How To Write Audience-Focused Niche Sites
Today, I’m going to talk about a new train of thought I’ve been having about niche sites. I’ve gone wrong on this point several times before, and I’d guess it’s probably pretty common.
Before you read this article, I want you to read yesterday’s article.
The subject of discussion today is building audience focused niche sites. While you don’t have to do any of this or even think about any of it (and still find success) in terms of building a longer term asset out of your niche site, this is probably the way to go.
The One Thing Nobody Really Talks About With Niche Sites
I was writing a sales letter for another project when yesterday’s musings came to me. When it comes to long-form sales letters, there are certain elements you need to include. More importantly though, there are places in the letter where you must do quite a lot of in-depth customer research. You have to know what makes your reader tick.
In an unrelated incident, I managed to browse onto a travel blogger website a couple of weeks back. There are many travel bloggers who all have limited success. I could immediately tell that this one was different.
It was brilliant.
I could tell by a single home page widget that had three columns:
ARE YOU A
BEGINNER LOOKING FOR BUDGET STUFF SPECIFIC CITY GUIDES
There were tons of other cool things about this site, but the important point here is that you clicked on one of those three links and you were taken on a very specific journey.
The articles were all the same generic information that you’d find on any travel site except for the fact that they were tailored to a specific set of people looking for a specific set of circumstances.
Which leads me to today’s point.
The thing missing from most niche site discussions is the idea of a target audience. Or, from the example above, more than one target audience. But in any case, writing in terms of the audience.
…This Makes The Process Of Building Niche Sites Easier
When you start a new niche site, it can be totally overwhelming. I once started a niche site in a competitive niche. Finding keywords was a problem, but you’d expect that. But also, the wealth of information was totally overwhelming.
Take fitness for example. You can write and write and write forever about fitness. There’s nutrition, there’s weightlifting, cardio, supplements, drugs, and then a thousand different categories within all of those.
Then there are the products; you aren’t going to be considered legitimate if you’re one of those guys who reviews every single product in a niche and gives them all a standard 9/10 before saying “BUY IT NOW.”
So at some point, content curation and legitimacy becomes an issue.
(Whenever I read a review on a website, I’ll check multiple articles on the same site. I want to know if the person recommends tons of products as “the best” even though they’re competing. If they do, it’s a sure-bet that there’s more than just consumer information at play.)
The obvious answer here is to niche down. Someone will say, “Yeah, but instead just do protein powder reviews.”
Now, that’s a better idea than trying to compete with bodybuilding.com for sure, but think about the long term implications of building an asset… because that’s what we’re doing. (In fact, more on this probably next week if I remember, because it’s a big part of what could have gone better in the niche site challenge.)
If you’re trying to build a long term asset and you have what amounts to a list of protein powders, then you’re going to have a hard time scaling that site.
The reason it’s going to be tough is because you’ve taken the wrong turn down the “niche audience tree.”
Nobody gets passionate about a list of protein powders. Your site can be a great authority on protein powders, but it’s not audience-centred and so it’ll struggle to get likes, shares and commissions. It’s also hard to build authority as “the protein reviewer guy.”
You can do it, sure… but here’s a better example of what I’m talking about.
Audience Focused Niche Sites
Some of the things I’m going to suggest here will sound a lot more like “authority sites” than “niche sites.”
To tell the truth, I’ve never really liked that distinction. That’s yet again a topic for another day. Suffice to say though, what I’m talking about are niche sites. You can have people click on, click affiliate link, leave and never come back.
But an audience first example of a niche site would be something like the following. Assume you’re trying to get a foothold in the fitness niche (because it’s a running example around here.) Like I said above, it’s hyper-competitive and there’s a sea of related products, services and whatever.
You need an edge to compete because there are a million other websites writing generic “10 best protein powders” articles and if you want your site to get shared, spread and perform well in SEO terms, you need something unique.
Your edge could be something like, “Working out for guys who hate bro-culture, are scared of gyms AND are only working out in the first place to score girls on Instagram.”
Now, that may or may not sound stupid to you. I know a lot of guys who read this site are massively into fitness and think any guy who falls into the above category is a poser, weakling and missing the point.
The point is… that’s a niche. There are guys out there who don’t care about their health, hate the idea of being shown up in the gym by guys who actually care about lifting and guys who just want a six-pack so that they can do bathroom selfies and pull girls off Instagram.
That’s a hyper-targeted niche, and you could probably become an authority in that niche.
Remember, if you’re building a niche website, it has great potential as a long term asset. There’s no better long term asset than one where you get a dedicate following of people who turn up to read your articles, share your articles and buy based on your recommendations.
With something like the above example, you aren’t losing anything by targeting that niche. You’re only gaining. The actual information is basically going to be the same anyway… to lose weight you still cut calories, to look better on Instagram you use specific lighting, if you don’t want to join a gym build a home gym (with these affiliate products, guys!) or master bodyweight exercises.
Remember yesterday’s article; only the application of the information is different. If you want people to tune in to what you’re saying, the application is the key thing. That takes us right back to the beginning of this article where I said that learning about the audience is what sets successful copy apart from unsuccessful copy.
It’s hard to deny that this is going to be more effective than the traditional “list of products” approach to structuring a niche site.