Have you ever tried to take your writing to the limit? If you are a new blogger, one of the most common pieces of advice you’ll get about how to increase you traffic is “find top blogs in your niche and write guest posts for them.” I want to give you some counter-intuitive advice that I have heard from several A-list bloggers after conducting over 60 interviews: Find top blogs on the edge or outside your niche and write guest posts for them.
The Niches within Your Niche
While there are probably thousands of blogs in whatever niche you write about, there might only be 25-30 that are considered A-list blogs with thousand of subscribers. At some point even if you manage to score several guest posts on some of these blogs, diminishing returns will kick in and you won’t get as many subscribers as you did from previous posts. Talk to people who have written multiple guests posts on Problogger, and you’ll realize this is not the answer to all your blog traffic problems. Sure, it helps, but it’s a small piece of a much bigger picture.
6 Sub-Niches in the Personal Development Niche
For the purposes of exploring this concept I want to use not only a very popular blogging niche, but one that is a perfect example, Personal development blogs. Within the personal development niche there are an endless amount of sub niches that you can write guest posts for.
- Health/Fitness: As anybody who reads my blog knows, I’m an avid surfer. It’s something I write about quite regularly on my blog. A few weeks ago it occurred to me that I hadn’t ever written about surfing for a health and fitness blog. I did a google search for top health and fitness blogs and I found one that Leo had actually written about. So, I knew it was quite popular and submitted a post on the health and mental benefits of surfing, which got accepted.
- Personal Finance: I’m not a personal finance genius, but the top personal finance blogs are some of the most popular blogs on the web. Blogs like Get Rich Slowly and I Will teach You to Be Rich have several hundred thousand daily visitors, and guests posts on these blogs can send your traffic through the roof.
- Dating/Relationships: Another area you might not have thought about writing guests post for is the dating/relationship niche. Personal development is largely connected to this niche and the amount of people searching for dating advice online is probably in the millions every single day. Yaro Starak even said that dating/relationships is one of the 3 meganiches of making money online.
- Your Hobbies: Be sure to explore your own interests in a bit more detail. You never know how many popular blogs there are out there that you could guest post for. If you are a musician, find a popular music blog and submit a guest post for it. If you are an artist, find a popular blog about art and write a guest post for it. At this point, I’m convinced there are popular blogs on just about every subject imaginable.
- Productivity/GTD: Productivity is another one of those areas that gets explored quite a bit by personal development bloggers, yet it’s not often that somebody tells you to find a top GTD blog and submit a guest post. Some of these blogs are also the most popular ones on the internet.
How to find the Edges of Your Niche
You might be wondering how you go about finding the edges of your niche. While it might be a bit harder if your niche is extremely narrow, don’t limit yourself. If you write good content and can tie your own experience to the subject of the blog you want to guest post for, then your guest post will be accepted. Let’s say you play guitar and you have a blog about playing guitar. You could actually write a post for a personal development blog about life lessons from playing a guitar, what it takes to learn a musical, instrument, etc, etc. If you want to find the edges of your niche, sit down with a mindmap and start brainstorming all the things that are connected to your subject. Once you figure out what all those are find blogs that tie to those and you’ll have discovered the edges of your niche.
Benefits of Writing Outside Your Niche
New Readers: The most obvious benefit of guest posting in general is the influx of new readers. When you start getting outside of your niche, you’ll reach an even wider audience than you would when posting within your niche. If for example you look at some of the top personal development blogs, it’s often the same people who read, guest post, and comment on all of them. It’s somewhat incestuous. Writing outside the niche allows you to truly attract new readers.
New Relationships: Another thing that writing outside your niche will enable you to do is form new relationships. When I have clients who ask me about how to grow fan pages, audiences, etc, I tell them to consider forming relationships with people who compliment your niche. I have a client who makes Ionic hair straighteners and they give one away for free every single week (search for Bio Ionic on Facebook and you can win). I told them to consider partnering up with mom bloggers, and other bloggers who write about cosmetics. This is just one example. Writing outside your niche will result in some great relationships.
Have you found other ways to reach new readers and audiences outside your niche? Let us know in the comments below.