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How I Expanded the Demographic of My Niche Blog to Include Every Person Online

This guest post is by Sonal Pandey of Tap Easy.

Some things don’t get better with time. This was going to be one such case. Here I was, sharing an awesome technique capable of changing lives, but not many were paying attention.

My niche had the perfect demographic—open-minded, receptive, and suitably educated, with interests ranging from psychology to health and fitness. And yet…

I had over 35 solid posts on the blog. I had a video up on the sidebar demonstrating exactly how to use the revolutionary technique. I also had a newsletter opt-in with a desirable giveaway.

Three months had gone by since I had started my niche blog catering to Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) enthusiasts. And yet, nothing much was happening. The email opt-in rate was miserably low, even for a new blog. Sometimes there were no sign-ups for days together.

Well-meaning people told me to just hang on and things would improve with time. Somewhere inside, I knew they wouldn’t. Where was I going wrong?

I was doing everything that successful bloggers were suggesting. But all that was falling on deaf ears. The bounce rate was a staggering 83%. I knew I needed to take stats data with a pinch of salt, but there must have been some truth to them after all.

It got worse

Also around that time, my Google search impressions dropped drastically. Within a span of three days, the search impressions came down by 92%. Such drastic reduction in search impressions also meant a drastic decrease in the clicks to my blog through search results.

I submitted a reconsideration request through Google Webmaster. But they came back reporting no evidence of manual actions by their webspam team. As far as Google was concerned, I was in the clear. So the problem was inside the blog.

From a good enough daily traffic figure (even if with a high bounce rate), it came to days when traffic to the blog was zero. It was scary, and depressing.

My impulsive reaction was to think of myself as a reject. No one wanted what I was offering. But my research had shown considerable demand for such material. People are quite exploratory when it comes to self-help and healing modalities. So why weren’t there more takers?

Stats sleuthing

On a close analysis of the blog stats, it turned out that a good number of people were coming through search engines. But they were not arriving here because of EFT related keywords.

For the longest time, the #1 most popular keyword sending people to my blog was “disappointed.” The Universe was trying to rub it in! For whatever reasons I wanted my blog to shine, “disappointed” was not one of them. Yet the material on the blog frequently referenced similar words since they were an integral part of the self-help process.

These visitors were people who had no clue what EFT meant or what they were doing on my blog. So they would come and quickly bounce back.

EFT is a powerful tool to help people recover from all kinds of negative emotions, including disappointment. So Google was probably sending them to the right place. But the visitors didn’t know why they were there. That lead to a very high bounce rate.

I wondered if this very high bounce rate had brought about the downfall in my search results placement.

That was when I had an epiphany.

Aha!

I created a minute-long video trailer especially for those completely oblivious to EFT. And placed this video on the sidebar with an opt-in form below it. The video didn’t get into any EFT mumbo jumbo. It didn’t even talk about how to use EFT. It talked about why.

It simply informed the visitors that they could get relief from a host of emotional and physical problems if they used EFT. And that they could bring positive changes in their lives through this technique.

I started offering my earlier video about EFT process demonstration as a giveaway to those signing up. To encourage visitors already familiar with EFT to sign up, I added an e-book that listed my best tips on using the technique. So that giveaway package became attractive to both people new and not new to EFT.

Why it worked

Earlier the blog only catered to the initiated, people who were already using EFT. They could find their way around the blog easily. Even before things improved, such visitors would stick around for ten, 20, or 30 minutes.

The video trailer made sure that even if somebody landed on my blog by mistake, they would at least come to know how they could use it to their advantage. Now anyone who had stress or problems (that includes everyone, right?) was a prospective visitor and subscriber.

Sell them what they want, so you can give them what they need.

Apart from laying down the real-life benefits of EFT in plain English, the video was reminding people to sign up. That in turn gave them the exact tools needed to get started with EFT, and use it in the best way possible.

From using these tools, all the material on my blog became comprehensible to them. So they stayed around.

Just rewards came

Suddenly everything improved: time on site, page views, bounce rate, search impressions. Email subscriptions shot through the roof. When I say “through the roof” I mean it in the frame of my new blog and relatively small traffic. But I’m a firm believer in the theory that a good conversion rate can beat high traffic stats any day.

