As niche bloggers, we often assume our blogging strategy is working – when it actually isn’t. We can not only learn many blogging lessons from those who have made mistakes, but also from those who have enjoyed success.
However, for that, false pride must be dispelled. And humbleness must be adopted.
There’s always more to learn, even from unlikely sources. And that’s the only way to grow.
Today, I am going to tell you about 23 blogging strategies I learnt from 9 successful niche bloggers.
But before I dive into it, let me first explain what I think niche blogging is:
What is Niche Blogging?
Every one of us have specific talents. We’ve either learnt them, or they’ve come to us naturally.
Essentially, these unique talents are nothing but our niche.
When we take that niche up, that area of expertise and create a blog around it to educate others, then it is called niche blogging. If you’re a professional photographer and create a photography blog to help amateur photographers, then you’re a photography niche blogger. Simple.
And creating content for those with little experience in your industry can be really powerful. For your brand, and your business.
You may ask, how?
Well, the biggest reason is to sell products or services directly related to your area of expertise by simply offering your own product or service to your readers.
Another reason to blog in your niche is – simply using it as a means to showcase yourself and your expertise. The blog can be your “virtual” portfolio that you can leverage to build huge clientele.
Now, let’s just dig in and learn from some of the top niche blogs in various different industries.
Photography is not my niche, and it may not be your niche either.
But great photography blogs can offer plenty to learn about niche blogging.
And I’m going to share with you blogging tips and tricks derived from my favorite photography niche bloggers.
We have often heard that “Content is King”. But as a chess player, I know it’s not going to go well if all I have is my King.
There are many other pieces on the board, and they all hold importance. In Lauren & Rob’s case, although their content is the king, they’ve gotten several other elements of their blog right.
Few things I love about their blog:
When you visit Rob and Lauren’s blog, you’re greeted with their warm smiles, and a website design that is free of clutter. The colors and navigation fields invite you to scroll down.
For me, as I scroll, I am drawn to read every piece of content written.
Their demeanor, and the mental impression their website has left on me, all contribute to my liking.
Interestingly, it’s been shown that great web designs lead to better conversion rates, and deeper customer engagement.
So the key to this is choosing your blog design, color scheme and layout from the mind of a blog visitor – not as the blog owner.
You can also consider running A/B design tests, and polling visitors about their impression of your blog.
Rob and Lauren show a great example of how to help your readers with their needs, and how to make money by doing so. Their readers – being aspiring, amateur photographers – get to learn almost everything about photography, right on their blog.
As you scroll down further, you’ll find exactly what you need to become a better photographer – purchasable tutorials on fundamental topics, made by them. They have extra tutorials too, for additional learning.
That’s an important point: address the everyday issues readers face, provide solutions for them. You’ll be able to gain an income by doing so.
Create products and services that will solve the small problems first, and then build more sophisticated products or services.
That’s because once blog readers get their small issues solved, they’ll be more open to purchasing the more extensive products or services. They’ll know that it will take them to a higher level in that particular niche.
The primary take away from this strategy is to create basic products that solve your readers’ problems, but do not stop there. And also build products that cover various aspects of your niche.
When you first visit Rob and Lauren’s website, you’re greeted by them in much the same way as if you’d rang their doorbell at their home.
Then they invite you in, as if asking you to sit down on their living room couch. Then the conversation begins.
They tell us a bit about their life and start suggesting what you can do. It is this personal touch that keeps us wanting to hear more from them.
They share their stories about how they met, how they started out, and issues they faced.
It allows their audience to bond with them.
To illustrate, here’s a blog post about their baby boy:
It all comes down to connecting emotionally with your readers. By doing so, you take the step towards building a bond.
Your readers are no longer detached from you. They now feel involved in your life. Here’s a Linkedin post with more about connecting emotionally.
People readily trust you when you let them have brief peeks into your life. It is just as if you invited your readers into your home to see your true lives. They will relate to you, and feel more comfortable with you.
There’ll be more engagement in the comments, and they will be more likely to share your blog.
Photo Focus by Scott Bourne
The moment you enter the Photo Focus website, it almost feels like entering a higher learning University.
It is higher learning that Scott focuses on with the Photo Focus blog. Here’s what I think we all can learn from it:
Readers visit a blog in their niche with the expectations of learning something they haven’t found on other websites. The key is to educate them on stuff they haven’t found elsewhere.
Scott has not only reached the position of being a master photography trainer, but also shares his know-how on basic tools and techniques such as Photoshop, HDR, video-making, lightroom and more.
This philosophy of educating the audience is best reflected in Content Marketing Institute. Joe Pulizzi points out that education is a powerful marketing strategy.
When you provide visitors with content that has unique, plentiful value – readers will keep visiting your website to learn more.
And they’re more likely to share your blog with their friends and peers.
