Content that crosses over appeals to the broader audience outside your niche. It’s essential to occasionally write this type of content because it will strengthen your follower base while also expanding it. Content that crosses over mixes things up a bit and gets people talking — something that is essential to a long and prosperous blogging career.
Step 1: Go Deep
Before you can create crossover content, you really need to deeply penetrate your niche. Know every nook and cranny, inside and out. This depth of knowledge is essential to build so that you are considered an expert in your niche. Experts crossover well since they have built in credentials from their niche and when some asks around, they can easily find that at least some people listen to you. Now, you don’t have to be the expert in a niche but people should generally consider you someone that provides quality, authoritative content.
Step 2: Reveal Yourself
Once you deeply know your niche, you can then start to reveal your other interests that might crossover. A good example of this is The Worlds Strongest Librarian. Josh Hanagarne knows books. He is a librarian after all but he also knows so much more. Having built his creditability, he revealed that he has Tourette’s Syndrome . Now, many people have Tourette’s but the way Josh deals with it is by lifting kettlebells. Talk about an eclectic crossover — a librarian that uses kettleballs to manage his Tourette’s. That just works on so many levels. Now, Josh has another blog that came out after revealing that kettlebell training helps him with his Tourette’s.
Step 3: Look Around
Opportunities to crossover are everywhere. The trick is to look in places where others might not or put two difference concepts together. Looking around means subscribing to different types of blogs or following that crazy twitter guy who is obsessed with street food (@sfcarts) or maybe it’s watching a TV show that seem like a distraction but actually have valuable lessons. My own post about Project Runway is exactly that. I write mostly about business and some about blogging. The last thing you would think of is that a fashion show has lessons for bloggers. Well, it does. Project Runway is all about creativity under pressure. Something every blogger can relate to.
Step 4: Partner With Someone Different
Reaching out to others is a great way to understand what they do. Partnering (via guest blogging, joint ventures or whatever) can provide a wealth of insights into all sorts of topics. Sometimes, the most unlikely partners make perfect sense. Enter Jonathan Littman and Marc Hershon over at I Hate People. Talk about two different people. Jonathan is a best-selling author (read paid writer) while Marc names stuff (which in the trade is a “branding expert”). Their latest project is the book I Hate People about how to break free of the corporate flock of Sheeple to thrive as a soloist. If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s a business book that deals with productivity. How could they do something like that? Well, they looked around and found that creative types have a real problem with all of these corporate wonks dragging them into wasteful meetings and decided that their shared experiences would crossover to others.
Step 5: Release and Repeat
Crossover content can be hit and miss. What you might think is the perfect marriage of basket weaving and scuba diving might fall flat. You know what, that’s OK. Not every crossover post will be a home run. Heck, none may be, but that’s not the point. Building crossover content allows you to breakout of your niche and stretch your creative mind. That’s why it’s important to just release it and see what happens. It may fall flat, it may soar like an eagle or it may just lie dormant until the someone figures out that underwater basket weaving really does make you a better parent.
About the Author
Jarie is an engineer by training and an entrepreneur by nature. He is presently working on breakthrough technology that will reduce medical errors. Jarie also blogs about innovation, management and entrepreneurship at http://www.thedailymba.com and has recently published his first book, Frustration Free Technical Management, which I assure you, does crossover to other managers as well. You can also follow him on Twitter @thedailymba