Growing my audience… finding a theme

Updated: May 16, 2020

I’m still ironing out the loose ends in my blogging plan.

I’m generally an expert in marketing and positioning a pre-existing product in the market. I can encourage consumers to buy a said product by promoting its ease in their lives by doing market research, identifying an audience and producing a marketing plan perfect for obtaining desired results, but when the product has limitless possibilities, I’m completely lost. I get that blogging needs a theme and you need to establish a following within a community to effectively engage with your audience, but frankly there are so many awesome communities out there I can’t just pick one for my me product.

When I was in University studying my undergrad, I ran a website dedicated to gaming and movie reviews. It quickly became music and TV too as it grew, and then in a major overthrow, general all round news. I rebranded and became NewsReborn, a website that had about six student writers producing content on what ever they liked. I was more interested in content than themed blogs and this concepts worked – for sometime and gained a 2000+ following in 6 months.

Sidenote: For proof of concept, just look at BuzzFeed. They write all kinds of crap and somehow manage to stay afloat with $250 million revenue estimated in 2016.

Nothing Alike BuzzFeed.jpg

This was not the outcome of my news blogging journey, and a few public cease and desist letters caused us to quicky lose confidence and shut up shop. Lets be real… Seven university students didn’t have a chance fighting for our right to publish content under the banner of ‘fair use’, let alone afford the cost of doing so. To be honest too, we weren’t even sure if it was fair use or just blatant copyright infringement half the time – Like, example given, embedding a movie trailer into a review is not technically engaging in commentary for that product so it’s technically not fair use, right?, but, seriously, we did it so people could preview the film we were talking about right from our website and perhaps buy tickets to said movie. Needless to say, one studio didn’t like this or think it was fair use after we gave their summer hit a 6 out of 10.

The world, as it seemed at the time, wanted us to fail. It succeeded in pushing us to the edge. And with a bump we would be in freefall out of our depth.

So we called it a day. We went our separate ways. I started writing for other publications and magazines for free or pennies, and eventually landed a gig with Fairfax Media writing in the newspaper. The same shit was hitting us when I was working in the industry but we had lawyers and media experts telling us what we should and shouldn’t worry about.

I think the problem I had was when you cover everything, you have orders being thrown at you from every direction. It’s hard to focus on the prize and produce great contents for an audience that wants to consume said content with a level of experience (Dramatic pause) and that brings us to now.

I’m firing up the personal branded blog again and I feel like a 2014 writer and 2016 TV reporter yet again. I need ideas to keep me on the track and while I could write all day about how hard it is to think of things to write about after loosing my drive, I’m guessing that won’t grow an engaged audience. I’m also planning on getting in front of the camera more and producing content for YouTube for my personal channel.

I’d love to hear from you about what you found works in the blogging space in 2018, what you’d like to see and the sort of stuff you engage with online. Hit me up in the comments or on social media and lets keep the conversation going.

#MyStory #Planning #Growing #Journalism #Buzzfeed #Blogging

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