Why You Feel Like an Idiot When You Talk About Your Blog (and How to Fix It)

by Amy Dunn Moscoso


It’s the question you secretly dread:

“So, what’s your blog about?”

You should be delighted that someone’s showing an interest in your passion.

But the problem is, you’ve been here before. You know how it ends.

Pushing your doubts aside, you launch into an explanation, all the while waiting for that inevitable moment…

That moment when her eyes glaze over and you can practically read her thoughts.

She’s wishing she’d never asked.

She forces a smile. “I guess it’s nice to have a hobby.”

And a tiny part of your dream dies.

So what’s the problem here – is it you, or your blog?

If you’re struggling to win people over online too, there’s a good chance it’s both.

But fortunately for you, there’s a simple solution…

Why “Positioning” Is Not Just for Big Brands (Bloggers Need It Too!)

If you blog about a popular topic, certainly plenty of others do too. And all of you are competing for the same pool of loyal readers.

But whether you blog about chocolate, freelance writing, or Aurora displays, it’s crucial your readers have a strong reason to choose your blog instead of another in your niche.

You have just a few seconds to seize the attention of new visitors. (According to Statistics Brain, the average person’s attention span is just 8 seconds – that’s less than a goldfish!)

In a crowded blogosphere, correct “positioning” of your blog is key.

But what is positioning?

Positioning is a powerful marketing concept relating to the place a business, product – or your blog – automatically occupies the mind of the target audience.

And we’re all affected by positioning whether we like it or not. Consider the following examples:

  • You hear “luxury watch” – you think… Rolex.
  • You hear “Italian sports car” – you think…Ferrari.
  • You hear “blogging guru” – you think… Jon. Or Seth.

Strong positioning helps you make a powerful first impression by clearly communicating what your blog is about and who it’s for.

3 Simple Signs Your Blog is Not Well Positioned…

Let’s say you started a blog about making chocolate. (Why? Because everyone loves chocolate!)

You work on it day and night, follow best posting practices, and write long, informative posts.

But you’re not getting the attention you deserve.

Could it be that your blog is poorly positioned?

Here are some signs to look out for.

Sign #1: You Struggle to Explain Your Blog to Other People

Your mom throws a surprise birthday party for a family friend. At the food table, she introduces you to an online journalist covering 10 emerging bloggers to watch and proudly mentions that you have a blog (even though she doesn’t really understand what it’s about).

The journalist asks the question.  (You know, the one you dread.)

You have seconds to pitch yourself. This could lead to the big break you so desperately need.

So, what’s your blog about?

Er, making chocolate. It’s for chocolate lovers.

Really? Sounds fun. Tell me more.

Chocolate and making chocolates, that’s what I love. The good ones, you know, high-end. And big brands and ones using fair trade. I’m big into that. And, yeah, what you need to make the good stuff. Can’t use just anything…

Huh. Well, blogging is a great hobby. Hey, are those California rolls?

What went wrong?

It’s possible you haven’t nailed down exactly what your blog is about. Or you have, but you can’t explain it.

Sign #2: Even You Don’t Know Why People Should Read Your Blog

Coming up with new blog post ideas can be a challenge, and it’s easy to get inspired by reading other blogs in your niche.

While it’s great to keep up with what other blogs are posting, if you take your lead from elsewhere, the result is just another “me too” blog. You’re practically programming your readers to believe your blog isn’t worth their attention if it’s just a poor copy of a bigger blog.

Look at the most successful blogs in your niche and ask, “Why should people read my blog instead of those?”

If you don’t have a convincing answer, poor positioning is probably to blame.

Sign #3: You Can’t Seem to Grow Your Blog Beyond a Few Casual Followers

One of the biggest signs of poor positioning is a lack of loyal followers.

New visitors bounce because they can’t grasp what your blog is about (and why they should care) before their goldfish-like brains get distracted by another link.

Casual readers drift away because they don’t feel strongly connected to you and your topic.

If you have some traffic, but no one hangs around, it can be particularly frustrating. Being ignored is one thing, but when someone pays you some attention and then decides to walk away, it’s even more painful.

Traffic that doesn’t convert to subscribers usually means something you’ve written connects with people, but they don’t understand how it fits into your blog as a whole.

3 Essential Characteristics of an Exquisitely Positioned Blog Topic

Have you ever woken up at 3:00 a.m. with the perfect retort to a question? Infuriating, isn’t it?

Let’s rewind to that dinner-party conversation with the benefit of careful positioning…

So, what’s your blog about?

It’s about making high-end chocolates using fair trade ingredients. My readers have a passion for making chocolate at work or home. For my most recent post, I interviewed a food buyer for a luxury brand, and he told me that people should watch out for a shortage of African cocoa before holidays like Easter. Also China is suddenly really into high-end chocolate, and they’re buying up cocoa like crazy – in fact, there’s an article in Forbes about it. Even at the best of times, finding fair trade ingredients can be tough, so I also help people find out where to buy.

Really? Well that sounds fascinating. Would you be willing to do an interview?

Now you have an opportunity to raise your authority and widen your audience by becoming an expert interviewee. Not to mention the boasting rights – who doesn’t want to be called a blogger to watch?

What makes this positioning work? Three things.

It’s Specific, Not Abstract

This is not just a blog about chocolate.

It’s about something much more specific: making world-class fair trade chocolate.

The blogger gives details about the type of readers the blog attracts, and the kinds of posts it publishes.

She even shares an exclusive, insider story about an industry expert and some timely advice for people who want to make a certain type of chocolate.

Finally, she explains what’s in it for readers and why the blog exists.

It Targets a Defined Audience, Not “Everyone”

Not everyone will become a follower of a world-class chocolate making blog. Some people aren’t even that into chocolate (are they crazy?)

