Blog to Your Strengths
This article is 3rd in a series about genealogy news blogging. Click here to read the second part in this series, What to write about?
There are two ideas to keep in mind as you consider blogging genealogy news that will help you build on your strengths. (While conventional wisdom says that we should work on our weaknesses to make them stronger, when we talk about our life’s work, and those things that we do the majority of our time, I think that focusing on our strengths and those things that we are naturally good at make things much more enjoyable. Work on your weaknesses on the side…
Identify your “Special Sauce”
Why do people who are not big fans of McDonalds still crave a Big Mac every once in a while? (I’m pretty sure it’s not just me…it’s that special sauce. It gets us all.) While they offer a lot of other choices, some of their ads just focus on the Big Mac. And by doing that they are able to draw people in who wouldn’t want anything else.
What’s your special sauce? What’s your niche? You could surely help people with their research in many areas. But if you focus your writing on a smaller niche, there are a few specific benefits:
- It helps others find you.
Becoming the California research specialist (or even the LA County specialist) is going to help you get found by California (and LA County) researchers much more easily than if you market a “Western US” specialty. People looking for help focus on the specific localities their ancestors are from, not an entire region.
- It answers why they should listen to you.
We all want information specific to our needs. With all the blogs that I might be following, I need a really good reason to follow you too.
- It protects your time.
Having a specific focus in one area gives you boundaries that allow you to excel in that specific area. A focus too big would make it difficult to keep up.
Find Your Voice
You have a voice that is natural for you to write with. Forget about what writing is “supposed” to sound like, and instead write in a way that comes naturally to you. As you do, your writing will flow more easily, and be more fun to read too.
You can be entertaining, if that kind of thing comes naturally to you (it sure doesn’t to me). Judy G. Russell & Kerry Scott are great examples of bloggers who entertain us, and because of that, many people enjoy following them. There are other bloggers we follow because they are more informational. Dick Eastman, Randy Seaver, they are two who just teach us what we need to know.
Each of them has a specific voice that resonates with specific people. Our personal voice might not make us a genealogy superstar like them. But you will have a lot more fun writing if you let your natural voice flow, and there will be many out there who will want to hear what you have to say. Finding your voice may not happen overnight. It takes time. And thought. And action. But it’s definitely worth it.
Remember – you’re not looking to have every genealogist out there read your blog. You’re looking to capitalize on your strengths so that those who are naturally inclined to want to hear what you have to say will want to hear it.
Coming Next: The Secret to Getting Things Done