focus of a blog, or the topic/theme by which the blog can be defined. You can also define this as the niche into which your blog falls. Can people think of your blog and match it with a particular area? This could be personal life, poetry, travel, gossip, films,parenting, food etc.

With that said, you don’t have to lock yourself in a box, most of us are quite versatile in our day to day lives, and your blog can be a showcase of this. This is where what I talked about in what makes a good blog comes in again, you must have a defined voice so that whatever you decide to talk about, it still fits into your reader’s perception of you and your blog. With this, there are several ways to define your niche for your blog users.

So you’ve chosen your URL, your title and your description. What next? How do you go about choosing the topics to blog about? How do you know which ones not to? These questions might help.

What is your URL address, blog title or description?

You cannot have a URL or title that says Women’s Lingerie and then you blog about Auto spare parts and mechanics. See, when I navigate to a page called Jewelries.blogspot.com, I should know what to expect. According to those who know, a good blog title should be short, unique and catchy. I didn’t know all these when I set up my blog, so my title is a bit long though by luck I made it into unique and catchy(yeah!).

So, Mynewhitmanwrites.com is my URL and is the same as my blog title. Some people have different URL and title and that is OK too, maybe you want something short for your address, and then you can expand on that in your title. For example, our Madame Sting’s URL is nigerianscorpio.com and her title is “The Smile of a Nigerian Scorpio”.

Don’t despair that you’ve already set up your URL and title, they can both be changed. However, I won’t advice you to change your URL, (too much drama), or your name (me being selfish cos I don’t want to have to lol…). What is easier to change is your description. This is the bit that comes under the title. Mimi B of My world as I see it describes her blog as “The mullings (and sometimes rantings) of a 20 something year old, moody melancholic, book loving, God adoring Nigerian girl.” The description thus tells us what to expect, and leads me into the next question.

What is your purpose for blogging?

On my blog, I tell you in the description that I will be sharing thoughts on life, love, books and Nigeria. Someone once wrote to ask me how they can become a successful blogger like me. Before I shared a few tips, I reminded them that if your blog is like your diary, you might not want 600 followers. But if you’re like 9jaFoodie of Mordern African Cuisine and you’re passionate about spreading the word about African food, then you can go all out.

Here, my purpose is to write, and to share my stories, online or as books, and I want to share them along with my Nigerian self. Since I don’t want there to be any limitations, I promote the blog as much as I can, in several places, and for various audiences. So knowing my purpose makes it easier for me to chose the topics I blog about, the people I network with, the kind of guest posts you’ll see here, among other things. My niche may thus be wide, but there are still things you won't see in this blog, like Auto Spare Parts? LOL...

OK, I'll stop here today. Let me know your thoughts in the comments and maybe you'll be linked in the next post. And please use the Facebook and Twitter buttons to share if you liked or found the post useful. Thanks!






47 comments:

  1. What a great post, Myne! I blog about all sorts of things, such as particularly delicious meals, travelling, photography, and anything else I fancy sharing with my readers, but I ultimately focus on writing and happiness.

    I've thought about the fact that my blog name (The Red Angel Blog) is kind of ambiguous and seems unrelated to the themes I focus on, but after so long it has really stuck so it would only cause a lot of confusion if I changed it. :/

    ~TRA

    http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

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  2. Now i officially feel special :) Going back to studying. I shouldn't have been here in the first place, but the good Lord said, "go to Myne and get ur smile".

    lol...i am silly. I know.

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  3. Tnx for the tip sis...so my niche is GOSSIP! *a wide grin*..HEAR! HEAR! BLOGSVILLE WORLD, IF YOU WANT HOT UNDILUTED GOSSIP, JUST HOP OVER TO MY BLOG AND WE WOULD HAVE A SMASHING TIME EHN?..hehehehehe *wriggles eyebrows*


    p.s..oops! just remembered, my blog title is damn long! hmmm..*thinking of changing it...in deep thoughts*

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  4. @TRA, I agree that your name is ambiguous, but it is also sweet, lol.

    @Madame Sting, glad I got you smiling. How's the reading going?

    @Ibhade, we know to expect housewife, and shop manager gist at yours. And you know how much we all love it!

    @Harry, thanks!

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  5. ahn....whats my own niche now. im still confused.lol

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  6. @Sisi Yemmie, yours is very clear, lol... GISTDOTCOM!

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  7. Lovely post, and I totally agree with the title being short catchy.. you know my blog Hopeful Romantic, that is short and simple its more niche and reader know exactly what to expect on that blog... love, relationships, romance...

    but my other one Diary Of A Shallow Black Girl always gets people attention, first of all because of its unusual name. Who wants to use a "negative" word as shallow to describe them self?
    But people who knows me personally can spot the truth but also the irony in that.
    since its like a diary, people expect anything on there, but because of the title, i think most audience expect a snobbish attitude.
    I drive traffic by visiting other blogs... I only follow blogs that I like and live a comment when I have something to say. Since the blog is so versatile, it allows me to write about almost everything apart from emotional feelings, hopeful romantic fills that hole. and as you have witness, that hole is not big enough, i hardly write on there

    *wow* that was long lol
    x

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  8. This is such a great post, I read it twice. Thanks for the great advice.

