Find the feature niche in your blog
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Blogging 101 feature series challenge
Hello fellow writers. This installment is part of the Blogging 101 Challenge on finding a feature or a sustained series to write about on your blog.
A series is worth the effort because it drives people back to your site on a consistent basis. In other words it’s like coming back to that beloved book that has enticed you with its characters in the first place, or to the departments in a magazine.
Or maybe even further like coming back to your favorite store for that one thing over and over again.
This task is actually a pleasure for me. Serial writing is one of my greatest strengths, according to many editors and publishers.
Find your niche
It doesn’t matter what your blog is about or why you are writing it. What matters in a series is finding that sustaining element and carrying it forward in a playful fashion.
The following tips are based on my experience with the Ionia Sentinel Standard in Ionia, MI. The paper covered everything in a snapshot on a daily basis. Usually there was no time or enough staff to look deeper or follow through on anything.
You have to find your own niche in an assigned beat. Just like in your blog that you have assigned to yourself.
How do you find that niche?
First look through the thread of what you’ve been writing about the most often or the most used tags over the last few weeks or months.
Have you been writing mostly about eating habits that benefit your overall health and wellness not just the calorie loss and dress size drop? Have you been writing about great products, great routines or anti-depression drugs or supplements? Have you been writing about conquering a bad habit?
How about pinning this on a real person who has benefited from healthy eating, changed his or her lifestyle and received lots of support?
What were the changes that person had to make? What did that person have to seek out and who helped him or her?
Fictive example of a series.
The installments could look like this.
1- Character Adele becomes overweight at the age of 13 due to puberty.
2- Adele fiercely battles with excessive weight throughout puberty. Kids laugh at her and bully her. She eats more.
3- Adele starts suffering from depression, goes into herself and loses friends. Peers keep their distance. Adele compensates by eating even more.
4- Mom interferes, and defends her daughter against the dad. Dad thinks it’s nothing and that the deal is stupid.
5- Professionals further analyze the situation. Mom finds out the girl is seriously mentally ill. Adele loses interest in daily activities and surroundings except for one thing.
6- The journey into mental illness begins with all its stigma. It’s all just in her head, says the dad. But there’s still that one thing that keeps Adele hanging in there.
7- Finally, Adele shows off that one thing which is her artistic talent by getting into a local children’s exhibit at the gallery.
8- The artistic exposure brings satisfaction and a feeling of contentment.
9- Mom and others encourage Adele to explore her artistic capabilities.
10-Adele starts healing with the right tools: family, friends, art, healthy diet and exercise.
Welcome back into the world, Adele.
Real sustained series on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) from print newspaper
By Emma Palova
1- Media buzz in the 2000s creates awareness about CAFOs where 3,000 pigs are crammed in one barn in a certain stage of their lives to create efficiency in production.
2- A hog farmer in Ionia County applies for a permit to have a large barn constructed.
3- The township board grants the permit and in two weeks suspends it.
4- The supervisor, an avid environmentalist and owner of recreation center, doesn’t need the stink from the CAFO blowing his way.
5- People of the township loudly rebel over the next few months bringing ceramic pigs to meetings. “Is this everything you expected it to be,” an MSU Extension official yells into my face.
6- Behind the scenes, a woman, the wife of a herdsman, leads a recall effort against the supervisor of 20 years.
7- After collecting the necessary signatures, the woman manages to get the vote on a special election ballot.
8- One year later, the supervisor is recalled by his own people to his disbelief.
9- The supervisor is replaced by his cousin in the good old boys club circle of township politics.
10 The hog farmer continues to raise hogs in great numbers and enters county politics. The township folk live peacefully ever after.
Until a trail group comes after the townsfolk easements
But that’s another series or a book.
Related links EW Emma’s Writings on http://emmapalova.com
Copyright © 2014 story and photo by Emma Palova