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The 3 Ways to Write a Blog

Marillion AudienceWhen you create a blog there are three ways you can approach your subject matter.

Which approach you choose will have a big impact on how fast you grow awareness and audience, plus will be decisive in how easy you find the actual writing.

It is something worth thinking about but people rarely do until after their blog is launched.

  1. Write about whatever interests you – You will always have something to write about because you can just turn to your current fancy, but the blog will be unfocused, hard to define and find gaining traction difficult.
  2. Decide on an identified, focused subject – Audiences love when you are ultra-specific in your blog goal and articulate it well. It works especially well when you identify a pressing need. Sometimes it can be difficult to maintain the blog past a certain point if you exhaust all your material early.
  3. Attract a specific audience – Rather than focus your topic you can focus your audience. This is a compromise between the above two choices. You identify a motivated audience, cater your blog specifically to them, then can select anything that interests you that will interest that audience too.

You will find type 1 blogs are the slowest to grow. Type 2 blogs take off like a rocket once awareness is raised, you can get across the benefits immediately, they are easier to spread virally and are the simplest to brand and position. Type 3 blogs tend to fall between the two and depend on niche, amount of focus and breadth of audience.

As you might have guessed, this is a type 3 blog.

  • Can you think of examples for the other two types?
  • Which type does your blog come under?
  • What does the picture have to do with this article? 😉
  • What other benefits do type 3 blogs have …?
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Comments

  1. My blog falls between types 2 and 3, with a bit of type 1 thrown in. I write about a focused subject which interests both me and my audience. I’ve found that this blog has grown much quicker than my personal blog which is definitely type 1. Although I don’t think the material will ever be exhausted, there are definitely times when inspiration is lacking. Luckily, I’ve been on a bit of a roll recently. 🙂 Nice post, Chris.

  2. Mine has always historically been a type 1 but I’ve realised that the time has come to change that as my interests have been changing – some of the topics I used to post about I no longer do so the focus is changing.

    Only problem is that I don’t really have a niche so it’s a case of finding one or developing the blog to a few key areas and trying to become more of an authority in those.

    Consequently, I’m looking at a mixture of all three – it’s a hard life 😉

  3. Interesting approach to the bloggging picture.

    If I were to classify mine, it has obviously started as a [1], and has grown to become a [3].

    It has never been a [2] nor I like it to be. Not the current one at least. Giving it a second thought, I’d say it is impossible to become a [2] since it has been in other categories.

    Would you agree with this? You can switch between categories, but you can’t become a [2] if you are not born a [2] (unless you consider a new start at some point)

  4. I think some blogs live with the ideas that other blogs are posting. Not to say that they are copying but they tend to build their blog posts on ideas of others.

    I have a Type 2 blog although I find Type 3 is easier for monetization purposes as when started, the blogger is likely to know what the readers want. Thereafter, monetization might become easier.

  5. Ah, excellent clarifying post. In my authority blog I think I started out to write a 2, but the focus has gotten rather wide, so I think it’s become a 3.

    Which is okay, but the blogs I admire most are 2’s. An interesting observation. I may try to focus more… It’s something I’m pondering.

    Elaine Luther

  6. My blog is a combination of 2 and 3, and growing at a good pace. What I get from the picture you’ve used in this post is the importance of doing or writing what we’re passionate about, and that others will find enjoyable as well.

  7. I really appreciate your site. I get a lot of interesting ideas from it. My site is type 2, and I’m patiently waiting for the “take off like a rocket” stage. The site, TeamRCIA.com, is focused on the rites and procedures of adult initiation into the Catholic Church.

    As might be obvious, the audience is not very Internet literate and so viral marketing is more challenging. My strategy is to provide consistent, compelling content to build a sufficiently large reader base and then begin monitizing the blog.

    I’m not sure what sufficiently large is, though, or exactly how to measure it. Total monthly visits? Total returning visits? Total page views? Time on site? I’m looking at all those and seeing some small but consistent increase in each area, which is encouraging.

  8. My blog is in the first group.

  9. Hi Chris,
    I really like your style of writing; you write like a teacher. Umm, what the picture has to do with the blog – you want to be a rockstar? No, let me guess again. You are on stage as a blogger, and need to shine in the glorious spotlight. I am a very visual person, that’s why I like photography. I think connecting pictures and words is important in blogging, and you can spin off all kinds ideas from one picture.

  10. I’m definitely a type 1 blogger. I have to agree that I generally have something to write about but I have noticed incredibly slow growth. I have been lucky though with one or two really nice links from a couple of websites for some music organization posts that I wrote.

  11. Never thought about categorizing blogs in this way before. Interesting.
    Mine’s definitely a type 2.

  12. Hey Chris, great post.

    I would think my blog falls under a #2 and #3 because it is directed towards a certain subject and also attracts only one type of person.

    -Scott

  13. Mine is definitely a type 1 blog. I like it that way and I am happy with the growing audience. Its growth is slower than some and faster than others. You can certianly do a type 1 blog, gain an audience, make some money, network, and have fun. Some days when social media hits, 50,000 people visit. Most days about a 1000 visit. I can’t complain. I’ll just keep building an audience, I am confident about that.

    Blogging has been one of the best experiences of my life. I enjoy having a worldwide soapbox. Sometimes people listen, sometimes they walk away, that’s the beauty of it.

  14. Thanks for the post – I have never thought to classify my blog before. My blog is a type 3 and type 1 blog because it’s mainly directed at people who read the same kinds of books I read. It’s very true that this kind of blog is easy to monetize, because you are certain that your audience will like ___ book.
    On the picture… um… my take on it is a little different from everyone else. I think it’s about how you project yourself. Since it is of a rock concert, I thought of all my musician friends with different ideas of their niche – some are indie rockers and have a small niche – they are type 3. Some are very commercial and concentrate on the kind of music that got them success (or the music they hope will make them “take off like a rocket) – they are type 2. Others just play what they want and figure the audience can come along for the ride if they want to– they are type 1.

  15. I think my blog is somewhere between a 2 and a 3. It’s kind of hard to say which. I mean, it’s got a niche, but it’s a pretty open one. Basically, anything that relates to Edmonton (specifically to arts and culture, but I don’t write exclusively about those things). On top of that fairly broad niche, I try to write about whatever my audience will find interesting.

    My personal blog, of course, is a 1. I just write about whatever sparks my interest at the time.

  16. Right now I’m a #1, mostly because I’m fresh from a long break and am trying to find something new/interesting to write about. It’ll be a while before I get focused again.

  17. Before I opened my blog, I decided to “focus” on “whatever interests” me
    but somehow, some of my interested topics attract “specific audiences” to come to my blog.
    so, writing what readers want is my first priority now.
    but sometimes it can be stress, so I’ll open tumblelog to write whatever I want brainlessly

  18. Julia hit the nail on the head. Bands tend to fall in the same 3 classifications.

    1)We play whatever we want, take it or leave it.
    2)Play a particular kind of music.
    3)Cater to a particular audience.

    My blog’s to young to know, and still wants to be a Fireman when it grows up.

  19. You are right! I have said this many times, unfortunately it is difficult to not do some things, just to keep the blog focused.

  20. Chris,
    This was an enlightening post. I never thought about the difference between #2 and #3 until just recently. I am now focusing more on my ideal clients, so my blog will turn into a 3 over the next month or so.

  21. My blog falls under #1 .. I guess thats good enuf .. 😀 .. none wants to read it 😀

  22. Thanks Chris…now I know I’m number three.
    End up here every time I need something useful, so I thought I would say hi.
    Keep up the good work!