If one fine morning you decided to give up on your blog, to never write a post again, who would notice?
Who would miss your writing style, your views on things, your opinions?
Think about this as a way to figure out what is the right direction for your blog.
Who would miss your blog?
It’s a simple question, but one that provokes some interesting thoughts. If you are truly serving a niche with your blog, they should miss you if you’re not there. Imagine that you stopped blogging—would you get any emails asking you what’s up?
Your blog is a part of a neighborhood, whether you realize it or not. Every reader you gain puts a house on your block, and each link you receive is akin to building a bridge or a four-lane highway. You get the idea.
And much like any neighborhood the selling price of a home is not determined by the number of houses in the area or the number of cars that pass by. In fact, those things can be enough to turn away some buyers completely.
How about a break from the metaphors for a second?
Don’t be so easy to replace
The quality of your blog is determined, in the end, by the degree to which your blogging neighborhood relies on you. If your blog is a part of a crowd that fulfills similar needs, your blog may not be relied upon as much as you think.
Being easily replaced is not a good thing. Luckily, there are some ways you can avoid this.
- Target your audience. You want to pick something that you love, of course, but also something not being done by many others. A blog about pets is better than one about animals, but one about cat care is even better. And this part of the game is more about what’s not being done than it is about over-specializing your writing.
- Be unique. The more unique you are, the greater the chance you’ll be missed if you disappear.
- Interact with your readers on a personal level. The easiest way to begin doing this is to grab the contact information of those readers and/or commenters whom you consider your colleagues. Take an hour and chat with them. Find out what they do, what their likes and dislikes are, and maybe even why they came to your blog. But remember—they already read your blog. Don’t suffocate them. Talk about them. Feed their ego. Then, later, they will remember your blog and how good they felt talking to you. Congratulations, now you have a reader that would miss you if you were gone.
- Create content that can’t be duplicated. Make your blog about more than just commentary. What is a different approach when tackling a certain topic? What can you add to the conversation?
If you follow these principles (notice, not steps—there is no proven formula; relationships don’t have those) you will be sure to see some results.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself (also I’m interested in the answers as well):
- Has there ever been a time when readers have noticed your absence, and contacted you about it?
- Have you ever been surprised at the gratitude of readers or the response to a particular article?
- Are you truly writing quality content, or just commentating on what’s already being said?