These results were achieved without writing a single new post during that interval. So what was needed was certainly not more content.

The moral of the story

The takeaway from this experience is to keep in mind the visitors who may be unaware of your area of expertise. It is not so much about showing a video. It is about helping a first time visitor feel at home.

I used to think of my blog as a niche blog, but now it is open to anyone who has an Internet connection and a set of problems.

And to a great extent this learning will influence what content I write next. Because it will be based on a policy of inclusion, not exclusion.

Sonal Pandey is a software engineer turned self-help blogger. Her philosophy on self-help advice is that it should be targeted, effective, and easy to incorporate quickly. Through her blog, Tap Easy, she offers Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping scripts to help people overcome stress, fear, and other negativity and bring positive changes naturally.

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Comments

  1. Scattershot says:

    Good Stuff Sonal! Goes to demonstrate how persistence can pay off. Also visited your blog. Really nice. You have got yourself a reader.

  2. Dolapo says:

    Thanks for this inspiring post,it simply delivers a message which is never to give up until you get a good or better result and to be creative and productivetive when it comes to blogging..there’s always a solution to every problem

  3. When developing a small business marketing strategy, the prime question of any business should be – “who is my niche?”. In order to be able to promote products and/or services to the people most likely to buy them, it is essential to fully understand who it is who might buy them!

  4. Hi Sonal,

    What a powerful lesson here.

    First off, persist, and you find a way. I wrote over 500 posts and I had 15 subscribers. Seriously. I wanted to throw in the towel, but will a little SEO and a world of persistence I am now moving quickly up google for a super competitive keyword in my niche.

    Just by offering a nice little value-packed freebie you were able to expand your traffic. The power of clarity. Readers became more clear on what you had to offer, and this clarity created a nice jump in readership. I like that the video is benefits focused too. Benefits work, we think in terms of benefits. We rarely if ever think in terms of features, and this is an area where I feel many bloggers make a mistake. Focusing on freebie features instead of benefits.

    I spruced up my giveaway recently and became laser focused in sticking to 1 topic. I have moved into more effective action and because of this, I drive more traffic while halving my work day. No more 12 hour days here, just intelligent acts and some persistence to boot.

    On a side note I am a big fan of EFT. My girlfriend and I tap frequently and have found this technique to be quite miraculous really, but it all makes sense. No matter how things appear to be it’s all simply energy.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Sonal.

    Ryan

    • Sonal says:

      Wow Ryan! It’s nice to meet a fellow tapper.

      You’re right about differentiating the benefits from the features. Counting real-life benefits definitely helped in my case.

      The question I was asking myself was, why should a person already know how to use EFT when they come to my blog? Why can’t they be introduced to it on my blog? I’ve myself got introduced to so many things by visiting websites that offered something to get started with.

      Also, landing on a blog where you can’t make head or tail of what it is offering can turn off potential subscribers.

      At the same time, as you say, focus is very important. I feel that focus doesn’t just have to be about a topic. Focus can be on a modality, a style of writing, a unique way to present your stuff etc. It could depend on the niche as well as to how narrow you can go.

      SEO is another aspect I’m taking quite seriously. The biggest source of traffic to my blog are search engines.

      Yes, EFT does work wonders, and being so easy, it almost feels stupid to pass it up. It has created some major shifts for me.

      Well Ryan, thank you for this detailed comment. I truly appreciate it. Hope you see you and your girlfriend around the blog! :)

  5. Good article.

    I had the same traffic drop on one of my blogs, but that was due to the top drawing post exceeding it’s lifespan and having nothing much to replace it. Whilst the scenario’s are obviously different, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who went through this – it can be very demotivating!

  6. surgamata says:

    try to clean up with this thing

  7. Kenny Fabre says:

    Sonal

    I’m happy you learned a very important lesson from this experience, basically your blog is like a school its there to teach as much people as possible. And like you said to solve peoples internet problems especially internet marketers

  8. gabe says:

    as a new blogger myself- i’ve noticed that in both online and offline interactions, that first impression is crucial to a good outcome. when i used to browse sites, trying to get the gist of what they were about came from the elevator pitch and a short video. i bought the 31dbbb ebook and there’s a lot of insight in this thing- stuff i wouldn’t have really thought about. but case in point- i agree, making visitors feel at home and having a certain association is necessary for getting your written word out there.