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  9. Lovely post as usual..keep the tips coming :)

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  10. First of all this is a great post. I'v learnt sumtin important n special.
    But ehmm *scratching my head* is my blog's title N description relevant 2 d content of my blog?
    Felt 'Thanks 4 coming' was a show of appreciation 2 every single visitor 2 my blog (even tho I am finding it hard 2 make everyone 'talk' in my comment box *sighs*) but then I changed it 2 Yeoal's blogzine since my blog's topics r bout weddings , pop culture, gossip, fashion n everything .
    I want 2 knw if I am on d rite track with my blog title , description, n everything.
    Please Critique .

    www.yeoal.blogspot.com

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  11. Great tips......i totally agree
    My blog is a personal blog about my life and experiences and it says so right in the header description so readers know what to expect

    How are you doing Myne?

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  12. I read the first paragraph and thought, Oh my I am in deep trouble, and then I read the rest and felt there is redemption....Thank you Myne,

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  13. This is a great post, i wish i'd had this sort of direction when i was setting up my blog. I just kinda went with the flow.

    @sisiyemmie: Your niche is gist na! lol You gist about general and personal things and we love you for it

    Btw, thanks Myne for using my blog as an example. I got really excited when i saw it. *blushing* Silly i know, but oh well.

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  14. @ Myne my blog is basically writing motivational stories, stuffs mostly for women. I can blog about other things at times but I love to talk about a motivational stuff I have learnt.
    Didn't think about a short name when I started though and sometimes I wonder if I should change my name.
    Thanks. I love this post...
    www.secretlilies.blogspot.com

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  15. Great post
    I really didnt think about a short name when I started
    Re: niche....I have to say everything I write revolves around family, the home and being a Nigerian abroad
    Thanks for the tips

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  16. Hi Myne, your popularity in blogville is almost legendary, your blog is listed in almost every nigerian blog i visit(mine included - www.omonaikee.blogspot.com) ,you have a large following and people actually make comments on your articles and of course, you've been published! like i said- legendary. i read u, i like u!welldone and while i am writing this very long epistle, here's my question: how do i drive traffic to my blog- www.omonaikee.blogspot.com?

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  17. Thank you all for the comments, I appreciate them.

    @MsNana, I don't think I've seen your other blog, will check it out.

    @Yeoal, I have to say that I prefer The Blogzine name to the Thank you for coming which was so distancing. The thing with magazine articles is that people just want to catch the gist, and unless they identify with you as the blogger, they'll hardly leace comments. I'll be talking more on comments in an upcoming post so watch out.

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  18. @Rebirth, I'm doing fine dear, and you. I agree with you about your blog, very well described.

    @Wendy, true that there are tried and true ways about blogging, but you can still do it your won way and succeed. I love your blogs.

    @Tobenna, I drew you out? LOL...thanks!

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  19. @Mimi B, I like the description on your blog, and remember the first time I read it that I smiled.

    @Tamuno, I don't think you should change your name, especially as I know you're an aspiring writer. People do get used to even the long names. And even Secret Lilies could be referring to nuggets in your motivational blogs.

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  20. @Naijamum, I think your name makes that quite obvious. These are the times when the length of the name doesn't really matter.

    @Omonaikee, thank you so much, now I'm about to blush. About driving traffic, you have done one aspect of it here, which is leaving your blog address so that people can follow up on it. I'll share more tips on that with time.

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  21. Eish- I've struggled to try and leave this comment I think blogger is up to some tricks today. I agree a focussed blog is important. Also, I know as a reader of blogs, I don't like very long posts I prefer they be separated into a few smaller postings.

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  22. Thanks Myne for this post. Looking forward to more tips :)

    PS: I've got to update u...lol. Will send u a mail when I'm less busy :D

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  23. Lauri, I've had the same comments issue, must be blogger. I'm learning now that smaller posts are better too.

    @Shorty, I'll look out for it. :)

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  24. Thanks myne, this is very educative.
    The name of my blog is 'Light of the World'. I don't expect people to think it is a churchy blog with scriptures dripping all over it. That is why it is not 'Light of the Church'. As I put in my blog description, it is supposed to be a blog using very practical means to preach the truth without sounding 'Holier than thou'. But reading it, it should be obvious to anyone that the blogger is a christian.

    So will you say my blog is a 'bad blog'?

