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How to Build a Popular Blog in a Crowded Niche

“Everyone is already blogging about my idea. How do I stand out?”

The good news is that everyone has the same problem. Since it takes about 5 minutes to start a blog, anyone can start writing, recording, or vlogging about any topic. It’s a level playing field and you have the same tools as most to get noticed.

Also, while competition makes life difficult, it is also a good sign that your subject has an audience and perhaps profit ready for you to find and transfer to your pocket.

Your job now is to move to the head of the line and attract your share of enthusiastic readers. I have 7 strategies that are proven winners:

7 Crowd Busting Strategies

# 1. Segment by Skill

Your readers have different skill sets, talents, and resources.

With any subject you’ll have beginners, average, and expert skill levels practitioners.  Each of skill levels wish that they could find information tailored to them!  For example, a gardening blog can appeal to a competition-level gardeners. Segmenting by skill creates a specific space readers to visit and engage with information. Focusing on the reader skill-set also helps to focus your editorial calendar making posts easier to write.

See for Yourself: MineCraft: Survive, Create, Explore.  If you have middle-school age kids its likely that you’ve heard of Minecraft. This excellent blog helps complete newbies get up and running.  (This was a lifesaver for me.  Now dad doesn’t feel like a dork).

#2. Segment by Problem

Your audience is likely trying to solve a variety of challenges. For example, breast cancer patients are grappling with 1) chemo side effects, 2) medical bills and finances, 3) selecting an oncologist, 4) emotional struggles, and many more. Each of these challenges can easily support a weekly blog.

Try this: Open a text file and record the answers to these questions:

  1. What is my audience’s desire / goal?
  2. What challenges are preventing them from achieving this goal?
  3. Which challenges are more important than others (list in priority order)?
  4. Which challenge can I definitely help my readers solve?

See for Yourself: The Best Breast Cancer Ever

#3. Segment by Demographics

This is my favorite technique. In this case you select a demographic characteristic that influences how your reader approaches your topic.

For example, dads need different parenting advice than moms. 40-something professionals approach career planning differently than newly minted college graduates. Middle class families make different vacation choices than wealthy families.

Your blog can distinguish itself by focusing relentlessly on a specific characteristic and publishing how-to’s, curated content, stories, case-studies, etc.

See for Yourself: Marie Forleo focuses on helping women build great businesses

#4. Segment by Psychographics

Psychographics (noun) The study and classification of people according to their attributes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria

Psychographics describe what your audience believes and prefers and how they act. For example, “Early Adopter” is a popular psychographic characteristic in the high-tech field. An iOS app-based blog could stand out by publishing tutorials for new bleeding-edge apps. In the fitness space, a blog could cater to seniors (demographic) that love outdoor activities (psychographics).

See for Yourself: Iron Tribe Fitness is a rapidly growing fitness club franchise popular in the Southeast.  Each club location only allows 300 members and each member pays at least $200/month!  Their Club and blog appeals to fitness nuts that are fanatical about getting their workout in.

#5. Publishing Frequency

Is your niche underserved by the competition blogs? Can you outhustle and outpublish competitors to become the go-to resource for the latest information? On the other side, would your audience appreciate comprehensive information published on a less frequent basis?

See for Yourself: Glen Alsopp at ViperChill has built an extraordinary blog by writing short story length, information-packed posts every month or so.

#6. Post/Content Type

It’s getting harder to stand out by publishing text-only posts. Most people would rather watch than read and those who prefer to read want to spend less time doing it!

Try posting video like (MarieTV) or supplement your text blog posts with podcasts. In the future, hybrid content models will simply outhustle one-trick pony blogs. It’s better to start experimenting and innovating now

See for Yourself: mixes blog posts, videos, and podcasts creating a rich experience for all readers.

#7. Switch Platforms

In some cases, your blogging platform can provide an advantage. I frequently counsel photographers, musicians, artists, and designers to consider Tumblr instead of WordPress. Tumblr has an active and generous audience of artists that can help publicize a like-minded blog.

If your platform prevents you from frequently publishing and revising content then switch to a simpler platform. I once had a client who was getting outpublished by their competitors because it took them 2–3 weeks to publish a blog post. The culprit was their Joomla content management system. While Joomla has a “blogging module” it was hard for the marketing team to use which forced them to rely on the IT department for updates! Switching the blog to a self-hosted WordPress installation immediately increased the quality and frequency of their publishing.

See for Yourself:  Beyonce keeps her fans satisfied with photos and videos published on her high-octane Tumblr blog.

What Strategy Will You Use?

You can stack 2–3 strategies to create a unique attention-grabbing hybrid. Or use F.O.C.U.S (Follow One Course Until Successful) to put organize your efforts around one effort to get results faster. Be creative.

Use the comments below to share which crowd busting strategy you are considering.

About Stan

Stan Smith is the CEO of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

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