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Building a Blog Brand, Posting Frequency and Choosing a Niche [Speed Q&A]

In our most recent webinar we had 700 questions submitted by attendees – many of which we simply didn’t have time to cover.

Here are 3 of those questions and some quick answers.

How to Build a Brand for Your Blog

“What is the most important rule of thumb for building a brand?” – David

I think the most critical thing you can do in building a brand around your blog is to give some time to considering what kind of brand you want to build.

Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos is famously quoted as saying that “a brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – the question I think we all should ask is:

What do we want people to say about our blog when we’re not in the room?

Identify what you want to be known for and you’ll be in a much better position to BE that – which is key to building your brand.

This clarity will inform the way that you write, the topics you cover, the social media personas you build etc – all of which contribute to your brand.

Some further reading on Branding Blogs:

Choosing a Niche: Profitability vs Personal Interest

“What is more important, finding a profitable niche or finding something you love writing about?” – Carley

Great question and one that I’m sure there are going to be many perspectives on!

I guess it really comes down to your goals as a blogger as to how you answer that question.

At one end of the spectrum – if you have no intention of making money blogging then obviously profitability of the niche does not come into it.

At the other end of the spectrum – if you are blogging with the sole intent of making money then you’ll want to give the profitability of the niche at least some consideration.

Most ProBlogger readers however start out with mixed emotions and so the answer is somewhere between the two.

I personally have had 30 blogs over the years – the two that have had most success and profit have been the two blogs that I started because I really wanted to talk about the topics (blogging and photography).

My genuine interest in the topic sustained me through the tough times and I like to think that my passion for the topics showed through in the way that I blogged – which I think is an attractive quality when you’re looking for new readers.

Interestingly – the blogs that I started purely because I thought they might be profitable didn’t last long. I couldn’t sustain writing about them every day and I think those who did find the blogs were probably bored by what I wrote.

So if I had to choose between ‘interest in the niche’ and ‘profitable niche’ – I’d probably choose ‘interest in the niche’ (having said that – you don’t have to choose between the two – you can aim somewhere in between).

Ideal Posting Frequency

What is an ideal number of post per week? – Marsha

This is another question that there are many perspectives on and you’ll need to weigh up a number of factors including how much time you have, what type and length of posts you’ll be publishing, your goals for blogging etc

It also comes down a little to experimenting to see what level of posting goes down well with your readers and how much you can sustain because posting frequency can have an impact upon both you and your readers in positive and negative ways.

Let me expand on that a little:

Impact Upon Your Readers:

  • too much posting can burn your readers out and leave your readers feeling overwhelmed.
  • too little posting can make it difficult to build momentum on your blog and won’t enable your readers to feel connected and engaged

Impact Upon You

  • too much posting can burn you out and have a detrimental impact upon the quality of your writing
  • too little posting can leave you feeling disengaged from your blog and readers – while regular posting can help you to build momentum

It’s a juggling act and you won’t really know what is right for you until you start.

As a guide – I generally recommend if you’re starting out with blogging that you start with 3-4 posts per week if you can sustain that. You can then adjust your strategy from there as you get into the swing of blogging.

Read more on posting frequency in this longer previous post on the topic.

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. Sakib Khan says:

    Thank you.I stucked to find my particular niche.It is hard to find in yourself what to write and what can I write better.But your articles is quite helpful for us.

  2. Carlos says:

    Hi Darren,

    Thanks for your post! Finding your niche is a must… I believe that some niches you may expand, and in others you must pick your choice with a subniche. For branding, I believe that you must be truly genuine… if you go for the money… it will show on the quality…I try to be genuine and congruent (thought, feelings and behavior), as this makes you genuine.

    Thanks.

    Carlos.

  3. Chad Gove says:

    Good Afternoon, Thank you for taking the time to provide so much detailed information, no easy task. Me, well, I am 43, married and live in sunny PHX Arizona with 2 children. Lived in in Redondo Beach for a while, worked as a grip on the film industry, ten 17 years in operations in transportation. Receiving pressure to move up and for more $ was enticing, the catch was movng back to Los Angeles. California is great, but we get a lot of bang for the buck living here. Saying no to corporate does not go over well, so that wrapped up that chapter and here I am starting my own organization and cleaning business. Terrifying moneywise and exciting with the potential all at once, I have always wanted to start a blog but never felt the reason. Now that I do, the ideas are pouring forth, but I feel a bit of writers block to start it. The bigger question is where do you get the audience when you start writing? I do not want type intp cyberspace and beyond with no response. Well, thats my brief story, your work is impressive and thanks!

