A lot of talk goes into selecting a niche and trying to avoid highly competitive niches.
That makes sense, because unless you have a huge budget, then competing with companies that do have a huge budget is going to be an uphill struggle at best and totally futile at worst.
So, when you’re starting out, whether it’s in niche sites, authority sites, writing how-to guides or affiliate marketing, cornering a smaller, more highly targeted niche is a good idea. But with it comes a set of problems that a lot of people make mistakes in.
In this article, I’m going to talk about three aspects of targeting hyper-niche markets and where people can go right and do go wrong within them.
Here are the three aspects.
- Your Voice
- The Information
- The Application
The good news is that voice isn’t really too much of a concern when targeting hyper-specific niches. Just speak like a regular human but with reference to the people in the niche and the problems they face.
Where most people go wrong with this is that they overthink the whole voice thing.
Most of your “voice” when it comes to writing copy isn’t really “voice” in the way an author uses the term. Instead, it’s more just knowing the market and speaking to the customer.
An example of “voice” used incorrectly would be if I wrote an article entitled “Copywriting for Black Men” and then wrote the whole thing constantly referring to fried chicken, hip-hop and then finishing it all off with some totally out of place political statement about Trump or getting shot by the police.
Writing all of that in a single paragraph makes it seem absolutely stupid, but loads of copywriters think of “voice” as some weird excuse to talk exclusively in hack stereotypes and do the written equivalent of a bad accent all over the sales page.
This doesn’t work.
It wouldn’t work in any case, but if you don’t know the niche and it’s hyper-targeted and there’s a community there… it’s game over for you. They are going to suss you out immediately and you’ll lose credibility.
Instead… talk like a normal person and just make reference to the issues they face when it’s in context to do so.
There are two parts to the information aspect within a really small niche. Firstly, there’s the general overview of the subject and then there’s the specific problem faced by the niche.
Let’s talk about fitness, for instance. Basic human biology is the same everywhere. If you live on doughnuts and cookies, then you’ll probably be fat. If you exercise religiously every day you’ll be in shape. It’s all very simple, until you take into consideration that within those very broad guidelines are an infinite amount of micro-issues. You can have a market for people who’ve been in good shape all their lives but now have runner’s knees and can’t exercise effectively due to that. Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, you can have guys who’ve never exercised before in their life and at 55, the doctor has told them to stop messing around because they have heart tremors and borderline diabetes.
The general information is easy to learn and repeat… and guess what? Most of that stuff is totally usable. You’re not going to tell a person with runner’s knee to quit moving and you aren’t going to tell the old boy with the subpar health that it’s time to give up and end it all.
You just need to take that extra step and include specific information. This is a research issue. Let’s say you’re working in the personal finance sector… maybe selling some software for budgeting.
You need to know who is buying the software before you start writing a sales page. Students trying to eliminate their loan debt are very different from people trying to eliminate credit card debt and those two markets are very different from guys like 50 Cent who have so much money they have to pretend they’re broke.
Now, once you have the general information and specific information, the next step is where the game is won or lost.
The application of the information is the only place where you really have to drill down and get hyper-specific. If you don’t do this, then there’s no point.
Plenty of people do this incorrectly… I said above that a workout will work for most people and financial advice is good all around. Generally those statements are true, but the specificity with which you talk to people can make or break everything.
To use the first of those examples… say you have a fitness website for women. Muscle building workouts are as good for women as they are for men. More lean muscle is healthier no matter how you slice it. (Unless you’re talking about bodybuilding with HGH, insulin and all that scary stuff, which, if your website for women is targeting those women… you’ve got a really hyper-targeted niche.)
Yet, you can’t talk to women and encourage them to gain muscle in the same way that you can to men. Women are petrified of ending up too muscular, and that’s a major concern you have to address. Note: I say “address” and not “write a BRO article about how awesome muscular chicks are.” The latter doesn’t work.
To take the second example… personal finance. Saving money, eliminating debt and putting money into assets which give out money over the long term is great for everyone. But I’ve personally seen sites which say stupid stuff like:
- Retire early by simply putting 50% of your six-figure paycheque into a Vanguard account
- Stop going for 3 Starbucks coffees a day and eat at home instead of having every lunch, breakfast and dinner out
- Buy Gold! Silver! Bitcoin! Blood Diamonds!
- Walk to work.
Personal finance is a perfect example of what I’m talking about, because the targeting tends to be awful. Most people looking for quick financial advice aren’t in $100k jobs and most people don’t eat out fifteen times a week.
The ones that do aren’t financially responsible and ergo aren’t going to be googling long-tail personal finance advice.
In short, those are the three writing aspects that people need to be aware of:
- Don’t overthink your voice. Just be aware of the specific problems the audience face and talk to them about it like you would if your friend had the same problem
- Information is mostly universal, and it’s fine to use that. However, every niche has specific issues that you’ll have to research.
- The application of information is the thing that needs to be hyper-specific to the target niche.
All in all, it seems more complex than it is. Getting into the customer’s head isn’t about the words per se. More so, it’s about answering their questions and speaking to their wants and needs.
Because it’s a niche site day tomorrow, I’ll write more on this topic specifically as it relates to niche sites.