In This Chapter
Gathering your research tools
Identifying your readership and competition
Analyzing the competition
Taking notes on the information you find
Creating your editorial mission
Here's the unvarnished truth: Your new blog stands a far better chance of success if it's a unique offering that meets an unmet need of your audience. No matter how fascinating your idea, deathless your prose, or beautiful your design, you have an uphill battle to build your readership if you're just like all the other blogs. The problem is compounded if you're a late entrant to a crowded field.
If all you want to do is write for your friends and family, it may not matter that there are already tens or hundreds of people writing about the same thing. But if you want to create a professional blog that generates revenue, you need more than a few loyal readers to attract advertisers or generate an adequate sales volume.
To get, and keep, all your regular readers, you need to put a unique spin on your story. Tell them something they can't get anywhere else but on your blog. This unique content forms your editorial mission, and you build it in four steps (which I cover in detail in this chapter):
Define your audience.
Who are you trying to reach? What would they be most interested in reading about? What information do they need?
Analyze your competitors.
After you define who you want to reach, you can identify the competition for your reader's attention. What do ...