Penelope Trunk is one of my all-time favorite columnists. She’s a former client, so I had the privilege to speak to her on a number of occasions as I helped her maintain her gigantic blog.
Anyway, she did a Q&A about blogging and I found this quote to be especially relevant …
Find a very popular topic and then write at the very edge of that topic. If you write in the center, that’s where everyone else is and it will be hard to present something that is unique. If you write at the edge, and throw in stuff not totally related to your topic area, then both you and your readers will find surprise in that intersection of the new stuff and your topic.
I started my first blog over two years ago. I started it because I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences in my career field with others. For the first year, I blogged like crazy. I used every experience I had as blog ideas. To date, that blog has about 700 posts now and we’ve got advertisers (yes, I actually make a little money from it now) and even an editor.
Because of my blog, I got quoted in our state’s newspaper, people in my field found out who I was, and it helped launch my freelance consulting and design business that eventually turned into iThemes.
That first blog was … one of the best career tools of my entire life.
When people ask me about career advice, I tell them this: Go get a domain name and a blog, and start talking about your niche, industry, field, whatever.
Even if you don’t have much experience, talk intelligently about it. Follow other bloggers. Link to their posts. Comment on their posts. Eventually, you’ll have something great to say.
But there is most likely a big void in your niche industry. And I’m not talking about general topics like “marketing” … I’m talking about “marketing for plumbers” or “non-profit marketing” …
Someone needs to fill that space. And it might as well be you.