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Get to Know Your Sub-niches Through Targeted Events

This weekend, I’ll be spending some time getting ready for the Melbourne Food and Wine Blogging Event I’m hosting on Tuesday. I’m really looking forward to this event—and not just because of the great food and wine we’ll get to enjoy!

This event targets a sub-niche of my main target audience—it’s aimed at food bloggers who are located in or around Melbourne, or are near enough to participate in the event.

At first glance, that event might seem odd to some readers who see ProBlogger as a blog primarily about making money blogging. Even with the range of topics we cover here, it might seem strange for a blog whose primary audience is based in the States to go to the trouble of running a small, local event like this—and then to focus it on a specific blogging niche like food.

Targeting a sub-niche

Professional blogging is a pretty big niche—and it’s growing all the time. It’s also a reasonably mature niche.

While that means there are more opportunities popping up each day, it also means that those opportunities are becoming more and more fragmented—or targeted—over time. Building authority in a niche like this isn’t just a matter of talking about generic pro-blogging techniques any more. It’s about digging deep into the specific needs of the topic’s many sub-niches.

The food blogging niche is flourishing, particularly here in Melbourne. But many food blogs are global brands now, and I want to know what makes pro- and would-be-pro-food bloggers tick.

So why not host an event for this sub-niche? The idea wasn’t exactly out of left-field for me, since my friend Shane is a restauranteur and a fantastic chef. The event will help to build his profile, but of course it also helps me build my profile at a grass-roots level, with a target segment I want to know better and help out. It’s a win-win-win!

Are there connections in your network who could help put you in touch with a sub-segement of your target audience? Perhaps it’s time you started asking around…

One of many

These days, more and more of my time is spent engaging with sub-segments of my main target audience. Recently, I’ve engaged through online and offline events and discussions in the DIY niche, the mommy bloggers niche, the social media niche, and the travel blogging niche, among others.

Each of those opportunities has let me connect deeply with a sub-niche of the blogosphere, and individuals who operate in that space. And each one has been informative and fun. I know that it’s easy for digitally focused people like bloggers to ignore offline promotional tactics like the Food and Wine Event, but I find them invaluable for actually getting to know readers from important sub-niches.

It’s commonly accepted that bloggers should write with a particular reader in mind. What better way to do that when you’re writing for a sub-niche than to think of someone you’ve met personally, who blogs in that space?

If you’ve talked with them face to face, you’ll know how they feel about key issues, the language they used, what interested them, and so on. That’s a great foundation for writing relevant content, and creating relevant products and services once you feel your authority with that sub-niche is strong enough.

I’ll keep getting involved in small- and medium-scale events and gatherings in the sub-niches within blogging, so that I can get to know as well as possible how those bloggers operate, what they hope for, and what they need.

Have you ever held and event—online or off—to target a sub-niche of your blog’s main topic? What was it, and what did you learn? We’d love to hear you stories in the comments.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Philos Mudis says:

    Never held any event before but I guess this is one of the best ways to meet new people, network and listen to questions that can help bloggers come up with answers tailor made for a certain niche.

  2. I’m attending an event this weekend for dog lovers. I’m actually one of the sponsors and it’s getting a lot of press, which is driving great traffic to my site.

    I’ve worked very hard to build an online audience, now I’m working to promote myself locally. I’m finding that people are more likely to connect with me online, because “they know me.” They get a taste of my personality, adding a voice to each of my articles.

    I’m pretty excited about my day shaking hands and paws.

    Kimberly

  3. Is there any chance that a recording of your DIY interview with Ana White could be put on the site? This completely slipped by my radar and I’d love to hear it.

  4. Alan Holmes says:

    Cool idea. It’s always nice to meet face-to-face to really get a grasp on what’s going on. I’m more comfortable with trade shows than blogging, but this sounds like a new way of doing things that’s “integrated” and probably a sign of the future.

  5. Brian John says:

    I, also have never held or even joined an event promoted specifically for targeted niches. But I guess you’re right. Offline events really contribute in providing relevant content. Just like when you’re asked to review and promote a certain chocolate product. If you haven’t tasted other chocolate products, then you would have a hard time promoting yours.

    This strategy would be of greatly help to other bloggers who are having a hard time writing about their sub-niches.

  6. Okay Darren . . . how about mixing this with your photo site and do a mini course for bloggers who want to take better food & food product photos without going all the way to being professional food photographers?

    I’d love something along those lines! With the blog, I don’t have time to do the big-time food photography thing. But I’d like to know 10 (or 20) SIMPLE things to make a big difference in how my photos pop.

  7. Thank you so much for organising this event Darren!

    I am very excited to be attending this week, to meet fellow bloggers, and learn from yourself and the other speakers. As someone new to blogging, it’s a very exciting opportunity to listen and learn from others who have been doing this far longer than me.

    I wrote this blog post about the event! http://tenthousandtastebuds.com/problogger-food-wine-event/
    Look forward to meeting you on Tuesday

  8. Mike says:

    It is definitely one of those things that benefits you: knowing a sub-niche well can go far. But it’s important to blend your interests with the niche that you are working on so that you are able to remain interested in the niche for a longer period of time. I’ve blogged in niches where I had little interest and those blogs seemed to die a lot faster than the ones that I had an active interest in.

  9. Such a great article. We have done a ton of marketing in las vegas, for our print company – http://www.rapidcolor.com with these same ideas. Keep them coming.

  10. Luis O Maymi says:

    Generally speaking face to face really helps establishing good relationships. The best thing about this events is that you know what everyone will be talking about (a common interest) making it way easier to establish a conversation with anyone. I definitely will try this out, but I have the same feelings as Mike mentioned above “those blogs seemed to die a lot faster”. Gotta test it out first.