Founded in 1983, America Online quickly became one of the largest ISPs available. Shortly after becoming extremely successful – America Online switched its name to AOL. Why? In order to expand AOL’s appeal to a larger audience.
In consideration of the millions of blogs already established, it’s imperative to start small – and work your way out. In the long run this will guarantee success, and increase your long term viability.
The Success of Google
Google is a perfect example of niche and product expansion. In the beginning it was merely a search engine but as the Google brand has increased in popularity, it has been able to expand into almost every other aspect of internet use. It’s continued growth by developing products, acquisitions, and partnerships. Feedburner, Gmail, Google Chrome, Blogger, Picasa, Earth, Maps, YouTube, and Knol. All are products of Google, and have infiltrated nearly every corner of the net.
The 5 Step Plan
Although Google is an entirely different beast from the standard blog – we can still learn from their success. After brainstorming, here’s the 5 step plan I’ve developed using the “expand & conquer” technique.
- Identify Your Niche - A small, well defined niche is needed first. Example: Don’t blog about news in general, but news related to a certain sport, community, or person. Establishing a controlled, well targeted niche is the first step in success for this plan.
- Blog & Promote - Start blogging religiously. Produce valuable, rich content. Once a large resource of content has been archived – begin promoting. Social media and SEO are both avenues to pursue.
- Develop Tools & Resources - After a small following has been cultivated, activate some tools & resources. This may be in the form of forums, free software, or useful web applications. Produce something of value for your readers.
- Expand Your Niche - Once you’ve grown into a steady, respected blog in your “micro” niche – dive into a wider audience. Example: Start blogging about shoes instead of sandals.
- Repeat Steps 1-4
Notice the trend? Start small, produce an audience – and expand. Almost any of the greatest companies have used and perfected this marketing art. Disney, Google, Apple, Microsoft – you name it. They each were minute establishments in the beginning – and grew into the superstars of their industries. All through the use of the expand & conquer marketing technique.
How have you used the expand & conquer marketing approach to grow your blog?