Written by Jo
How to Promote and Grow Your Blog in an Unconventional Niche
I have come to love the word niche. In my three years of blogging, understanding my niche has helped me to grow my blog, even when I didn’t actually know what my niche was.
I didn’t begin blogging to go into it professionally. I didn’t even go into it because I particularly liked it at first. I started blogging because my fiance went to war and I wanted to share care packages that I was making for him with someone… anyone. (Sure, it sounds a little desperate and sad, but I was a little desperate and sad.) I didn’t know that there was a military spouse/significant other niche in blogging. Or that there was an even smaller sub-niche: care packages. It sounds kind of crazy, right? Blogs devoted specifically to care packages?
But they exist. And because of this small but very unconventional niche, I’ve been able to grow my blog and monetize it. And you can too– no matter how small your niche is.
Understand Your Niche
It probably goes without saying, but I’m still going to say it: learn about your niche. Being a blogger in your niche is different than being an enthusiast of that particular topic. Understand it. Think about it critically and analyze it for topics to write about. Who are the big bloggers in it? What are the organizations and businesses that are part of it? Know the lingo and jargon of your niche. Know what keywords are important to it. And then when you think you know everything there is to know, learn more.
Understand Your Readers
People in small niches are passionate. They feel a deep connection to your blog because you’re interested in the same thing that they are. They’re looking for more information or for entertainment focused around your particular niche. They most likely had to go out of their way to find you. Use that excitement and passion to fuel your social media and blog posts. Don’t be afraid to show just how passionate you are too.
Be Authentic and Professional
People can spot a fake a mile away. In small or unconventional niches, you have to know your stuff to be taken seriously by bloggers and your readers. Don’t set yourself up as an expert if you’re not or write about things you’re clueless about. (It’s okay not to know everything!) Unlike a larger niche, there’s nowhere really to hide as a blogger in a smaller one. Bloggers talk to each other and they pass each other opportunities when they’re able.
Network in Your Niche
It’s great to be part of large blogging groups, but the true gold can be mined from blogging groups supporting your particular niche. This is where you’ll be able to find people who speak your niche’s language and are able to. This is where you’ll keep up-to-date, one specific issues facing your niche and the people who follow your niche. This is where you’ll hear about opportunities and where you’ll be able to collaborate with other bloggers.
Write About Your Niche
Be aware of the things your audience is looking for. What information isn’t out there that people need to know? I never thought that writing a post about care package disasters would be crazily popular. But it was– simply because no one else had written about that one very specific topic.
Know Where Overlaps Occur
It can feel suffocating to be in a very small niche– you might feel like you’ve hit a wall or that there’s no more possibilities for growth for you. But fear not, it is possible to grow your blog even in a tiny niche. It comes down to overlap. Over the past year, I’ve noticed that many people who pin my care package posts aren’t military spouses… they’re actually supporting missionaries or college students. Likewise, I’ve noticed that my posts about military relationship advice are often shared in marriage and relationship groups, even if they aren’t directly military-affiliated. I’ve learned that optimizing pins and tweets for these other niches also has helped to grow my online presence and influence– and all it takes is adding another keyword or two (“For military, missionaries, and college students…”) and it means that more eyes will inevitably find their way to that particular post. I also cross-promote with other group boards on Pinterest (Marriage Blog Tour, for example) and other bloggers who are part of those niches when it makes sense. It doesn’t mean that I change my posts or change my focus; it just means that I make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for.
Blogging in a smaller niche might take longer to attract an audience, but the rewards and opportunities are well worth the time and effort. By positioning your blog squarely in your niche, providing posts that offer relevant information and entertainment, and networking with other similar bloggers and businesses, you’ll be well on your way to successfully growing and promoting your blog.
About the Author: Jo is the creator of Jo, My Gosh! (jomygosh.com), a popular military spouse and significant other lifestyle blog. Her work can be found in military spouse digital and print publications. She is currently collaborating on an ebook for Millennial military spouses and significant others. Find her on Facebook (facebook.com/jomygosh), Twitter (twitter.com/jomygosh), Instagram (instagram.com/jomygosh1, and Pinterest (pinterest.com/jomygosh1) and say hi!