I’ve begun been participating in the GuestBlogging.com Apprenticeship Program, run by one of Copyblogger’s associate editors, Jon Morrow. In one of the first offerings of the workshop, Jon teamed up with Sonia Simone of Remarkable Communication to create The 7 Most Common Reasons Guest Blogposts Get Rejected at Copyblogger.
In the most recent session, Jon talked about cultivating connections. He’s not talking about connections with other bloggers – yet – but about other niches, categories, and industries.
Jon starts by saying: Your content is only as valuable as the connections it allows you to make.
Guest blogging is so powerful because of the connections it allows you to make. The bloggers who make it big don’t necessarily have the best content, but they do have the best connections.
Jon suggests creating dozens of little channels to get people to your blog – don’t just focus on the big highways. How do you do that, you may ask? Good question.
Ditch your niche.
Seems kind of crazy, doesn’t it? Hold tight, you’ll soon see why.
Jon suggests that you don’t get trapped in your niche. Every niche or topic interconnects with other topics, and by focusing on just one, you’re losing out on a ton of opportunity. That’s what the Internet is, afterall: an interconnected community.
But…my industry is huge
It doesn’t matter how big or small your niche is, if you focus only on your industry, your blog will eventually suffocate from a lack of new connections. Like a goldfish, it can only grow to the size of its tank…err, community.
In order to continue to grow, stop thinking of yourself in a tiny niche. Realize your blog is a tiny piece of a huge network. Then we start the fun stuff.
Start by brainstorming. Think about what your potential audience might be searching for. What topics would bring in new – but still applicable - audiences?
Let’s say I own a cupcake shop in a small town. I’ll certainly post things about latest designs and flavors, recipes, and updates on small town goings-on; but I’ll also post things about:
- Running a small business
- DIY baking that looks professional
- Cooking (not just baking) tips, tricks, and secrets
- Healthy baking and cooking
- Alternate and non-traditional cupcake uses (birthdays, weddings, company events, etc.)
Once you start brainstorming how your industry can play into other niches, the sky is the limit!