So this blog doesn’t try to appeal to anyone with a passing interest in chocolate – it’s deliberately aimed at a specific group of people. Those with a passion for making chocolate and a commitment to quality and fairness.

The more tightly you define your audience, the more easily you can bond with them.

It’s Memorable, Not Generic

Many blogs feature expert interviews, but probably no others in this space have these timely tips on the state of African cocoa from a global expert.

Stories make your blog one of a kind. You can use your own stories of course, but interviews are a great way to get an expert to share your post.

Wouldn’t it be great if a recognized chocolate expert shared this blog post with their followers?

The Secret to Positioning Your Blog with Pinpoint Accuracy

A well-positioned blog is easy to explain to anyone, in any medium.

A strong positioning is particularly useful when you do one of the following:

  • Tell someone about your blog.
  • Write your tag line and About Page copy.
  • Plan and create posts.

When your blog is well positioned, people instantly get a clear and accurate impression regardless of context. They can clearly explain what the blog is about to another person and the other person will get it too.

But how do you go from a broad sense of what your blog is about to a consistent and engaging positioning?

The secret to powerful positioning is to create a series of organized statements about your blog called “key messages.”

How to Use “Key Messages” for Perfect Positioning

A key message is a carefully crafted description of some important aspect of a business, product, or in this case, blog.

For example, one key message might explain the topic of your blog. Another, the target audience.

Taken together, a collection of these key messages can clearly and concisely define your blog from every important angle.

Crucially, these are not public-facing messages – they’re communication tools you return to again and again whenever you need to talk about your blog. They enable you to create a clear and consistent impression in your readers’ minds and set the right expectations.

But how do they work?

Key messages systematically organize and present information step by step, moving from general context, to specific details, to a concrete example. They end by giving the reader something to do or think about.

Let’s see how to create them.

The 5 Questions That’ll Help You Get to the Heart of Your Blog

Positioning your blog means that you, the blogger, first need to understand your blog intimately.

Sometimes you already have a clear understanding; you just need a way to communicate it.

Other times, you need to make some decisions about your blog to enable you to position it effectively.

To get clear, you must answer a series of questions designed to elicit the most important details about your blog.

Write down or record your answers because this is the raw material you’ll mine when creating your key messages.

Q1: What is your blog about?

What is the core topic of your blog?

For instance, do you blog about:



making world-class chocolates from fair-trade ingredients?

Notice that defining your blog topic is a balancing act between a description so broad it’s almost meaningless, and one so narrow it’s of interest only to a small few.

Q2: Who is your blog for?

Who is the target audience for your blog?

For instance, is it for:

people who love chocolate


people with a passion for making chocolate who are empathic toward everyone in the industry?

(Not sure how to figure out how to narrow down your readers, or figure out your ideal reader needs? Consider trying out a template like this from HubSpot. Use it to help you think about your readers as people with real needs seeking the kinds of solutions and information you can provide.)

Q3: Why should they care?

Why should this audience care about your blog? In other words, what’s in it for them?

If they read your blog, do they get:

ideas for holiday chocolates


creative inspiration to make delicious chocolates, while supporting the world’s chocolate farmers?

Q4: Why does your blog exist?

Why does the blogosphere need your blog when the topic is almost certainly covered by other blogs? What would be missing if your blog didn’t exist?

Does your blog fill a need for information, provide a new way of looking at your niche, or add much needed down-to-earth advice?

For example, is your blog necessary because:

you’re providing new information that isn’t out there yet


other blogs don’t provide the step-by-step how-to information you do?

Q5: Why you are the best person to blog about this?

If we agree there’s a need for a blog like yours, why are you the best person to fulfill that need?

Use this question to explain a little about yourself, your values, drive, credentials, and experience.

And consider your own motivations. Why do you want to blog in your niche, and what do you have to offer?

For instance, do you:

love writing about the art of making beautiful chocolate


research, live, and breathe the world of high-end chocolate


have a relevant Ph.D. from Oxford, McGill or Harvard?

Once you’ve answered these core questions, it’s time to turn this raw material into clear and concrete key messages.

The Four Essential Ingredients of a Compelling Key Message

So how do you write strong key messages to clearly position your blog in your niche?

You can use a simple four-part structure:

  1. A general “umbrella” statement
  2. Three to five backup points adding details, trends, or facts
  3. A brief story to illustrate your point
  4. A tip/takeaway for the reader to use or think about

Let’s examine each of the four parts in turn.

#1 The Umbrella Statement… Gives a Basic Overview

An umbrella statement is a high-level description of some aspect of your blog.

We all use umbrella statements in our lives whether we realize it or not. When people ask us what we do for a living, we say things like, “I’m a real estate lawyer,” or, “I’m an entrepreneur,” or, “I’m an online writer.”

It’s a simple and accurate description, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

A strong umbrella statement includes:

  • Your niche (in this example, chocolate)
  • Your topic in your niche (making high-end chocolates)
  • Your industry or audience (people with a passion for making beautiful chocolates)

You don’t know it, but you’ve already written five umbrella statements: your answers to your five questions you asked yourself earlier.

Here’s an example umbrella statement:

My blog is about making world-class chocolates with fair trade ingredients.

#2 The Backup Points… Flesh Out the Detail

Creating three to five backup points provides details to expand your umbrella statement.

Backup points may be details, trends, or facts from reliable sources (go beyond Wikipedia). They help sharpen the context of your blog and differentiate you from the competition.

They can also provide proof of your umbrella statement, using third party statistics, facts, and trends.

Backup points help demonstrate your expertise and greatly clarify your blog’s positioning.

