Why You Must Clearly Define Your Blog’s Focus

Why You Must Clearly Define Your Blog's Focus

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.

Conclusion

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?

18 thoughts on “Why You Must Clearly Define Your Blog’s Focus”

  1. It is also important to note that sometimes a little room to drift is a good idea, especially on personal blogs. I myself used to be entirely focused on myself, drifted to tech, and now I am heading towards politics. Drifting helps new bloggers find what they like covering. I doubt that I would have ever gone straight into following politics.

  2. I think this is something that I’m learning more and more. Time is the scarcest commodity on the Internet and people will give your site 10 seconds before moving on. You have to be very clear what you are providing. And doing this also helps with branding. A strong brand helps to sell your site and clarify what you are indeed focussed on.

  3. Nate – a great article. I am so glad to see you are strongly focussed on the purpose of your blog. You are so right when you mention the blogs we have seen fail as the author loses sight of their blog’s purpose.

    I particularly like your mention of asking your readers what they want to see more of. A successful blog is an online community, yet so often we see community leaders fail to actually ask their members for their opinion!

    – Martin Reed

  4. Another great read.

    I might have mentioned this in a previous comment, but defintition is something that I’m focusing on and I feel as though its paying off. Your articles have been a great help during this time.

  5. being clear and having a focus is something that I try to keep up with…it helps with all aspects of my sites. Great tips!!

  6. Yeah i gotta start a coupla new Blogs focussed on Making Money* I love my current $B Baloney Blog cuz it comes EZ to me & it’s visually appealing for my Readers but it’s not geared or focussed enuf on making $$$!!

    I wanna make as much as Jane May does!! + ProBlogger + John Chow!!!

    ;PPP

    Cheers Everybody! Billy ;))

    Peace*

  7. Staying on focus can be SO hard for me. I know the topic I WANT to stay on, but I often have so much to say. One of these days, I will narrow my scope.

  8. Thanks for the advice. I’m definitely incorporating this into my blog, even though it already has a clear focus on the Chicago2016 bid. (If you Google search it, I’m the #1 blog, #4 site overall that comes up.)

    Go to DanielHonigman.com if you’re curious, Nate.

  9. Well, I think I’ll incorporate it as soon as I get my 1,000th unique visitor. I’m around 800 or so now, but it’s been less than a month.

  10. Hi Nate,
    Interesting article.

    My website (The World Through My Eyes) has the tagline: “Todays world through the eyes of a technology addicted, business obsessed teenager.”

    It highlights the key topics – technology and business – however this encompasses a huge amount. For example, technology refers to gadgets, websites, wed design, Software/Operating Systems etc.

    I was wondering if you could have a quick look around my blog and give me some feedback and suggestions?

    Cheers!

    1. Your blog has just 21 posts since its inception (24th May)… that’s too low compared to number of topics your intend to focus on.

      1. Thanks Jalaj,
        I had the blog up in May, that is correct but I didn’t get time to start working on it seriously until just over a month ago.

        So if I work on the content (and as the days go by there will be more and more posts), I should see a rise in visitors?

        Sounds pretty logical, but thanks, I’ll try and get more content up! 🙂

Comments are closed.