Last week I wrote a post talking about simple posts and how they can be a powerful thing to include in your blog. I followed that post up with one looking at the balancing act that longer term bloggers have when it comes to working out where to pitch their blog (trying to get the balance right between ‘beginner’ and more advanced posts). Today I’d like to continue the train of thought by taking a look at new blogs.
With new blogs it can be a little easier to cater for a particular level of reader because you’re starting afresh with no established expectations from anyone. At least in the early months the balancing act described in my previous post might not be needed.
But that doesn’t mean starting a new blog is always easy.
One tactic that I’ve found helpful when starting a new blog is to ‘grow up with my readers‘.
I’ve written about this previously somewhere (I can’t find it though) but I take this inspiration from the McDonalds fast food chain (bear with me – tangent ahead).
McDonalds Marketing Over the Years
If you do a little analysis of McDondonalds media campaigns over the last 30 years you’ll notice that it went through some significant waves in terms of their focus (at least they did in Australia).
When I was a kid McDonalds ads were very much focussed at children.
Ronald McDonald featured heavily as did the hamburglar and a variety of other characters. The pitch was fairly and squarely aimed at me and my peers.
Over the years the ads changed. When I was a teenager McDonalds ads ‘grew up’ a little. They began to feature ‘cool’ young adults – laughing, having fun and… being… well just cool.
When I became a young adult the ads (and the decor) at McDoncalds continued to grow up. The ads featured more adults (although there were some still on kids), McCafes were introduced and the trend towards a healthier and more ‘grown up’ menu began.
These days I’ve noticed the ads featuring more and more families. Dads with kids, mums with kids – food for the whole family….
McDonalds has grown up as I have. They’ve pitched themselves at me and my peers all along the road from child, to teen, to young adult to parent – I guess in a few years we’ll see the playgrounds that they have here replaced with McOxygen tents for senior citizens.
So what’s McDonalds marketing strategy got to do with starting a new blog?
In short – I think a great way to start a new blog is to pitch it at a lower level and to then ‘grow up with your readers’.
Start with the basics (after all that’s where many people are at) and then add to the level that you pitch things at over time with more intermediate posts and then advanced ones.
This is what I’ve been attempting to do with Digital Photography School over the last 10 months. The early days focussed in on how to hold a camera and basic rules of composition like the rule of thirds – and over time I’ve gradually attempted to get a little more advanced and have tried to tempt readers out of the auto modes on their cameras with posts on exposure. Adding a forum also grew the blog up a little and attracted a higher level of interaction and learning.
I’m not saying you can’t start a blog at a more advanced level – many have done this successfully – but as I look around most niches I see a lot of blogs that have already gone to the advanced level that might have forgotten about the beginner user – for me the logical response to this is to tap into this forgotten novice market and move on from there.