I strongly believe that everything we choose to do, no matter how big or small, is ultimately a reflection of ourselves. When I first started blogging, my blog tagline was “The Journal of a Young Web Entrepreneur.” Eventually, I decided this was not the best tagline because it did not reflect my blog’s focus nor communicate what I am passionate about.
My first step to clearly defining my blog’s focus was to to change the tagline, “The Journal of a Young Web Entrepreneur.” There were several reasons why I decided to ditch this tagline:
1. What the hell is a web entrepreneur? It seems like everyone is calling themselves “web entrepreneurs” nowadays. Heck, it really doesn’t take much more than a PayPal and Adsense account to be a “web entrepreneur”, does it?
2. Zero focus. The tagline did not give my readers any indication of the focus or purpose of my blog.
3. Too ambiguous. The tagline was so vague that it left me too much room to write about many things off-topic, such as cars and general tech news.
In my opinion, the first step to clearly defining your focus is to write out your blog’s tagline so that new readers will automatically know what your blog is about, and regular readers will know what they can expect.
Define Your Primary Topics
I always tell people when choosing what topics to blog about, pick 2-3 main, similarly-related topics, and keep it on topic at least 90% of the time. For example, you will have a tougher time building a dedicated readership if you combine the topics of space exploration and cooking. I am not saying it is wrong to diversify your topics, but maintaining a clear focus and staying on-topic is absolutely key to building a dedicated readership.
For example, of my blog’s topics – business, blog and web development – these topics are all similarly related. People who are interested in blog development most likely are also interested in business and web development, as well.
I try to incorporate my personal spin on almost everything I write about, as it relates to me and my businesses. People love reading case studies, and I have began writing more about starting businesses, including benefits, branding, and steps to self-employment.
Like I said, there is nothing wrong about throwing in a few off-topic pieces of news, but realize the majority of your readers are expecting on topic articles, such as the kind that generate healthy discussion.
The Importance of Staying On Topic
The more articles you write and the more your readership grows, the more your visitors begin to expect a consistent focus to your blog. Accordingly, if the focus of your blog shifts even slightly, many readers will be turned off.
As I said, in the past month, I changed my blog’s focus from the the ambiguous title “journal of a young web entrepreneur,” to “business, blog and web development.” Not surprisingly, also in the past month, I have seen my blog’s number of RSS subscribers triple, from around 50 to around 150.
Ask Your Readers
About a month ago, I asked my readers what they would like to see more of. I received a ton of great responses that really helped me clarify what topics people want to read about.
If you have been blogging for a few months about a several topics, it may be a good idea to conduct a poll asking your readers what kinds of articles they would like to see more of.
After I conducted my poll, I found out that 54% of my readers wanted to see more articles on web development, followed by 20% wanting to see more articles on business development and domain investing.
I now know that the majority of my readers want to see more articles on web development, including case studies and techniques I use. These case studies, of course, tie into business development, which is a topic I very much enjoy writing about.
If you give your readers more of what they want, you will likely accumulate more readers. If you would like to add a poll to your blog, I recomend using the Democracy Poll WordPress Plugin.
I have been blogging consistenly for over 3 months now, and in that short amount of time, I have seen many blogs rise and fall. Often the first sign of a blog that is losing popularity is that the author has lost his or her focus.
There is a lot of power in defining your focus and staying on topic. My first step in defining my blog’s focus was to write out a clear and descriptive tagline. It doesn’t have to be snappy and memorable – just straight-forward and to the point, so people will know what they are getting. My readership has tripled over the past month just as a result of defining my focus and then creating content to satisfy my readers’ requests.
What other techniques have you used to define your blog’s focus?