Ready to expand your food blog into more than recipes or restaurant reviews? Here’s how to expand your writing from it’s niche to a lifestyle blog, encompassing a myriad of topics.
So you’ve had your blog in your niche and have been at it a while. That’s great. But something happens to many of us bloggers after we’ve been writing on a topic for a while. We yearn for more. More topics, diversifying our writing, more readership and more income. So what’s a blogger to do?
Many giving advice on blogging will tell you it’s best to start with a niche and then when you dominate that niche expand. For example, I started blogging about food. However, I decided I wanted to expand into more. I wanted to do product reviews and travel writing.
How to do it:
1. Revamp your site.
If you have a specific niche chances are you have different categories in that niche. For example, if you are a recipe blogger perhaps you have different categories of recipes (breakfasts, casseroles, dinners, slow cooker, desserts, etc). While that is terrific for how your blog has been operating, you need to think more big picture and who you are writing for. To date, you’ve attracted the attention of marketers of food, culinary gadgets and maybe even restaurants. But now your focus has expanded. Think about two to three categories you want to add and add those categories. You may even think about blog redesign as I did. Now, my travel posts and product reviews / recipes have more of a highlighted area on the site where they may catch the eye of these marketers.
2. Start with who you know.
If you’ve developed relationships with publicists (and I hope you have), begin with them. They already know and like working with you, so it is a no brainer they’d want to work with you to promote other clients. One of my publicist friends represents lots of brands, so when I reached out to her with an idea of promoting her salon client, she was thrilled. I got a cut and color and documented my experience on the blog for readers.
3. Recondition your followers.
If you’ve been constantly writing about one niche, to begin talking about something completely different may be a turn off to your followers. You don’t want to alienate them. So, don’t just quit writing about your main topic. Slowly begin adding in other categories. If you post three times per week, then add in your new category once in two weeks, then twice in two weeks until it becomes natural to discuss the other topics.
4. Hone your pitching.
If you started blogging and because of your readership have had brands come to you, you’ll find that with a new niche you must do your best to seek out brands to work with. Of course, you will have to have a couple posts related to your new niche that you can use as an example. Most companies and publicists want to see some example of what you can produce in relation to their client. It’s always best to have a couple examples you can point to before pitching and saying “I can provide influence to xyz resort” etc.
And now you are wondering:
Is my blog name too specific? So, what? My blog name is Atlanta Restaurant Blog. You can’t get much more specific than that. Yet, I’ve written about travel to places all over. I’ve written product reviews on items like haircuts and toothbrushes. The key to expanding is to first build your tribe (your followers of your blog and of you on social media). This makes you an influencer. When they trust your reviews on one niche they are more likely to follow you in other areas too.
Wouldn’t it be better to start another site? Maybe. If your topics are completely different than yes, starting a new site may be best. But chances are there is some overlap. Keep in mind that when you start a new blog, you are not just starting a new site, but you have to think about growing a social media following and an email list as well. While it may have been much easier in the past when the market wasn’t so saturated, it is much harder now. So, why not capitalize on the influence you have already built?