Here are three example Backup Points from the chocolate niche:

  • I help people identify where and how to buy fair trade cocoa.
  • I get timely industry trends by interviewing global experts.
  • I help people understand global opportunities reported in business publications like Forbes.
Doesn’t this make your blog sounds more authoritative, legitimate, and knowledgeable than another blog driven purely by personal experience?

Doesn’t it suggest that you are a blogger to be listened to since you have access to top experts?

#3 The Story… Brings Your Topic to Life

Stories are memorable, trigger emotion, and can demonstrate your expertise.

They take your blog topic from abstract to concrete and pique people’s interests. Crucially, stories truly differentiate your blog from the crowd.

What kinds of stories should you include in a key message?

  • Stories about big names in your niche. Have you ever met someone famous in your industry? You can interview them, or write about the time you met them.
  • Stories drawn from your own experiences. The chocolate-making blogger could write about a trip to Africa, sourcing cocoa, or seeing huge lines for luxury chocolate brands in China.
  • Stories with personal significance. A special chocolate made for a relative. A holiday cake. Where the passion for making fair trade chocolate came from.

Here’s an example of a personal story you could use in a key message:

At my favourite local Mexican restaurant, they have divine vanilla. They told me it comes from the cook’s hometown. I asked to get in on their order. When the vanilla came, I used it to make icing for an amazing chocolate cake. It smelled so good everyone wanted to buy the vanilla from me, so I had to hide it.
Writing a story like this shows you are in tune with the local scene. You know where world-class chocolate making ingredients come from. You source them. You’ve driven great results using them.

If you’re blogging about making world-class chocolates, this story would provide proof you’re worth following.

The best stories are interesting in their own right, but they also demonstrate your unique value and expertise.

#4 The Tip or Takeaway… Gives Them Something to Remember

Providing a useful tip or a takeaway concludes your key message. It actively hands the conversation about your blog back over to the reader and gives them something to do or think about.

Tips are little gifts for readers. Something to help them out right now. Something that immediately demonstrates the value you offer.

Takeaways are something your readers can think about – like how you can help them source the ingredients they are looking for, since you know it’s challenging to do.

When should you use a tip over a takeaway?

Give a tip when you want a reader to do something now or you have timely information to share. Tips should resonate with the key message as a whole.

Use a takeaway when you want a reader to ponder a larger question. For chocolate makers who aren’t into fair trade, you may ask them to consider it and give reasons why. Takeaways, like tips, should also be in tune with the entire key message.

Example Tip:

Due to a world shortage in cocoa, brought on by Chinese demand, chocolate makers getting ready for Christmas should place commercial orders six months in advance.
Example Takeaway:
Choosing fair trade ingredients means luxury chocolate makers can help improve the lives of people around the world.
Both of these should help you linger in your audience’s minds long after they’ve left your blog.

Now, let’s create your first key message.

How to Write Key Messages That Answer the Most Important Questions About Your Blog

Remember the five questions we used to elicit information about your blog?

Those same five questions are also the perfect prompts for five key messages that will create a positioning platform for your blog.

Let’s take them one by one, continuing with the example of the blog for chocolate makers.

Key Message #1 (“What is your blog about?”)

Umbrella Statement

My blog is about making world-class chocolates using fair trade ingredients for people passionate about chocolate.

Backup Points
  • I help identify where and how to buy fair trade cocoa, vanilla, and chocolate ingredients
  • I get timely industry trends by interviewing global experts.
  • I help people understand global opportunities reported in business publications like Forbes.

At my favourite local Mexican restaurant, they have divine vanilla. They told me it comes from the cook’s hometown. I asked to get in on their order. When the vanilla came, I used it to make icing for an amazing chocolate cake. It smelled so good everyone wanted to buy the vanilla from me so I had to hide it.


Due to a world shortage in cocoa, brought on by Chinese demand, hotels should place orders six months in advance.


Choosing fair trade ingredients means luxury chocolate makers can help improve the lives of people around the world.

That’s our first key message for the chocolate blogger. Let’s write four more.

Key Message #2 (“Who is your blog for?”)

Umbrella Statement

My ideal audience is people who are passionate about chocolate and believe in fair trade.

Backup Points

These people include:

  • professionals like caterers, retail shops, hotels, etc.
  • amateurs
  • caterers

One of my followers is Anne. She’s a caterer who does high-end corporate parties. Her clients are into social responsibility, and she even helps them get positive press coverage. She uses my blog to make buying decisions and gives tips of her own.


My ideal audience loves making beautiful, ethical food.

Key Message #3: (“Why should they care?”)

Umbrella Statement

My audience reads my blog to stay on top of the high-end chocolate industry.

Backup Points
  • They don’t have time to research themselves.
  • They need an all-in-one source.
  • They love learning secrets from top industry professionals.

One of my followers, Janice, gets industry information from my blog that helps her buy chocolates for her high-end retail store. She loves insights from my Who’s Who of global experts. Recently, she used my blog to create a chocolate lovers event that won a hospitality industry award.


My audience gets exclusive access to top industry experts, fresh ideas, and industry knowledge found only on my blog.

Key Message #4 (“Why does my blog exist?”)

Umbrella Statement

My blog empowers people who love making chocolate to become good global citizens.

Backup Points

(Using research stats and trends from reliable sources.)


When I was getting married, I wanted designer chocolates for all my guests, but I couldn’t find local fair trade, high-end chocolate. As a recent graduate of culinary school, I started blogging about the topic. Then, I opened my own chocolaterie.


Chocolate makers can shape the chocolate industry with their buying decisions.

Key Message #5: (“Why are you the best person to blog about this?”)

Umbrella Statement

I’m a chocolatier who loves to make the world’s best chocolates and help others do the same.

Backup Points

(Using your experience or background.)

