10 Aug 5 Smart Reasons to Create Content Outside Your Niche
Written by Larry Kim
Blogging can be a powerful way for you to build your personal brand and increase the visibility of your company within your industry. Ideally, both at the same time.
Your end goal, of course, is to become a top leading expert on the topics that matter to your niche. And when you’re first starting out, committing to a niche is important. You must own and dominate it.
Yet, a day will eventually come when you’ve exhausted your niche. You’ll realize that you have finally worked “until you no longer have to introduce yourself,” as the great anonymous once put it so eloquently.
What do you do then, when the “law of diminishing blogging returns” kicks in?
If you’ve reached this point, you may want to start exploring topics that are outside of your core niche. After all, writing off-topic posts can have many benefits. To help you better understand this strategy, let’s walk through some of the reasoning, as well as a few tips for getting started.
5 Smart Reasons to Create Content Outside Your Niche
1) You can reach much bigger audiences.
Once upon a time I was a nobody, writing for an internet marketing company nobody had ever heard of. A smart content promotion strategy changed all that.
Suddenly, I was no longer writing about marketing topics just on the WordStream blog. I was writing for major industry publications like Search Engine Land, Moz, Search Engine Watch, and Search Engine Journal about PPC, display advertising, social media marketing and advertising, and SEO.
At this point, I was thrilled when a blog post would become a “unicorn” — getting tens of thousands of views, and absolutely thrilled whenever one would get a couple hundred thousand views.
This was a great achievement. But I soon realized I was hitting my own point of diminishing returns by writing about advertising and marketing. So I started going off-topic a couple of years ago. I started writing for Inc.com, mainly about startups and entrepreneurship — which I’m ridiculously passionate about.
Now, suddenly, the unicorns were even more sparkly and amazing. When I’d hit a home run with a blog post, it might get a million views. And if I hit a grand slam with a blog post, it might get more than 10 million views.
Bottom line: What you lose in topical relevancy you’ll make up for in volume.
2) You can start biasing future customers.
When you’re creating content, there are a couple of types of people you need to think about:
- People who know they need the product/solution you sell.
- People who don’t yet realize they need the product/solution you sell.
Writing about off-topics is a brilliant way to reach and start biasing that second group of people toward you and your brand. And that’s why I started writing about entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs probably aren’t actively looking for articles about AdWords, but small business owners are definitely interested in marketing topics.
Writing about off-topics allows you to connect with people before they even need the types of services your company provides. By establishing a relationship through a shared interest now, you can increase the odds that later on those same people will come to you first and become your customers when the need arises.
3) You can increase your social media engagement.
If you’re fortunate enough to write for a large publication such as Inc.com, which has millions of fans on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll see your follower counts soar. All you have to do is write about interesting topics.
Every time Inc.com shares my content organically, I pick up more followers: When I started writing for the publication couple of years ago, I had less than 100,000 Twitter followers. Now, I have more than 300,000 followers.
Medium is another great platform to pick up new readers with your off-topic posts. Plus, publishing on Medium might help you get noticed by a publication with a large readership.