I went to see Phil Yu speak about blogging at NYU the other day. If you don’t know who Phil Yu is, you may know him better as the owner/creator of Angry Asian Man – THE website dedicated to Asian American issues. As I listened to him speak about the beginnings of Angry Asian Man, I realized that his story paralleled mine in that we both started our first websites in 2001.
Yu used his “rudimentary” HTML skills to create a website centered around Asian-Americans.
At around that same time, I taught myself some HTML to feed an unhealthy obsession with Arvydas Sabonis and created a basketball website and forum called Interbasket. The site gave a much-needed home to English-speaking fans of international players in the NBA.
Interbasket isn’t as well-known as Angry Asian Man, but it’s doing just fine.
So, why were our two sites able to stick around when hundreds of other websites/blogs die each day? Well, in some ways, we were lucky in that we got in early on moderately popular topics. That said, there are dozens of websites that are created daily and will become the authoritative voices on their topics next year.
If there’s something I learned in creating dozens of websites and watching other websites become huge, it’s boils down to two things:
- Find a niche your passionate about it doesn’t matter if there’s already 100 blogs out there already on your favorite topic – you still offer a unique perspective on the subject. And if you’re passionate about it, you won’t have trouble finding topics to write about day after day.
- Stick with it It’s really easy to be excited about your brand new website on the first day. You may still be excited on the 72nd day – but most blogs die somewhere in the first six months, so stick with it. If you’re creating unique quality content often, people will find you, and your site will grow. Don’t underestimate “grit” when it comes to creating a successful site.
It’s not a big secret. No site is successful solely because of SEO or connection. A site simply has to have good content and a good amount of it. The more you write the more chance for success.
It may seem like daunting to find your niche at first because it seems like everything has been covered and been said on almost every topic, but it’s just not true nor should that deter you.
Of course there’s more to a successful site than passion and grit (promotion, connections, SEO, voice, grammar, etc.), but if you have a hobby that you just can’t get enough of and you can post about that topic often – then you’re off to a great start.