  • I trained at the Culinary Art School
  • Worked at three five star restaurants over 10 years
  • Started my blog in 2007

As a young child, I often made chocolate with my great grandmother – she had a recipe from the old country, and we’d scour the city buying the best ingredients. When I studied at culinary school, I used her recipe to win first prize in a school competition. Now, I write about people who share her passion for chocolate.


I started writing my blog to remember my grandmother and fell in love with people from around the world who share her passion.

Congratulations! You now have five key messages. Now, it’s time to position your blog by implementing them.

How to Position Your Blog with Precision Using Key Messages

Now that you have your key messages, it’s time to implement them. This means revising key areas of your blog to make sure that every point of contact with a reader is in tune with the careful positioning described by those key messages.

Your key messages should guide the creation of all of the following:

Your Tagline: The First Key Message Your Readers Encounter

Your tagline is one of first things a new visitor reads when visiting your blog. It’s also your first opportunity to communicate one of your key messages.

(If you’re wondering what a tagline is, it’s the short description of a blog that often appears alongside the blog’s title. WordPress has a field for the tagline under General Settings, and many blog themes display this text prominently within the design.)

From a communication point of view, your tagline is a description of what your blog is about and what it offers, stripped down to the essence.

The first draft of your tagline should be short, descriptive, and clear. Once you have the concept, you can play with it, adding power words to make it a little slicker, or add more personality.

Reference these key messages:

  • Key Message #1 – What is your blog about?
  • Key Message #2 – Who is Your blog for?
  • Key Message #3 – Why should they care?

For a chocolate making blog, a tagline might start out like this:

Make the luxury chocolates you love with free trade ingredients

Once you have your ideas clear, play with the wording to make it snappy.

Make luxury chocolates the ethical way

Let’s look at some great taglines from popular blogs and bloggers:

  • Carol Tice’s Make a Living Writing blog tagline is Practical Help for Hungry Writers
  • Heidi Cohen’s tagline is Actionable Marketing Guide
  • Social Media Examiner’s tagline is Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Notice how clear, short and powerful these taglines are. They tell you exactly what to expect from these blogs in just a few words.

Your About Page: Let Your Key Messages Run The Show

Your About Page was made for key messages. Unlike the tagline, which is a boiled down version of several key messages, the About Page can handle umbrella statements, backup points, and one or more stories.

When creating or revising your About Page copy, you should draw from all of your key messages.

How to use Key Message #1 (“What is your blog about?”)

Great About Pages share the blog’s topic right away.

So use your umbrella statement, weave in your backup points, and then share your story.

Kristi Hines’ blog Kikolani covers a wide range of topics related to online marketing. At the top of her About Page, she discusses her knowledge of content marketing, search engine optimization, social media, and web analytics.

Smart Blogger is all about “how to get more readers, build your email list, become an authority in your niche – everything you need to get the attention you deserve.”

When you arrive on these blogs, you know exactly what they’re going to cover – and what they’re not.

How to use Key Message #2 (“Who is your blog for?”)

Tell viewers in detail. What you’re going for is an ideal follower to read your page and think – yes, this is for me.

Who is Smart Blogger for? The About Page doesn’t say it outright, but speaks directly to readers who are frustrated by trying to get their blogs recognized. It’s not for hobby bloggers or people who write for their friends and family. It’s for people looking to, as the name suggests, be smart bloggers but also for people who are struggling with this problem.

How to use Key Message #3: (“Why should they care?”)

When you pour your passion into your blog, it can be difficult to understand why other people wouldn’t care as much as you do.

But when people read your About Page, they’re undecided. So you must give them reasons to care as early as possible, drawn directly from the key message.

For instance:

Chocablog.com offers reviews, recipies and global feature and reports.
Consider using bullet points and your backup points to break out a list of reasons they should stick around.

Ask yourself: why should readers care about your blog?

How to Use Key Message #4 (“Why does my blog exist?”)

There are plenty of reasons you could give for your blog’s existence. But pick the one that matters most to your readers. “To build my authority in my niche” may be an important reason to you, but it’s unlikely to move your audience.

Jon’s blog exists to help bloggers who are dedicated to their craft grow a following by sharing everything he has learned about building a popular blog.

Carol Tice started her Make a Living Writing blog to help writers escape content mills and earn professional rates.

So, why does your blog exist?

How to use Key Message #5: (“Why are you the best person to blog about this?”)

Introduce yourself to potential followers, and be sure to include details that build credibility?

Ever read Jon’s story? Can anyone else in the world can match it? Unlikely. But a big reason he has so much authority is because he helped build Copyblogger, and this information has been strategically slipped into the Smart Blogger About Page:

And after years of watching from the sidelines, writing for huge blogs like Copyblogger…
You don’t need to know more about Jon’s credentials than this. If he worked for Copyblogger, he knows his stuff.

Kristi Hines’ About Page mentions her more than 60 online publications, large social media followings on Twitter (55K), and Google+ (29K).

What makes you the blogger others should listen to on this topic? What unique experiences and qualities do you have that set you apart?

Your Content: Reinforcing Your Key Messages One Post at a Time

With your key messages in place, you know with total clarity what you’re writing about. You know precisely who you’re writing for. Now, you can plan the posts that will drive traffic on your topic and resonate with your readers.

If you want to get fancy, create an editorial calendar of post topics. You can plan ahead for the next three weeks or the next year. Microsoft Excel (or Google Sheets) spreadsheets work well, or you can use an existing editorial calendar template, like this one from HubSpot.

When planning out your posts, concentrate on these key messages:

  • Key Message #2 – Who is your blog for?
  • Key Message #3 – Why should they care?

How can your blog solve problems other people are truly struggling with right now?

