PR Monday: Blogging To A Niche Audience

PR Advice for Mom Bloggers

I have been busy interviewing lots of amazing bloggers who monetize and work with PR well over the last week (in between being sick, house hunting with my mom and attending services). So, I am THRILLED to have Rachel back with us this week talking about her AHA! Moment in how to stand out from the crowd.

There are hundreds and hundreds of mommy blogs out there, blogs filled with griping, blogs filled with humorous stories, blogs filled with delicious looking food and recipes.  There are so many blogs out there.  How can we make our blog stand out?
This is the question I asked myself for a number of weeks.  I worked on my layout, on my fan pages, on interaction… and then I realized I missed the point!  What will make my blog stand-out from the masses is finding a niche and building in it.

To do this I first have to ask myself, what am I interested in?  What would be the easiest thing for me to write about.  I obviously picked my kids, that is why I am a stay-at-home-mom, right?  Now in the realm of kids – that’s a really big market of moms who are also interested in “kids”.  How can I narrow down the field of my “niche”, all mommy bloggers have kids!  Can I limit it by age range?  How about by a special circumstance (like raising a child with food allergies or step-children, etc)?  Can I narrow my focus in my presentation style (ex: mommy-goof ups, or expert tips, or photo documentation)?  Once you have an idea of your niche or what the purpose of your blog is going to be you should come up with several search-able phrases that fit your niche.  I like to think of myself as a blogger to moms of preschoolers.  The search-able phrases that I came up with are: “Fun learning activities” or “learning activities for preschoolers” or “preschool arts and crafts”.  Now is the fun part.   We get to figure out if people even care about that niche.  It is one thing to create a niche about “learning activities for preschoolers” but if no one wants to read it, I might as well just keep a private notebook at home, rather than maintain a public blog!

To find out if your niche has any value, check out the Keyword tool from Google Adwords.  It is free!  Type in your key phrases and add the cost per click (CPC) function.  Then look, are people searching for that phrase?  My keyword phrase “learning activities for preschoolers” is rarely ever searched and when it is the CPC is low, meaning it is not a valuable term for me to be investing my time and energies on – I probably won’t be able to find advertisers willing to sponsor my posts.  I can change it to “kids learning activities” or to “preschool learning games” and suddenly people are actually looking for the information.  For me, I blog so people can read it!  By tuning my blog towards a niche market I am able to get traffic that is looking for what I have to offer and will hopefully come back as I fulfilled their informational need.

The final step, once you have figured out what niche would interest you and what phrases you would target, is to come up with 50 potential posts.  Just brainstorm and fill up a notebook sheet.  Are you having problems coming up with 50 ideas?  Well, maybe you should change your niche to something more interesting to you.  Happy blogging!

Rachel is mommy to three preschoolers and blogs about their learning adventures, fun kids activities and tips that help her keep her sanity at Quirky Momma.  Have any blogging questions?  Feel free to contact her via twitter @quirkymommasite

A Pink Frosting Birthday

Hey all–have been super sick this week so not much energy to post. However, my friend Maryann has an awesome story to share! Hope you all love it as much as I did!

Maryann lives in Littleton, CO with her wonderful husband, their two fabulous (most of the time) teenagers and a large assortment of lovable pets. She is currently interviewing artists for her upcoming book.  Her blog is www.artists.50interviews.com

A Pink Frosting Birthday

We really lucked out with the weather that day.   When the rain began, I worried it may ruin our backyard birthday party.  Our daughter Stella and friends were celebrating her third birthday, and she was quite ready for cake.  Soon the sun burst out and a brilliant rainbow arched above.  Parents pulled out cameras and snapped away.  The rain dried up as fast as it came.  Cake eating could commence!

Stella, the birthday girl, was proudly wearing her favorite lacy, pink Barbie dress and couldn’t have been more excited to notice she matched the Barbie cake I had so painstakingly crafted that morning.

