Guitar Niche - Is There Any Hope?

35 replies
Okay, maybe someone can help me out here. I have a guitar site. Every keyphrase I can think of has a billion allintitle PR99 exact match results, plus youtube videos with detailed step by step instructions. In other words, the competition seems brutal. The core of traffic seems to be in tabs, which are pretty grey as far as legality AND dominated by giant authority sites with user-driven content. There must be affiliates making money in the learn guitar niche. My question is, how? I don't want to abandon the site but I also have no idea how to move forward. Even when I write what to me seems like awesome content (haven't done that for this site, but I have previous experience doing this), nobody ever gets to see it, much less share it.
#guitar #hope #niche
  • Profile picture of the author successfulwarrior
    There is hope in almost any niche. As long as people are searching for it in their thousands every month,there is hope. What you need is to know your angle of domination and then you have found your own oil well. Once again there is hope for EVERY niche that gets thousands of monthly visitors
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    By the looks of your post, you've already talked yourself out of this.

    What do the guitar sites making it have in common? I'd bet they've all built a community around their specialty. You mention awsome content. Do it. That's a great place to start. Then get some more awesome content from other writers. I'm talking about syndicated content. And then paste up some awesome videos by people making videos. And credit the producer.

    You should also start going to some of the guitar authority sites and comment on posts. Of course, I'm talking relevant, valuable comments. Start building up your backlinks this way by commenting on the most exclusive sites out there.

    And after you have all that going on, get started building a list with some type of guitar freebie. It might be something you put together. How about the top 10 rock guitars of all times, complete with pictures, descriptions and the guitar player most noted to have used that ax. That's just off the top of my head. You could probably come up with something better to use as a list building teaser.

    It always comes back to awesome content. And regardless of what anyone says, you can use syndicated content without upsetting the search engines. Besides, when your goal is to create a community, your traffic starts to come from word of mouth and legitimate backlinks.

    All of this represents work. But it's not hard and it doesn't take long before you've got a real following and people are comfortable buying stuff you recommend. Do this right and you can eventually make part of the site a membership deal. There are lots of possibilities. What I've described is a legit business model that lots of successful marketers use. There are many on this forum doing just that.

    BTW, this little community-building plan works for EVERY market and niche, not just guitars.
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  • Profile picture of the author steven Clayden
    Diversify into guitar equipment, amps,effects pedals,multi effects racks, write about what gear the pros use, how to get their sound/tone etc. write it, they will come.
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    • Profile picture of the author iamandregil
      I'm sure if I went all out and built a guru type website the guitar niche is one in which I could make money, but I'm talking about making money without that level of involvement. The reason is that I simply do not like guitars that much and cannot handle the idea of devoting myself that much to them and to the guitar playing community. I can't even relate that well to people who love guitar.

      What I wanted to do was to just funnel people interested in learning guitar to a site like Jamplay, where they will have all of the content and community they are looking for. I don't want the burden of being a guru/leader/teacher.

      That is really my question, is there any hope within that framework? I have no actual interest in guitars anymore, when I first got into the niche I was interested but this interest is gone. I could force myself to write content, to some degree, but my only motivation is money. Given the level of competition and lack of results from previous efforts, it just feels like a waste of time.
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      • Profile picture of the author cjreynolds
        Originally Posted by iamandregil View Post

        I'm sure if I went all out and built a guru type website the guitar niche is one in which I could make money, but I'm talking about making money without that level of involvement. The reason is that I simply do not like guitars that much and cannot handle the idea of devoting myself that much to them and to the guitar playing community. I can't even relate that well to people who love guitar.

        What I wanted to do was to just funnel people interested in learning guitar to a site like Jamplay, where they will have all of the content and community they are looking for. I don't want the burden of being a guru/leader/teacher.

        That is really my question, is there any hope within that framework? I have no actual interest in guitars anymore, when I first got into the niche I was interested but this interest is gone. I could force myself to write content, to some degree, but my only motivation is money. Given the level of competition and lack of results from previous efforts, it just feels like a waste of time.
        Had an idea, till I read that post. I had assumed you to be a musician yourself, but I may have been mistaken.