  4. Kimberly says:

    I think getting your branding just right is so critical to everything else you do, and is the piece that needs to be figured out as close to the beginning of one’s blogging as possible. I blogged and blogged and blogged for well over a year at my business blog without gaining much traction at at all. It wasn’t until I spent about 3 months percolating about what my brand should really be, and then implementing those insights into my blog, that I started to get more readers and subscribers, though it’s still early days. But it’s certainly made everything else I do easier, because as you say, Darren, that brand clarity will inform the way you write, the topics you cover, and everything else that contributes to your brand.

    Thanks so much for answering these 3 important questions!

  5. Ash says:

    Hi Darren,

    Thanks for that considered post. Much appreciated. I think I’m within you on the ‘passion prevails over profit’ argument. (Sounds like a good post title actually) :-) I might think of writing a post around that on my blog :-)

    But going back to your point … Blogging is quite hard (as I’m finding out in my 4th month) and is very much a marathon rather than a sprint.

    I love writing about productivity, stress reduction and technology and definitely think that’s what’s sustained me thus far.

  6. Anees says:

    If you choose a niche you love writing about. Then there’s more chances that you will earn from your blog. If you run for profitable content, then you would not carry on for long.

  7. David says:

    Hi Darren,
    You hit the nail on the head in terms of the instability of blogging not done out of love. Even in profitable niches I don’t think blogging is profitable enough to incentivize someone to do it long term if they don’t like it.

  8. Mi Muba says:

    I don’t know why people get confused over profitability versus niche; I have never hear about a niche that won’t make you earn; every niche has market value somewhere you just need to explore it; it is only your personal interest in a niche that can make you bring loads of traffic on your blog and make your loyal readers; after that you can sell whatever you want if they are really your loyal readers; even if you don’t have anything to sell; you have Google Adsense to earn through PPC and make smart bucks; so we must forget about these theological debates and do whatever we enjoy a lot without worrying about the consequences.

  9. mike says:

    Great article.

    One thing to consider, is that you need to know your destination before you can arrive.

    My main man Socrates once said..

    If a man doesn’t know his destination, no wind is favorable.

    So, consider who your demographic is.

    Only then can you cater to them.

    :)

  10. I’ve got to say building a brand has been a huge part of the success of my blog which was recently named as a Technorati top 100 business blog just 12 months after launch.

    I have covered the brand specifically here http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/how-i-built-a-top-100-blog-in-12-months/ along with things like colour, tone of voice and such.

    If you do have a blog – spend a couple of days on branding, build a business!

  11. Thank you for this article Darren but I will have to disagree that when just starting out, 3-4 articles is ideal. I would say that new blogger should be posting 1 article per day because the more that they do it, the more they will become better at it. If they make it a daily habit then they will be less likely to procrastinate and more likely to learn skills such as SEO and marketing their articles. Once again, thanks for this article!

  12. nikhil says:

    Building a blogging brand online is very difficult task there are lost of competitions. every day you have to face new and emerging blogs. if you want to build a blog brand then Its need hard-work and commitment towards the success. And just follow the probloggers given tips its helpful many time.

  13. Sahil says:

    Great information Darren and I am fully agree with you as you say new blogger should write 3-4 articles a week. As if we have to maintain the quality and put quality over quantity not opposite of it.

  14. Alex Jefery says:

    Thank you for this article Darren but I will have to disagree that when just starting out, 3-4 articles is ideal. I would say that new blogger should be posting 1 article per day because the more that they do it, the more they will become better at it. If they make it a daily habit then they will be less likely to procrastinate and more likely to learn skills such as SEO and marketing their articles. Once again, thanks for this article!

  15. Dwight says:

    How to build a blog, picking a niche, branding. All of those all link together and basically in that order. Then there comes how to engage your audience, where are they online, and what questions are they asking. You put all these together and write some good articles then the rest will come I feel. The most important thing is not to rush building a site, but to plan it out if you really would like to earn money from a blog.

    Great site Darren – Found you from technorati.

    Cheers
    Dwight

  16. Daryl says:

    Great info Darren!

    I’ve always found that the hardest posts to write were those that I had little interest in writing. Now that I’m concentrating more on posts that are fun and that I’m interested in, not only are they easier to write but I feel like I’m providing far more value to my readers

  17. I belong to a business group that meets once a month. Everyone has a business to push and a blog to accompany it. The big thing they all have in common is complaining about writing while I sit there.

