Have you ever heard of the blogger Nate Silver? He made a name for himself with his blog FiveThirtyEight, which gained the attention of The New York Times. In 2010, they signed him up for a three-year blogging deal.
When that deal expired this summer, ESPN and ABC News outbid the Times for access to his franchise – and not only bought the content, but the name and domain, too.
So, just what does Nate Silver do? He uses statistical analysis to predict stuff – politics (elections, really) and sports (baseball). With this new platform, he is aiming to expand to business, economics, weather, health, education, technology and culture.
As he said during a conference call with reporters announcing the deal, this is his dream job (you can read more about the story here). So, how did Silver build such a large, powerful, and personal brand with his blog – and how can you?
Start with your expertise
Some of the blogs I follow have turned their authors into brands, like Young House Love and Shankman.com. These blogs focus on an area of expertise (DIY home design/ improvements and customer service/marketing, respectively), and it shows in the quality content.
How many blogs out there are focused on U.S. politics? A lot – more than 14 million. So how do you make a name for yourself with so much competition? You go niche. Because Silver is good at analyzing numbers, he merged his interests and kept at it.
To make a big impact with a blog, you can’t be like a weatherman who gets it right sometimes and wrong sometimes. You have to get it – trends, predictions, how-to – right almost all the time. Silver correctly predicted every single race during the 2012 elections. Young House Love often provides step-by-step guides on how to do something – and it works.
Disrupt your space
Because numbers don’t lie, Silver has angered a lot of political reporters and talking heads whose subjective predictions couldn’t keep up with a statistician’s careful analysis. Shankman writes about horrible – and sometimes excellent – customer service, and because of his clout, companies listen.
What are your favorite blogs to read? How have they turned their authors into brands?
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