Whether you are blogging for yourself, or for the audience that you hope to build, the key is to blog about something you are passionate about. While you may think you know a thing or two about garden gnomes, are you truly passionate about them? Can you write daily or weekly about garden gnomes for months on end without growing bored or running out of ideas?
When I began blogging, it made complete sense for me to blog about cars. I was 37 years old and my obsession with cars began when I was just a wee baby. No kidding, I had been going to one race track or another since my parents dragged me to Mosport when I was a newborn. That love of things on wheels followed me into my career in the auto industry. In other words, I’m passionate about cars and I now have 40 years of experience with them. That means I could even be considered an automotive expert.
So let’s see, passion and expertise. Do you see a trend here?
In the past 3 years, I could likely count the days I haven’t written on both hands. Many days I write as many as 5 or 6 posts! I’m still just as excited about cars as I was as a kid. Probably more so. Many, many people start blogs, and almost as many abandon them within a few months. The primary reason is that they ran out of ideas, or they burned out because they weren’t as excited about the topic as they thought.
Just a word of caution about personal blogs for those of you who actually want to generate traffic. Children and pets are like navels. Almost everyone has them. Unless you are one hell of a witty, insightful writer, nobody outside of your immediate circle wants to hear what colour young Johnny’s spit up was last night. The exception to the personal blog rule is if you already have a modicum of fame. Then everybody wants to hear about your toy Yorkie getting humped by a Rottweiler.
Now I know that some of you are asking: What about that girl who got fired for blogging? She writes a personal blog. Well, yes she does. Heather is her name and her blog Dooce got her fired. That firing gave the talented Mrs. Armstrong a level of infamy that caused her traffic to grow in leaps and bounds. In essence, writing about her personal life caused an explosion that allowed her to earn her living with a personal blog. Bear in mind that there is more at work here than Heather’s wit and talent as a writer. As in many businesses, timing is everything. She got Dooced very early on in evolution of blogging. In fact, you could consider the most influential personal blogger of all time. You would have to be incredibly good and incredibly lucky to duplicate her success.
Once you’ve decided that you just have to blog about garden gnomes, start immersing yourself in the online garden gnome community. Is there other garden gnome bloggers? Do they appear to have some community going on, with links back and forth to each other and lots of comments? Begin commenting on some of those blogs until you become known. Those relationships will serve you well as you grow your own garden gnome blog.
Now you’ve chosen a blog format and a topic. Next up we’ll discuss how to get noticed within your chosen niche.