Many Smart Blogger readers are struggling to grow their audiences. They may have tried different strategies, but they aren’t seeing results. The articles on this site are all about fixing that situation, step by step.

There are hundreds of ways to do this, and countless post opportunities, but the blog stays focused. It talks about writing, but only from a blogging perspective – it doesn’t try to tackle the problems faced by fiction writers (though it’s happy to help people learn from a great writer of fiction.)

It also doesn’t cover blogging as a hobby – it’s for serious bloggers only.

So whenever you have a “killer” idea for writing a blog post, make sure it’s compatible with your key messages. If not, put it to one side (or turn it into a guest post) – it doesn’t belong on your precisely positioned blog.

Look at these example posts, all related to serious blogging:

What problems can you start solving with your blog?

Let’s Position Your Blog for the Runaway Success It Deserves

You may feel that positioning is a marketing gimmick, not a valuable blogging tool.

But a poorly positioned blog fails you and your audience.

You don’t get the traffic and recognition you deserve. And your audience doesn’t get the help and insight they deserve.

Unless you answer some important questions about your blog, it’s destined to remain stuck in the quagmire of ill-defined, me-too blogs.

So create a handful of key messages for your blog, and let them fuel everything you write.

Your voice will resonate with your audience, no matter how full the blogosphere grows. You’ll find that more of your visitors start sticking around.

In the real world, when you talk about your blog, people’s eyes will start to light up, rather than glaze over.

And who knows, you may even start to look forward to that question:

“So, what’s your blog about?”

About the Author: Amy Dunn Moscoso is a B2B marketing communications writer who works with CEOs, Marketing Directors and agencies in renewable energy, SaaS and digital marketing. She writes from Tianjin, China and Calgary, Canada. Download her Key Message Template to instantly start crafting your blog’s key messages.
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Amy Dunn Moscoso


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Written by Amy Dunn Moscoso

89 thoughts on “Why You Feel Like an Idiot When You Talk About Your Blog (and How to Fix It)”

  1. Hey Amy,

    Great post here.

    I never started considering the thought of positioning until the past few months. When I started to think about what my blog is really about and what I would want my blog to be associated with.

    After reading this, I need to go over my blog and try to position it with pinpoint accuracy. I think I’m better than how I was before, but I’m still a little all over the place. But your tip about using key messages is helpful. I like how you laid it out there. Sort of like a template to follow.

    “Unless you answer some important questions about your blog, it’s destined to remain stuck in the quagmire of ill-defined, me-too blogs.”

    That’s definitely not what I want. Great post and tips for things I need to work on and clarify.

    – Andrew

      • Thanks “Amy” for this great post, really helps a lot. Above all enjoyed reading at “BoostBlogTraffic”.
        One more thing! thanks for replying to all your lovers and readers.

      • hello Amy
        i have been in and out of the blogosphere a number of times and always the main reason is because i tackle topics that i fail to realise have not positioned myself well in. Although i have always wondered what was i doing wrong that makes me not to succeed, your article just opened my eyes. I have a question though, does going after expert opinions in order to create expert roundups a good idea to position well? Thanks in advance

      • Blogosphere is although full of crappy content, you can still stand out by positioning yourself.

        Most bloggers fail to build better blogs because they get lost in the crowded niche. Great insights!

  2. Hi Amy,

    Congrats on being published at BBT! This will be an exciting day for you, believe me. 🙂

    Really, really interesting topic. “Positioning” is something I’ve been working out without realizing that’s what I was doing! Thankfully, my blog passes your three simple signs! (My former blog? Not so much.)

    I love the five actionable questions/steps you give. To anyone who isn’t sure why their blog exists… to anyone who isn’t sure of their blog’s PURPOSE… this is an excellent exercise.

    Well done, Amy. And congrats again! I’ll be tweeting this shortly. 🙂


    • Hi Kevin,

      Oh, it’s a highly exciting day for me making it onto BBT 🙂 A major 2015 goal.

      Positioning is one of those concepts people often struggle with without realizing it. While you can figure it out, you may lose a lot of time if you don’t address positioning directly. Blogging requires a lot of resources, time and energy you don’t want to squander. Understanding your blog first is a big first step before you can really communicate it to others.

      P.S. Thanks for the tweet!


  3. Hi Amy,

    I absolutely love this post. I’m a huge proponent of “content strategy” and you’re idea of “positioning” is totally in line with this. You’ve really gone deep into the whole elevator pitch. So essential. You really nailed it.


    • Hi Amy,

      You’re right-the elevator pitch is essential. I’d say it’s just the beginning of what you can communicate about your blog when you’re clearly positioned and have a set of solid key messages to draw from.


  4. Hi Sue,

    We also need to create an elevator pitch, talking about what we blog about. Doing it like copywriters do.

    Both sentences about chocolate, “people who love chocolate” and “people with a passion for making chocolate who are empathic toward everyone in the industry” — basically tell the same thing, but it’s how we tell it.

    It’s not about you. It’s about THEM.

    Thanks for the great key messages. Need to churn on it and digest that info.

  5. Hi Amy,

    Thank you for a lovely post with short digestible paragraphs. 🙂

    Due to my recent run-in with my cell phone provider, I’ve been contemplating starting a consumer advocacy blog (I could tie it back to money and finance, maybe.). However, I have to research the popularity of it. I uncovered a secret that can connect wireless users with customer service reps/supervisors quicker than pressing “1” for this and “2” for that. And, you may get satisfaction that you may not have expected. It’s about who has the power. I also discovered a secret that will help consumers connect with credit card customer services reps/supervisors in a quicker amount of time.

    I saved your post in my Evernote and will refer back to it. Thanks again!

