This is a post from my blog to book project “Lurkers Anonymous”
Feel like you have nothing to offer? Think again. Specialty blogs are hot. People like them. And when your core audiences discovers yours, if you are putting in the work and producing something honest, chances are they will read it. So how do you get started finding a specialty?
Start with three questions: (1) what do you love doing? (2) what are the reasons you love it? and (3) how can you use what you love to solve a need others have? Let’s look at the first one.
(1) What do you love doing? Don’t think too hard on this one. Love does not have to be some unattainable standard that only romantics can reach. I’ve seen guys who love washing dishes, gardening, and accounting. Some people love sticking their fingers in peoples mouths (in the industry we call them “dentists”). The key here is to find something you have an aptitude for (naturally gravitate towards and have basic proficiency in) and then look for the aspects of that thing that really engage you. Focus on these attractive aspects as you develop a plan to “cash in on your passion” as Gary Vaynerchuk says. Just like in real life, not everything about your chosen area will be a knock out, but you need to find the parts you do love and run with those.
(2) What are the reasons you love it? List them out on a piece of paper. Don’t edit, just list, list, list. Chances are you can come up with twenty or so reasons before you start to repeat yourself. These are your first 20 posts. The amazing thing is that as you write and deliver on your blog, new posts on topic will generate themselves. Again, the hook is that you love it. As you engage it starts to build itself and take on a momentum fueled by your passion. If you feel like stopping, just make sure it isn’t what Stephen Pressfield calls “The Resistence,” what Seth Godin calls “The Lizard Brain,” what I call “The Challenge” stopping you from delivering. A good way to test it is to force yourself to show up through The Challenge. If you go for a long period of time, feeling no joy in what you are doing anymore, chances are it is time to find a new gig. And the beauty of the Internet is you can go ahead and start it and always come back to the old one.
(3) How Can You Use What You Love to Solve a Need Others Have? As you generously give your gifts of love and passion to the world, sharing in your niche corner of the web, try to think of how what you are sharing can be of a benefit to someone else. While this principle is taught in Marketing 101, so few traditional marketers naturally think this way. They look at product first and think about fulfilling needs as a result. Turn that equation around and your are giving something of true value. You are no longer telling the market what they need but answering them. It is the way businesses and blogs should be run. Doing otherwise is self indulgent. So look for ways that your passions help others, whether that is sharing fly fishing tips (the need for recreation), talking about chair exercises (the need for health), or expressing your love for the Sunday comics (the need to laugh) keeping your potential niche readers in mind and how you can help them will make your blog a more engaging piece of content.
After you have answered these questions to your satisfaction, get going! There are over 3 billion people on the Internet waiting to read your stuff. If you got 0.01 of them to read your blog you’d be a millionaire.