Being as "Local" as you can with your blogging will yield big dividends. By local, I mean incorporating as much geo-specific content as possible. First of all, you can see that the local game is hot right now. Sites like Yelp are cashing in on these opportunities. Even Google has continued to drive their local search focus. Local is starting to spread across multiple products within Google, including:
- Local Search
- Google Maps
- Google Directory
- Google Voice
All of these products rely on the thirst for local content and information. Sites like Yelp are cashing in on the local directory and review market where users generate local content about everything from restaurants to dry cleaners.
How to cash in on "local" with your blog?
Try to incorporate a local element with every post you write. It does not have to be local to you, but local to the post.
For example, right now I am posting about the importance of localizing content. For this post, a great example of what I am talking about would be a blog called Hoboken411. This site is all about the city of Hoboken, NJ, right outside New York City. By mentioning how great this local site is and talking about their content in a local sense, I will increase my odds of someone finding this post when Hoboken is typed into the search query.
Ok, maybe not the best example. Here's a few more.
Running blog. When you review that new pair of Nike running shoes for your blog, you should consider talking about the stores, cities, addresses, and websites of the stores that are going to get the first shipments of these hot shoes. (A great example)
Reality TV blog. When you're giving the play by play review of last night's episode of The Apprentice, you should try to find out the name and address of the diner that the episode was shot. Or the corner that they setup their street cart. Or really any major landmark/scene from the episode. There will be a lot of people out there that want to find out the name of the place. They may be able to figure out that it was New York, but they won't know much more than that. If your post answers the "where" question, you will rank well for that search term.
Baseball blog. Let's say that you write a blog about the New York Mets. Each time the team hits the road, you could incorporate a post about the most "Mets Friendly" bar in that town to watch the game. You'd be surprised how many displaced fans are spread all over the country looking for places to watch their favorite out-of-state teams. Here's a good example of what I mean. Here is where you can see Yelp cashing in on this idea.
In most cases, you should be able to come up with a local angle for your post.
For anyone looking to start a new blog, starting as a local blog is the place to go. Most small or even mid-sized towns/cities are in desperate need for good local content. You could dominate the niche by turning out great content focused on that local audience.
It is much easier to start local and attempt to expand than it is to start with a national focus. There are a lot more players in the national game right now. Local is the place to be!