    • That sounds like a great blog topic Amandah – anything that empowers consumers (and shortens time on hold/dealing with call centers redirecting you) is bound to make for popular tips.


  6. Amy — excellent post about positioning. I belong to a blogging group on LinkedIn (Bloggers Helping Bloggers) and I will post it there. Lots of good information that can help sharpen the focus of our blogs.

  7. Hi Amy,

    This is a stack of useful information here. A ready-made strategy for finding their own individual place online for anyone feeling not quite on track with their blog. Q4: Is the crux of it. Knowing the answer to this question is what will make your
    relevant and stand out to people. It’s why they’ll become readers.

    Now, all this mention of chocolate has made me want some! Off to get some now:).

    • Hi Tom,

      I agree – getting clear on why your blog exists is at the heart of building a great blog.

      P.S. You have no idea how many Snickers bars were consumed while writing this post.

  8. Hi, Amy,

    Where have you and this post been all my life?? I LOVE this method of coming up with 5 key messages.

    I just signed up for your template and am going to work on this over the weekend.

    You have a new fan 🙂
    P.S. Now I have a chocolate craving!

  9. Nice work Amy,

    The sound you’ll hear is blogger after blogger slapping themselves awake to make a few changes on their blogs. Or maybe it’s just me?

    Thanks for pulling the curtain back with positioning. Like how-to-write-a-screenplay books show the beats in a movie, you showed blog beats that create those aha moments in readers. At a recent writers meeting the speaker said blogging “is so 2003.” Then he said he posts three times a day on blogs. Which feels so 2015.

    Great map to follow.


  10. Hey Amy,

    I’m just starting out, and I found this article to be extremely helpful! Not only did you point out what needs to be done, but you broke everything down into great detail and gave examples! Perfect! I need to build confidence in myself and in my explanation of my blog. I think this is the “key” (pun intended) to solving that! Thanks so much.


    • Hey Carly,

      I actually think it’s a major benefit to get positioned when you’re starting. You can then focus on what you’re doing and build momentum right from the beginning. Confidence (for me) comes from feeling comfortable about what I’m talking or writing about, and it always starts with key messages.

      I hope key messages will help you develop confidence too.

  11. Amy thank you sooo much. I’m redoing my website and this gave me…food for thought. 🙂

    Just so you know, I laughed so hard I almost choked on this:
    Sign #2: Even You Don’t Know Why People Should Read Your Blog

    Hilarious. Thanks so much for this kind blogger help. Lots of honing starting now.

  12. Amy, this is a great article. I’ll definitely be returning to it to get ideas to refine my own site.

    By the way, this is a fantastic example:

    “My readers have a passion for making chocolate at work or home. For my most recent post, I interviewed a food buyer for a luxury brand, and he told me that people should watch out for a shortage of African cocoa before holidays like Easter. Also China is suddenly really into high-end chocolate, and they’re buying up cocoa like crazy – in fact, there’s an article in Forbes about it. Even at the best of times, finding fair trade ingredients can be tough, so I also help people find out where to buy.”

    As you said, it is specific and it clearly targets the key audience. But it also refers to a newsworthy tidbit (China’s recent interest), links to authority (Forbes), and clearly explains how it helps its readers.

    As you also said, when it comes to being more specific, asking “Why?” is a really important tactic, because the more you drill down into exactly why you do something and explore your core motives, the better you find ways to connect with your readers.

    Funny how I can recognize these things yet simultaneously realize how much work I have to do on my own website!

    • Recognizing it is one thing- enacting is another. A website is a never-ending evolution, isn’t it?

      I agree – knowing your motives, your deep motives, not the surface ones, are what bonds you with readers.

  13. Hi Amy
    I found your post incredibly useful and I loved the step-by-step tips.

    I blog about personal growth-, so I have to ask myself all the time, why is my blog different from the other millions blogs about that out there?

    My blog is about helping others being the best persons they can be. I help my readers understand that in order to have a strong, functional family/marriage and happy relationships, we all must grow first as a person. Also, I have readers that already are having family issues and I provide family law orientation for them.

    In my personal and profesional experience as a lawyer, I found that most divorces and family problems can be prevented, so I blog to help people do so, emotionally and legally. If there HAS to be a divorce, I want to help them get it without losing all of their money, peace and family.

    Sorry for my writing, I´m from Mexico. Thank you!!

    • Maria,

      Your writing is just great. I’m writing from China and my husband is from Guatemala. Hola!

      Your blog sounds like a wonderful place providing the kind of solutions people in a troubling time really need – financial, family, peace. It’s great that you’re already always asking why and how to stand out in your niche.

  14. Thank you.
    I feel as if this post was written specifically for me. You’ve answered questions that I’ve been struggling with for awhile. .. It’s almost as if you were in my head….

  15. Hi Amy

    Really great job with the post and congrats on getting published here 🙂

    With the blogging space becoming more crowded all the time, I think positioning is vital. When I was trying to think of a name for my website, I wanted to narrow things down as much as possible so it was clear who it was for and why they should read it.

    I also work as a designer and have often struggled with being a jack of all trades or master of one things. I think with so many people now looking to make a living online, it’s extremely beneficial to narrow down what it is you do and why people should care.

    Just my thoughts 🙂

    • Chris,

      I feel being a jack of all trades is a common situation for people – that shouldn’t always follow them to their blog. Your point about making a living online is important – we can develop business relationships with people from all over the world. (Just look at the posters here – I see people from India, Mexico, the US, Canada, China…the better positioned our blog is, the easier it is for these people to connect with us.

