If you’re a business blogger, the followers you have are usually doing so because of the niche topical space you’re occupying. This is why they followed you in the first place. They signed up for the tour. You’re the authority with the plan.
Show Me The Good Stuff
Think about a museum tour guide. They greet you, impress you with their knowledge, and lead you through a rich, compelling topical experience. Your gratitude swells as learnings mount. Their enthusiasm and thought leadership make you want to hear every word. If they suddenly start talking about something else, you lose interest, opting to go get a caramel latte at the museum cafe.
I was looking at a blog today for a company that provides specialty tax services. The first 8 months’ of posts were great … on topic, posting weekly and really useful stuff. They supplemented their original posting with aggregate lists of the best things they’d seen in the space and earned some backlinks from that. I can see why people followed their blog. Google’s social signals were giving their blog a significant boost, ranking #2 in their metro (1.2M) for some nice keyphrases.
Their subscriber count was decent, 1100 RSS subscribers at its peak. Decent reach as well. But then, without thinking, the business owner blogged off-topic for a few weeks. Olympics. Golf. And some rambling thing about their vacation to Denver.
New subscriber count: 860
New rank: 6th
Hope it was worth it.
So unless you’re a seriously colorful personality, concentrate on your subscribers’ expectations – and deliver the kind of content they saw when they clicked on that subscribe button.
One way to help remind yourself about this is to create, and stick to, a short-ish list of categories for your posts. I failed at this before, and will be consolidating my blog categories in the near future. Tags are more flexible as meta-indicators for content. I think that 10-12 categories is a good number to have.
photo (cc) Kennisland on Twitter