    Then I mentioned Problogger. None of them had heard of it. I went on a while and watched them pick up there pens. If reading pen movements is like reading lips, they all wrote down your url.

    It’s odd that your advice is better than that from folks tuned into the local (Portland Oregon) needs?

    My brand is NW Boomer with baby boomers my target. The goal is to show the niche what they’re missing by being passive and giving in to “I’m too tired to do anything.”

    Imagine a Problogger whoopee cushion on those seats. They’d all jump up.

    Thanks, Darren

  18. I think that a posting schedule is better than the frequency (something I need to work on: frequency and schedule).

    Great answers to the questions though, Darren. In the end, everything is up for debate. Everything is constantly changing and there is never a expert that knows all the right answers.

  19. Akshat Goel says:

    Frequency of posting on blogs does matter a lot. It is essential to be regular on your blog if you want to “build a brand” for your blog. Very well said Darren.

  20. Fedja says:

    Yup, I was questioning myself daily on what amount of posts should I post on my blog… Considering that the themes about I write aren’t really that much “in-reach”, I knew that I couldn’t post daily.

    This has been extremely helpful. The bottom line is, I guess-don’t overload yourself, but don’t underwork neither! :)

    Thank you.

  21. Kazi says:

    Thanks Darren . You nailed it . The dilemma is to choose between ‘interest in the niche’ and ‘profitable niche’ .I preferred the latter , but not having much success. Gotta change the boat. You cannot bury a true passion for something. This post gives me new perspective .

  22. Harshit Jain says:

    I also got my answer in your post
    thank you

  23. Akshat says:

    What is the Ideal Posting Frequency for a Tech Blog. Please help me out on this.

  24. Ragnar says:

    I would like to suggest a third aspect for choosing a niche. The amount of time you would have to spend to churn out competitive original content in the niche. Because for the most part what you’re investing is your time… so if it takes you 2 days of research per blog post, it either needs to have the potential for large profit, or be something you’er obsessed with… because otherwise it’s just not sustainable. All in all great stuff, have definitely got a better image of what to do from here on out.

  25. Krista says:

    As a fashion blogger, I find that having a niche is key to getting found.

    Also fashion changes all of the time, so it’s harder for me to have a posting schedule with actual planned out topics, I do a more generalized posting schedule revolving around seasons and holidays and blog about current trends on an every day basis.

  26. Kuntal says:

    Really helpful list.My posting frequency went down which lead to lower traffic.Thanks for such a nice list.

  27. Bryan Hee says:

    As long as you have passion about the topics, you’ll consistently provides valuable contents to your readers. If you have build relationship with your readers than you can monetize your blog and profits from it.

    To your success,
    Bryan Hee
    http://twitter.com/bryanhee

  28. Averol says:

    very nice article.A quality blog is always valuable

  29. Saif says:

    Excellent post. I think that if you are going to start a blog then you must look for your interest. If you have interest in that blog and niche then you can make it a huge blog.
    Thanks

  30. Johnw says:

    Yes it is truth that creating a niche blog is better then the mix categories blog. If you have niche blog than you can maintain it very easily because there is only topic that you need to concentrate on daily basis.

  31. William says:

    Choosing you niche is definitely tough. I have also found that the more you are interested in the topic the better results you will have, but you have to find that balance. You also have to find a topic that is expandable and has people searching for it. These two things lead to profitability. I have also been down that road before where I chose a niche based on profitability and the thought of putting together another blog post made me sick. I now stick to things that I want to learn about or already have a lot of knowledge of.

  32. Thank you for this post. I think that one of the most important things blog authors face is the dillemma about choosing between profitability and personal interest. There are millions of blogs in the internet world which lasted only few (6-10) posts and later they dissapeared. The authors simply got bored with running them. Especially when they aimed to make money with them. Many people think that making money with blogging is easy and fast. Nothing more wrong! It demands perseverance and consistency. Full dedication and… cheerfulness :) yes, yes – readers know whether you post out of inner urge or out of self-serving. So in my opinion the choice is obvious: write about the things you love and the profits will follow!

  33. Hi Darren

    I’ll really curious how do you maintain 2 such big blogs. I understand that you are going to write all the posts yourself. Where do you find all your ideas and motivation to write everyday?

  34. Syed Aly says:

    hello Darren!!!

    Nicely done what a wonderful post. It is most relevant when u making brand blog you have to be specific to niche ( topic) create multiple niche is not good give u benefits. its only divide the mind and hard to handle it. As i done mistake in past so i know. Well now i can say that I’m on right track.