        Nonetheless, if you have no interest in your product or audience, my philosophy is to move to something you are interested in.

        Writing about stuff you don't like sounds too much like work to me!
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        • Profile picture of the author iamandregil
          Originally Posted by cjreynolds View Post

          Had an idea, till I read that post. I had assumed you to be a musician yourself, but I may have been mistaken.

          Nonetheless, if you have no interest in your product or audience, my philosophy is to move to something you are interested in.

          Writing about stuff you don't like sounds too much like work to me!
          Well I wanted to be a musician but I don't particularly like pure instrumental work, it feels too meaningless to me. I like actual lyrics. The instrumental work is just a nice touch, it is not what music is about to me.

          Music to me is sort of like advanced poetry with special effects. I have thought of doing those "guitar covers" type of videos and indirectly monetizing them with "learn guitar" type stuff so that I didn't turn into a starving artist, but my skill level is just not there (particularly the singing part), the copyright issues are confusing and I need to make money pretty much now (this is really key, the urgency I feel to make money). It's not so much that I have no interest in the guitar, it's that it brings up too many emotional issues that make it difficult for me to focus on it.
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      • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
        Originally Posted by iamandregil View Post

        I'm sure if I went all out and built a guru type website the guitar niche is one in which I could make money, but I'm talking about making money without that level of involvement. The reason is that I simply do not like guitars that much and cannot handle the idea of devoting myself that much to them and to the guitar playing community. I can't even relate that well to people who love guitar.

        What I wanted to do was to just funnel people interested in learning guitar to a site like Jamplay, where they will have all of the content and community they are looking for. I don't want the burden of being a guru/leader/teacher.

        That is really my question, is there any hope within that framework? I have no actual interest in guitars anymore, when I first got into the niche I was interested but this interest is gone. I could force myself to write content, to some degree, but my only motivation is money. Given the level of competition and lack of results from previous efforts, it just feels like a waste of time.
        I appreciate what you're saying. I'm known around here for strongly suggesting people do what they love or at least something they like. When you get involved in a market you're truly passionate about it's not really work because you're involved with something you love all day.

        With that said, music of all types is highly competitive. Guitar might be the most competitive of everything out there. I don't know of a casual approach to making any kind of money outside of possible Adsense type change unless you do some of the stuff I mentioned previously. That doesn't mean you can't. Maybe someone else has a suggestion. Otherwise, I'd be looking to maybe sell it to someone willing to develop what you've started. Good luck.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jon Patrick
        Originally Posted by iamandregil View Post

        I'm sure if I went all out and built a guru type website the guitar niche is one in which I could make money, but I'm talking about making money without that level of involvement. The reason is that I simply do not like guitars that much and cannot handle the idea of devoting myself that much to them and to the guitar playing community. I can't even relate that well to people who love guitar.
        This is exactly why so many people will advise you to create your business around a topic you're actually interested in. Think about it. You're competing against either:

        1. People who are actually interested in the topic and willing to dive into it in a way that you're not

        2. People who have large amounts of startup money to commit to breaking into the niche

        When you don't have the money or the interest to get heavily involved, how could you possibly compete? Do you really expect to?

        Build your business on a stable foundation. That means finding something you are willing to dive into on the level required to compete.
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      • Profile picture of the author Robert M Gouge
        Originally Posted by iamandregil View Post

        I'm sure if I went all out and built a guru type website the guitar niche is one in which I could make money, but I'm talking about making money without that level of involvement. The reason is that I simply do not like guitars that much and cannot handle the idea of devoting myself that much to them and to the guitar playing community. I can't even relate that well to people who love guitar.

        What I wanted to do was to just funnel people interested in learning guitar to a site like Jamplay, where they will have all of the content and community they are looking for. I don't want the burden of being a guru/leader/teacher.

        That is really my question, is there any hope within that framework? I have no actual interest in guitars anymore, when I first got into the niche I was interested but this interest is gone. I could force myself to write content, to some degree, but my only motivation is money. Given the level of competition and lack of results from previous efforts, it just feels like a waste of time.
        I think in this day and age, having a passion for what you're doing is almost mandatory given the level of competition on just about everything.

