Blogging could be a powerful way for you to build your brand & develop the visibility of your company within your industry.
Your end aim is to be a top leading expert on the topics that matter to your niche, of course. When you are first starting out, committing to a niche is necessary. You must own & dominate it.
A day will eventually come when you have exhausted your niche. You will realize that you have lastly worked “until you no longer should introduce yourself,” as the good anonymous once put it so eloquently.
What do you do when the “law of diminishing blogging returns” kicks in?
If you have reached this point, you may want to begin exploring topics that are “outside” of your core niche. After that, writing off-topic posts have many benefits. To help you better understand this plan, let’s walk through some of the reasoning, as well as the tips for getting started.
1) You can have much bigger audiences.
When I was nobody, writing for an internet marketing company nobody had ever seen of. A smart content promotion plan changed all that.
Abruptly, I was no longer writing about marketing topics on the WordStream blog. I was writing for major publications such as Moz, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Journal about PPC, social media marketing, display advertising, advertising, and SEO.
I was thrilled when a blog post would be a “unicorn” — getting tens of thousands of views & absolutely thrilled whenever one would get hundred thousand views.
This was a huge achievement. But I soon appreciated I was hitting my point of diminishing returns through writing about advertising & marketing. So I began going off-topic a couple. I began writing for Inc.com, mainly about startups & entrepreneurship — which I am ridiculously passionate about.
Now, abruptly, the unicorns were even more sparkly & amazing. When I would hit a home run with a blog post, it can get a million views. If I hit a grand slam with a blog post, it could get more than 10 million views.
2) You can begin biasing future customers.
When you are creating content, there are a couple of types you need to think about:
- People who know they need the product or solution you sell.
- People who do not yet realize they need the product or solution you sell.
Writing off topic is a brilliant way to reach & start biasing that second group of people toward you & your brand. And that is why I began writing about entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs probably are not actively looking for articles about AdWords, but small company owners are definitely interested in marketing topics.
Writing about broader topics lets you to connect with everyone before they even need the types of services your company supplies. Now by establishing a relationship through a shared interest, you can develop the odds that later on those same everyone will come to you first & become your customers when the need arises.
3) You can develop your social media engagement.
If you are fortunate enough to write for a large publication like Inc.com, which has millions of fans on FB and Twitter, you will see your follower counts soar. You have to do is write about interesting topics.
Each time Inc.com shows my content organically, I choose more followers: When I began writing for the publication couple, I had less than 110,000 Twitter followers. And now, I have more than 350,000 followers.
Medium is another good platform to pick up new followers with your off-topic posts. Plus, publishing on Medium could help you get noticed through a publication with a large readership.
Just as one instance, I published a post on Medium about multitasking that generated almost half a billion views.
It was successful that it ended up being syndicated on a couple major publications. It was tweeted by the Arianna Huffington. Why not give it a try to have more followers gives you an even larger promotional vehicle for your on-topic content?
4) You can truly express.
Going off-topic gives you the opportunity to show more about yourself.
Simply publishing generic posts does not cut it anymore. There is way too much competition. You have to think about the tone & style of your content.
In case you could not tell, I really like unicorns & memes. It’s kind of what I am known for.
I want my posts to be helpful by including data & actionable tips. But it is equally necessary for me to write memorable posts, which is why I try to add some humor & use lots of visuals.
Remember that: A little personality goes a long way & will make you more interesting.
5) You will keep your sanity.
Once you have been writing for a few years, you will find that it will become increasingly hard to come up with new & interesting things to say about the same topics.
Take me, for instance. If I were just writing about nothing but AdWords features & tips for years, I would go nuts.
How To Get began With Off-Topic Content
Now that we have covered why you need to write about a wider variety of topics, how do you get began?
- Do your researches. Thinking about how the off-topic posts you need to write will help advance your career. What audiences could you reach & how could that help you?
- Seek a way to set yourself apart from established influencers in the same space. Make sure you know what you want to accomplish & have a strategy to achieve your aims.
Once you sort through the initial research & planning, you will need to nail down where you want to publish. To get began, do a search for popular sites that features posts on the topics you need to write about. Read the sites & figure out their style & what types of article perform well.
To do this quickly & easily, you will want to lean on BuzzSumo. With BuzzSumo, you could look into the top performing posts for some domain to generate a better understanding of what works well.
When you send your email, do not just pitch one idea. Pitch some original ideas with a unique angle to select from. Or build off an existing article they have published:
I saw your huge article on [topic] & wanted to see if you would have interest in publishing an article about [topic] that I can write exclusively for you.
Look for content gaps & offer to fill those. Editors can be more receptive when you show that you have done your research. And if you are having trouble coming up with unique and interesting ideas outside of your niche, turn to the tips:
- Take Twitter to audition topics. If you need to know whether you could invest your time writing about a certain topic. If your tweet generates lots of appointment, then you can be confident that there is an audience interested in that topic. If your Twitter audition bombs, don’t remember about that topic for now. You can revisit it in the future.
- Take BuzzSumo to discover topics. BuzzSumo is a powerful tool that helps you find which topics are super hot in any industry and which posts are the most popular on websites. Yes, it is paid, but I would consider it one of the wisest investments if you are serious about your content strategy.