Last week, I covered the meaning of blog focus and the benefits and reasons to narrow your blog’s focus by your writing style or content. As part of this ongoing series on Blog Struggles, today I want to cover how to find your blog focus, and tomorrow, how to change your blog’s focus.
Finding your blog focus is not as easy to define as it may seem. Your blog’s focus is a combination of:
- Your writing style.
- Your blogger persona.
- Your blogger perspective on the subject.
- Your blog’s content.
Your blog content often dictates your writing style, and your blogger personal. I can also reflect your perspective on the subject. So the clues lie within the blog’s content as to your blog’s focus.
Let’s break this down into easier chunks.
What Are Your Post Categories?
Look at your blog post categories first. Write them down on a piece of paper, arrangement them by related subject matter. Your order may be different. If you only have a few post categories, then check your post tags, such as your tag cloud, to get a list of your most blogged about subjects.
The following are the categories for a client I worked with last year, and the process we went through to determine his blog’s focus by exploring post categories:
- Tech News
Combine them into related subjects:
- Tech News
At first glance, it appears that this blogger’s main interest would be in Entertainment and News, but this isn’t enough information to make a final decision. We need to know how many posts are in each category. This gives us a better sense of the blogger’s interest.
If your blog’s category list features the number of posts written in each category, add it to your paper list. If it doesn’t, then check your WordPress Administration Panel Category panel to get a count of how many posts you’ve written in each category. If your blog has a post tag cloud, then “measure” the quantity of posts by the size of the tag.
- Books (3)
- Celebrities (11)
- Crafts (8)
- Television (12)
- Movies (16)
- Events (5)
- Games (7)
- Music (45)
- Videos (26)
- Censorship (28)
- Education (8)
- Health (3)
- Politics (7)
- Science (14)
- Tech News (36)
- Dating (14)
- Family (16)
- Food (7)
- Pets (5)
- Travel (19)
- Work (9)
From this example, it’s clear the blogger has written more, thus is more interested in, on the subjects of Music, Videos, Censorship, and Tech News. Clearly, these are similar, but they are also distinctly different. More information is needed.
Digging into each of the categories, I found that this blogger wrote mostly about music. The posts in the Videos category were mainly about music videos. The posts on Censorship had to do with censoring music and artists. The tech news mostly covered digital music subjects such as editing, recording, playing, and MP3 technology.
I dug even deeper and found that the posts under Travel had to do with going to see bands and music performances, as did the Events and Celebrities. Education was about teaching music and using music in schools. One post in Health was about losing your hearing due to exposure to loud music at an early age. Even the Science category of posts dealt with musical subjects, including anthropological research into music styles throughout history.
While the blogger didn’t know it, he was already blogging on a narrow subject, music, even though he swore he had no idea what his blog was about.
What can analyzing your blog categories and post topics tell you about your blog’s content and focus?
Can’t Find Your Blog Focus or Passion?
If you cannot find your blog focus or passion – and you are still clueless as to how focus your blog, blog what you know. Blog what you are an expert in.
I don’t believe it when people say “I don’t know anything”. That’s crap. We all know something. We all got here somehow, someway, and learned a few things along the way. Things we wanted to learn, and things we didn’t, but something kept us going until we reached this point.
Look at all of those things, tasks, skills, abilities, and techniques, and pick one to three of them. Do they feel right? Could you talk about them non-stop for the next three years? If not, keep looking.
What gets you excited? What do you look forward to? What inspires your muse? Inspires you? Motivates you? What do you keep repeating over and over again in your life? Or in your day?
I asked this of one client who told me that all he thinks about all day is going home and going to sleep. He can’t wait to hit the bed. As we talked, he started to describe his bed, the mattress, the sheets, the feel of the pillow, and then the way he set himself up at night to relax, let go of the day, and just close his eyes and drift off, no responsibilities, no pain, just relaxing for the only moment that day.
I did some research and introduced him to a number of bloggers obsessed with sleep. He was stunned. “You mean people actually find enough to write about sleep to blog about it?” Then he realized that some of these people were turning their sleep blogs into their business. “I love sleep! Can I blog about sleep?”
You can blog about anything, however, it is best to blog about what you are passionate about.
Blogging Your Passion
I believe that our passion, the driving artistic, creative, and energy force within us, is natural. We can spend a lifetime ignoring, restricting, and abusing ourselves to deny our passion, but we do it nonetheless. We can’t help it.
As shown in the example of this blogger, he was blogging about what he enjoyed. As he evaluated his blog content from this new perspective, he realized that it wasn’t about listening to the music, but how music made you want to listen. How it made you feel. How it moved you, entertained you, taught you.
Within two months of us narrowing down his blog topics and putting his focus totally on music, he realized that his career in accounting, already into his second year of study at the university, was not his chosen path. He switched his major to music, having already taken music courses for fun, and set his sights on becoming a music teacher at the least, and a music producer and director at the most. His blog changed accordingly.
In I’ve Learned That I Wanted To Be A Campaign Blogger, Pelf Nyok wrote about how, after two years of blogging, she learned what her passion was by writing a single blog post:
It all started when I blogged about a newborn baby with complex congenital heart disease and a teenager with acute myeloid leukaemia. That particular post did not generate much discussion in terms of comments but the satisfaction I felt was indescribable. I did not know how much my post would influence the baby and the teenager but I knew that I had done whatever I could at that point in time — to raise and spread awareness about them and their diseases.
Then I realized that I enjoyed doing it. I enjoyed spreading awareness on issues that needed the attention, and I enjoyed sharing with my readers the many ways that they could help the needy. And over time, that particular post grew into a category by itself and then a website by its own!
Her site, The Giving Hands, is a campaign blog, campaigning for the rights, resources, and help those who can’t ask deserve. She discovered her passion was for charity, for helping those in need, and for making a difference in the world around her.
I believe that with time, we will automatically start leaning towards our favorite content naturally. You can’t help it. That’s what holds your interest, and keeps you coming back for more. Your blog will unconsciously show you where your passion lies, if you open yourself up to the possibility and are willing to look.
Changing Your Blog Focus
Tomorrow, I’ll continue with this topic of blog focus in the ongoing series on Blog Struggles. Now, test your blog to see if you are already exposing your passion to the world without noticing it.
The Blog Focus Series
- Blog Struggles: The Blog Focus
- Blog Struggles: Why Should Your Blog Have a Focus
- Blog Struggles: Finding Your Blog Focus
- Blog Struggles: Changing Your Blog’s Focus
- How People Search the Web and How They Can Find Your Blog
- Website Development – Keywords Help You Write Your Blog
- 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Blog
- Horse Sex and What is Dictating Your Blog’s Content?
- Do You Ever Think About What You Write About?
- Hook, Line and Sinker: Luring Blog Traffic to Stay
- 20 Answers to the Question: What Does It Take to Blog?
- Blogging Challenge: Top 10 Keywords for Your Blog
- Blog Challenge: Who is Writing Your Blog?
- Blog Challenge: Testing Your Blog’s Development
- Blog Challenge: What Keywords Make You Number One in Google
- Copy Copy Copy: You Can’t Write My Post. I Can’t Write Yours.
- I Love Your List! I’m Going To Copy It!
- Blog Success: It’s the Linkable Content, Folks
- Nine Years Writing: How I Generate Writing Concepts, Tools, and Strategies I Use
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.