Blogging for growth is not accidental - in fact, it is very intentional. To grow your site, your social media and your personal brand, you need to be creating the right content for the right people. This will require some trial and error but if you have SEO tools, knowledge of your audience and a willingness to work at your writing, you will grow your blog - keep reading you and will find a few tools and tips to help equip you along the way.
On a podcast I was listening to recently, I heard Phil Rosenthal (creator of "Everyone Loves Raymond!") say that "what is niche is ultimately universal." Phil's story about his weird parents and his own struggles with his overbearing mother ultimately became a hit show. The characters on "Raymond" are people you know and this is what he attributes the show success to.
Target a Niche Audience
Rosenthal isn't writing "Raymond" from the perspective of all kids and parents, he is writing about a specific niche - in his case, immigrant parents who can't accept gifts, refuse their own kids success and make him feel generally like he can't win. This has made the show popular in America positioned as a New York family but has translated to hit shows in Russia and other countries as well.
The topics you are writing about should be targeted at something very specific. If you are a realtor maybe you need to write about neighborhoods that you cater to - become an expert on your part of town. If you are a chef/cook for a restaurant or in your home, write about your specific dishes and go deep. Going deep into your niche is what is working.
Another example of this from the sports world is The Athletic or PFF (Pro Football Focus). For years sports enthusiasts listened to sports radio, watch ESPN, read the sports page or a preferred website and what has emerged is "deep-dive" websites who look at something ultra specific. For PFF they watch game film of every player for an entire season and write about it. The Athletic is writing fewer but much deeper feature articles and they are hiring writers focuses on single team - they are going deep into their niche.
Okay, we recommend you go deep into a niche but before you do that maybe we should know if that niche is going to be profitable or how real of an interest is there. If you are a Chrome or Firefox user, go to Keywords Everywhere. Install this browser add-on and go do Google searches on topics you think you might want to write about.
You might type in a neighborhood name, a specific kind of food you want to make or a hockey player's name and the tool will give your keyword/query a score. If that score is above 2,500 it is worth writing about.
Tools to Become a Better Writer
Writing is one of those things in life that has no gray areas. There is no thinking about writing a book, you are either writing a book or you are not writing. You are either writing a blog or you are not. You cannot build a website full of blogs in a month (or maybe in a year). You are going to have to work and struggle to get better at writing. Here are some books we recommend to help you be a better writer:
These books are willing to discuss the struggle of writing but also leave you motivated to write.
A Blog Exercise
You need to go write. The best tip I can give you is this, find one topic and write ten blogs about it. Google the idea, look for variations and write about all of those variations. That exercise will help you write to master a topic. Read more about pillar-cluster blogging.
PS: A big shout-out to "You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes" one of our favorite podcasts.