Blog Traffic #2: Excuse me, Who are You?

August 1, 2006 - Get free updates of new posts here

Let me know the first things that come to your mind:

  • Free Online Classifieds
  • Long Tail
  • Purple Cow
  • Technical Evangelism
  • Latest Tech News

I am guessing most of my readers can get at least 3 out of 5. What this should make you think of is:

What are you known for?

Of course most of the things I wrote down are hugely popular so it is easier guess but this applies to everyone who writes online. Think about your vertical, think about your writing topics and think about your writing style.

You need to be the first thing that comes to mind when readers think of certain topics. You need to the leader in your specific area. You need to carve your niche. What about me?

I am still defining that myself. I think I am known for

  • creative ideas
  • college/youth marketing
  • working at Facebook
  • being an entrepreneur

I need to cut it down to one. It is okay that I have a few interests and are known for them, but if I can lock down one I would be unstoppable. If you had a heart disease would you go to a generalist or to a cardiologist? You would go to the pro.

Pick your target, write/talk the hell out of it and get known for something.

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14 responses to “Blog Traffic #2: Excuse me, Who are You?

  1. Nick Gavronsky Reply

    Another great post, Noah. I definitely have to start focusing more on entrepreneurship on my blog, a lot of it has been a mix of entrep., eVB, Office Depot, Marketing. I’m going to set up a separate blog for eVB, and start writing only on entrep., and marketing. Great advice, keep em coming.

  2. Devin Reply

    Personally, I don’t give a care what people see me for. In a creepy soulmateish move I wrote about why I blog today. I write for the money, women, and fame… and that’s what I’ll always be known for. 😉

  3. Sharpshoot Reply

    I just don’t think you should try and define yourself to that fine an extent. Blog about what your thinking and any “macroscale” analysis should reveal who you are. Seth Godin: macroscale: marketing. Robert Scoble: Microsoft, Brad Feld: VC. Overall their posts may be about diverse things but in macroscale they are consistent. On my blog i guess the emerging theme is advice for young internet entrepreneurs + cool stuff (companies/products). Over time the macroscale meta analysis of your blog should reveal who you are. Don’t sweat it. Keep it interesting i guess. If you get boring then redefine yourself, thats what i’d say.

  4. Nedra Weinreich Reply

    I think you have an excellent point, and one that has really worked for me in the field of social marketing. Some other things I would add that you can do to build that association between you and your chosen niche (especially if the people you are trying to reach are not part of the blogosphere) are:

    – Write a book
    – Write articles for other websites/magazines/journals besides your own blog
    – Create the go-to website for information on that topic — make it as comprehensive as you can
    – Teach a class on the topic
    – Speak at conferences/offer workshops on that topic
    – Showcase the work you have done in that niche as a case study or write about lessons others can learn from the success you have had in your work in that area
    – Connect with others who are interested in that niche and provide leadership in bringing people together to network/learn/discuss relevant issues

    Being a generalist is great, but I think that specializing in one specific area is where you are more likely to make your name known. But only do it if you are passionate about that topic!

  5. Paul "Moses" McEnany Reply

    Really, I think all the people and products in that list are great, not just because they became specialists, but because they created their own niches.

    Really, was there anyone writing about the Long Tail before Chris Anderson? Was there a digg before digg? A pre-dugg digg? (that was awesome)

    Anyone, my point is, yes it’s good to define yourself, but just not necessarily into pre-defined niches. It’s about creating a new market, and defining yourself in those terms.

    Word to Korea.

  6. Laura Allen Reply

    If you focused on Youth Marketing that fits well with your experience at Facebook. I think that you can use creative ideas when marketing to your audience. And being an entrepreneur is just who you are, I think it would be hard to differentiate yourself based on that. And I know that people are willing to pay experts who know about Youth Marketing. I can’t say that for any of the other three items that you mention.

  7. Jeremy Reply

    There’s nothing wrong with not having an exact niche, how, especially when we’re so young, can we expect to know exactly what we want to do or write about. So many thoughts and ideas…I guess it depends on WHAT you want your blog to achieve.

  8. noah kagan Reply

    I definitely think you nailed it with your last sentence Jeremy. People need to determine what do they want their blog/site to accomplish before they start. Me personally:

    1- inspire or get people thinking daily
    2- get my name and ideas out there
    3- meet new interesting people

    Paul, I KNEW you were going to throw in the low blow of you are going to pidgeon hole yourself with a niche. That is true but as always I would rather be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond. You are always welcomed to change if you get bored over time and becoming an expert I found is a rewarding thing.

    Nedra, great comments and ideas on how to showcase your genius. Definitely being a specialist in something you like is what it is all about. You love social marketing and have mastered that, if you didn’t enjoy it I can see it being much harder to succeed. How’s the conference going?

  9. Nedra Weinreich Reply

    Hey Noah, thanks for asking. Registrations for the training keep coming in and there are still spots left. Since you gave me the opening, I hope you won’t mind a blatant promotional plug for my own niche development activities: Learn how to create positive change on health and social issues using marketing techniques at Social Marketing University (!

  10. Laura Allen Reply

    I’ve just created a pod cast on this subject of finding the one thing that you do. I’m not sure what the proper etiquette is in letting you know about this, but I thought you might get a kick out of it, so you can hear it at: (and yes, I’ve already gotten a NEW URL for my blog, so that’s gonna be happening soon! And we’re going to be doing something very cool with the about page, it will take a little time to implement, but I think you’ll like it.)