If you’re new to blogging and thinking of writing about things going on in your local area, about your own local business, or even if you’re a current blogger and are having thoughts about streamlining your ‘national’ blog down to a more localised or specific level, there are great benefits to running a hyper-local blog. Local blogging is actually a relatively untapped opportunity, and with some passion and perseverance it can be a great success. We all know that big cities like London are well-served by the bloggersphere to the point of saturation, but often a localised blog can bring fresh and focused content to smaller towns and specific areas of cities, provide your personal viewpoint to a local scene, or connect your local business to the local community.
Here are a few pointers for getting started in the local blogging world:
- Starting a local blog is the same as starting a local business
This is fairly obvious when you think about it – if you’re starting a business is there going to be a demand for what you’re selling? Will your local business meet the needs of the local people visiting it? Whatever your blog is about, the same principle applies when starting a local blog if you’re planning to make money from it, and essentially a local blog should be run in the same way as a local business. Think about how you can promote yourself within your local area – could partnering up with other local services be a good starting point?
- A local audience is different to a national audience
Following on from the point above, the key to local blogging is all about your readers and providing the information and content they want to see. Writing for a national audience on a broad topic or in a big city means you have a lot to talk about, but on the flip-side a local blog provides an opportunity to be slower-paced with more focused posts, without having a vast, never-ending array of potential topics to choose from. While finding a niche is always important in blogging, the best local blogs fill a void or niche for their community.
- Think about your goals
Passion for what you do and enjoyment in writing your blog is always paramount in the world of blogging, you won’t get anywhere without it – but think about how keeping your blog at a local level will match with your goals for what you want to write about, how you want to make money from your blog, or your local business goals. If your content is excellent quality and gets people reading and commenting, that’s great! But if your readers are all located on the other side of the country or internationally and you’d like them to visit your cafe in Swindon then it’s likely you’re not going to reach your goals as fast as you’d like to.
- Local visibility
Doing things at a more local level involves both pros and cons from the visibility perspective. On the one hand you’re more likely to have less competition for search terms, and therefore stand better chances at getting some good traffic coming through your blog – however this may lead to having fewer options when linking to other blogs and connecting your blog to the rest of the web (either due to a reduced amount of local-specific content to use, or that these other sites could be your business’ competitors).
What do you think? If you think we’ve missed something then leave your tips for local blogging success!