My experiences with a local niche blog

Posted on Posted in Blogging

Follow-Up to Interview With Local Niche Blogger Terri Chadick

I am running a local blog myself and I can only say that it is monetizing very well. Loads of people told me that I should cover subjects ‘nationwide’ but I always reclined. ‘All business is local’ is still true and Google gives a lot of authority to good content on local blogs. Checking the incoming search engine traffic shows huge amounts of local keywords combined with general search topics.

Let’s get more specific about local content and monetization options for a local blog…

Local Content

  • A local blog is easy to maintain because many events are repeating ones. Monetizing repeating content is an easy task.
  • Date driven repeating content also makes it easy to maintain an editorial calendar for your local blog.

It is a must to create a ‘Google My Map’

As it is absolutely easy to publish a personal Google map on your local blog I can only recommend to have one or more personal Google maps.

If you look at the included map in this street party announcement you will see many little icons. Every icon points to another localized article, some even contain a photo. Readers love that service inside the articles.

I have no idea if a personal is good for SEO or could be even used for selling ads. Does somebody know if Google allows Ads in personal maps?

Use your imagination to create more specific personal maps for different activities, businesses, events, etc.

More advantages of a local blog

  • I get a lot of inbound calls asking for services, etc.
  • Link selling is absolutely easy
  • I get local job offers (CMS consulting, website building, PR)

Re: Any tips for local blogs on competing in the search engines against the big content portals

Just network with other local blogs. A good local link exchange network is the guarantee for success. Link out, quote local sources and have a nice link database either i.e on del.icio.us or inside your CMS. I have both but I love to include my RSS feeds from del.icio.us as you can see for the keyword ‘Hamburg’ on my homepage in the sidebar.

And make sure to be listed in link directories which cover cities and regions.

Re: Monetization options for a local blog.

Write articles about a specific spot, road, branch or event. Wait for the success on the search engines and promote the rankings to potential advertisers. 103bees is my tool of choice to collect the incoming search engine traffic data.

Contact local ad agencies who publish ads in local newspapers. Create a nice landing page for advertisers which is a big to-do item for me 🙂

CMS software for local blogs

  • I am using Textpattern for my site. IMO Textpattern is superior to WordPress because it allows to structure content in sections. Textpattern is great for a single domain.
  • Right now I am playing around with Pivot for a multi-site, multi-domain concept. Publishing one article in different layouts to as many sites as you want is priceless. Just select all the wanted categories and the article appears on every site where the single category is listed. This way you can spread more general news to as many local blogs as you like.
  • The big gun in this multi-site, multi-domain game with added powerful community features is definitely Drupal. If you have a strong server and if you are willing to learn the Drupal way of doing things then Drupal is the right thing. But be warned: I love the small and fast solutions. Drupal takes time and will eat resources!

Resume

The world is small. I can only second Terris opinions about ‘targeted traffic’, ‘offline ways to publicize your site’ and the ‘long term goals’. Good interview.

Author: markusm

One thought on “My experiences with a local niche blog

  1. I have forgotten to remind you of these great articles:

    Get off Webmaster Welfare

    Submitted by Chris Garrett on February 15, 2008 – 9:08pm in

    Go read this now. Then this. That is all.

    For a local niche blog most of those advices to gain direct income instead of ‘webmaster welfare’ can be realized in simple drive or walk by mode!

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