As a food blogger, my biggest challenge by far is getting noticed in a sea of hundreds of thousands of bloggers who are offering the same thing as me. I must therefore bring something to the table that no one else is – which is much easier said than done. And with that being said, comes the notion of ‘niches’ and more and more with the help of this course I see just how important it is to create a niche and build your strategy around that niche. By using proper listening, dashboard creation and monitoring techniques it is vital that you see where / what / why / when conversations around your industry are happening and then figure out what you can do that no one (or few) are currently doing. I think for me, I was able to overcome this challenge somewhat by focusing all of my effort on Ottawa restaurants and Ottawa chefs through my TV program. However, looking back now, I feel that I could have implemented a much stronger and effective social media marketing strategy to promote the show. I was too focused on having friends and family be engaged that I missed out on listening and engaging with the bigger market.
Food programs are very popular on YouTube – and I think this will be my biggest (most necessary to implement) challenge going forward – to build and secure a catchy, subscriber-worthy, shareable-worthy YouTube channel that reaches the Ottawa market as a whole. To date, the program has only been available to Bell Fibe subscribers across Canada and with more and more people getting rid of their cable because of large movie/tv library programs such as Netflix or just using online streaming, this has not been the most effective way to reach my audience (especially because I would like to target millennials!). The competition is huge – however I think I will leverage the fact that my content is Ottawa focused and try not to make it bigger than it is. It won’t happen overnight – but I think a lot of people in my position are facing the same challenge so my plan is to get ahead of the curb (as I would anticipate new trends will pop up all over the place in the near future!)