        If you *were* passionate about the niche, experienced, and interested in building a "guru" site, you really wouldn't even have to acknowledge Google's existence and you could easily build a massive following using various traffic generation methods.

        I understand what you're trying to do, and I think that unless you're willing to go pay-per-click route or something similar, you're not likely to get much free traffic from the big G or other sources.

        Given what you've said in this post, I'd suggest just selling the site and hooking up with a niche you're interested in. That's one good thing about IM'ing. When one interest dries up, you can just sell the site and focus on what is fancy to you at the moment.

        Best of luck!
        Robert
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        • Profile picture of the author capitalalchemy
          This niche is my specialty. This niche isn't about content, it's about lessons. You have to create guitar lessons with detailed tabs, break-downs, etc. You can't just really write about this niche. People want to know how to play guitar from different angles, genres, etc.

          So, that being said, unless you can teach guitar -- it could be difficult for you. People really do want the goods in this market, and the secret is to contact guitar blog owners and offer your lessons to them in exchange for a link back to your site.

          For every lesson you put together, you should also make a video and put it on YouTube. That's exactly how I got started in this business, but then again I also had my own guitar instructional product, and my followers across the board trust me more than someone that I'm recommending.
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        • Profile picture of the author iamandregil
          Originally Posted by Robert M Gouge View Post

          I understand what you're trying to do, and I think that unless you're willing to go pay-per-click route or something similar, you're not likely to get much free traffic from the big G or other sources.
          I would be willing to purchase traffic but I haven't found any way to convert this kind of traffic and I am kind of dried out as far as funds (can't really waste money "testing"). I have made more sales from straight article marketing (50+) than from Adwords (0). Paid advertising is ideal in theory but I just haven't managed to make it work.
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      • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
        Originally Posted by iamandregil View Post

        I'm sure if I went all out and built a guru type website the guitar niche is one in which I could make money, but I'm talking about making money without that level of involvement. The reason is that I simply do not like guitars that much and cannot handle the idea of devoting myself that much to them and to the guitar playing community. I can't even relate that well to people who love guitar.

        What I wanted to do was to just funnel people interested in learning guitar to a site like Jamplay, where they will have all of the content and community they are looking for. I don't want the burden of being a guru/leader/teacher.

        That is really my question, is there any hope within that framework? I have no actual interest in guitars anymore, when I first got into the niche I was interested but this interest is gone. I could force myself to write content, to some degree, but my only motivation is money. Given the level of competition and lack of results from previous efforts, it just feels like a waste of time.
        A few years ago I had a site in a very competitive niche that did not really grab me. I tried to drill down and find something I could compete for. I spent a lot of time and energy focusing on finding something when I could have been building my other sites that I really enjoyed. I did sell the site and that was the best thing to do.

        If there is no interest in the niche you are not doing yourself or your customers any favors staying in it.
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  • Profile picture of the author steven Clayden
    If you have no interest in your prospective customers then there is no point. Move on.
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    • Profile picture of the author pers1t
      Try getting traffic by posting on relevant forums and putting links in your signature, this can bring a lot of targeted visitors.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ewan Lumsden
        Banned
        Originally Posted by pers1t View Post

        Try getting traffic by posting on relevant forums and putting links in your signature, this can bring a lot of targeted visitors.
        Agreed here. Forum marketing on guitar forums would bring a lot of targeted visitors, maybe even use guitar related Facebook pages to drive targeted traffic too.
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  • Profile picture of the author footbag_man
    Originally Posted by iamandregil View Post

    Okay, maybe someone can help me out here. I have a guitar site. Every keyphrase I can think of has a billion allintitle PR99 exact match results, plus youtube videos with detailed step by step instructions. In other words, the competition seems brutal. The core of traffic seems to be in tabs, which are pretty grey as far as legality AND dominated by giant authority sites with user-driven content. There must be affiliates making money in the learn guitar niche. My question is, how? I don't want to abandon the site but I also have no idea how to move forward. Even when I write what to me seems like awesome content (haven't done that for this site, but I have previous experience doing this), nobody ever gets to see it, much less share it.