  16. This is so timely for me being a new blogger! I don’t even tell people in the real world that I started a blog, because I have no clue how to explain it! Now I’m excited to download your worksheet and start sharing! 🙂

  17. Hi Amy, this is a very informative article. I’m off to mull over your points over a cup of green tea. I also enjoyed your style, you’re an excellent writer. Thanks for sharing, Lottie x

  18. Amy, you for sure laid out an awesome road-map here to a question many of us gets (though we rarely will admit it in public).

    For my niche I spent a lot of time researching the wants and needs, and then analyzed the answers to kind of get the gist of all the info. And then I focused build my info around this. But still I found myself putting a lot of emphasis what I believed (or more close to the truth ‘wanted’) to be my market segments real wants and needs..

    Bottom line is that I still ended up getting the same question ‘What is your blog really about?”

    I guess I wrote more about topics that was close to my heart only to learn that they where not that important to my primary market segment.

    So this was a brilliant road-map for anyone that is looking to fine tune their blog and indentify the information that your target market segment really is looking for.


    Are Morch
    Hotel Blogger & Social Media Coach

    • Hello Are,

      If there’s anything my experience as a publicist at an agency years ago proved, it was even people in huge and well known companies struggle to explain simply what they do. Just listen to a CEO try and explain a company on TV. (Or explain a mistake). And they have corporate media training. Bloggers are no different especially when we have the freedom to write about anything for anyone – it’s awesome, but can easily get overwhelming. Sometimes, it’s hard to be simple and clear.

      That’s great you already are focusing on your audience. Hopefully you can tie in the things you want to write about in a valuable way into stories within your key messages.

  19. Hey Amy, this post was incredibly informative.
    I had a good idea of what my blog was about, but now I know how to really clarify what it’s about to others.
    Thanks for this, it’s helped a ton.

  20. Amy,
    Love your article. It provides so many helpful questions to help us bloggers really get in touch with what our blog should be. You definitely have me thinking things through!

  21. Hello Amy and thank you.
    Lovely, clear, evidence-based template.
    Even a newbie like me can see the logic and, even when I’m too confused to do that, I can follow by rote.
    So, thank you again – from a grateful, smiley fan.

  22. Hi Amy and thx for this post. I thank my friend Jeannette Paladino for pointing me to it, as she knows I write a blog about handcrafted chocolate and that I’ve been having trouble building my audience. My blog is actually about chocolate travel (i.e. why you should travel the world for the purpose of discovering amazing chocolate experiences) but I was really able to resonate with and learn from the points you carefully laid out. And if you like chocolate as much as you say, please drop in and visit me!

  23. Thank you for the wonderful post. I just started my blog just a few weeks ago and this post has really helped me focus on positioning. I do have a quick question for you. I am not sure if this is silly but I never know when to bring up my blog. My blog is a mommy blog that focuses on reviews on local family friendly activities as well as environmentally friend companies. I always meet moms in the community that could benefit from my blog but I feel pretentious about bringing it up. It feels awkward and I worry they will think that all I care about is selling my blog. I would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.

    • Hi Elona,

      Bringing up a blog can be awkward, but it doesn’t have to be if you keep the other person in mind. You already seem very sensitive to this so I don’t think you’d come across as overselling it if you use it to help them.

      For example, let’s say you have a friend who is stressing out over where to have a birthday party (or the cost) and you’ve written about fun, budget-friendly, environmentally responsible activities. You could just mention you wrote a post about it and thought it would give them some ideas/help them out so they don’t have to research it themselves. You’d be doing them a favour which is what your blog is all about.


  24. Hi Amy,
    That was quite a long post 🙂
    But it was a very informative one and I loved reading and learning thgough it. It got my brains working hard thinking about how I could implement your guides 😀
    Thank you for the detailed guide.

  25. Awesome post! It seems like such a simple concept in nature but when you explain it as you did, I realized there were tips and simple ideas I was overlooking.

    I’ve been struggling with my blog “purpose” ever since I re-branded from a fitness blog (years ago) to a humor blog that inspires millenials to care about becoming a responsible adult without being bored to tears by the content. Still working on pinpointing that description which is most likely part of my problem but getting there and this article certainly helped!

    Thanks so much 🙂

  26. Wow! This was awesome! I feel like I just went through a course on positioning. Thank you so much for all this goodness, Amy.

    You’ve made it so simple, yet powerful.

    I will definitely be going through my own positioning and making sure I’ve hit all these points. I’ll also be sharing this far and wide because it’s so ridiculously valuable!

    Now to find some delicious fair trade chocolate… 🙂

  27. O-M-Geeeee!!!!!! Thank you so much for this post. I’m in the process of re-branding and completely re-launching my blog/business and this post puts it all together regarding what I’m working on right now, without me having to piece together all kinds of little bits from the internet. You Rock!

  28. I have had all the pieces in place for positioning for some time, but I’ve never been able to put it all together. I think you have given me tools to get it done. With more than 200 posts and a double-digit mailing list, it’s past time. I’ll have to figure out how to define it so that at least most of the posts fit, but I don’t think I’ve gone very far afield very often. Thank you very much. I’ll tweet this on three different accounts.

  29. I took out my notepad and answered these 5 big questions in this article. After taking the time to really give it thought and come up with solid answers, I feel so much more prepared to talk about my blog AND to refine my content to fit more tightly with the answers.

    This was exactly what I needed to sharpen my blogs’s focus and boost my confidence that what I had to share with my readers is valuable.

    Thanks for writing such a practical article. I’ve already sent it to other blogging friends to read.

    • Hi Lauren,

      That’s great you’ve thought through your blog – I think it’s one thing not everyone does before they start posting and then they get stuck further down the road and what we have to share gets lost or muddled and it’s a shame.

      Confidence is where it all starts.


