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How to stand out in your niche?

Discussion in 'Blogging' started by japanworm, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. #1
    I'm quite frustrated recently.

    I spent months reading all those great blogs out there that tell you how to write great content, how to get traffic and how to monetize your blog.
    While I understand what they're suggesting I have the feeling that their advice only works for certain blog types / niche blogs.

    I can't seem to find a way to apply it to my kind of blog.
    Either I'm too stupid or it's still a gap in the blogging world as nobody has written about it.


    I know that this is a very specific question, but I'm hitting a wall here and I feel I can't move on until I've figured this out.

    My blog is about Japan: http://zoomingjapan.com
    I chose this topic because I live in Japan and I've been into Japan for more than 10 years now. Enough to move to the country and study the language!
    I've been living in Japan for over 5 years now and in that time have travelled to almost everywhere within the country.

    Thus I decided to present all the locations and spots I've visited as well as writing about the daily life in Japan as a foreigner.

    It's not exactly a travel blog. It does focus on only ONE country and it's not only about traveling, but also about living in that country.

    I'm not sure if that's already too broad.
    I'm not sure how to narrow down my audience. I can't decide for whom I'm writing or should write.
    I noticed that people who read my blog are those who either want to travel in Japan, come and live in Japan or who already live in Japan and seak some inspiration or just love to read about the stories of fellow foreigners in Japan.

    I'm not a great writer either. I know that people keep telling you that you can learn it, but I'm writing in a language (English) that is not my mother tongue which is why I sometimes sound like a teenager, I guess.

    I've been struggling so much to find a "spot" for my blog in the "Japan blog niche".
    There are a LOT of Japan blogs and websites out there!
    Some of those websites are so popular (like japan-guide.com or WikiTravel) that it's impossible to compete with them.
    It shouldn't be my goal to compete with them.

    But how can I turn my blog into something that is unique?
    How can I find something that people will be interested in and that hasn't really been covered yet ... at least not in the way I'm going to present it?

    Although I'm asking myself these questions every single day. I can't seem to find an answer.

    I really hope that maybe somebody here can give me some advice!
    japanworm, Mar 20, 2013 IP
  2. Kianu42

    Kianu42 Member

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    #2
    what is your main aim eventually? earning money?
    Kianu42, Mar 20, 2013 IP
  3. japanworm

    japanworm Greenhorn

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    #3
    Yes, eventually.
    japanworm, Mar 20, 2013 IP
  4. Kianu42

    Kianu42 Member

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    #4
    So you've chosen a competitive niche. It means that:
    1) your SEO MUST be perfect. Do thorough keyword research. Think about traffic strategy - when you use a lot of keywords with low competition. I won't explain what perfect SEO is, it seems to me you know what to do or know how to find out;)
    2) Do some research of your competitors. Not those who just are platforms for blogs or where a lot of people work or where the crowd is contributing. Search for personal blogs (like yours) and see what they do to be unique and outstanding. I strongly believe such marketing research may give some ideas what to do.
    3) I think SMM and forums are a must here. It can be a good opportunity for bringing traffic.
    Use any social media management tool to handle all the stuff, because multiple accounts can be time-consuming. And do some surveys: ask people what they want. Maybe the niche lacks some particular things, and you have to find out that.
    Kianu42, Mar 21, 2013 IP
  5. japanworm

    japanworm Greenhorn

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    #5
    Thank you for the great suggestions!

    I think my SEO is quite good already. I do rank on the first page and often in spot #1-3 for the keywords I picked. Just can't beat Wikipedia, of course.

    I also think my social media management is not too bad.
    Currently I have about 3500 Facebook fans and 750 Twitter followers. Just recently started Google+ and Pinterest, so there's still some work.

    I'll definitely try to find out more with a survey! :)
    japanworm, Mar 21, 2013 IP
  6. dutzu

    dutzu Active Member

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    #6
    Be very original. That's all.
    dutzu, Mar 23, 2013 IP
  7. japanworm

    japanworm Greenhorn

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    #7
    Being original isn't so easy.
    japanworm, Mar 23, 2013 IP
  8. japanworm

    japanworm Greenhorn

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    #8
    I started a survey asking my readers and especially my Facebook fans as they are the biggest number of my readers (3500+ Likes) what they want to read about or what they think that is lacking yet, but just as expected they name so many different things!
    Japanese food, culture, history, travel tips, life and work in Japan as a foreigner, anime and manga, video games ....

    I can't and I don't want to cover all these things.
    If my readers can't narrow it down. I have to do it myself.
    Currently I mainly write about travel and life as a foreigner ... which is still two topics. I'm not sure if I have to choose just one or if I can keep going with both.
    japanworm, Mar 25, 2013 IP
  9. dangerdiabolick

    dangerdiabolick Member

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    #9
    If you are confident in your SEO path, then you need to engage more with your people on social media. that will make you unique and get noticed.
    dangerdiabolick, Mar 25, 2013 IP
  10. tom.jeraldino

    tom.jeraldino Active Member

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    #10
    SEO is essential, but you should link your site to the SM channels. Use Pinterest (with backlinks), FB, Twitter and Tumblr in the first place. Perhaps, write native ad content, if you partner some companies, which seek for promotion
    tom.jeraldino, Apr 23, 2013 IP