Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What's In a Blog? Choosing a Focus to Get Noticed

I've never been entirely happy with the way I've run this blog. True, after writing (off and on) and evolving the content for almost six years, there's a lot of value wrapped up in it. Even without publishing regularly, I'm getting a couple thousand views per month; I peaked at 4,500 last March when I ran my Mechalarum Kickstarter. But I've never identified a target market and consistently delivered interesting and useful information to that audience.

It's hard to pick a focus when I'm interested in so many things. I could easily write pages and pages geared towards people running crowdfunding projects, authors writing and self-publishing their books, science fiction readers looking for entertainment, or NYC-based entrepreneurs building tech startups. Or I could just post photos like the one above because, come on, who doesn't like beer and waffles?

Another consideration is content style. Although content marketing is bigger than ever, blogs seem somewhat passe in 2014, falling in popularity compared to Tumblrs or simply "news sites." We have more stories than ever competing for our attention in a variety of formats. The stuff that succeeds needs to be rare, slick, attractive, informative, and/or easy to consume.

A third important factor is a bit vague - what will make me want to come back to writing my posts, day after day? My friend vowed to pick a "song of the day" every day this year, and he's stuck with it. It's fairly simple, interesting, personal, and sets up an expectation that people can get behind.

2014 is going to be the most rewarding and most profitable year I've ever had. Creating a regular content stream is an important part of that vision. I'm excited to try out new ideas, assess for both personal and audience interest, and iterate as needed.

Oh, and if you want to beer-and-waffle it up, check out the delicious selections available at Sweet Revenge.