August 30, 2012
Tips on Thursday: Niches
When I look around at "how to blog" sites they all say to be a success find a niche. But how specialized or focused does your content need to be? Is blogging about books (as opposed to fashion or politics) focused enough? Do I need to narrow my blog to a single genre? I know some very successful romance blogs. Is it because they are focused on one genre or is it just the popularity of romance novels?
Obviously, I have not narrowed by blog to a single genre. I could never just read one genre all the time. I need variety and I think my readers appreciate it. I consider my blog to be moderately successful. I have a nice following and my readership is regularly increasing. However, I'm always looking for ways to take my blog to the next level. So I've been considering content.
I feel like I'm at a crossroads - do I become more specialized or more generalized? I've always lean towards being a generalist (which would explain some of the friction during my graduate studies where the point is to become more specialized). I participated in the Photo a Day Challenge (though I have slacked off this week) to test two things. One, would posting more than once a day increase page views? Two, would content that wasn't strictly books affect my readership?
To answer the first question - Definitely. On average I see 100 more page views daily since I started twice a day postings. Each individual post is getting fewer page views than before, but still doing well. It seems more people are coming to the front page and then scrolling through the posts for the day instead of clicking on individual post titles.(Length of time spent on my blog per visitor has increased as well.)
As for question two? I'm not sure. I know several bloggers that have diversified content. I've mentioned several times how Kriss of Cabin Goddess combines recipes with her reviews. Donna and Dave of Tweedle Dee anad Tweedle Dave review movies and video games in addition to book reviews. Both blogs are successful and have great readership. If book blogs are considered more as media sites then the diversification isn't harmful - magazines and news sites cover more than one thing (usually there is a theme to tie all topics together).
For authors, I have encouraged diversity on their blogs - adding little things that let their readers get to know them. But I'm not sure if that is sound advice for book bloggers that are mostly review or news sites. As I do not see myself as a writer, my tips posts are a stretch for me, I feel awkward writing about "stuff". A personal blog never lasted long for me. Many bloggers from a group I belong to have participated in a flash blogging event. They had a topic each day and were to write a short post on that theme. The blog hosting it is an author's site, but I know a number of the participants are book reviewer/bloggers. It really got me thinking about how focused content should be on book blogs.
I don't have a conclusive opinion. Since I'm here for my readers, I want to hear what you think. Should my blog focus exclusively on books and author related topics? Or do you want to hear my ramblings on other topics?
Bloggers - what do you think? Do you diversify or keep with a main theme? Have you seen any changes in your readership?