Recently, I got a really good question from a new blogger about niche market strategies, specifically about when it comes to choosing your blog’s niche –
Is it possible to have a successful blog based on a niche product that the she herself doesn’t use.
Well, the answer is… maybe?
I think first, we need to clear up a thing or two about blogging. See, there are two types of niche blogging that we’re talking about here:
First is the churn and burn – where you create niche sites based on keywords that you don’t care about – all you care is that they’ve got low competition and lots of searches.
You use a keyword tool like Jaaxy to find the best keywords, then you do whatever you have to so they rank quickly. You make as much money as you can from them before they eventually sink, because trust me – Google will eventually figure out if a site has low-quality content that doesn’t provide any real value.
It’s not really what most people think of as blogging – it’s just niche marketing done on a blog platform. And I’m not saying it’s a bad thing! I do know people who market that way and do it quite well. It’s just important that we understand where we’re coming from when we talk about blogging.
Also, this kind of niche blogging is getting a lot harder to do successfully. There are a finite number of blogs that can show up on the front page of Google, and the competition for low competition, highly searched phrases is absolutely fierce. As you develop your niche market strategy, you need to keep in mind your own strengths and knowledge. If you bite off more than you’re ready for, you’re very likely to give up when it doesn’t work.
Second is the authority site. An authority site is one that is written by someone who wants to share valuable information to help people. It contains mostly – if not completely – original content based on the blogger’s experience and knowledge. If there are product reviews, they are written from the point of view of experience. Products offered for sale are there because the blogger knows them and trusts them. An authority site can be about bicycle racing, about cars, about being a mommy, about fashion… whatever it is that makes you happy.
So yeah – If you want to create a churn and burn blog just to make money, you can.
But it’s hard work – seriously, it’s a grind. It requires a lot of keyword research. A lot of SEO knowledge. It takes a lot of time, getting the topic to rise to the top of the search engines, with no guarantee that it will ever get there and less likelihood that it’ll stay there if it does.
I repeat – it is hard, tedious work, y’all. Not a good option for someone who’s just starting and learning this stuff.
And think about it – If it’s a product you don’t use, where will you get all the information? From the manufacturer’s website? From other people’s reviews?
If everything that you write is based upon regurgitated information from somewhere else, how do you think it’s going to do in the search engines?
Also, if you’re writing about a product that you don’t use and maybe aren’t really interested in, how much are you really going to be able to write about it? And how much credibility will you have?
People Buy From You When They Trust You
Imagine a store that sells organic, all natural foods and vitamins. But when you walk in, you see an overweight, out-of-shape store owner sitting at the counter watching Jerry Springer on TV while they eat a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese and suck down a Diet Coke. Are you going to trust in their knowledge of the products they sell?
On the other hand, if the story owner is healthy and vibrant looking, and is seen eating a healthy grilled chicken salad accompanied by a cup of green tea… I bet you’d be a lot more likely to believe the information they give you.
Of course, on the internet, no one can see you stuffing your face with burgers and fries while you sell health foods – but you get the idea. You’ve got to have credibility, and if all your information is coming 2nd hand from other places… well, you won’t have much.
What About Advertising?
The other option with the churn & burn is to create your site and then advertise to get traffic. And a lot of people do this, and a lot of people make a LOT of money doing it. But again, you’re going to have to do a LOT of keyword research to know what people are clicking on. You’ll have to know how much you can spend on advertising in order to make money. You may lose a lot of money in the beginning, until you get the right ad and the right landing page that gets people to buy.
It can be done – but it takes knowledge, practice and a lot of trial and error. You have to be very business oriented and understand all the ins and outs of ad tracking, CPA and a bunch of other stuff that I’m not up on because it’s not the kind of marketing or blogging that I do.
So – What’s the Final Analysis?
The thing here is – you have to know yourself. I simply can not force myself to write day in and day out on a topic I don’t care about. I blog because I want to write, I want to help people. I like to write and consider myself a blogger, not a marketer. If I’m not sharing information that I believe in and that I believe will really help someone – I just can’t make myself do it. I can’t care enough to make it happen, I get bored, I give up.
You might not be that way – You may be able to write on any topic for hours and hours, as long as you know it’s going to make bank.
A blogging friend of mine used to spend 8-10 hours a day, 6 days a week, writing product reviews and information on things he never used and had no intention of using – but he knew it would make him money, and it DID. It was his job, he did it for money, not love, and it worked for him. He had a very healthy income – until Google Panda came along and took away a lot of his top rankings. These days, he’s spending a lot more time on his weight-loss authority blog, based on his own experience getting fit. He’s built a whole community around it, even written a book that he sells.
For you? You need to know what you’re in this for. Do you want to be a marketer, or a blogger? Neither is better than the other, they are what they are. But you have to know which one you are (or if you’re some combination of the two).
For me, I say forget the “Churn & Burn”. Pick a niche that you know, that you care about. Something that you can keep writing about for the long haul.