Are you writing in circles trying to find a great focus for your blog?
I get emails everyday from bloggers who struggle to find their focus.
That’s because it’s not easy to choose a focus for your blog that you really care about, and that draws an audience. It’s natural to struggle to find a focus – it’s kind of like finding someone to marry. It doesn’t happen in a day.
But you can do it.
Here are 5 reasons you may be struggling to find your focus, and suggestions for how to find it anyway.
1. You have SO MUCH you care about, and you want to write about all of it in your blog.
I get it. It’s your blog. You want to write about all of the difference facets of you.
Your trip to the Philippines last year. Your dog. Your love of chocolate chip peanut butter cookies.
And that’s fine. As long as you either don’t care about building an audience quickly, or you have such an incredible writer’s voice that people will show up just for that.
I love writing about all sorts of stuff, too.
But blogging and writing aren’t the same thing. Writing in its purest form is about connecting with yourself, and blogging is really about connecting with an audience, and getting them to come back.
So if you are struggling to find a focus because you want to write about everything you care about, here are a few suggestions:
- Keep writing about everything you care about, just not all on your blog.
- Keep writing about everything you care about, but do it for a very specific audience. If you want to write about health, and fashion, and beauty, that’s fine. But make sure you focus on helping women in their early 20s with those topics. Or baby boomers. Be specific.
- Keep writing about everything you care about, but with a specific angle. For example, you could write about a wide array of topics, but all from a mental health angle. Or from a saving money angle.
2. You are afraid that if you pick a focus, people will get bored by it, or you will get sick of writing about it.
Picking a topic is kind of like getting married.
When you choose to marry one person and stick with him or her for the rest of your life, you are essentially saying, “I am now going to keep talking to this person every single day for the next 40+ years.”
My parents have been married for 35 years, and they still love talking to each other.
It’s the same with choosing your focus. If you choose the right one, you will never get sick of writing about it.
If you are afraid you or your readers will get bored with your topic, do a mind mapping exercise where you take your topic and break it down into smaller and smaller pieces. To read about the whole process, check out this post.
You will see that your topic contains so many more possibilities than you ever realized.
And if you’re worried about boring people, don’t. Because most readers – even your most dedicated ones – won’t see all of your posts. And those who do are just as passionate about your topic as you are.
3. You don’t want to turn people off by focusing on just one thing.
It’s the classic fear of turning people away.
You want to cater to everyone, so that no matter who lands on your blog, they will want to stick around.
I hate to break it to you, but that’s pretty much impossible.
Even my own mom doesn’t really resonate with my blog posts. She loves my writing, but she told me that she doesn’t really “get” what I blog about.
But that’s okay, because if you are reading this, you do “get” it. And I care about that more than making my mom – or anyone who doesn’t blog – want to stick around.
When people get to your blog, they should either think, “This was written for me.” Or “This isn’t for me.”
It should be very clear whether they are in the right place.
If you are struggling to find your focus because you’re afraid of turning people away, consider the vast number of people in the world.
And the huge number of people who are interested in any given topic.
Chances are, you will have a tough enough time getting all 500,000 people who care about your topic to find your blog, let alone the 7 billion people in the world.
But when one of those 500,000 people does find you, they should know instantly that this was written just for them. And for that to happen, you have to have a specific focus.
4. It’s hard to find the intersection of your own passions and other people’s interests.
You want to write about something that you really care about, otherwise you’ll lose interest and your blog will fizzle out.
But you also need to write about something that other people care about, otherwise you’ll struggle to gain traction and build an audience.
How do you choose a focus that you and potential readers both care about?
Start with you. First, choose something that you really care about. Write about it for a few weeks Share your posts on social media. Just put it out there and see what people are resonating with.
After a month, go back and look at your social shares and comments. What did people really enjoy reading?
Take that topic and break it down further. Keep writing about it from different angles. Write your way into your focus.You can write your way into your blog focus. Here's how.Click To Tweet
5. Every time you sit down to write a blog post, you write about whatever inspires you in the moment, so it’s hard to stick to a focus.
This is how I blogged for my first month or so:
I woke up every morning, sat down, and wrote about whatever topic I felt passionately about in the moment.
And those posts were good. I wrote about parking karma, superheroes, morning practice. It was fun.
But then I decided that I really wanted my blog to build momentum. My mindset shifted from wanting to write about whatever, just to write, to wanting to teach with my blog. It became more about building something useful than about getting my ideas out there.
So I started doing something I’ve always thought I hated. I started planning.
It wasn’t that I had exact blog posts scheduled out on an editorial calendar. Editorial calendars have never worked for me.
It was more that I would choose a topic, and a goal, each month, and I would constantly be thinking of blog posts that related to my topic and moved me toward my goal. Whenever I thought of an idea, I would write it down in Evernote, so that when I sat down to blog, I had loads of ideas that were related to my topic.
Take it from me, an avid non-planner:
Don’t just sit down and hope to be inspired. Do some thinking beforehand. Create a specific goal and plan for your blog. It will be much easier to find your focus when you do.
- You can write about everything you care about, but find some kind of focus, whether it’s writing for a specific audience, or taking a specific angle.
- Every topic is so much deeper than you think. You won’t get bored if you take the time to break your topic down into smaller pieces and write about it in different ways.
- Don’t worry about turning people away. Because just as you’re turning some people away, others will get to your blog and think, This is just what I’ve been looking for.
- Start writing about your own interests, then see which posts people really love. Take those posts and write offshoots.
- Even if you’re not a super planner, have some idea of your monthly focus and goals. Then write down post ideas whenever they come to you, so that when you sit down to blog you have ideas that are related to your central focus.