Sponsor Spotlight: Southern Belle Simple
When Kate Spears started her blog in fall 2009 it was called Small Town, Big Dreams. But Spears struggled to find a way to weave what the name represented into each post.
“It finally dawned on me that so much of who I am, both positive and negative, has been established because of my experiences growing up in the South,” Spears says. “I knew that because my love for the South runs deep, I would never tire of writing about it. Plus I wouldn’t have to reach very far to find topics to write about because it’s just what I know best.”
And so Southern Belle Simple was born. Spears’s decision to blog about the South has served her well. Her blog has nearly 3,000 Facebook fans and more than 1,600 Twitter followers. Spears was a presenter at The Southern C Summit in Jekyll Island, Ga., in May and she has used her blog to develop relationships with Southern brands and businesses.
Spears has taken these relationships to the next level with her new company Screen Door Media. Through this company Spears offers companies traditional marketing and public relations services as well as help with social media marketing and content development. She has clients not only in Southern states such as Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee, but in California as well.
“Sometimes the business of doing business keeps folks so busy. They don’t always realize their stories are interesting to their customers and other audiences,” Spears says. “I can help them take an objective look at how to best tell their stories to engage and capture the attention of the right audience who will help them be successful. Your story is unique to you. It’s one of the most important things you have, as an individual or a business.”
And as you blogging, finding a niche for your site may help you tell your story more effectively.
“If you are just starting out, having a niche can help you find your unique voice. If you are in a content drought or a creativity dry spell, having a niche helps you push past it,” Spears says.
Having a niche can also build your audience.
“It’s always good to help readers know what they can expect from a blog because this helps to keep them coming back for more,” Spears says.
Just as Spears did, choose a niche that reflects your interests, something you’re so passionate about that you feel you could write about it endlessly. For Spears it was the South. For you it may be fashion, feminism, or food. Perhaps you want to blog about DIY projects or gardening. Maybe you want to blog about relationships or politics or career development.
“A good blog is an expression of the person writing it,” Spears says. Don’t choose a niche just because you think it’s popular. If it isn’t authentic, readers will pick up on that.”
If you choose a niche and soon realize it’s not a good fit, it’s OK to switch.
“Don’t ever be afraid to change directions if you feel like something isn’t quite right,” Spears says. “Trust your instincts!”