Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 4 of BBB Challenge - Analyze a Top Blog in Your Niche

Well, I guess it would be good to have a niche first in order to do this.  I re-tagged my posts into broader categories so I could see what I write most about so far.  From 10s of categories, I'm down to 6 topic areas: books, business, culture, gardening, perfume and technology with business and gardening having the most number of posts.  So I'll benchmark those 2 categories.

There's no better place than Alltop - All the Top Stories by Guy Kawasaki to find blogs to benchmark by niche or category from A to Z, from Work to Sports, from Gardening to Geos. There on the gardening page I happened upon Kathryn Hall's blog, Plant Whatever Brings You Joy.  

Kathryn posts about 4 to 5 times a month and she's a weaver.  She uses each post to weave a number of threads into a story around a topic like the legend of dogwoods to a walk in the woods with her daughter.  Not a how-to garden blog or a where-to-see gardens blog, but really a broader look at planting in life.  Hers is one of the Top 5 Most Visited Blogs at the blog aggregator Blotanical.  Key takeaway:  You can cover a lot of different topics in a way people like if you anchor them in a story.

To identify business blogs I followed links from Problogger that ultimately led me to NxE's 50 Most Influential Women Bloggers.  Many of these were, not suprisingly, about how to use technology in business and so provide heaps of value to those who are climbing the technology curve.  Key takeaway: Provide value to be popular:)

Overall, after losing my way in the blogosphere for 2 hours, one common observation emerged; everybodies blog is customized with unique header photos and layout.  Granted, the blogs I looked at are top notch so that's a pretty high bar given my current html coding skill level.  But still, it's the bar.  The challenge now is to learn how to do it!

To sum it all up:
1.  To take one small step toward the high bar, customize my template with a photo.  
2.  To engage you more, develop my storytelling ability, voice and conversational style
3.  To add more value, focus the content a little more, and find the intersection of the needs of my readers with my passions.

What do you think? What else would you like to see?


1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Hi, Jennifer! So happy you found your way to Plant Whatever Brings You Joy, and thrilled to have been one of the honored subjects of your journey into blogging! Thank you so much and much success to you and your blog! Kathryn xoxo