  30. Thanks, Amy for such a great post. I love the idea of having key messages. I’m going to work through these myself.

    I also want to thank you for giving me the idea for my next blog/business. (I’m a freak about high-end chocolate! Not that waxy, milky, crappy, exploitative stuff. 😀 )

  31. Thanks for a great post Amy. Typically I skim through posts, but this one I read and reread, then I got out some paper and wrote out all of my responses to you key points. I even fixed my tag line and the About Page on my website using my keypoints. Thank you for a terrific post.

  32. Hey Amy,

    You know i just got ask this question today LOL… and unfortunately I didn’t do a great job in explain. I was too generic.

    But on the brighter side of things, I actually put this into practice without really knowing about the key messages. I changed my About Me page last year because I had a clearer understanding of what I’m doing and who will this blog be for. This helps me out to stay focus and helps my visitors out.

    The one thing I can improve on is the take away. I still think it’s pretty generic and doesn’t give a sense of a CTA, but it’s there. This post gives me a great idea of what you I can get across to my audience.

    Also, after reading this post, I will definitely do a better job in explaining what my blog is about to others that ask me!

    Thanks for sharing Amy! You have a good one!

  33. Darn it, Amy! Now I’m craving chocolate. 😉
    I agree with everything you said. I am constantly checking with myself to make sure that my blog is sticking with what I am trying to make my overall message. That message is hard to define, but once you get it, things start to happen.

  34. Hi Amy (and Jon).

    That was an excellent way to teach the point about positioning. The examples and execution were great!

    Until recently, I hadn’t really grasped what positioning is really about. I’m now finding clarity and can build a proper strategy, looking ahead. It’s about the readers, so what matters is being there to make them confident that I can solve their problems.

    Thanks for sharing these tips.


  35. really useful – have just been through this process with a new blog but am going to have another look at it with the suggestions here

  36. I think it’s really important to have your audience defined really well. As you mentioned, asking yourself who your blog is for is a really important step. But sometimes people end up picking too broad an audience, and they don’t target the segment that would TRULY be diehard fans! Great post. Love all the detailed info 🙂

  37. Really hit the nail on the head with this article. Positioning is such a key issue for any blogs. There are too many people starting a blog without a clear idea of what makes them unique and different from the competition.

  38. I’m so glad you wrote this post. This will definitely help many bloggers, new and old, to create more compelling and useful content that is tailored to specific readers, and increase blog traffic in the process.

  39. Amy,
    This is a fantastic article, very helpful to newbies who are having trouble answer the exact question: What IS your blog really about? When I started out I though I had a nieche (couldn’t find at least blogs about raising trilingual children in Polish language).. Started the blog just to write about my personal experience from the first words of my little trilingual. Then I googled in English and came accross a few large blogs and expert literature.. I’m in a pickle. Writing in Polish I get the advantage of using my English to translate stuff for Polish audience, but that’s not enough.. To write or not to write? If I write in English I’m competing with mothers whose kids are already older so they can brag about their success, or on top of that have done their research on the topic with their digree etc. Found Jon’s tip to learn all you can learn about your topic only recenlty. Feeling a bit discouraged now, should I not write until I can give the audience proper advise? I was following the steps, trying to get my umbrella statement, it all went fine untill the points 4&5. Why I am the perst person to write about it? I’m no expert, no PhD, no studies in linguistics.. ugh.. It’s not like in the topic of raising your kid trilingual I can give exact step by step tutorials… If I say I’m dedicated and passionate about gettin g to the bottom of the research available on little trilinguals and to putting it together somehow in digestible chunks, so that any non-scholar parent can understand, is this enough?
    What I have to offer is my personal experience, stories from the life of my 18-month-old child, mixed marriage issues on raising a trilingual brought to light and photos of the educational materials I make fro my kid to teach her through play (Montessori and Polish Syllables-based early reading method. )

    1 What it’s about: raising a trilingual child and nurturing literacy skills along with multicultural identity, in Polish, French and English, and the multilingual/mixed-heritage family’s dynamics resulting from it.

    2 Who is it for: people who live it or dream it – to have their young children grow up with love for learning and discovery, culturally-rich identities and ability to realize their literacy potential in three languages. Parents who, like me, are curious and driven to learn from scratch the ways to support our kids trilingual development. Language teachers, experts in speach therapy, linguists have the task a little easier due to scholary background, yet still can get inspiration from or use the DIY activities I create for my child.

    3. Why should they care: creative inspiration for creating materials/activities for kids to learn through play, while enjoying quality time with their parents, and useful info and methodological resources found along the way.

    4. why does your blog exist: haven’t come accross other bloggers who write about their family’s trilingual journey from the start, from the kids first words. Write the story of their path in detail. Usually mention in a post on the strategy they chose but no day-to-day or week-to-week, even month-by-month activities with a very young child.

    5. Why you are the best person to blog about this? – here is where I choke.
    I think I am good at combining information together and find connections, if I can put in the time to work on it. I can give tips as I figure things out for myself and live it, not write from an expert pedestal or from memory.

    Should I wait 11 years of life and research and then write a book or an awesome blog?…

    • Wow Dominika,

      You’ve done your key messages right here.

      As for your last question – I’m a fan of both, but an awesome blog is an awesome blog…

  40. Positioning yourself in a specific niche is one of the BEST tips you’ve given! And I second that. Most beginners fail to build profitable online businesses because they don’t know how to stand out from the crowd.

    Creating a specific set of audience is the key to building a better blog online. You have to make sure to network with the influencers in order to get more traffic and links. Great insights.

  41. Love this! I was able to hone in on my blog’s positioning once I understood “why” I do what I do! Really searching for what makes me tick helped me discover what I was passionate about. Now my blog covers hiring & background check issues as they directly relate to small business. That is where I and my blog live!


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