Erin Gentry, manager of Rubbermaid’s Adventures in Organization blog, never imagined spoons could be so provocative. But the everyday utensils have inspired more comments than any other topic covered on the five-year-old blog.
The initial instructions in the post were simple: When doing dishes in a dishwasher, collect like utensils in the same compartment. This way, when you need to put them in the drawer, you can grab them by the handful. Simple enough, right? Well, not really. Spoons tend to nest, or “spoon,” together and may not get clean.
“People were really opinionated about it,” says Gentry.
Rubbermaid distilled its consumers into a single motivation for Adventures in Organization: getting organized. Gentry’s task is to provide content that inspires readers to create order in their lives and show them how to do it. It’s a refined higher purpose for the blog, which positions Rubbermaid as the authority on organizing, both to professionals and consumers. As a result, people are opinionated about things like spoons.
Gentry is responsible for the 20,000 monthly visitors to Adventures in Organization. Here, she offers Marketeer readers a handful of tips on finding, refining, and managing a blogging niche for your brand.
Test your reason for blogging.
What is the higher purpose of your blog? (Hint: Driving sales is an internal-only answer. Consider readers!) For Rubbermaid, it was to help people simplify their lives, something many of their products intend to do. This why organization makes sense as a niche. What makes sense for your brand?
Build champions within.
Rubbermaid encourages all employees to submit compelling content using a reward system. “We have a point system based on content and engagement, such as comments on posts,” Gentry says. “Employee bloggers earn prizes like $5 Panera and Starbucks gift cards. It’s been successful.”
Since Rubbermaid has developed a refined niche, they are able to partner with professional organizers, providing a steady rotation of writers and an assurance of endless topics. “Different readers connect to different writers,” Gentry points out.
Stick to niche, not to products.
One of Adventures in Organization’s most popular posts was about how to organize browser bookmarks. In it, Rubbermaid doesn’t mention any products or services to help with the task. Stray from posts related to products in the interest of the greater purpose.
Keep it simple.
The spoon-washing post drew a response because it wasn’t about how to load a entire dishwasher. Just as refining your blog inspires loyal readers, so does narrowing your topics.