    When it come to the guitar niche you can forget about ranking for any real KW's..

    You should try other methods other than SEO for google to attract customers..

    Video marketing would probably be your best method as music can easily go viral especially if you are doing tutorial videos.

    Fergal
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  • Profile picture of the author samjaynz
    So there are thousands of high ranking sites?

    What do these sites need? Content, of course.

    Why not contact the site owners and offer free guitar tutorial videos and articles. In exchange, you request that you can place a CTA in the video and a link below.

    This link goes through to a lead capture form.

    Suddenly, you're piggybacking off the success of everyone else.
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  • Profile picture of the author ochaim
    I was looking at starting an amazon site for music gear and found guitar brands and makes to have relatively low competition in the serp's, particularly newer models.

    That may be an idea for you use for this site instead of abandoning it completely. There is some work, some writing, some minimal backlinking.

    Some warriors offer free/paid advice here, but the gist is targetting brands and model #'s even though it appears there's no traffic in google. They still seem to get traffic.

    Haven't tried it myself, but since you have the domain, wouldn't hurt to try ranking a few posts this way.

    Hope that helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author TomBuck
    Hmm tough niche to get into. I brought a guitar online and I got a good price because everyone is trying to outdo each other.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adrianhenry
    I play quite a bit of guitar and I have toyed with the idea of entering the niche and trying to make some money from it. But i am yet to come up with a new angle to do so.
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  • Profile picture of the author wordpressdoctor
    How much time are you spending in promoting your website? This could be a great niche if you are putting the time in.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ankesh Kothari
    You are seeing it the wrong way. There are 101 guitar websites out there. Don't see them as competition. See them as publishers.

    Can you place your ad on their websites?

    1. Create a product that can be sold over $50.

    2. Your goal is to bring in 1 sale for every $45 you spend in advertising.

    3. The pool of websites where you can advertise is huge. So you can be choosy in selecting where you run your ads. Become an expert in ad conversions and you'll leave all the other guitar websites in the dust.
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  • Profile picture of the author Haikela84
    My husband owns a guitar site and we did have a hard time getting a lot of visitors at first. Competition was stiff (still is!) so we decided to drop major SEO efforts and focus on online and offline social networking.

    He got his former bandmates to create content and video tutorials for the site. He made sure their names and faces were on there, and asked them to share what they've contributed to other friends.

    He asked people to send in photos/videos of their bands/gigs. It took off from there. It really took time and effort but it all paid off. Goodluck!
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    • Profile picture of the author The Great Gordino
      I signed up to a list of a geetar tutor online, I think it was a PPC ad.
      Anyhoo, talk about pushing the free line!

      He has *loads* of great video lessons freely available, and he then goes on to offer more lessons.

      I imagine this kind of thing does make the competition hard, but if he is doing it, no reason why anyone else can't.

      I also agree with other posters about different avenues, using a journalistic approach around the world of guitarists could work well, you could build up visitors and monetise the traffic in any number of ways.

      I've written articles about Bert Weedon and Orianthi and Angus Young and Prince, etc
      The content potential is massive!

      Good luck!
      Gordon
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  • Profile picture of the author andymac12345
    It really depends. The guitar tabs niche is pretty impossible to match at the moment, but if you thought outside the box and maybe did a site about effects pedals or a certain brand of guitar?
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  • Profile picture of the author DaveWarrior
    Go local. Post a classified and find someone who wants to teach people guitar. This can be someone anywhere in the world so do keyword research and find a city where you can compete in Google. Then sprinkle the site with that city and convert the main page to a sales page for guitar lessons from that guy. You get a percentage of the teaching revenue. Re-invest the money in product development. While you're at it, get some writers to write up some articles. I think going local and getting other people to do the work solves both of your major problems (too much competition, no passion).
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    I've been in various music niches for the last 12 years so let my divulge a piece of wisdom for you.

    You know how to play guitar correct? You also know there are LOTS of people who want to learn guitar. Your problem right now is competition. So how you do squash this problem?

    I'd say simple. Think outside the box here. Do NOT target the "guitar" niche. Target smaller more isolated music niches like the trance niche. Its the niche I've sold various sample packs in. The way I did it was I created the packs first.

