We’re told time and again to be successful you need to find your niche. Specialize and focus to find your audience. In general this is good advice, but sometimes you can pull off something special by being everything to everybody!
Last week I had the chance to meet Don & Lillian Stokes (Americas “First Couple” of Birding) at a meeting of the DuPage Birding Club where they presented their new Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America.
As an avid birder you need a good field guide to help you identify birds. I’ve used their Eastern Region field guide for years and was a big fan of their Stokes Birds At Home TV show which aired on PBS (and is planned to be released on DVD later this year).
Six years in the making, it covers all the birds of North America, including more than a hundred rare birds like as the Brown-Chested Martin only spotted in North America six times.
They faced the difficult task of compiling a field guide that worked for beginning birders as well as seasoned birdwatchers. They accomplish this by including the rarity of the bird, on a scale of 1 (very common) to 5 (presumed extinct). Each bird gets the full photo treatment, including immature birds and subspecies to help in identification. Over 500 of these pictures were taken by Lillian Stokes herself.
The result of the Stokes’ effort is a behemoth! Some guides focus on a specific type of bird (birds of prey, shorebirds, etc) but this one covers them all. The only real drawback of this much information is that its size makes it hard to carry out in the field.
You can take a page from the Stokes and consider writing an “Ultimate Guide to…” or “Everything you need to know about…” for your blog. This can be a resource that keeps visitors coming back to your blog.
If you want a real-world example, CopyBlogger recently posted The Ultimate Guide to Twitter Marketing which has covers everything a Twitter newbie or experienced Twitter marketer needs.
Some other examples to check out are The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn by SimplyZesty and Moz’s Facebook Marketing: Ultimate Guide.
So don’t be afraid to let things get out of focus! Do some research and create your own Definitive Guide to Anything.