    • Sonal says:

      Yes Gabe, the video is my elevator pitch. It tells people quickly what the blog is about and how they can benefit.

  9. Lovely story Sonal…it kept me hooked till the last sentence. Niche blog or not, content should be such that anyone can understand and follow what you have to say. That’s what I try to practice. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sonal says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Sharon. :) Yes, niche shouldn’t come to mean something that only the initiated can understand and use.

  10. Gail W says:

    Interesting blog. It’s counter inuitive from what we are usually taught about blogging, i.e go very niche with everything. Also it is amazing when you just tweek certain aspects of information, blog or website how much a difference these things make.

    Good luck with the website!

    • Sonal says:

      Thank you Gail. :)

      As I was reading up on various blogs, everyone suggested narrowing whatever niche you were in.

      But what I noticed was that in the self-help niche, people are looking for solutions to their problems, like disappointment, anger, stress. They don’t often start out looking for exactly what modality (EFT, hypnosis etc.) will help them get rid of these problems.

      That’s why keywords like “disappointment”, “feeling lonely”, “driving stress” drive people to my blog. So in that way, to only promote my blog as EFT-focused will exclude many people who may actually be quite open to the idea of using EFT. They just don’t know EFT exists yet.

  11. Eugene says:

    wow great results without writing more content, this just shows that you should pay attention to the keywords that people use and end up on your site. your topic on self help is broad, I am not sure everyone could be as inclusive as you but if you write about what people are looking for you are bound to be more successful.

  12. john strazza says:

    Terrific article .. so glad you posted this .. sometimes my sites do well and man other sites sit like dead ducks .. this is so good.. thanks!

  13. Ocha says:

    Another light bulb moment. Click and things get brighter and clearer. It is amazing how we create something for one purpose while others find it by something we never see going in. My list of improvements now includes ideas from this post and how I need to look closer at the terms that are bringing in my visitors. Keep ‘em coming. Thanks.

  14. Fantastic idea and something I can definitely use with my blogs! They’re doing well, but I’m looking to bring in an even broader audience and you just gave me a tool that I can put into place quickly. Thank you !

  15. Kent Chen says:

    I really appreciate the detail you’ve put into the article, it really expands my mind into the topic. Thank you Sonal. :)

  16. Nimsrules says:

    You got some skills Sonal, nice to see fellow Indians taking blogging much more seriously than ever before. Keep up the good work. Bookmarked your blog too :)

  17. Prashant says:

    awesome work done by sonal ! :)
    Thanks

  18. Noir says:

    This post certainly gives me the much needed positive boost I need. Thanks for this idea of tweaking.

  19. I love this phrase – “It is about helping a first time visitor feel at home.” That should sum it up for all of us. Thanks!

  20. Hello Sonal,

    Thanks for sharing this story. It is a great example of analyzing your traffic to gain insight into your ideal customers.

    I see this with many small business websites that are unclear about what the companies do. These companies seem accustomed to presenting their offers to pre-screened prospects already familiar with their services, but unaware of the need to state simply exactly what they do, so the uninitiated can determine whether it is worth learning more. Your story points out the importance of understanding your ideal customers’ pain points so you can speak to their needs and present your solutions.

    Great share, thank you.

  21. Cindy says:

    I am so glad I read this. The takeaway is clear. Make it a niche sight for those who do not know what the topic at hand is, but even better keep the ones who do staying around. Way to go. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Archan Mehta says:

    Sonal,

    It seems like I am reading your guest post for the first time on this blog. Thanks for your contribution. We appreciate your effort It is important to de-toxify our system. A lot of things can help, including the tools and techniques you have on offer. I will be sure to check out your blog and read it from now on. Your story only goes to show how important analysis can be. The “why” of questioning can help us uncover facts and make connections: it can reveal cause-effect relationships, and help us to improve our game.
    In your case, you finally figured out what was going to work and to discard what was not working. Cheers.

  23. Thanks Sonal…I would include some tips for my own blog which is an online forum for Expression as the name suggests Let’s Express’o.