    Then I went onto trance forums. I made the best sound synthesis tutorial I could, creating sounds nobody knew how to make. Then I also linked a few of my tracks.

    People loved the tutorials, would hear my music and ask "where did you get the other sounds?". At which point I'd link them to ebay.

    But you can get A LOT done on music forums alone. You can even buy ads on the forums once you've built up a good following.

    Here is a fact. There are MANY trance producers who are experts at sound synthesis/mastering (trance is one of the hardest genres to mix imo). On the technical side of things they usually know how to tweak the hell out of synths and its what they spend a lot of their time on.

    STILL, many of these producers have NO IDEA how to play the guitar. If you could make a few tutorials, but make the tutorials relevant to trance, you could target a more isolated niche.

    I would do this not by playing a guitar on video, and not even using a guitar at all. Instead, work with the tools they use (regular sequencers & synths). SHOW THEM how to use a synth, to play a hot guitar riff. You already KNOW what makes a guitar riff sound organic and groovey. I could even help you if you don't know anything about using synths.

    But my point is I think you should just get creative. For the longest time I've known how to play piano, so I use my midi sequencer to play guitar riffs on piano. This is how most trance artists play "guitar" in their tracks. Problem is I don't know how to play a guitar, so I've always had a problem making it sound organic or like a real person played the riff.

    LOTS of trance producers would be interested in this because I've seen the question asked a hundred times on tranceaddict alone. "How to make a natural sounding guitar sound" etc etc.

    Just some food for thought.

    Good luck! - Red
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  • Profile picture of the author BTbuzz
    Originally Posted by iamandregil View Post

    Okay, maybe someone can help me out here. I have a guitar site. Every keyphrase I can think of has a billion allintitle PR99 exact match results, plus youtube videos with detailed step by step instructions. In other words, the competition seems brutal. The core of traffic seems to be in tabs, which are pretty grey as far as legality AND dominated by giant authority sites with user-driven content. There must be affiliates making money in the learn guitar niche. My question is, how? I don't want to abandon the site but I also have no idea how to move forward. Even when I write what to me seems like awesome content (haven't done that for this site, but I have previous experience doing this), nobody ever gets to see it, much less share it.
    You can try country songwriting keywords , I might be shooting myself in the foot, but there's a lot in the general vicinity low com, high traffic, country music in general is low comp high traffic.

    You could put some long tails in there. country videos , ect, You could try some angles with that way. Guitars instructions are tuff to go for there's a million of them. If your not a guitar player then i would see a lot of roadblocks.
    Low
    1,900
    880
    $1.10

    [blues licks]
    Low
    4,400
    1,300
    $0.92

    These aren't the greatest, at least there low, add some content , videos on licks ect. clickbank on guitar books, amazon. There not a big money makers on low end products, but you could build on it.

    Just brain storming, zero in and attack on the low comps would be one of my first course to try and some of the other suggestions. You better love the music muse to hang with her. If your a guitar player you'll know what i mean.
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  • Profile picture of the author sammib01
    There is always hope every BIG niche has micro niches. You should specialize in one of these that is not as full as the others. Just guitar learning or learn to play the guitar will not do it unless you spend lots on adwords and even that could get you traffic that is not interested in buying.

    I would suggest checking micro niches using Market Samurai or Traffic Travis and concentrating on the ones you can that are not flooded.
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    I am a musician and a business owner and operate several IM sites (including a set of music-oriented blogs), my blunt suggestions are:

    1. Musicians are a close-knit group that can smell "fake passion" a mile away...if you don't love this niche then stop wasting everyone's time (most of all your own)

    2. Musicians flock to video content...I know any time I want to learn a new song, network, learn about a new piece of equipment, etc... I look to YouTube first and drill out to websites based on what I see on YouTube. Videos are critical to marketing to this crowd

    3. Pofiles and interviews...musicians all have their mentors and study them...if you can run regular interviews, profiles or research on various mentors - this will attract traffic.

