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How to Have an Influence on Your Niche
As a blogger, knowing your niche thoroughly is important. In order to become relevant in your niche you must be able to get involved with others and find a way to separate yourself from the many other bloggers who cover the same topics as you. Networking with other bloggers is a crucial part of gaining an influence on those in your niche. Without being part of the blogging community of those around you, your blog will likely be overlooked by many potential readers.
Here are 10 ways that you can increase your impact on your niche:
1. Focus on quality of content
This is important for any aspect of blogging and it’s a topic that gets repeated over and over if you do any type of reading about blogging. Despite the fact that it’s not a new idea, it is first on this list for a reason. Nothing else you can do as a blogger will have as big of an impact on your long-term success (networking is a close second, in my opinion).
While there may be hundreds or thousands of other bloggers in your niche, it’s likely that only a few of them actually publish high-quality, original content. Always appreciate the value of quality content, and put as much time as you can afford into content creation. It will pay off. With top-notch content, others in your niche will take notice.
2. Read and comment on other blogs
Reading other blogs in your niche is critical to your development and continued learning, not to mention for networking purposes. Commenting on other blogs is always mentioned as a way to get noticed by others and to draw traffic to your blog. While comments will rarely draw a significant number of visitors to your blog, they add up if you actively leave a number of interesting and relevant comments. Just as importantly, you can get other bloggers to notice you by consistently providing quality feedback on their posts.
Most subscribers of other blogs in your niche will subscribe to a number of blogs, and they’ll likely be interested in adding more if you can prove that you have something valuable to say. As a result, commenting on other blogs in your niche is one of the best ways to get your name and your thoughts in front of targeted visitors.
For more information on commenting, read Caroline Middlebrook’s post Do You Have A Blog Commenting Strategy?
3. Write guest posts for other blogs
One of the most effective methods of gaining exposure for my blog has been writing for others. When I first started promoting my blog I contacted a few bloggers each week about the possibility of writing a guest post for them. Almost every one wound up posting at least one of my articles. This helped for getting my name out there to others in my niche, it helped to build links, and most importantly it helped me to make some valuable connections with other bloggers in my niche. Many of those bloggers that I initially contacted out of the blue have now become my friends and trusted members of my network. As a result, I still write for some of them (including here at Blogtrepreneur).
In my opinion, there is really no better way for a new blogger to make a big splash in their niche than by doing some guest posts on other blogs. As readers start to see your name a few times you’ll quickly become recognized. New bloggers shouldn’t be intimidated at the thought of contacting other bloggers about writing guest posts. Darren Rowse has published posts to his thousands and thousands of readers that have been written by new bloggers with less than 100 subscribers, and other have done the same (of course you’ll need to provide the best article that you are capable of).
What other way can you display your name and your knowledge to lots of targeted readers for free? Still, very few people really take advantage of the opportunity to write guest posts. If you are interested in more information, I wrote an article based on my experience that should help you to get started as a guest blogger.
4. Participate in social media
Social media sites are not only a great place to drive traffic to your blog, they are also an ideal place to network and build a profile. Many bloggers use social sites like StumbleUpon to meet and connect with others in their niche. If you are not actively using social media, you are missing out on some great opportunities.
Niche-specific social media sites can be especially beneficial as they will provide more targeted visitors and better networking opportunities. Rather than focusing all of your attention on the major social media sites, try to find one or two that are highly relevant for your blog and spend some time using these sites and getting to know some of the users.
5. Participate in forums
There are online forums for just about any topic you can possibly think of. Forums are a great place to network with others in your niche, build your reputation, drive traffic to your blog, and help others at the same time. Many other bloggers and blog readers in your niche will be actively participating in forums, so it is another way to get involved with a targeted audience.
6. Write follow ups to posts from other bloggers
Want to get noticed by a particular blogger in your niche? Publish a follow up article that builds on a post from them and then send an email with a link to your post. Just about every blogger will at least take a look at the article to see your opinion and read what you have to say about their post. I have used this method a few times and it has worked very well. By adding on some valuable and insightful information, you can show that you belong in the category of the top bloggers in your niche.
7. Launch a community aspect on your blog
Blogs don’t have to be limited to simply posts. There are other options to get people involved and build a community around your blog. If your blog becomes a hub of activity for those in your niche, you will certainly have more impact than you could without it.
Forums are a common example of this. There are several options for quickly and easily adding a forum to any website, and then your blog visitors will be able to interact and communicate at a different level than just with comments on posts.
Another option is to add a community blog. Courtney Tuttle added a section to his site that he calls You Blog. With you blog anyone can register and post an article on topics related to internet marketing. SEOmoz also has a similar blog that they call YOUmoz.
8. Hold a group writing project
A group writing project can be a good way to get a number of bloggers from a particular niche together for mutual benefit. There are many different forms of group writing projects, but typically any blogger will be able to post an article on their own blog about a specific topic. Then they submit their link to the host blog and the host will publish a post with links to all of the other posts. Sometimes there are contests and prizes involved, other times the links, exposure and networking are the prizes.
9. Network with other bloggers through email
If you are new to blogging you may be hesitant to contact other bloggers. In most cases, bloggers are happy to get to meet others in their niche. Take a few moments to use a contact form at some of the blogs that you frequently visit. Just introduce yourself, mention something that you like about the blog, and briefly tell them about your own blog. Your never know what might come out of a simple introduction.
With those bloggers who you are already a little bit familiar with, make an attempt to stay in touch via email or instant messaging. Your network, especially of those in your niche, will be critical to your success. Always be looking for opportunities to help others and you will easily build a strong network.
10. Advertise on other blogs in your niche
If you have a little bit of a budget, consider paying for some ads on other blogs that share your target audience. When compared with other types of advertising and purchased traffic, advertisements can be pretty low cost, and they should produce targeted visitors. Advertising isn’t necessary, but it can certainly help to improve your exposure.
There will be plenty of options with advertisements. Take a look at several blogs in your niche and see where you can get the most impact for your money. You can pay for banner ads, text link ads, RSS footer ads, and there are also a growing number of widgets, such as Scratchback, that are being used by many bloggers.
What would you add?
How do you attempt to become a larger player in your niche? What has worked well for you and what hasn’t worked?