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  25. @iLola, I think by being able to answer these questions, you can determine that your blog is on the right track. :)

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  26. I like to think my blog name is indicative of its contents but I could be wrong.

    Thanks for sharing these tips. There is always something to be learned from others as long as one is open-minded and I'm learning a lot from this series. I look forward to reading more.

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  27. Awwwwww....i feel loved. In other words my blog is an aproko blog.lol.
    @Myne I tagged you in a post on my blog. Empty your bag!

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  28. Nice tips Myne! I just love coming here, could it be because I get a certain kind of good feeling here or ...?

    I try to adhere to the particular genre that my blog belong to. Just wish that I can become more dedicated to blogging, so many distractions. Till then, I'll keep getting better.

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  29. Hmm ‎​[τ̲̅н̲̅a̲̅nκ̲̅ ч̲̅o̲̅u̲̅] Myne.
    I have a lot of learning to do as a blogger. If I knew as at 2009 all you've mentioned now,I wouldn't have named mine "Enobong Ekpott" and I'd have carved a niche since. I started blogging again last ‎​γεαr and was really "intimidated" by mos bloggers who's names I won't mention here.
    However,my desire was to share my thoughts,poems,and other write ups which I stated "about ‎​​me". But I need to shorten my thoughts and know when to stop typing,I need to sit back and REBRAND ;) sincerely need to cos I need my followers to enjoy reading my blog and returning to savour/eat mine.
    I ​​​am willing to take this constructive criticism from ‎​you. HELP a sista out senior colleague LOL

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  30. @Wordsmythe, Thanks for reading. I also think your blog name is very descriptive.

    @Nutritionalert, Thanks so much. I do hope that my blog has a good vibe, I want people to look forward to coming here.

    @Enobong, I think you're doing good as it is, maybe you only need to be more consistent. I like that you're already rebaranding. Don't think I didn't notice the name change, :). Well done!

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  31. Mine is niche writing blog...and I try my darnedest to keep it that way...good advice here.

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  32. Thanks a lot Myne. Can't wait to read ur post on how to attract comments.

    www.yeoal.blogspot.com

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  33. Thanks a lot Myne. Can't wait to read ur post on how to attract comments.

    www.yeoal.blogspot.com

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  34. Thanks a lot Myne. Can't wait to read ur post on how to attract comments.

    www.yeoal.blogspot.com

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  35. Creating a niche, I like that tip!So thats why your blog is so precise, so focused and classy? :)

    Howver its easier said than done for me, as firstly, I dont blog fulltime, secondly, I am interested in all sorts of things. Things that other people might and do find boring and not particularly Nigerian. I now consciously try to inculcate a Nigeria aspect once in a while. Its hard oh.lol

    Awesome blog and thanks again for sharing

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  36. Thanks Damyanti, Dith and Yeoal.

    @Mena, you're right that it's not easy, especially for those who have other things they are committed to. I also have to blend my blogging with my writing so I understand.

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  37. wow, ve forgotten how great u write!
    *scratching my head* wondering seriously if ive got a good blog lol

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  38. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....
    Interesting I guess, I tend to march to my own beat; a theme blog is too restrictive for me because I don’t always want to talk about the same things. Its whatever I am vibing on that day, week, and month.

    My URL is www.rappingonamelody.blogspot.com my blog title is Rhapsody Phoenix - Authentic Expressions.

    We as in (Trinidadians) use the term rapping to mean talking, melody is song, music, air, its rhythm, movement to it and that is what Rhapsody means has a rhythmic smoothness to it, it means rapture, bliss, joy, eagerness and enthusiasm which encapsulates off of the fore written and Authentic Expressions is just me keeping it real, letting it flow as it comes, no pretence ridding out on a tempo, a heart beat.

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  39. Really good one. I'm liking this series Myne

    Adiya
    http://thecornershopng.blogspot.com

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  40. Just found your blog through someone else's page. I appreciate you dropping knowledge and I'll definitely be reading more to get more hints on how to make my blog a success. I'm still struggling with ensuring the content is focused in the right direction.

    I'll definitely be back!

    www.girlsnightinlagos.com

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  41. Great post, Myne. It's always good to have someone point the right way so others can follow.

    I think my URL and description are self explanatory, abi?

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  42. Myne,thanks for the tips, very helpful. I write about my slant on life in general, sometimes I write about my life. I think I have reflected this in my blog name and description, but I await your critique with bated breath :).

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  43. Hello Myne. Thanks for the tips.
    I'm a new-comer to the whole blogging scene. I'm curious as to what you think about my blog

    http://pharmacistcumnovelist.blogspot.com/

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  44. Haba see commentary.lol.just put pen on paper in the name of a blog for the first time barely 24hrs ago.coincidence?no wait,this is old.mehn.but I just happened on this on fb. I'm just trying to put down my thoughts,more like a private blog.

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