Warning Signs that Your Blog’s Focus is Too Narrow

If you read a few articles on blogging for a career or business, you’ll most likely come across some warnings that you shouldn’t make your blog’s content too broad or generic. Without a doubt, you should heed these warnings: if your blog’s content is too generalized or superficial, it won’t distinguish you or your business in the way that you want it to. Worse still, if your blog posts cover topics that stray too far from the products and services that your business provides, you risk scaring wary and internet-savvy customers away. At best, your blog (and, by extension, your business) will look unprofessional. At worst, it’ll look like some kind of scam, black hat SEO scheme or nest for computer viruses. Narrowing the subject matter of your blog’s content and providing in-depth information will enhance your brand identity and help turn visitors into customers.

On the other hand, you should take care not to narrow the scope of your blog’s content too much. Doing so could make your business seem almost as faceless as making your content too broad. If you look over your posts and find any of the traits below, you may want to think about how you can widen your blog’s scope.

Content Overlap

When you go over your blog posts, does it feel as if you’re wandering around in the Department of Redundancy Department? That is, does the same information appear over and over? If so, your blog’s scope (or your approach to it) may be too narrow.

Think of your blog as a portrait for your business. You want it to convey not only information on your products and services but your values and personality. That extra little bit is what helps create customer loyalty: it gives people the feeling that they’re getting not just a high-quality good but a relationship. If you keep recycling the same information in your posts, it’s as if you’re presenting your potential customers with a portrait of your ear or chin rather than the full picture.

Too Much Detail

If your blog starts feeling like an instruction manual after you read over some of your posts, you might want to change things up a little. You want to show that you’re knowledgeable, but the people looking at your blog won’t want some art or science project that shows what a good little schoolboy or schoolgirl you are. An easy and effective way to work through this problem is to put yourself in the customer’s position. Ask yourself, “If I were coming to this blog, what would I want to see? What would make me comfortable and valued? What would make me trust this person enough to give him/her my money?”

Too Much Emphasis on Your Products/Services

This may seem somewhat counterintuitive. After all, isn’t the whole point of your blog to showcase your products and services? Well, yes, but pushing those too hard in your blog can make people feel as if you’re only interested in taking their money. Again, think of your blog as a portrait rather than an ad. If you can cultivate a personal connection with your customers through your blog, your business will flourish.

Doing It Right

For an example of a business’s blog that makes most of the right moves (in my opinion), take a look at the blog for Costume Supercenter. Sure, they have posts devoted just to showcasing their inventory, but they also tie many posts in with topics that will probably interest their customers (Kevin Clash resigning from Sesame Street, Christian Bale visiting the Aurora shooting victims, etc.). They may not post as regularly as you may want to (you’ll notice that anywhere from a week to a month may pass between posts), but when they do, they give the impression that there are living, caring people on the other side of your computer screen.

Nowhere is this more true than in their post involving Hurricane Sandy safety precautions. Note that they don’t turn this into some kind of pitch for their product. They just warn people to be safe and provide some tips on how they can do that (in this case, there’s probably no such thing as too much detail). Talk about looking out for your customer. Also, look at the posts that show the damage done to their facilities. These show very powerfully that the people at Costume Supercenter are human beings who are suffering just as so many others along the East Coast are.

At the risk of sounding redundant, think of your blog as a portrait. Present both a business and human face to your customers and they’ll want to do business with you.

Jessica Reynolds writes and blogs on a variety of topics relating to business, education and technology. She currently writes for the science poster printer postersession.com.

Filed in: Blogging
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