    Jeff
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    • Profile picture of the author capitalalchemy
      Originally Posted by jbsmith View Post

      I am a musician and a business owner and operate several IM sites (including a set of music-oriented blogs), my blunt suggestions are:

      1. Musicians are a close-knit group that can smell "fake passion" a mile away...if you don't love this niche then stop wasting everyone's time (most of all your own)

      2. Musicians flock to video content...I know any time I want to learn a new song, network, learn about a new piece of equipment, etc... I look to YouTube first and drill out to websites based on what I see on YouTube. Videos are critical to marketing to this crowd

      3. Pofiles and interviews...musicians all have their mentors and study them...if you can run regular interviews, profiles or research on various mentors - this will attract traffic.

      Jeff
      Hit the nail on the head!
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  • Profile picture of the author HN
    Banned
    There are a lot of guitar related keywords. The ones that might bring in a lot of visitors are extremely competitive like you said, but there are so many guitar related keywords that have almost no competition at all! I don't know how you do your keywords research. I have compiled a database of 34 million keywords including 400,000 how-to keywords, so I can easily find them. If you go to adwords keyword tool and type 'how' you get 16 results, so yes it might be difficult to find or come up with good keywords using google's tool. I am looking at my database right now: We found 889 how-to keywords containing the phrase guitar

    Guitar - How-to Keywords

    I am about to shoot some music videos and guitar lessons next week. I'd like to take a look at your site and maybe partner with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author SergioFelix
    Hmm let's put it this way, I want to learn how a riff is done or maybe how some part of a song is played and I land on your site.

    If you don't have a video showing me how to do it chances are, I'm going to leave the site in just a few seconds.

    Information has to be provided in full and fast so if you like music or musical touches or just enjoy an instrument here and there, I'm sorry but that's definitely not going to cut it.

    This is just a real case scenario for a visitor.

    It would be a lot easier for you to switch to something you're more passionate about or at least something that won't limit yourself for not being able to create the proper content pertinent to that niche.

    If you can create awesome written content, just be aware that there is already a sea of books from Berklee, Musician's Institute, free backing tracks and only God knows how many more free resources.

    This niche is about videos and doing them yourself or your friends or people that can be constantly creating content. If you don't have that then I think it's going to be very hard to create an authority site around guitars.

    Hope that helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author capitalalchemy
    This is one of those hands on niches. You can write to your hearts desire about why you should build a house, but when are you going to show us HOW to do it?

    Point is, this niche needs instructors. But I will say that it's massive and that there are many sub genres of music, techniques, categories, etc...

    If you can't teach guitar to the level expected of your audience (or run out of lessons), there is always equipment. You can position yourself as an equipment guru. You can review pedals, write articles about getting a good tone for metal/country/blues/etc and promote products through amazon or a listing found in CJ.com
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  • Profile picture of the author Chri5123
    Originally Posted by iamandregil View Post

    Okay, maybe someone can help me out here. I have a guitar site. Every keyphrase I can think of has a billion allintitle PR99 exact match results, plus youtube videos with detailed step by step instructions. In other words, the competition seems brutal. The core of traffic seems to be in tabs, which are pretty grey as far as legality AND dominated by giant authority sites with user-driven content. There must be affiliates making money in the learn guitar niche. My question is, how? I don't want to abandon the site but I also have no idea how to move forward. Even when I write what to me seems like awesome content (haven't done that for this site, but I have previous experience doing this), nobody ever gets to see it, much less share it.
    This is the problem that a lot of people run into.

    However you can enter any niche no matter how competitive.

    Here are some tips:

    Don't write your content for the search engines - write for people!

    Make sure you include some awesome information that guitar players will find useful and engaging. Again this is the most important part - to many people write 300 word articles pumped full of keywords and think that will get them #1 on Google.

    You don't want to be #1 on Goolge - be #1 in your niche!

    Again seek out authority blogs and websites and show the awesome content you have and offer to write a guest post.

    Contact some of the top people in your niche on Twitter.

    Frequent some forums in the niche with a sig link to the awesome info.

    If you can get your information on authority sites OR if it is really good to go viral then you won't need to worry about Google.

    Funny thing is by doing the above I BET you rank higher too!

    Hope this helps?

    Chris
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