These kinds of baking projects always look easier than they are.  The inverted 8 cup measuring glass produced a gorgeous skirt-shaped cake.  Unfortunately, Barbie only sank up to her thighs in the soft white cake mound.  It turned out to be easier to make another cake than to cut off Barbie’s legs.  I know, because my husband and I tried!  Needless to say, wire cutters, pliers and a steak knife weren’t up to the task of rendering a shorter Barbie.  I then hastily prepared a small cake to place on top of the first cake.  It was soon trimmed to size and set into place.  I frosted the cake around a carefully positioned Barbie.  The pink of the frosting matched Stella’s dress to perfection.  White frosting was stuffed into the cake decorator to embellish Barbie’s full length pink skirt with garlands and rosettes.  Two big puffs of frosting were applied to her ample chest and Barbie was ready for her birthday debut.

The sun was shining and it was time for cake!  I picked up Stella and plopped her upon the picnic table.  Her plump, little, bare feet poked out of her lacy pink skirt.  The Barbie cake was ceremoniously placed in front of her and her proud smile was caught on film for a cherished family memory.

The little pink dress is now tucked away in my daughter’s scrap-box of mementos.  That home and big backyard are just a memory too.  It’s still there; it just houses another happy family now.

I’ve made many cakes and enjoyed many rainbows since that day.  But that particular day with my family, including both a rainbow and a cake, remains one of my favorites.

Other ways to reach Maryann

WEBSITE: www.CreativeMarketingCafe.com
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/maryannswartz
LINKEDIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/maryannswartz

PR Mondays: Blog Frog

Can you believe that it has been a whole month of PR Mondays already? In January we concentrated on getting your ways to get exposure to your blog and we have one more awesome article for you on that from Holly. I have been busy interviewing PR reps for major companies and for the rest of Feb I will share their thoughts directly with you. If you missed any of the Jan posts make sure to go back and get your blog ready!

By Holly Hamann, 1.30.2010

holly@theblogfrog.com

What is BlogFrog and how did it all start?

Every wonder how BlogFrog got its start?  I’m delighted to be guest blogging for Barb and I thought I’d share a little bit of background on what BlogFrog is and how it all got started.

BlogFrog is the brainchild of Rustin Banks, who developed the beta product in 2008 during nights and weekends while still a full-time engineer at a local Aerospace company.  Banks said he got the idea from his wife, a casual blogger who used her blog to keep their friends and family updated.  There was no simple way for blog authors to have real discussions with readers and interact on their blogs. “A blog might have thousands of like-minded readers but what if I want to ask another reader a question or share my own blog content?” he used to ask his wife, Tara.

Rusty recruited me to help build the company and launch the service to the blogosphere. In early 2009, we both quit our jobs to run BlogFrog full-time.  Within months, BlogFrog’s social widgets had struck a chord with mom bloggers, who have become the company’s largest market.

People often ask us why women and mom bloggers have become such big fans. Our social features really resonate with them because women are inherently community and service oriented.  Women and moms tend to be more social online than men and also tend to form stronger online relationships.

There are 120,000 new blogs created every day and the total number of people engaging with blogs is expected to reach 150 million by 2012 (source: Technorati).  Every person has a unique story to tell and people are gravitating to blogs as a way to share what they know.  The social web is evolving from large, single-destination social sites to an integrated network of millions of smaller, niche blogs, all connected by a common platform.  Our vision is to be the common social platform that connects all blogs.

By cross-pollinating content within a single network of blogs via the social widgets, BlogFrog helps bloggers increase exposure and traffic for their blogs.

So how exactly does it work?

BlogFrog serves both bloggers and blog readers.  Blog authors can add widgets to their blogs that let them see who visits their blogs (the Recent Visitors widget) and they can let their readers interact with each other by adding a community (Community widget).  The Community widget lets readers ask each others questions, see each others’ blog posts, and each other’s content from social networks like Twitter.  You can see what these widgets look like here:

BlogFrog has quickly grown to over 25,000 members, making it the largest, integrated network of mom blogs on the internet. The network grows because whenever a member visits another BlogFrog blog or community, their profile picture and blog URL shows up for all visitors to see. So the more BlogFrog sites and communities a member visits, the more exposure their own blog gets.  You could also call this “viral growth”. BlogFrog has taken off as the best way to create a way for blog readers to interact.

You can learn more by visiting BlogFrog!