How To Tell If A Topic Is Too Off-Topic For Your Blog

under Content Strategy.

confusedPicture this - you're a relatively successful blogger.

Maybe you're no superstar, but you do alright.

You've established yourself pretty high up in your current niche, and you've got a devoted following who are regularly reading your stuff.

Then a topic comes along that completely blows you away. You can't help but want to write about it.

There's only one problem, though - you aren't really sure if it's the sort of thing your readers would be interested in.

Much as you want to put together a piece, you're not sure if you'll end up alienating your visitors.

What can you do?

Well...the first thing you'll need to do is look at whatever picture you've painted of your readership. Who is the average visitor to your blog, and why do they read your writing? What demographic do they fit into, and what other interests might they hold?

Basically, you need to be able to get into the heads of your readers - otherwise, you'll have absolutely no idea what they want to see.

Let's say, for example, that you've got a blog about the challenges of managing a restaurant. If the topic that caught your eye involves gourmet food or features news related to the food industry, then you're probably good. It's a safe bet that most independent restaurant owners enjoy food, right?

If, however, you're thinking of publishing a topic on lawn-mower repair, then you should probably take a step back and reconsider your options. Are restaurant owners likely to be interested in DIY home repair stuff? Will business-people really care that much about which brand of motor is the toughest to fix?

Probably not.

"The most important thing to consider," writes Movies Silently's Fritzi Kramer, "is how far you are willing to spread your blog's topics. If you blog about cooking, would it make sense to add sections on gardening, entertainment, or travel? Only you know the answer to that."

See, there's a principle here that I like to refer to as your fringe niche. Basically, it's a topic which - while not directly related to the niche you're writing on - is still relevant to the people interested in your blog's main attractions. A fringe niche for a video game blog, for instance, could be comic books or tabletop games.

Makes sense, right?

Now, we've just one more thing to address before we wrap things up for the day. Let's say your new topic doesn't really relate in any way to your current demographic - but you can't get the idea of writing on it out of your head. Should you change your niche?

Ask yourself - would you be happier writing on a new topic? Are you willing to lose a huge chunk of your readers and have to build yourself up from scratch again? Would it be possible to publish the stuff you want to write on as guest posts - or even start another blog?

These are all questions only you can answer - and only through knowing your preferences as a writer. Hey, I can only give you so much advice. The rest of this decision's gotta be yours.

Image credit: CollegeDegrees360