Niche blogging requires the willingness to help readers with any and all of their niche-specific needs.
This can be accomplished through multiple means as Scott does on his blog.
Their blog posts are created from reader comments, usually as an answer to the questions asked in blog posts, or to build on certain subjects.
The Inspiration section of the website shows readers how if it can be done.
Scott also creates and manages contests to motivate, inspire and challenge his readers. And, to add to the mix, he has a question and answer Podcasts section, which is another great way to engage with the website visitors.
It is clear that the reader is the top concern with the team at Photo Focus, because the reader is ultimately the customer.
They offer the readers with full range of their knowledge, and I’m sure it pays off in both sales and followers.
It has been said time and again, that…Content is King.
Even though Scott Bourne’s website is about photography, we do not just see photos.
The posts are well written. Words are carefully chosen so even lay people can understand.
The content at Photo Focus is always offering tips that entice readers to subscribe so they will not miss the next post. The titles are attention-grabbing.
The content stays interesting all the way through.
Photographers tell stories through their photographs. Using that same system, Scott, and the writers at Photo Focus also tell stories in their blog posts. By doing so, the readers can relate. After all, everyone loves a great story.
Adam Bornstein at Born Fitness understands that would-be fitness experts come a dime a dozen on the Internet. But, as you look at his physique at the top of the Born Fitness website, you know that you are getting your information from a true fitness freak.
Out of many things, if you rea lly want to learn something about blogging from Adam, here’s what you can glean from his blog:
When I see a testimonial on a niche blog from a famous individual within that niche, I tend to trust that particular blogger behind that niche blog.
I’m sure the same is with you.
Adam gained testimonials from the likes of Arnold Schwarznegger, The Huffington Post and others showing that he is an expert in fitness. As you may already know, this is called social proof. It works.
The Nielsen/Norman Group points out psychological aspects of social proof. According to them, people follow along when someone they idolize endorses something.
So people who look up to Schwarznegger, will be more likely to subscribe to Born Fitness.
When your readers trust the famous or known individual endorsing your blog, they will automatically trust you.
Remember, as a niche blogger, the faster you gain your audience’s trust, the sooner you can convert them into leads – and ultimately into customers.
I showed in #7 how famous people can help make you and your blog trustworthy. But social proof needn’t come just from famous people.
As humans, we have a tendency to want to keep pace with what everyone else is doing. As a niche blogger, you can use that to your advantage.
Born Fitness uses this strategy in their niche blogging, and we can too.
Have normal people give testimonials about you and your niche.
When you display these testimonials on your page, your readers gain more trust in you. They’ll want to have what these normal people giving testimonials, have.
Since you’re showing proof of having helped others, so others will assume you can help them too.
We can actually get people to do what we want them to do by telling them, and showing them that other people are doing it. Corporations have used this technique (Nike’s Just Do It), and niche bloggers can use it too.
Adam Bornstein caters to a wide range of his audience’s needs – be it a beginner who needs help on starting a fitness program, or a bodybuilder looking to ramp up their workout regimen.
By doing so, Adam has the ability to develop products and services in various levels of difficulty, opening up his ability to sell to a wider range of his website visitors.
As we see below, his readers can customize the program Adam provides, depending on their needs and abilities.
A blogger can claim almost any accomplishment. But as Steve shows us, when you share actual success stories from real people, blog readers believe you more readily.
Those who use your product or service will generally be willing to offer a success story. You may offer a discount on their next purchase, or even a free item.
The niche blogging system that Steve runs has so many success stories that it is impossible to not believe that the Nerd Fitness program works.
Depending on your particular niche, you can ask your users and perform case studies on them. As I stated, you can offer a discount to them, with the understanding that you will use their statistics to show others the success of your product or service.
Don’t just say it works. Show your visitors proof … social proof.
Steve shows us another strategy that works well. He created a forum in which there are various communities of Nerd Fitness followers. By doing so, he can discover the needs and desires of his followers and develop blog posts and products that are aimed at that need.
Nerd Fitness has communities geared around Yoga, Women’s fitness, Nutrition, Weight loss and many more. An active community, which includes people with similar goals and mindset, helps motivate the members to attain their individual goals.
This community structure draws more subscribers, provides ideas for articles and products and instills website interaction.
You want to create a healthy, interactive community for the members in your niche.
Here’s an article about factors that create a sense of community.
Larry Easto published his book titled Writing a Book Makes You an Expert in Your Field. In it, Larry argues that writing a book and compiling all your knowledge and expertise within it, can help you come across as an expert in the industry.
When a person has a book published in their niche, they are almost automatically rated as experts.
Steve uses this strategy to publicize his standing and brand, which only adds to the popularity of his blog and establishes himself as an expert. Plus, he has another product that gains revenue.
His book is featured on several top blogs, adding to his popularity.
Niche bloggers should take the time to write and publish a book.
There are many inexpensive ways to self publish, and by doing so, you can build credibility while creating an additional revenue stream.
Ignite customer interest and make yourself seem credible by showcasing your previous work, and boldly mentioning who your clients are and were.
Jacob Cass of Just Creative shows us his success portfolio at Just Creative Portfolio.
Making an organized portfolio highlights the fact that you are successful, dedicated and an expert in your niche. It not only establishes you as reliable, but also shows your audience you are at the top of your game.
And also tells your audience, that you know your stuff and allows them to assess your expertise.
According to this article by the American Management Association about the value of approachability, being approachable brings many unforeseen benefits to an organization.
If you are approachable to your audience, the opportunities that come your way will dramatically increase.
Jacob understands approachability, probably more than anyone else I know. Not only does he give out his personal email, he also lists all his social media profiles, and even his travel itinerary on his website, for people to contact him.
Jacob makes sure he can be contacted in any, and all possible ways.
No matter what your niche is, or how large it is, being approachable is extremely important if you intend to grow your sales / business..
What better way to lock a reader’s attention than by displaying eye-catching images. Wendy Nguyen, the Fashionista, shows us this in a fantastic way on her fashion niche blog.
High quality images are used to express more than words can. Blog visitors love high quality photos. They can be shared on social media such as Facebook and Pinterest, which ultimately leads to more followers, and more sales.
Like writing a book on your niche, creating a magazine that is geared towards your niche blogging style is another method to build credibility. And generate sales.
“The Frame” by Wendy Nguyen is a perfect example of a niche-geared magazine. Wendy compiles beautiful images, persuasive content and well-defined brand marketing.
The magazine provides something “extra” for your website’s visitors and can also be downloaded.
Before you know it, your niche blog will have more followers who will be looking forward to both your new blog posts, and your next magazine edition.
Every niche blog should also have their own YouTube channel. This just provides another avenue to gain subscribers and followers.
Social media is a huge platform for publicizing and establishing your brand, and YouTube plays a large part in that.
Wendy creates highly informative content on her blog, magazine and YouTube channel. The YouTube channel gives her access to a broader audience, who may better grasp information visually or by streaming, than by reading.
And, she extends her reach to more people.
Wendy shares interesting content such as travel experiences, tutorials, tips and giveaways on her channel.
Promoting your niche blogs on multiple channels builds a wider range of subscribers.
People love to laugh. Geraldine gives us a great lesson on how making people laugh, can be an effective blogging strategy. She centers her humour around her husband, Rand Fishkin.
Niche blogging is educational in nature, but everyone likes it if they know you enjoy your job. There is no better way to express that than by adding humor.
And when people realize you can make them laugh, they’ll come back for more.
Her numerous out-of-the-ordinary titles always grab my attention. Here’s a look at one of the entries Geraldine developed:
You just have to read this to know where exactly Geraldine is going with the post.
Use creativity in your niche blogs. People long to view new, and different material, so do not be afraid of using your creative genius.
James Clear uses a strategy that is quite successful. It leads to better conversion rates, and grows your email list. He offers something of value to his audience in return for an email address.
Catchy lines, useful quotes, short insights, handy reminders, educational anecdotes, memorable examples derived from your previous blog posts, can all be compiled and offered as an eBook. Or as a content upgrade.
It’ll be valuable for your reader, and another way for you to build your email list.
In order to offer great content and content upgrades alike, specialized list building plugins like our Plugmatter Optin Feature Box and the Promo box (below)will let you do that smoothly and efficiently.
Audiences want to discover reliable information when they enter your platform. James Clear does a wonderful job of this by backing up his articles with facts and research, indicating he researches thoroughly and checks his claims carefully.
Include citations for the information and facts you provide in your articles. Your website visitors will be more likely to trust your words.
There is an overload of niche blogs that are messy. Overloaded with visuals.
Leo at Zen Habits shows us the “simple road.” His niche blogging style of simplicity,just works.
Just as many people do not enjoy a messy cluttered room, blog readers tend to dislike crowded homepages and websites. Babuta shows us an exemplary case of this.
Leo is also adamant about consistency. When we examine top niche bloggers, they are too.
If you are posting on a consistent basis, your visitors will come back for more. If you don’t, they will find someone else who is consistent.
I suggest you make a strict posting schedule and stick to it. One skipped day can cost you followers, sales and credibility. In a study by Tresnicmedia, they describe how they increased website traffic by 1000%, in 8 week. just by being consistent.
Leo been blogging consistently since 2007 and continues to do so. Use his consistency strategy, and watch your blog grow.
I know this is a large list of niche blogging strategies. It may not be possible to implement every one immediately, but you can start testing these strategies on your blog. Keep track of the gains you make, and cherry-pick the most effective ones. These niche bloggers are successful, and by following their niche blogging strategies, you can also find huge success.
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